Monday, February 3, 2014

{Review} Worth the Fight

"Haven’t you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

In four days, I will have known Greg for 16 years.

Um, yes, I do need to pause here and ask, Where have you gone, Time?

I hadn't turned 19 yet, when we met through a mutual acquaintance. I was a freshman in college, happy for a new environment. All my future thoughts were focused on school and becoming a journalist.

I thought about my byline more than I mentally planned a wedding. In fact, Greg and I broke up a couple times in college, usually due to my insecurity that commitment was the right step. I'm not sure why I was hesitant to always be all in. But God eventually got the two of us on the same page at the same time about The Future.

He surprised me with a visit, flowers and a question. I was thrilled, thought they were pretty, and said yes. And we lived happily ever after.

Aug. 3, 2002

OK, well, that happily ever after isn't exactly true. 

In fact, it's not true at all.

Marriage is hard. After knowing each other for almost 16 years, including 11 1/2 years {exactly, today!} of marriage, Greg and I have decided we like it more the farther into this husband and wife thing we get.

Over the years, we've had communication break downs, far too many selfish moments, conversations about intimacy, conflicts about things I can't even remember, and clashing expectations. We certainly haven't always agreed on everything, but, thankfully, neither of us want a dog and cats make us sneeze.

We've been in the trenches. But together we've found a way back out. We laugh often. He beats me in Words with Friends way too often. We love to travel together. He's the best dad I know and makes me a better momma with each season of parenting.

What's better than fighting about the hard days is fighting for each other and the marriage you're building together. 

My friend Kayse Pratt is releasing today "Worth the Fight: Lessons Learned in a High Maintenance Marriage." She has a way of being encouraging, practical and real with her words that encourage couples in five areas that have proved essential in her marriage: Commitment, Communication, Service, Laughter and Sex.

This 32-page ebook offers real life wisdom, challenges to improve your own marriage, Bible verses to encourage, and a list of other resources.

"Worth the Fight" is a short book packed with so much truth. So, I'll share a favorite passage from each section.

COMMITMENT :: "Marriage requires commitment. ... God intended it to be for life, for me to love their women wholeheartedly, and for women to respect their men unconditionally. We might mess those roles up every day, but that doesn't change God's intention."

COMMUNICATION :: "When Jon and I were dating, we talked about everything. ... And then we got married and moved in to the same house and realized that 'good communication' was not exactly the same thing as 'talking a lot.'"

SERVICE :: "We are called to love unconditionally, and that means serving without reservation. That means looking for ways to make your spouse's life a little easier, instead of becoming embittered that they aren't making yours any easier."

LAUGHTER :: "Playing together leads to laughing together, and laughing together reminds you that you actually like the person you're stuck with."

SEX :: "God created sex to be a unifying experience between two people who have committed to serving each other for their entire lives. ... Sex is a way to physically express the miracle of marriage -- two becoming one."

Marriage isn't anything like I expected when I did get around to planning that wedding of mine a dozen years ago. But, you know, it's better. And I'm thankful I'm not the same girl I was when Greg and I met almost 16 years ago. Marriage is a refining fire at times, but it's worth the fight.

As part of Kayse's book launch team, I did get a free copy of this book, but these opinions are my own. AND she's offering all of you 20% off TODAY ONLY! Just use the code worththefight20 to get the book for just $3.19. {It's regularly $3.99.} This post contains affiliate links, but that doesn't change the price for you and I'm truly encouraged by Kayse's words.

If you're looking for other family/house resources, Kayse Pratt also wrote "Getting It Together: Your Guide to Setting up a Home Management System that Works" {my previous review} and "Undivided Mom," a devotional for moms.

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