Marriage on the Mend by Clint and Penny A. Bragg

Book description:

Approximately fifty percent of the couples who sign a marriage license will also sign on the dotted line of a divorce document. In order to turn the tide of this stark statistic, couples who have considered or experienced separation or divorce must be given real tools to reconcile, restore, and rebuild their relationships. Marriage on the Mend provides these tools for couples in crisis.

Clint and Penny Bragg know what it means to be that couple. After being divorced for eleven years and living 3,000 miles from each other, they were remarried―but the difficult work of restoration continued long after that second ceremony. The Braggs know that couples who reconcile face a unique set of challenges, including unresolved arguments, poor communication habits, unforgiveness, and betrayed trust. Biblically based materials are required to walk through this treacherous territory toward full healing and restoration.

This practical, realistic book identifies roadblocks that may stall relationship progress, recommends ideas to deepen intimacy, offers solutions to effectively handle past hurts and conflicts, and applies Scripture to every aspect of the process in order to proactively stabilize and safeguard the marriage. At the end of each chapter, the Braggs include a prayer for couples to share to help facilitate healing.

The one thing all broken relationships have in common is that true healing takes time. Using the framework of Nehemiah’s effort to restore Jerusalem’s walls following the Israelite’s exile and captivity, Marriage on the Mend provides a clear framework for the restoration of relationships.

My review:

I thought this book was filled with great advice and concrete exercises to improve any marriage.  Even though the book is geared for couples who are trying to heal their relationship after separation or divorce, I thought it had really good information that could be applied to any marriage.  After all, all marriages encounter disagreements and stressors.

I really enjoyed how the authors referred to Nehemiah throughout the book.  It is a book of the Bible that I haven’t studied, so I really felt like I learned a lot.  The best part of the book is that the authors don’t just tell readers to do something without providing us with the necessary tools to put it into practice.  For example, they encourage readers to keep a journal.  If you are not familiar with journaling, it is not an easy thing to start.  However, they give a step-by-step framework on how readers can go about writing a journal entry.  I need that kind of concrete instruction!

Although this book would be helpful for any spouse, it does assume that both partners are invested in putting effort into the relationship.  I’m not sure how helpful it would be if one partner was already completely checked out.  It would still be beneficial as a tool for personal growth, but both parties need to participate.

This book is a must read for anyone who is desperate to save their marriage.  It is a short book that is quick to read, and is much less expensive than divorce!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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