Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: The 4 Seasons of Marriage

The 4 Seasons of MarriageIf you’re looking for a book packed full of ideas for strengthening your marriage, I recommend Gary Chapman’s The 4 Seasons of Marriage to you. In this book, Chapman uses the seasons of nature as an analogy for the possible states of a marriage. If a marriage is strong and thriving, it is a summer marriage. If a couple is on the brink of divorce, their marriage is deep in the cold of winter. Chapman’s purpose in writing the book is to help couples move toward or maintain the blessings of spring and summer.

Chapman starts by defining each season of marriage and identifying the emotions and actions that go with each. Then he provides a questionnaire couples can fill out to discover, if they haven’t already figured it out, what season their marriage is in. He follows that with seven strategies for improving one’s marriage. He closes with a question and answer section and a group or couple’s discussion guide.

The seven strategies were the heart of the book. No matter what season your marriage is in, implementing these ideas will be a benefit. One of them, of course, is learning your spouse’s love language. That chapter gives a brief synopsis of Chapman’s brilliant book about this.

Throughout the book, Chapman is very conscious of all possible reader circumstances. He often writes to the spouse who is struggling to save a marriage though the other spouse has given up. He provides concrete examples of how such a spouse can adopt his ideas and, hopefully, reach the other’s wounded heart. And, though marriage is a team sport, Chapman puts the burden for positive action on the individual. We don’t manipulate our spouses into changing for our good; we initiate positive change within ourselves for our marriage’s good.

I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to you! This is one I obtained on my own just because I wanted to read it, but it moved to the top of my TBR list when it showed up as one of Tyndale’s Summer Reading selections.

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