Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy and Intimacy Start With You by Dorothy Littel Greco & Christopher Greco
Published January 1, 2017 by David C. Cook
Genres Self Improvement, Christian
What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy? All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow. Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have. Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering cliches and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married for four weeks or forty years.
Making Marriage Beautiful is divided into 11 chapters that each focus on a different topic from “Tuning In: Why Good Listeners Make Better Spouses” to “Choosing Joy: God’s Secret Weapon”. The author begins by explaining the rough start she had with her husband during their engagement and marriage. And then the second chapter jumps right into acknowledging “scars” such as problems with family. There is a chapter that talks about dealing with addictions and a chapter that talks about confessing things you have done wrong and forgiveness. Basically each chapter talks about a particular issue that may be a common obstacle that comes up in many marriages and how to fix that problem. The chapter about gender roles wasn’t a particular favorite of mine, although I know in this day and age it is an important issue to address. I am probably biased as my husband and I both equally believe in traditional gender roles, however I often also do things such as mow the lawn or wash a car as well. We just don’t feel the need to “go against gender expectations.” This book is also a Christian based book and the author cites scripture throughout the book that may relate to the issue the chapter is talking about. At the end of each chapter there is also a section called “Going Deeper” that has several questions relating to the chapter.
Overall I thought it was one of the better books I have read on strengthening marriage from a Christian perspective. It covers a range of topics that I imagine are common obstacles in marriages and gives practical advice about how to resolve those issues and move on. The author makes the point that marriage can be fulfilling and beautiful, even when it’s hard and full of challenges. I personally liked that aspect of the book, as I have read other books in the same genre that don’t seem to acknowledge that marriage can be difficult and although there will be challenges, it’s still beautiful and full of joy.