Guest Post by Laurie Borden
Book Review: What’s it Like to be Married to Me
By: Linda Dillow Publisher: David C. Cook ISBN: 9781434700568
A couple of months ago, I heard an interview on the Christian radio station with the author of a new book entitled, “What’s It Like To Be Married To Me?” The interview intrigued me enough to get the book. I’m glad I did. I would recommend it for any woman who’s ever thought, “My husband is so blessed to be married to me.” The book is written by a woman in her 47th year of marriage. It consists of 10 chapters filled with thought-provoking questions, the author’s insight, responses and comments from over five hundred wives who’ve completed the study, as well as lots of Scripture quotes. As with most marriage books I’m drawn to, it is based on the very counter-cultural premise that like Christ, we Christians are created to serve others, including our husbands. We are created to love, to forgive, to bless, to help, to encourage, and as we choose to live that way, we in turn are filled with peace, joy, hope, and contentment. That message is simply un-American. It opposes the idea that the only way to happiness is to demand that people respect me and treat me as I want to be treated. One statement the author, Linda Dillow, wrote that I would say sums up the book is this: “Marriage is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.” She explains that the commitment is not just to accept our husbands, but to appreciate them. Now, that’s challenging.
The book includes a 10-12 week study guide in the back, which is intended for group discussion. This guide recaps and gives steps for applying the scriptures mentioned in the chapters. It also recaps the action steps mentioned in the book and asks questions about results as the readers attempt to engage in them.
After I had read through 7 chapters of the book, I was describing the book to a friend, and I mentioned that it would be a good study for women in stable marriages or newly married, but it really didn’t address issues involved in a marriage in crisis. As I continuing reading through chapters 7-9, I quickly realized I had spoken too quickly. Those chapters address forgiveness and the incredible stress created by “things falling apart”.
Several of my favorite quotes from the book: First a very challenging question asked by the author: “Can others tell I’m glad I’m married?” Wow! Another, “How would your children say you treat your husband?” A great reminder: “I can’t forgive, God. Give me the strength and power by the Holy Spirit.” “We think forgiveness is conditional.” Summing up the final chapter: “Faithfulness is what God asks of me as a wife.”
One aspect of the book that I particularly like is that the author doesn’t write from a position of a wife who never has any difficulties with her marriage. She writes as “one of us”, yet she still speaks truth to herself as well as her readers.
I did not discover new principles in this book. It includes topics such as gratitude, respect, forgiveness, sex, and how men’s brains are different than women’s. I did find it easier reading and more applicable than some other marriage books I’ve read. The study guide at the end makes it a great small group resource. I can’t wait to study it with a group of women, because I know from experience that if they take the risk to trust God and apply His principles in their lives, it will transform their marriages.