“9 Thoughts that Can Change Your Marriage” Giveaway and Linkup

9 ThoughtsI was excited to receive and read Sheila Gregoire’s latest marriage book, 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. If you don’t know Sheila, then you need to get to know her!

She blogs at To Love, Honor and Vacuum and in her characteristic transparent and witty style, she used 9 pat answers as a springboard to the 9 wise thoughts that she challenged the reader to integrate into her thinking.

Here are a couple of examples of how she worked this out:
Pat Answer – “Don’t take offense! If someone is insensitive or hurtful, overlook it and keep your focus on God.”
Thought – “My husband can’t make me mad.”
Pat Answer – “Fighting is poison to a marriage. Aim to live in peace instead. Avoid conflicts at all costs.”
Thought – “I’m called to be a peacemaker, not a peacekeeper.”

I have to admit that I found myself feeling a bit defensive when Sheila approached her book this way, because I know I’ve given some of those “pat answers” to people over the years.

Guilty!

However, as I read more, I realized that she wasn’t saying that pat answers are completely false. It’s just that they only give part of the picture and can often be misleading when left as a way to pacify hurting spouses. I totally agree that we really need to cut through the clutter to the heart of the matter on most marriage issues. I appreciated that she stretched my thinking on this issue and approach.

I think the chapter that I appreciated and needed the most was, “I’m Not in Competition with My Husband.” Although I agreed with Sheila on several key issues related to submission and headship in marriage and how those are interpreted from Scripture, she brought out some key aspects that I have missed over the years.

She also reminded me of several biblical examples where following God’s “truth and will” trumped following my husband when he is making a wrong choice.

For example, Ananias and Sapphira were each held accountable by Peter and ultimately God when they deceptively kept a portion of the money they gave to the church (See Acts 5:9). I think this is a great example of how we must answer to God for our individual choices. We should never compromise in the name of submission whenever our husband leads us towards a sinful choice.

Although I’ve functioned with this approach in my marriage, I’ve often done so with less clarity on exactly why I should do that. Thankfully, my husband isn’t encouraging me to be deceptive or to withhold from God! But if he ever encouraged any type of sin, I would recall and use Sheila’s biblical stance on this—making a wise choice to follow God versus following my husband toward a sin.

Overall, I felt like this was an excellent book that presents practical, proactive and valuable insights into how to make our marriages healthier, stronger and more spiritually grounded. I would highly recommend that you get Sheila’s book! And as a way to help you along in that process, I’m doing a giveaway of one free Kindle version of this book!

To enter: All you have to do is comment on this post between now and Saturday, Sept. 19th at midnight (CST). I’ll be randomly selecting a winner and announcing who that person is back here on Sunday, Sept. 20th!

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If you’re a blogger who’s never linked up with Wedded Wednesday before, this is a great week to do so, since Sheila will be sharing on FB and elsewhere about this post! It’s a great way to increase your traffic, my friends!

What are some pat answers to marriage problems that you’ve heard over the years?

 

What are some false beliefs you’ve held about marriage and what did you discover was the truth?


Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart and Wholehearted Wednesday.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to visit every blog that links up here, but I do try to visit the blogs of those who comment here. Most importantly, know that you all matter and provide great resources for this linkup!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post! I follow “To Love, Honour, and Vacuum”; she does a nice job.

    Two pat answers I often get (relating to present circumstances) are “Just cry out to God!” and “if you thought about heaven more you wouldn’t have fear”.

    They’re not very edifying, nor helpful.

    What false ideas did I have?

    Well, I never realized how lonely a good marriage could be.

    Reads a bit like a Zen koan, eh?

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/09/your-dying-spouse-57-in-laws-and-outlaws.html

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  • Anastasia Safee

    This book has definitely caught my attention! I love a good book on marriage. There is always something new that we can learn and apply to our marriage. I think the pat answer I’ve heard the most is “don’t go to bed angry.” Sometimes we just need to go to bed and get some sleep!

    Thanks for the link up! Have a great day!

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  • This book is definitely one to get and read and apply Beth.
    One lie I used to believe was that I had to be heard too. And in trying to be heard I often came of as rude and disrespectful.
    Thanks for sharing this book with us and for hosting us too. Have a super blessed day!
    Love

  • Mary Flaherty

    One of the most difficult and painful was when I was married to my former husband–in order to protect his privacy (it wouldn’t be right to discuss his problems in public) I won’t go into the issues–let’s just say there were issues in the marriage. Also, he was and still is an unbeliever. I got saved during the marriage–anyway, the pat answer that made me inwardly cringe was, “Pray for your husband’s salvation and endure.” Something to that extent. They had no idea what it was like to live in my situation, and enduring the rest of my life in what I was in was not something I was willing to do. I’m not advocating divorce, but in my case, I feel it was justified. Trust me, I prayed and prayed and prayed and felt a lot of guilt too! To add insult to injury, when we made the decision to end the marriage (over a choice I gave him-he chose to leave), I was STILL judged–by people in the church. We need to be careful of giving pat answers, especially when they sound biblically robotic. I guess this doesn’t really pertain to marriage per se, but it does in a way.

  • Pat answers are like putting a band-aid on a festering wound, aren’t they. The options that Sheila is putting on the table bring a greater possibility for growth and change. Love the way she re-frames what’s true about where we are.

    Thanks for introducing us, Beth!

  • Great review! I’ll have to check out this book. I’m definitely guilty of using pat answers because it seems to be the “easy” way out. I’m your neighbor for #coffeeforyourheart, and it was great to visit you today!

    • Hey Samantha, you’re our winner! I’ll be in touch by email as well to send you the Kindle version sometime today. Congrats and thanks so much for coming by and adding to the discussion, my friend.

  • Mary

    Thank you for the review and for sharing some insight into these 9 thoughts that can change marriage. I love how we can learn with fresh eyes about a subject that has been around forever. Hope your week has been wonderful!

  • Ooh I’m going to have to check out that book. It’s definitely an attitude thing. You can follow the best marriage advice out there but as long as you’re only going through the steps on the outside, and your attitude doesn’t change on the inside, it’s not going to help. At least not in the long run. Going through the steps may fix a problem temporarily but it will always come back.

  • This looks like a great book! I love to work through these types of books to intentionally grow my marriage. If we’re not growing, we’re not living!

  • Dawn

    I’ve been thinking about getting this book. Thanks for the review.

  • ex-07 Tundra, 14 Sierra owner

    It’s always nice to find sites and books that support marriage.

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    This is my first visit to your site…the book you speak of sounds wonderful especially because I am so tired of “pat” and “cliché” answers that we just lob out there in an attempt to say something wise or profound. Appreciated the review!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • Brandy McCoid

    Thanks for your review. I love when people flip something so commonly accepted (like pat answers). One pat answer I’ve heard a ton is “Just trust God”…while true, there’s so much more to consider. And a falsehood I believed about marriage was that my hubby was responsible for my happiness. What a tall order for him! Thankfully God ultimately fulfills that role…and I can contribute a hefty amount of happiness control too 🙂

  • A pat answer I have heard is that “We never have had an argument!!” I believed that and thought for years thought that we were the only ones who struggled in our marriage. Yes, I have heard of Sheila’s blog and have visited from time to time.

    I thought I had linked up and then realized that I hadn’t linked with you or Rosilind who are my main blogs where I linkup each week. Hope you are having a wonderful week my sweet friend. Thanks for the opportunity to link up on your blog.

  • Laura Rene

    I think one thing I’ve realized is even if we believe in Biblical roles of man and woman, we don’t need to fit into cookie cutters. We can live out our masculinity and femininity respectively in ways that are unique to our story, our lives, and our individual relationship. It helps me to love not only P. as my husband, but also just simply for who he is!

  • Heather

    Marriage is not as easy as everyone said it was…but I’ve also hung in there longer than some I’ve known when the “going got tough”. It’s hard work — you can’t just ignore problems and expect them to disappear or resolve themselves.

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  • I’ve loved the book, Beth! It’s filled with super practical advice and how-tos. And Sheila is very funny, which makes it easier to swallow the pill if it gets a bit…hard to get down :). Glad to see your thoughts on it!

  • Kristi B

    I love that you include me in reading your blog, I appreciate the time you put into it and the insight I receive from you!

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