If you’re like me you’ve found yourself utterly disappointed with most books about marriage. Some are far too academic to be used in normal church settings. Others are far too shallow and fail to provide anything meaningful and substantial. Still others are doctrinally impotent and portray marriage as the key to happiness and sustainability as a person. All in all I’ve too often found myself finishing whatever is the newest, most heavily-publicized marriage book written by the sexiest and trendiest personality in evangelical life, only to feel the same way I do after I eat gas station sushi: still hungry and just a little nauseous.
That’s why I highly recommend Rob Green’s book Tying The Knot: A Premarital Guide To A Strong & Lasting Marriage. If you’re already married this book would be great for you to work through with your spouse. If you’re engaged it’s a wonderful resource for you to purchase and study with your fiancé. If you’re a Pastor who regularly engages in pre or post-marital counseling I’d like to encourage you to consider making this book a part of your repertoire. Below are four reasons you should consider reading, using, and teaching Tying The Knot.
It’s Unashamedly Christ-Centered.
Let’s just be forthright in saying that most marriage books are man-centered. This is a shameful truth but it is the truth nonetheless. Even a quick glance at the table of contents will show the reader that Rob Green has set out to write a book different than most. Every chapter is authored and structured so that the reader is encouraged to make Jesus the center of his or her life/finances/communication/intimacy/etc.
It’s Unapologetically Short.
You might not think this matters, but it does. If you currently use a premarital guide or small group book that is lengthy and highly academic you risk losing your participants before they even start. Studies show that a large part of our society does not enjoy reading; according to one source 28% of Americans will go an entire year without reading a single book! This rather unintimidating 142-page book proves to be attainable to even the irregular reader.
It’s Proactively Nudging the Reader Toward the Church.
Many marriage and premarital counseling books have left me hungry for a stern warning against attempting marriage on your own. The church exists to help us accomplish life and pursue Christ in community. Every marriage needs to be grounded in the accountability and sustainability that God provides through the local church. The reader of Tying the Knot will know that they need to be actively engaged in the local church.
It’s Intentionally Interactive.
The bread-and-butter of Tying the Knot is the list of discussion questions that accompany each chapter. The book is designed to be read by the participants and the mentor and then to be discussed together on a regular basis. There’s no need for the readers to fumble for what to discuss as pertinent discussion questions are given at the end of every chapter. You’ll notice a trend in the discussion questions; we’ve all sinned against God and need to continually repent and believe in Jesus. What fiancé or spouse doesn’t need to be reminded of that???
You need to at least check this book out. I’ve spent the last decade surveying marriage books and I know that most of them belong in the trash heap. This book doesn’t. It belongs on your shelf.
An Additional Note….
By and large, New Growth Press has been publishing some awesome material. They’ve become one of my go-to publishers when I’m looking for something new. Even if you pass on Tying the Knot, I still heavily encourage you to check out their resources at www.newgrowthpress.com.