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by Ellen Dean

Pub Date: May 23rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-973628-80-4
Publisher: Westbow Press

A debut Christian manual explains how to repair a marriage using biblical teachings.

In marriage, trust is often weakened—or even broken—but that doesn’t mean that the union is ruined. As a counselor, Dean has worked with hundreds of couples who have trust issues at the center of their marital problems. “The large majority of these couples have experienced healing and a renewed marriage because of God’s Word, His love, and His grace,” writes the author in her introduction to this book, which translates her experiences as a counselor into advice for trust-poor couples. “The couples were willing to apply biblical instructions for restoration.” The guide focuses on three areas: recognizing and coping emotionally with broken trust, rebuilding it after it’s been shattered, and troubleshooting to keep the bonds healthy going forward. Each chapter features a combination of information, advice, anecdotes from Dean’s professional experience, analysis of the relevant biblical concepts (with plenty of quotations from Scripture), and questions for spouses to ask themselves in order to correctly frame the dimensions of their difficulties. As the perspective of this work is specifically Christian, the author places particular emphasis on ideas like confession, repentance, forgiveness, and temptation, reminding readers that their relationships to their spouses are wrapped up tightly with their connections to God: “Temptations pull someone toward engaging in sinful behavior and avoiding good and right behavior. Doing wrong and not doing right are both sin.” Dean’s prose is direct and accessible, though not as warm as one might expect from a self-help guide. The book’s religiosity is profound, and secular readers would do well to find a different resource. But the author does not let theology get in the way of practicality, and her advice offers serious and comprehensive solutions that go beyond simple confession and forgiveness. Sections like “Red Flags Regarding Lack of Repentance” and “Wrong Responses by the Offending Spouse” encourage the aggrieved to hold the guilty party’s feet to the fire. For those couples experiencing marital difficulties caused by infidelity or some other breach of trust and looking for solutions that are rooted in a Christian worldview, Dean provides a serious and pragmatic road map.

A no-nonsense Christian guide to fixing a broken marriage.