A month of Christian meditations aimed at structuring and strengthening romantic relationships.
Bergmann’s slim nonfiction debut, aimed squarely at fellow Christians, takes readers through 31 days of reflections on all aspects of relationships between men and women, reminding readers that “the first step is to look for someone whose heart is after God’s.” This idea is key to every aspect of the book; indeed, this is much less a study of how two people can perfect a relationship with each other and more a study of how, in the author’s view, a healthy relationship contours to three participants: a man, a woman, and God: “Everything we have, every opportunity given to us,” Bergmann writes, “is by His hand.” (Bergmann opens with a note asserting that the book will also appeal to single people by giving them a kind of relationship blueprint, but the book is clearly designed for married couples.) Readers are also continually warned by the author that Satan always lurks to do harm and pull people apart: “Satan enslaves us. Christ frees us,” he says. “Satan destroys our lives. Christ saves.” Many meditations, though, simply concentrate on the basics of any relationship, applicable to people of any faith: honesty, clear and enthusiastic communication, common courtesy. Couples are urged to control their tempers, not to be careless with words, and to curtail pointless, trust-sapping complaining. Bergmann uses a clear, sparse prose style throughout in elaborating these points, and each chapter is lavishly supplied with quotes from Scripture at every step. The author has many useful things to say about the dangers of egotism and anger, but the book’s main point is evangelical: The highest goal of every relationship, it says, is to make that relationship pleasing to God. Religious couples will likely find each of these meditations instructive.
A useful daily primer for Christian couples.