Let's be honest, at first glance I do not appear to fall within the target audience of Chapman and Myra's new book Married and Still Loving It.
This collaboration is geared towards those in the later years of life: post kids, looking towards retirement, facing the reality of the joys and challenges of living together through the "golden years."
Here's the thing.
I want that.
I want a strong marriage when our kids are grown and gone.
I look forward to spending our time together building off of a strong foundation and to have a strong foundation takes work. So, even though I'm not the target audience, I still found the majority of this book useful as it speaks to a stage of life I anticipate and wish to build towards using the wisdom of those who have gone ahead.
I appreciated Chapman and Myra's honesty, both from themselves as well as the many other couples either referenced or even interviewed throughout the course of this book. These real life scenarios, triumphs and sorrows, the nitty-gritty gave life to such broad concepts such as grief, transition, purpose and new direction.
While these are areas that can affect any stage of marriage and life, it was so helpful to have the stories to bring these concepts into a tangible expression of how they can look in later life.
I also appreciated how this book stands alone.
Confession time, Despite my time at an evangelical college I haven't actually read the 5 love languages. Somehow, even as a counselling major, I managed to miss every single class it was referenced in. I was concerned this lack of exposure may create some confusion as it is the most commonly associated teaching with Gary Chapman. While this was referenced the references were self contained and fed into this book rather than distracting to another as was my fear.
I enjoyed the practicality of Still Married. Although I'm unfamiliar with the author's previous work, from what I've heard this is fairly typical of his writing. One of my biggest frustrations with counselling type books is when they get lost in jargon or theory and you can't pass it along to someone who would benefit from it. This book is accessible. The writing is easy and conversational. The topics are one's that most people will encounter. Not everyone will loose the same type of person but everyone will face grief. Not everyone will have to face picking up and moving but everyone faces transitions, especially as we age. Not everyone will have a spouse or child with health concerns but everyone will face, at the least, the challenges that come as we age. A reader would have to try hard not to find a point of connection within Chapman and Myra's writing.
Overall, I think this is a strong book for those who are looking forward to the future of their marriage whether it's down the road or around the corner. 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed are my own.