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If you don’t know me by now, I’m an avid reader. I try to read a book a month. If I’m not reading, I’m listening to an audiobook while driving. If I’m traveling, I’m listening to Podcasts on my phone. Even though 2017 is right around the corner, there’s nothing better than reading a book in paperback (is it me or do you love the smell of a new paperback book? Ok, maybe I’m weird like that).
While attending a marriage class, our teacher gave me a book entitled The 7 Rings of Marriage: Your Model for a Lasting and Fulfilling Marriage by Jackie Bledsoe. I’ve read plenty of books on marriage and I must say this book ranks in my top five of all time.
If you are married (or in the engagement phase) you are wearing one of the rings Jackie created in chapters:
One reason I rank The 7 Rings of Marriage in my top five books in marriage because:
Jackie’s transparency about his marriage and shortcomings as a man. He talks about the difficulty of marriage and some of the hardships his family faced. Most marriage books talk about how they prayed through tough times but leave out the day by day practicality when everything seems to all fall down and you are contemplating divorce.
Men need to hear other Christian men have shortcomings because it levels the playing field. It’s easy to lose men attention when men put themselves on a pedestal like they have arrived. Even the Apostle Paul was transparent about his shortcomings!
The 7 Rings of Marriage is an easy read and filled with Biblical scripture. Jackie doesn’t “preach” at you, but take the approach of extending a hand to bring up your marriage.
Transparency is important to me when telling your story (especially when writing a book). It shows me that we are all broken and need the grace of God every day. The 7 Rings of Marriage didn’t make me feel like I’m the only one with issues in my marriage.
He talks about how life can get in the way and leave praying together with your spouse on the back burner. I don’t know about you, but this happens to me. Throughout the majority of the book, Jackie had me like “yea that happened to me too!”
Below are some quotes from the book 7 Rings of Marriage. They blessed my life and I believe they will bless you as well.
“What I found out is many of the things that bother me about my wife bother her just as much, if not more.”
“Your marriage is bigger than you, so sometimes you have to take one for the team. Until this happens in marriage, needs will go unmet.”
“Husbands, prayer with and for our wives should be non-negotiable in our marriages.”
“If your kids are to have someone to look up to in marriage, you have to expose them to a marriage worth looking up to. That should be your marriage.”
“Do not give with the sole purpose of getting something in return. Give because you want your spouse to know you love them, respect them, and they are important to you. Give and you shall receive.”
“When marriages break, families break, and it eventually trickles down into every area of society. It is wonderful that God created this union to have so much impact.”
Jackie listed 25 date night conversation starters which I loved! Here are a few from the book I thought was really good:
What is your favorite food, color, book, Bible verse, hobby, song, movie, sitcom, season, etc.?
What is the most important lesson you learned from your parents?
What actor or actress would play you in a movie about your life?
How can I pray for you?
Jackie also listed 25 fun date-night ideas. Here are some of the ideas I liked (and some we haven’t done yet)
Test drive expensive cars
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
Create lunch bags and drive around looking for homeless people to bless
Visit open houses
Take a walk
Go to a professional or college sporting event
Rent a room and act like you are out of town
Build or repair something together
What’s destroying marriages? Here are some Jackie listed (not all, but the ones I believe are the most destructive):
Putting anything or anyone (but God) before your spouse
Unwilling to work
Lack of respect
Not taking care of yourself
I recommend this book to anyone who desire to marry or if you are going through a rough spot in your marriage. I left a review on Amazon to show my appreciation of Jackie’s work (you should too). You can purchase by clicking the link belowBuffer