Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Marriage Project by Kathi Lipp - A Review by jubilee



It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:
Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)
***Special thanks to Kathi Lipp for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kathi is married to Roger, the Worship Arts Director at Church on the Hill in San Jose. They have four kids and live in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is a full-time speaker and writer whose articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and Christian Parenting Today. Her first books, The Husband Project and The Marriage Project were both released by Harvest House.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925287
ISBN-13: 978-0736925280

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



Why The Marriage Project?


With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I have a shelf full of marriage books and I bet if you‘ve been married for any amount of time, you do too.


Most of the books that we own are great books. They talk about God’s desire for a healthy marriage, the theories behind a healthy marriage, and what a healthy marriage should look like if you apply these principles.


Some of those marriage books have had a great impact on my relationship with my husband.


Most of them? They ended up on our bookshelf as things I feel guilty for 1) not implementing on a daily basis and 2) not dusting.


When Roger and I got married we both brought two teenagers, two full-time jobs, and a host of volunteer activities into the relationship. There just wasn’t much time to be sitting up in bed after a long day, taking turns reading pages out of marriage enhancement books and staring longingly, with great resolve, into each other’s eyes.


On the other hand, Roger and I both determined to make this marriage work. We each had been in marriages that ended in divorce, and we were committed to being absolutely intentional to do everything we could, in God’s power, to see that we had a marriage that not only lasted, but also was honoring to Him and filled with joy.


That’s when the crazy ideas started to flow.


First, there was The Husband Project, where I challenged my friends (and myself) to bless our men for 21 days without expecting anything in return. While most women kept it a secret from their husbands, I had to tell Roger eventually (he had a right to know what book I was working on seven hours a day).


After that, Roger and I wanted a project to complete as a couple. The results of that are what you hold in your hand.


I wanted a way to bless my marriage that was very practical, fun, following God’s plan and purpose for marriage (and perhaps just a little bit flirty). I needed something that wasn’t just a theory about what to do about my marriage – I wanted some checkboxes. I wanted something that would instruct me, “This is what you do, now go and do it.”


That is what I needed, and that is what I ended up writing.


Becoming an Expert on Your Own Marriage


I’m definitely not a marriage expert. After one failed marriage and just four years into my second one, I’m probably not the first person you’d approach for marital advice. (Although the fact that Roger and I got married with four teenagers between us, and we’re still together, should earn us some kind of presidential Medal of Honor. Or at least a nifty certificate in a leatherette case.)


So I gleaned and condensed the very best advice from every marriage book on our shelves and adapted it into short, doable steps – or projects, that we could work on together.


This is how I have to manage almost every area of my life – whether it’s healthy eating, child rearing, Bible study, and most recently, marriage. It’s not enough that I know what I’m supposed to do; I need to have a plan to get up and do it.


Through these crazy little projects (most taking less than five or ten minutes) my husband and I learned new things about each other. We rediscovered what makes each other tick, confirmed some basics we already knew, and found new and exciting ways to encourage one another. While I may not be a marriage expert, I became an expert on my marriage.


I love how The Message Bible illustrates the words of James when it comes to putting feet to our thoughts:


Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17)


We can talk about marriage all day long. We can buy books and listen to podcasts about how we should have great marriages. We can listen to sermons and do Bible studies. But, unless we put some God-acts to our God-talk, no one benefits.


Hundreds of couples have done the Projects before you. These simple acts have been proven to change not only people’s behavior, but also their attitudes. I pray that God pours out His blessings on you and your marriage as you put feet to His plan for your marriage.



Q&A with Kathi

  • Kathi, you talk about a time in your life when your marriage wasn’t all that you hoped for. What were some of the things that you wanted to improve in your own marriage?
Let me be clear – I love my husband Roger, but, this is a second marriage for both of us. I knew the statistics regarding remarriages are pretty bleak. But, I guess we were hoping that we would be the exception to the rule and would avoid all the drama – yeah, not so much… With both of us having two teens, plus both becoming step-parents to two teens, we had our challenges waiting for us.

That is when Roger came up with the watch word for our marriage – “Intentional”. Whatever problems came up we were going to deal with them head on – not avoid them as we both did in our first marriages.
The Marriage Project is one of the results of that – being intentional about making it work.
  • So, how does The Marriage Project work?
The Marriage Project is like a workout program for your marriage – only with less sweat and more chocolate. You commit to do fun and flirty things for 21 days to raise the temperature of your marriage – everything from flirty notes on the bathroom mirror to more lingerie in the bedroom. It is a little bit of work – and a whole lot of fun.
  • How did you come up with the Projects?
We ran 40 projects past 200 couples – most of them at our church in San Jose, CA. The ones that had the biggest impact – usually involving food and sex – stayed, while some of the ones that had the least impact got tossed. That’s how we came up with 21 pretty solid projects that both the husbands and the wives felt were fun and had an impact on their relationship.
  • Most couples already may feel overwhelmed, so how can they fit these projects into their already busy schedules?
Roger and I have real lives – lots of kids, little money, and even less time. So we made sure that the projects were as “doable” as possible. Most of the projects take less than five minutes.
  • What’s the biggest reason that women stop putting effort into romancing their husbands?
Time was the overwhelming factor for the women – between kids and jobs, home responsibilities and other family, it was easy to let their relationship with their husbands go on auto pilot.
  • How about the guys? What are some of the reasons a man may give up on romance?
Surprisingly, most of the men wanted more romance with their wives, but didn’t feel like they were doing it “right”. “Will she be mad if I get her the wrong kind of flowers?” “What if she doesn’t like the gift I got her?” “It doesn’t matter what I do, she isn’t going to like it anyways.” If felt like a lot of the men wanted to do the right thing, but felt overwhelmed by “getting it right”.
  • You talk a lot about dating your mate in The Marriage Project. With all of the pressures of the economy, job stress, and family obligations, why do you think dating your spouse is so important?
Dating is what helps us fall in love in the first place. It is the thing that most married couples give up first after saying “I do.” But dating is a great way to take a little retreat from those things that can pull us away from each other. At first you may have to look at dating as a project – setting aside time, money and energy for something (or someone) that is important.
I know that it can be expensive to date, but if you are creative, you can have a fun date for under $20.
  • Are there really dates you can do for less than $20?
Absolutely. In fact, we have a list on my website with 20 Dates for under $20.
  • What about if you have kids? How can you keep those costs down with the expense of babysitting?
Starting January 15th, we are going to have great ideas on how to date with kids on my blog. You are going to love the ideas that all our readers are contributing!
Thank you, Kathi, for taking the time to answer a few questions for my dear readers.

My Take
When you pick up this book, don't let the number of chapters be daunting. They are quick reading to lay the foundation so you can get started right away. I think this is a great book to spice things up in your marriage. To get you out a of rut and into some "couple" time. This book delivers exactly what it promises to do: it helps couples be intentional about how they spend time together. The projects are practical and completely do-able. As with any project, you get out of it what you put into it and this book gets you to the place where you can focus on being a couple.

The project section is divided in three weeks: you will have a project per day as well as a major project and a bonus project to complete. Some projects are for one partner and other projects requires both of you to be involved. Kathi also suggests strongly to have another couple do the projects at the same time so as to have an accountability partner. Great idea. It also helps to have another couple to bounce ideas off of.

And the projects are fun. C'mon, wipe that look of agony off your face, you know the one. The one that says, "I have to do ONE more thing today?!" Your marriage is worth it. Your spouse is worth it and so are you.

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Lucy
    http://dataentryjob-s.com

    ReplyDelete

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