Book Review: You & Me Forever
I read more than my fair share of marriage books. This is largely a function of the fact that Billy and I lead a small group of newlyweds where we talk through the intersection of our faith and our marriages.
I love, love, LOVE our groups and have discovered what we read is most valuable if it leads to great conversations. Almost everything we've read meets that criteria (our groups have always been chatty), but not every book is great.
In our last group we read and discussed You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisa Chan. The subtitle of the book is "Marriage in Light of Eternity," and I think the enjoyment of this book is going to come down to a handful of factors.
The first factor is whether you expect the book to be about marriage. The title, positioning, and marketing of the book really seems to indicate it's about marriage. There are certainly some beautiful tie-ins.
“Marriage is one of the most humbling, sanctifying journeys you will ever be a part of. It forces us to wrestle with our selfishness and pride. But it also gives us a platform to display love and commitment.”
Absolutely. However, the book is much more about life priorities. I underlined a whole bunch of gems like this:
“The God who loans you life sees your every move, hears each word you speak, and knows your every thought. And this is a good thing. You are seen by God. Noticed. Known.”
Yes! I love this. I believe this is true. I marked this book up in big ways and found tons of encouragement for my faith. However, to me the book was more about how a married couple lives out their faith, not how they practice their marriage.
"Bait and switch" came to mind more than once and that may not bug you, but I think you should be aware.
An accompanying thought, since the book is more about faith than marriage, the second factor determining your level of enjoyment is whether you consider yourself a Jesus follower. If you understand ideas like "sanctification" and " discipleship" and "fleshly appetite," you will likely relate to the message of the book. It's definitely written for people who have a faith in Christ.
The Chans have an amazing faith and spend much of the book quoting scripture to support their points.
“We hear strong opinions from arrogant people all day long. We need to cleanse our minds by reminding each other of God’s actual words.”
The amount of time our group spent testing and discussing the book was terrific. I couldn't have been more excited to discuss what we learned. However, unlike The New Rules For Love, Sex, & Dating which is written by a pastor, but works for anyone, this book is definitely for "insiders."
The final factor of note for appreciating this book is how tied you are to structure. The book is divided into seven chapters, but those seem like mere topic suggestions. There's also a chapter on parenting, which is related to marriage, but beyond the "you and me" spectrum. But I don't want to quibble...
I have zero idea how the book came together, whether it was a edited version of sermon transcripts, presentations, or if a laptop was passed between Francis and Lisa, but it suffers from a written form of ADHD; the thoughts are all over the place.
Still, there are many, many good thoughts. By the final page, most people in our group enjoyed what they read.
I am still on the fence.