Gary Chapman & James Stuart Bell – Love is a Flame: Stories of What Happens When Love Is Rekindled

Note: This is not a free review copy (yet I bought this for free).

This book is a compilation of stories and / or testimonies of married people. I’m not married and, having no fiancée or someone I court, I wouldn’t say that I will be in the near future. So why did I read this book? Because I see so few good examples of marriages (and parenting – even worse!) that I really want to believe that a marriage (and parenting) can work. All I see is fail, fail and fail everywhere. (If you think a mediocre marriage is fine, you’re just wrong.) As in every such book some stories are three minutes while others are fifteen to read. Also there’s a scripture and some little teaching / general conclusion we can glean from the story.

Upon reading and finishing the book, I liked it pretty much and it was a useful read yet my expectations went unfulfilled. Now a few months later I don’t like it anymore. Most of the stories were great and really encouraging – in a certain way. On the other hand, I was stunned by some people’s bad, and in many cases, outright stupid choices. I was looking for a book that wasn’t going to give me perfect marriages but marriages that that worked relatively well (and parenting too). However, almost all of the marriages (and parenting) had huge blunders and failures in them. Some people did things that I was saying to myself “These people weren’t even Christian!” So after I’ve processed the book I’ve come away with the thought: “You can’t be married (and have kids) without making many stupid choices for a long period of time.”

As I reminisce, this book will help some but discourage some. It will probably be great to those who are married but whose marriage (and parenting) has been compromised to any level. Nonetheless, tt will be horrible for those not yet married as they will get the “They messed it up so bad, I won’t be able to do better, so why bother marrying?” idea. That being said either buy the book immediately or steer clear!

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