Gayle Haggard's Why I Stayed is a spellbinding book. My reflections, as I read it, revolved around three separate but related themes—marriage, mutuality, and "healing through meeting." We all see the stories others tell about their lives through the prism of our own.
Not Marked is recommended without reservation to Christian men and women who want to discover that help and healing are available to those who feel forever stained by the shame of sexual abuse and assault.
Marriage in the Middle is a collection of life vignettes and personal experiences that will resonate with every married couple. Greco encourages couples to face midlife with imagination and hope and offers transparency, intimacy, and insight for the journey.
In Love & War, the Eldredges attribute the "absurdity of marriage" to innate gender discrepancies. Men and women are so fundamentally different, they assert, that it is no wonder that few can make it work.
There are many excellent books on the topic of domestic abuse, but this is one of the more practical ones that I have read. Included in its helpful resources is a detailed plan or “exit strategy” for the abuse “victim” who has decided she must leave the situation for the well-being of herself and any children involved. It also offers a section explaining how abuse in the home affects children, providing another point of reasoning as to why the best option might be to plan to leave. Throughout the book, the authors emphasize that abusive situations are not magically resolved, but offer biblical and wise practical counsel on how to proceed and why. Any person who reads this book will be greatly helped to sort through their emotions and be strengthened for path that lies ahead.
In his book Gender Rolitis: Redeem Unhealthy Gender Roles, Kirk E. Farnsworth uses scripture to examine the dangers of gender-based hierarchy and explores the merits of gifts-based partnership. Included are resources for identifiying spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, traits, and life experiences which might be used to identify and pursue one's calling.
In Breaking the Marriage Idol, Kutter Calloway describes how the modern church has become distracted by pagan norms for sexual expression and marriage, and why this contributes to our idealization of marriage and the marginalization of unmarried persons. Arguing that the church has bought in to the Hollywood notion that marriage is the antidote to sexual promiscuity, Callaway calls the church to provide new stories to refute this superficial formula. He offers vision for how the church can become a place where love for the other is the pinnacle, and both unmarried and married persons lead and follow side by side, representing the best expression of God's intent for his people.
Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity, stands out among Christian marriage books for its depth, style, and vulnerability. She wrestles with the difficulties of marriage with honesty and humor, and her love of marriage itself shines through.
The increasing incidents of abuse in our society are a sad reality with which all church leaders must come to grips. Mending the Soul is, therefore, a valuable resource not only for abuse survivors and those ministering to them, but also for church leaders who have to explore the uncharted territory of abuse because of love for their congregations.