Optimize Your Marriage Book Review
Most relationship books focus on the differences between men and women and the breakdown in communication. Optimize goes much further. The first several chapters focus heavily on accountability. It is a concept that is woven throughout the entire book. The authors recommend finding a group of friends who will ask you all of the intimate, serious questions that will force you to examine the health of your marriage. In so doing, you will identify and repair potential behavior that can damage your relationship. The concept is also applied to accountability in your relationships with your spouse and children. The flip side of this is that you also examine your own role in causing the conflict and what you could have done differently to improve the situation. This allows both of you to humble yourselves and seek forgiveness.
Other concepts presented are the importance of parents being the gatekeeper of everything that their children listen to, watch, and read, ten things every relationship needs, and the significance of defining your family‘s purpose. Also heavily focused on is time spent in daily devotion with God, both individually and collectively with your family. Prayer is important and the authors advocate praying for the future generation of your family. Not only should you pray and hold devotional time with your family, you should be open to disciple others. If your children see you pour into others, they will model your behavior. If your marriage is solidly build upon God, accountability and open communication, your children will hopefully follow in your footsteps with their relationships.
The book is comprised of thirteen chapters. While they build upon each other, each chapter is also strong enough to stand on its own. The chapters are written from both the male and female viewpoint. To illustrate the effectiveness of a particular practice advocated in the book, included are relevant interviews with the Downer children. Each page contains a scripture reference pertinent to the issue being discussed. Every chapter includes many informative statistics and is followed by a set of discussion questions. The back of the book includes several resources for discipleship, finances, bible study and relationship issues.
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