April 19, 2016
Dishes, towels, and kitchen appliances covered the gift table at a wedding shower I recently attended. The most unique gift I saw was one that had been given to the happy couple by one of my good friends. A water hose. My friend learned a lesson years ago that she likes to pass on to brides-to-be, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.”
In his recently released book, “The 7 Rings of Marriage,” author Jackie Bledsoe makes a plea for married couples to do just that: keep their eyes on their marriages with plenty of “watering,” which includes attention, time, and prayer.
Prayer and the Word of God must compose the foundation, Bledsoe instructs. No matter where a couple lands on their marriage timeline, these components are essential ingredients for a lasting and fulfilling marriage. However, couples can avoid plenty of heartaches if Biblical principles are instituted even before the vows are recited. Bledsoe openly shares the struggles his own marriage went through because of previous shaky foundation.
Because laying a solid foundation is crucial for a healthy marriage, I would suggest that this book is best suited for engaged couples or those newly married. Of course, its principles can be applied for any couple, as Bledsoe offers practical methods for strengthening marriages. Date nights, one-on-one conversation time, and even playful fun are some of his suggestions.
“The 7 Rings of Marriage” is divided into seven stages or “rings” of marriage, beginning with the “Engagement Ring” and following through to the importance of “Mentoring” other couples in their relationships.
Other sections include: “Wedding Ring,” which calls for husbands and wives to lay out a vision for what a fulfilling marriage looks like. “Discovering” defines the importance of always learning more about a spouse. Agreeing to never use the word “divorce” is emphasized in the chapter on “Persevering.” The chapters on “Restoring” and “Prospering” guide the reader through practical steps of righting wrongs which may occur in marriage and thriving along the way.
Bledsoe’s style is conversational and the organization of the book aids in the ease of reading, as well as, using specific chapters as a reference tool. Though strongly recommended for those couples in the early months or years of marriage, “The 7 Rings of Marriage” offers any husband or wife with encouragement to view their marriage through a hopeful lens.
*I received a copy of this book courtesy of B & H Publishing. Opinions in the review are my own.