Monday, February 8, 2010

The Marriage Project by Kathi Lipp FIRST Wild Card Tour Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Marriage Project

Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Kathi Lipp for sending me a review copy.***

I am participating in the Blog Tour with Monica Trevino (Assistant to Kathi Lipp) that is from Feb. 1-21st and am a TMP Blogger (The Marriage Project Blogger). I found this book a great workbook to help fill a marriage with more spice. There are 21 projects in 21 days to do with your spouse. There are also 3 major projects and bonus projects. These projects are set up to be fairly simple and actually doable. Kathi Lipp, the author, has put together the best advice from every marriage book she had on her shelves and put it together in this book. So, yes you might have read it before somewhere else, but Kathi makes it very fun and rewarding to strengthen your relationship with your spouse. The book is a fast read and is especially great for couples that have been married for a while and need that fire rekindled. I have yet to do the projects with my husband because he is really not that much of a romantic and I haven't really asked him yet about what he would think about doing the projects with me. This is a book that works a lot better if done together, but can be worked alone.

My marriage isn't perfect, but it IS wonderful and I love my husband dearly. My husband and I would love more time together and maybe if we worked on this together we might be able to do all the projects mentioned in this book. My husband and I do a lot of "dates" with the kids in tow because we have a medically fragile daughter and three other kids. We have planned out some really fun activities and outings that are kid friendly and work very well for our family, but every once in a while it is very nice to get a date night with just my husband. If we could do this together and make the projects work for our family I think that it would be a success, it is just that I have it a bit more complicated than most moms. The 3 Major Projects, dates once a week with only my spouse, are going to be a bit of a challenge in finding a babysitter that can watch all 4 of my kids and know a thing or two about my special needs daughter to not freak out if an occasion arose where they needed to call 911 or be able to give her medication or a bolus on time. I tried to teach some supposed willing church ladies the ins and outs of my daughter's medication, bolus feeding schedule, all about her diagnoses and what she likes, dislikes...etc. It was too mind boggling to them and far more than they bargained for. They ended up backing out and wondering if I was a kin to Wonder Woman doing all that I do with her and having three other children of whom I homeschool. Oh well, I'll have to see if I can arrange something if I am ever to do this with my husband.


Kathi is married to Roger, the Worship Arts Director at Church on the Hill in San Jose. They have four kids and live in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is a full-time speaker and writer whose articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and Christian Parenting Today. Her first books, The Husband Project and The Marriage Project were both released by Harvest House.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925287
ISBN-13: 978-0736925280


Why The Marriage Project?

With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I have a shelf full of marriage books and I bet if you‘ve been married for any amount of time, you do too.

Most of the books that we own are great books. They talk about God’s desire for a healthy marriage, the theories behind a healthy marriage, and what a healthy marriage should look like if you apply these principles.

Some of those marriage books have had a great impact on my relationship with my husband.

Most of them? They ended up on our bookshelf as things I feel guilty for 1) not implementing on a daily basis and 2) not dusting.

When Roger and I got married we both brought two teenagers, two full-time jobs, and a host of volunteer activities into the relationship. There just wasn’t much time to be sitting up in bed after a long day, taking turns reading pages out of marriage enhancement books and staring longingly, with great resolve, into each other’s eyes.

On the other hand, Roger and I both determined to make this marriage work. We each had been in marriages that ended in divorce, and we were committed to being absolutely intentional to do everything we could, in God’s power, to see that we had a marriage that not only lasted, but also was honoring to Him and filled with joy.

That’s when the crazy ideas started to flow.

First, there was The Husband Project, where I challenged my friends (and myself) to bless our men for 21 days without expecting anything in return. While most women kept it a secret from their husbands, I had to tell Roger eventually (he had a right to know what book I was working on seven hours a day).

After that, Roger and I wanted a project to complete as a couple. The results of that are what you hold in your hand.

I wanted a way to bless my marriage that was very practical, fun, following God’s plan and purpose for marriage (and perhaps just a little bit flirty). I needed something that wasn’t just a theory about what to do about my marriage – I wanted some checkboxes. I wanted something that would instruct me, “This is what you do, now go and do it.”

That is what I needed, and that is what I ended up writing.

Becoming an Expert on Your Own Marriage

I’m definitely not a marriage expert. After one failed marriage and just four years into my second one, I’m probably not the first person you’d approach for marital advice. (Although the fact that Roger and I got married with four teenagers between us, and we’re still together, should earn us some kind of presidential Medal of Honor. Or at least a nifty certificate in a leatherette case.)

So I gleaned and condensed the very best advice from every marriage book on our shelves and adapted it into short, doable steps – or projects, that we could work on together.

This is how I have to manage almost every area of my life – whether it’s healthy eating, child rearing, Bible study, and most recently, marriage. It’s not enough that I know what I’m supposed to do; I need to have a plan to get up and do it.

Through these crazy little projects (most taking less than five or ten minutes) my husband and I learned new things about each other. We rediscovered what makes each other tick, confirmed some basics we already knew, and found new and exciting ways to encourage one another. While I may not be a marriage expert, I became an expert on my marriage.

I love how The Message Bible illustrates the words of James when it comes to putting feet to our thoughts:

Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17)

We can talk about marriage all day long. We can buy books and listen to podcasts about how we should have great marriages. We can listen to sermons and do Bible studies. But, unless we put some God-acts to our God-talk, no one benefits.

Hundreds of couples have done the Projects before you. These simple acts have been proven to change not only people’s behavior, but also their attitudes. I pray that God pours out His blessings on you and your marriage as you put feet to His plan for your marriage.

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