Love at First Fight. Yes. Fight. (Not Sight.) Fun word switch, huh?
Rob and I have been reading a newly released book by a husband and wife ministry team. Dena and Carey are married 20-some years. They’re parents of two boys. They entertain. They make people laugh. They’re Jesus-followers who write, sing, and do all the normal stuff that life and marriage entails. Sometimes they fight. In their latest project together, they’re talking about taking the gloves off…
Do you and your spouse fight?
Maybe, like us, you don’t call it “fighting”. Maybe you call it a discussion. A conversation. Or arguing. Or disagreeing.
Whatever words you use to describe what happens when the two of you have different opinions on a topic, the most important aspect is what comes after the fight…
What happens in your relationship after you fight? Are you able to…
- take a step back and cool off?
- laugh a bit – because the situation isn’t as important as you thought?
- discuss your different opinions on the issue?
If you need to increase your ability to do any of these three things, then this book might help.
He Said. She Said. There’s always two sides.
Rob and I come at the same situation from very different perspectives. Always. That’s normal, because we’re two different people. We’re unique. So are you and your spouse.
Do you take the time to explore both of your perspectives?
Dena and Carey Dyer are as unique as you and me, and our spouses… They have different perspectives about the same situations. In their book, “Love at First Fight“, they detail their different perspectives in a “he said” and “she said” format.
If you find it a challenge to listen… and really hear what your spouse is saying about a situation, then this book will be a great lesson in seeing two sides of the same event. Each of the 52 story-meditations have the format of both Carey and Dena’s perspectives.
What makes it great for us – the readers – is that it’s not our story! We have a third-party view into how two people see the same issue.
And each story is so well written. They’ll make you laugh, as they talk about culture shock when relocating as newlyweds, They’ll make you ponder as they talk about how a husband views the concept of “cherishing” his wife, and how she views the action. Humor is woven through the most concerning of topics, including sex in marriage, chronic illness, spiritual leadership, forgiveness, and more.
Each of the 52 story meditations are an easy, quick read. There’s no slogging through compicated words or concepts. The topics are about real life, with real life wording and phrases. Each topic is tied to a Biblical word, with a Scripture verse included, and a short prayer.
The topics covered are chronological according to the Dyer’s married life – topics we all encountered as newlyweds. (So the book is relevant for those married even a few months.) Then there are topics covered as the Dyers are married more years, exploring parenthood, and careers. This makes the book relevant for those married 10 or more years.
The Dyers are in their 40’s as they write this book. They’re married twenty-some years. Because Rob and I are now further down the road, and our kids are grown and we’ve been exploring the shock of grandparent-hood, the book finishes before they’ve discussed some of the issues we have been experiencing. That’s not bad. Just not as helpful for us.
However, there is more to each topic that we found valuable.
But wait, there’s more!
I’ve told you about the “he said” and “she said” portion of each story-meditation… there’s more. It pertains to the third aspect I said you could learn using this book. How to discuss an issue.
Questions to discuss an issue.
For each topic, after we’ve read Carey’s perspective, and Dena’s view, there’s a section called, “Taking off the gloves.”. These sections have three questions pertaining to each topic. As a whole, Rob and I really like the questions. They’re real. They’re relevant for anyone at any stage of marriage.
The questions have value for the future of your relationship, because they round out what you’ve been reading, and give you a chance to discuss important topics before they show up in crisis mode. As entertaining as the story-meditations are, I think the real value of this book is in the questions for you and your spouse. (Provided you discuss them.)
Each story-meditation ends with “Tips from the Pros”
To finish each of the 52 stories and questions, is a quote from different couples married for years. It’s a really nice way to end each topic.
Who should read this book?
It would be easy to say, “Every married person should read this book.” But I won’t say that. As I mentioned earlier, it isn’t a book that is as helpful for Rob and me as it would be for a couple married a few years. However, we found value in the questions… and we laughed. (We like to laugh.)
If you say “yes” to any of the statements below, then this book will be a valuable read for you and your spouse:
- Reading a book about marriage with my spouse feels daunting. (Either because neither of you like to read, or you’re concerned you’ll feel overwhelmed/judged/preached to… or you think it’ll be boring.) If you said “yes” to any part of this statement, this book might be a good one for you. It’s funny. You’ll laugh. There’s no preaching, but it is tied to Scripture. You can easily read one topic each week, and talk about one or more of the questions, and you’ll be done in less than an hour. One year later you’ll have enriched your marriage by reading a book together. Bada-boom bada-bing! Easy.
- Finding a way to start a conversation – a real, and deep conversation – is a challenge. Many couples go through stages where their talk is all “hallway” talk…. They talk about what’s for dinner, or what they’re doing on the weekend, but there’s no deeper heart-sharing conversation. That’s OK. Happens to all of us, at every stage. But if you want to deepen your conversations and talk about relevant things, then the topics and questions in this book will make an impact. You’ll grow in your ability to have a great conversation with your spouse.
- I want to fit my faith – my belief in Jesus and the Gospel – into my marriage. I want to live the Gospel with my spouse. Because each of the 52 story-based meditations has a Scriptural foundation (without being preachy), this book provides an easy way to consider how the Gospel can shape your marriage relationship.
Final thoughts about this book…
Though it’s not a deep or profound book, “Love at First Fight” is a real and relevant book. It’s funny. It’s easy to read. When you think of the cost – under $10 – I’d consider the pay-back, the growth of your marriage and the laughter the two of you could share, a small investment for a great dividend.
We received a free copy of this book to review. And…
The publisher has offered a copy for us to give away to a reader!
Would you like to win a copy of this book – “Love at First Fight”? Leave a comment – I’ll choose a random winner on October 1, 2016 from those who answer this question in the comments below::
“What’s the “word” you use when you and your spouse disagree? Do you call it a “fight”… or “argument”… or “bickering” or “spat” or “quarrel” or… 🙂
And WHY do you use that word?
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My husband and I don’t have a special word for disagreements. Neither of us are the type to hold onto things with each other. We say what we think and move on and are generally pretty comfortable with that. The one thing I can contribute this to is that we both want to keep Christ at the center of our marriage and that includes the disagreements.
We really, really appreciate your comments and kind words about the book. Thank you for not only taking time to review it but to also give specifics about the content. May God richly bless your marriage and family…we are so looking forward to grandkids and the Empty nest (not to rush things, but still) because we’ve heard that’s it’s the BEST.
Your right there is always two sides.The thing is communication is key.You have many helpful pointers.
Sometimes my husband and I disagree. After 35 years of marriage, there are some issues that we agree to disagree on. Other issues, we compromise. Communication is essential to a marriage. This is a great review.
The word I use is struggle or challenge when my spouse and I are of differing opinions, wishes, actions etc. both words feel more positive to me and less overwhelming, like we are “doomed” or stuck in a miserable situation. Marriage is a challenge, that is why it is such an accomplishment when people continue to work through the struggles, rather than throw in the towel. Every “victory” we achieve in life, like a baby learning to walk…. is done through dedication, working at it, and keep trying. So I believe the words challenge and struggle best fit “spouse fights” because the goal is to learn and become stronger and better as a couple for having gone through it all.
We say “wrong answer”, which usually triggers a little chuckle and time to reflect and discuss the situation. ??
This reminds me of the book “Difficult Conversations” that first opened my eyes to how there is always a “third” conversation going on in any conflict. It sounds like the Dyer’s took that idea one step further by illustrating it in their marriage book. How compelling! Thanks for sharing about this, Lori! Sounds like a great read!