I sincerely hoped that I would enjoy this book. Really. After reading the cover material and other online reviews, I thought that this might just be a piece of the puzzle in my own life. Sadly, it was not.
I am a Christian and everything that I take in gets filtered through that unshakable paradigm. Unfortunately, most of this book is encouraging you to surrender to your inner something and letting go. I find it unnerving to surrender to something that the author herself seems to have trouble naming or describing.
As an example, from the chapter entitled The First Surrender:
“With any goal, first set your intention…second, listed to your intuition and see if this goal feels right. If it does, do everything to make it happen. The let go of the results as you let destiny and your angels work their magic.”
The problem that I have is that she can’t decide if its something we are doing (intuition), or something cosmic that is beyond our control (destiny) or something higher than us (angels). She tries to thread the needle with techniques that will work not matter what your particular flavor of life or religion.
And it might work if you don’t really have a strong basis of belief or faith in something larger than yourself. If you do, and particularly if you are a devout Christian, this book will not aid you.
This may have been the most enjoyable and practical book on marriage that I have ever read. Darrin and Amie Patrick are very transparent and vulnerable as they share the ups and downs of their own marriage in an effort to help others with their own.
This book is very readable. It reads as if the Patrick’s are sitting down in your living room sharing a coffee and talking through their week. Any man can gain wisdom and insight from reading this book.
The chapters are short (for the most part, more on that later) and each ends with a few questions that are designed to get the dude talking and engaging with his dudette. This isn’t a book to read and walk away from. It is a book to read, underline, practice, and review. I have many new tools in my marriage tool kit as a result of this book.
My only complaint with the book is that certain chapters seemed to be lacking in meat. While most of the book was outstanding, the chapters on provide and rest seemed to be almost an afterthought.
Still, the book is a great read and will help you tremendously. I must say that a favorite part was hearing from Amie’s “heart” as she shared from a women’s perspective about all of the issues. The chapter that she wrote on Pursuit was a personal favorite.
A pastor friend of mine recently asked me if I knew how to eat chicken. He proceeded to tell me the correct method: you eat the meat and toss the bones. That was much of the process of reading this book. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of meat in this book about the process of becoming a Christian and the life-long pursuit of improvement through Christ as we walk out our faith.
Unfortunately, the overall premise of the book is misguided. The author uses a passage of scripture from Hebrews 6 to define the importance of the doctrine of baptisms. The passage is taken out of context and used to show the importance of baptisms, when the writer of Hebrews, if you view the entire passage, was intending to show that baptisms is an elementary teaching and that in our pursuit of perfection, we should move beyond this to weightier matters.
The author quotes “Let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation…of the doctrine of baptisms.” The full passage reads “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, Let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement. And this will we do, if God permit”. Hebrews 6:1-3.
The writer of Hebrews intends to press past these basic principles; not to overstate the importance of them. As such, the book begins by using a passage out of context to prove the necessity of understanding the doctrine. And starting with a wrong foundation can lead to believers focusing on the wrong goals.
There is a lot of meat in this book regarding the walking out of our faith through life, but an immature or new believer might fall into confusion by attempting to experience the baptisms as outlined in this book.