I remember sitting with a group of ladies, most of who are much older than me, and asking, "What is the one thing you would say is the most important to a marriage? Besides Jesus, because that's obvious."
One lady replied instantly, "Sex." There were some heads nodding in agreement. I countered her response with, "Really? Sex? Is that what you need or what he needs? I know sex is important to marriage, but is it the one thing, other than Jesus, that it takes to make a good marriage?"
Another woman spoke up, "I heard a message on marriage many years ago. The speaker was talking about the passage that says, 'A husband must love his wife, and a wife must respect her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). He said that the reason husbands should love their wives is because it is very hard for men to love. They are logical beings and love is an emotion. And woman are called to respect our husbands because it is easy for a woman to love. We do that unconditionally. But, if someone does something we can't justify it is very hard to have respect for that person. The Lord stretches us by asking us to do the things that are difficult in our way of thinking. So for women it is respect and for men it is love."
What she said was as a thick healing balm poured over the burden my heart was feeling. I had an answer. I left that night with hope and a plan for my own marriage and a determination to pray for the ones that I'd been burdened for.
This last month I jumped at the opportunity to review the book, Happy Wives Club, hoping that, maybe, I would discover a little more of an answer to the question I had last year. Within the first few pages I felt right at home. The author, Fawn Weaver, had been on a journey that took her to six different continents to find, for herself, an answer to the same question I had been asking.
I was confused a bit at first because there was so much back story of the author's travels and experiences. I think I was expecting the book to mostly be stories about the couples she interview. The beauty I found in her writing was that Fawn, through her personal journey in marriage and the mundane of her travels incorporated with the beauty of the relationships she encountered, found the answer she was seeking. Her journey was as important as her mission.
Another thing I liked about the book is that it wasn't one sided. I seem to see a lot of "Women, here's how to be a better wife" books, but I've often wondered if there are as many for men. Though this book is titled Happy Wives Club, Fawn really stresses the mutuality of the relationship.
It's funny because the book almost felt anti-climatic. But in the end that felt right because, of course, the answer to happiness in marriage is more simple than we think. In our over dramatized culture and world we expect the secrets to life to be filled with magic and fairy dust and unicorns. They should definitely be far fetching and almost difficult to reach. But Fawn reminds us that happiness is as simple as mutual respect and service and friendship.
It was a book I could hardly put down and when it was over I felt a renewed determination to pursue true happiness in my own marriage.
Disclaimer: I received this book through booksneeze.com in return for my personal review.In addition, because this review isn't long enough already, my dad and I were talking about this post and the book and he had an amazing point that he illustrated with a song I remember him playing for my mom.
Be blessed, ya'll!