If you’ve ever remotely thought about dating, marriage or having a family, it’s safe to say that you may have read a few (or a few gazillion if you’re like me) blog posts, books and how-to guides giving you the dirty dets on this is what to expect.
I can say that I only remember about a handful of things from each book that actually stood out to me and didn’t sound like every other dating/marriage book, but Francis and Lisa Chan’s, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity is not one of those books.
If you know Francis Chan’s sermons, books or heard anything about him, you know that He and his wife , Lisa are firm believers of reading, interpreting and living out the Word of God as is -nothing to add, nothing to take away. If you’re looking for a raw, realistic and utterly freeing look at becoming one, this is one book you won’t want to leave out of your marriage prep arsenal.
What I thought it was about:
Typical, date Jesus, be who you want to marry, do it God’s way general, overused advice that just fills pages without much direction or explanation as to what that looks like, but with a Francis Chan twist and a few gems to hold onto.
I was wrong:
It was nothing like that. In fact, I think I learned more about my relationship with God than I have in most Christian self-help books on different topics. This challenged me in ways I wasn’t expecting from a book on marriage. It was a two for one.
I was right:
It did touch on doing life God’s way, but not just the meeting, dating, courting and marrying your spouse, but the spiritual care, continuous dying to self and presenting that daughter or son back to God in pristine condition to the best of your ability.
What I loved the most:
A huge game changer with this book was the dual voices. Both Francis and Lisa shared their insight and gave different perspectives to each sub-topic within the book which I was thoroughly grateful to have.
I loved the plain language, honest truth and undeniable feeling of, this is the marriage book I’ve been waiting to read. I also loved that it still gave many practical things to look for, but far beyond having a good job and goals (which are important), but more focus on his/her spiritual backbone, ability to lead and make tough decisions that effect your entire family.
What I didn’t like:
The Chans in general come off to some as very radical and little preachy (I know ironic), but that’s who they are. There wasn’t much I didn’t like or enjoy in this book, but I don wish they did talk more about their journey from friends to married. What that looked like, how they knew, at what point they were decided to move forward, all subjective things I know, but still worth the story.
They did include bits and pieces of several different periods in their marriage, but a cohesive, this is our story instead of just this is what we’ve learned would have added a lovely fullness to the book, but it was still a timely, informative, wow and aha! worthy read.
Why I Kept Reading (and finished it):
Technically, I listened to this book, but I found myself stopping, rewinding and jotting down notes as fast as I could. I thought I could listen to this while doing menial tasks around my home and office, but there are so many great things that the Chan’s share that it was best to just get the printed copy or schedule time to go through the material without a lot of distractions. It’s that good!
A few nuggets from my reading:
- Stop just always trying to be found – what you gonna do with the God who found you?
- How are you thinking about your trade/business for the kingdom?
- Do damage, reek havoc on your knees
- You have to fight for your intimacy with Christ, your life gets worse as your grow, it’s not a one-time thing – it’s an endurance race
- May things that rival my love and commitment to You lose their savor O, God
Why I Recommend it:
It’s not a book telling you how to be married for a long time, have kids and settle down. It’s a book that will challenge your ideals/desires for marriage while speaking straight from the Word of God that will take your marriage (or ideas of marriage) beyond now and into forever, eternity and beyond. It will speak to both women and men without making the recommendations for each spouse exclusive and encourage reciprocity of both disciplines and expectations.
It will poke at your core desire to be married, make you think about what that really means and evaluate your current or past relationships to see if they line up with the unadulterated version of marriage that the Chans strive to live and believe God has called all believers to mirror to a broken world.
Have you read YMF? What were your thoughts? Have any books that have changed the way you view relationships or marriage?
To our Becoming,