This is a review of the book Beyond Ordinary, provided to me by Tyndale. As the subtitle says, this is a he said, she said story. Both Trisha and Justin tell us their story of their marriage from beginning to today.
You can see the authors here in an intro video of their book and ministry.
Before writing my review, I need to clarify that I do not share any of the religious views of the authors, and the book is mainly that, the recollection of their marriage intertwined of course with their way of understanding christianity. Man vision oriented churches of different names and denominations, ministries, women leading them,christian rock bands, mega churches, conventions, workshops, different religious paid jobs (not just preachers or pastors), are part of the book because that is who they are.
Actually, if I had known a bit better, I am not sure I would have requested this book, because the views of the authors are so far away from my discerning of christianity. However, I did request the book, I read it, and there is always something you get from anything. The positive message I got from the book was that problems in marriage are normal, common, and that fear, hiding, not wanting to hear the truth, problems with forgiving or trusting, are all threats to our life. I agree with the authors that if we think we can do this alone, without God, and by this I mean having a healthy marriage, and a healthy spiritual life, we are heading for disaster.
I can relate to what they talk about. A year or so ago we were also at a crossroad as they call it. It is true in my case too that sometimes men reaction is to hide things from us for fear of not looking able to provide and protect us, women. We also push them consciously or unconsciously to not share with us, many times what troubles them are things we send them the message we are not ready to hear. They fear to break our balance, to hurt us, to stop loving them if we knew their dark spots. And all along the book I agreed with the points they say make a marriage ordinary, or extraordinary.
Their example is encouraging. We tend many times to think everybody else marriage is going great but ours, and we think we can only keep problems to ourselves and keep going on the best we can. They are both right that though it seems far worse to confess, face consequences, be truthful, work on ourselves instead of wanting to change our couple, not to resort to codependency, work our marriage from within with God at the head, that is far easier than to have a double life, to hide in our lies, to create our own little worlds or islands within our marriage.
Do I recommend this book? Hopefully my review would have helped you a bit to know what to expect, and after you have seen their video and read other upcoming reviews in January, you will be able to decide by yourself. If you feel it is something that speaks to you for any reason, go ahead and get it.