This small, beautiful book from Gary Chapman provides small pieces of marriage advice coupled with encouraging Scripture verses. Dr. Chapman builds on his extensive experience as a marriage counselor to provide succinct yet powerful pieces of wisdom that couples can easily apply to their own relationships. Even busy couples can find a minute or two to read one of these mini devotionals and reflect upon the lessons within. This book made me feel encouraged and inspired in my relationship, as Dr. Chapman points out areas of weakness but also how to turn those weaknesses into strengths. I heartily recommend this book for any married couple.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Perfect devotional for couplesFeb. 21 2012
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My husband and I are constantly trying to connect spiritually. We have read many devotionals for couples and taken Bible studies together. We have learned a lot through most of them. Gary Chapman wrote this book to share God's promises for married couples. Gary Chapman wrote the bestseller The Five Love Languages that became very famous in the Christian realm. He is a pastor, counselor, and author who travels all over the U.S. speaking about marriage, family, and relationships. He really knows what he is talking about when it comes to marriage.
In Life Promises For Couples he really did an excellent job getting my husband and I to connect with God. Each little day of promises starts with a few scripture verses referring to that day's promise. Then, there is a 2-3 minute devotion. He speaks on patience, burdens, love, respect, strength, happiness, etc. I really enjoyed reading this little book. It encouraged me in my marriage and helped me to better understand how to have a better marriage according to the Bible. I recommend this book to married couples, old and new, and also those couples thinking of getting married. It would make a perfect engagement present or shower gift for the bride.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Life Advice for CouplesFeb. 16 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
The title to this book is quite deceiving. This book does not focus (in my opinion) on God's promises for couples, but rather, God's advice for couples. There are parts that are along the line of "promises," but for the most part this is a book of guidelines and advice for being husband and wife.
That said, this was an enjoyable book to read, and the advice contained was good advice, ranging anywhere from how to be a better listener to how to have better sex. Each even page has three scriptures on it, and on the odd pages there is a brief explanation of a simple way to improve your marriage relationship.
For example, on page 142 there are three scripture quotations, one of which is Proverbs 27:5-6 "An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. (New Living Translation)
Then on page 142 there are three paragraphs, and here is a brief quote from the last one: "Never assume that silence or indifference is preferable to conflict. It's not. Proverbs 27:5 makes it clear: sincerity is always better than buried feelings. Truthful responses can be painful, but they can also bring healing and genuine communication. As long as you and your spouse are interacting and actively trying to resolve your differences, there's hope."
I like this set-up, because it takes only a couple of minutes to read each individual lesson, and I think a good way to read this book would be one set of pages each day as a quick reminder to keep your marriage alive. The lessons do not seem to be in any particular order. Gary Chapman is the author of the Five Love Languages, and so he included aspects of that into this book also. I do not recall reading any advice from this book that went against what is taught in scripture. The advice in this book is well-worded and practical. Scriptures are used primarily from the New Living Translation, but also from the English Standard Version (ESV), the New International Version (NIV), the New King James Version (NKJV), the King James Version (KJV) and The Living Bible (TLB).
The physical quality of this book is very good. It is a hard-cover book, about 7 inches tall and 4 inches wide. There is a ribbon attached to the spine, which makes it very easy to keep track of what page you're on, since there aren't any numbered chapters. The small size makes it very convenient to carry around.
My only complaint about this book is that several times throughout scriptures were referenced but not included in the text. This might not have bothered me so much, except that so many scriptures were repeated in the book. My thought is that with so many scriptures being repeated, and the scriptures each applying to so many principles taught in this book, that the ones referenced could have been included and taken the place of some of the repeated scriptures.
Something I really like about the material is that it confirms scripturally what I just read from The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your "We" by Reclaiming Your "I". I think that reading these two books together, or one after the other, is a good combination.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review.
A Promising Book for MarriageApril 5 2012
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I had the chance to review this book, and I could not wait until it arrived. The cover, title, and author grabbed my attention almost immediately. I had heard great things about Gary Chapman and how he has helped a lot of marriages through his books. This book was not only a joy to read, but it was a super easy read. It goes at a leisurely pace and at the same time I wanted to read on and on. You could read just a page a day, or more if you choose. It's a great book for one to read alone or with your spouse. The layout is so simple and to the point with one side being devotions and one side being scriptures relating to the devotion, or marriage in general. The scriptures and passages from the bible were one of my favorite touches since it's nice to touch base spiritually. This book covers a multitude of topics from intimacy, communication, serving one another, forgiveness, being a better spouse, etc. It also goes into detail about the five love languages which I found enlightening. Each of us speak a different love language and we don't always realize this. Which is why women are often wondering why their husbands don't understand them, and why men wonder why their wives don't understand them. It's inevitably up to us to learn our spouse's love language and learn to speak it also. This will help make each other happy and make our marriage happier. By reading the book together, most of the time with my husband, I have learned that my husband communicates with physical touch and I communicate with quality time. It's a book that is enjoyable for both men and women alike, and perfect for any couple. The book is in no way overbearing and instead of feeling like your being lectured about your marriage you will feel more like you are learning valuable tips. The design of the book isn't so small that it's hard to hold, but it fits perfectly in one hand. It will fit easily into a purse, glove box, etc. I carry mine around in my purse and because the sections are so short and to the point I find it easy to read in a waiting room, doctor's office, etc. There's also a handy little ribbon attached that creates the perfect bookmark on the go. The cover and pages are very smooth and glossy which also creates a nice touch. Not the mention how appealing the cover is.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Great devotional for a self motivated couple or individual.March 2 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Gary Chapman really takes the Five Love Languages and runs with this with this couple devotional. It's a short and sweet, meant to be a daily, devotional to walk through either on your own or with you spouse. Aside from it being purple, my only hesitancy with digging in is how much the daily devos tend to only penetrate the "surface"of relationship.
If you are willing to devote more than the two minutes it will take to walk through the lesson, that is, if you are willing to really sit with what is being shared and apply it to your own situation -- and see what the Bible has to say about the issue -- I would say that this is a good devotional. On the other hand, if you are looking for a time to be stretched and strengthen by the Word and how it applies to your life, this might not be the book for you. Like I said, the lessons are short and only catalyze your mind and the applicability of the short devotional so much. You've got to want to walk the extra mile on your own.
All that said, the text is coming from a man who has done much work in marriage counseling and the focus of the devotionals tends to be less on "God's promises for you and your spouse" (as the title suggests) and more on communication, selflessness, respect, and forgiveness. The devotional is a great daily nudge in the right direction for anyone in a relationship (but many of the lessons dig into matters like sex, which might be worth meditating on until marriage). I'd recommend it to someone who is self motivated and does not need an entire daily devotional mapped out for them.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please know that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
Life Promises: Excellent Devotional Work for CouplesFeb. 28 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I recently read Life Promises for Couples: God's Promises for You and Your Spouse by Gary Chapman. Having read The Five Love Languages, I was eager to see what practical and devotional applications that Dr. Chapman would share in this new book. Adding to my anticipation is my future (impending one might say) marriage to Miss Hayley Reneberg, providing further reasons for my reading of this book.
The first thing that I would say concerning Life Promises of Couples is that it has great potential to provide a moment of reminder or clarification to a busy schedule. The readings are concise enough to read in a few minutes, and often provide thoughts worthy of meditation for the rest of the day. Each section (suitable for a day it seems, though the book is not labeled in that manner) contains a page of three "Life Promises," quotations from the Bible about a topic, and then a short devotional or explanation of the theme of the verses. The extremely practical nature of this book itself is a big plus. Small enough to carry around and including an attached bookmark, I found that I could easily carry the book to wherever I was going to read.
The overall message of the book is to provide couples with Biblical truth's and insight for their relationships. Dr. Chapman emphasizes the importance of Biblical virtues and attributes, the development of communication and praise skills, the importance of love over self, and a great number of other nuggets that provide helpful insight and practical applicability to couples of all demographics and backgrounds. Being somewhat familiar with Dr. Chapman's previous work, I could see the reflection of his strong Biblical basis and background in marriage counseling coming through the message of this book.
As this book is written for primarily devotional purposes and does not style itself as a book on the theology of marriage, nor even as a substitute for proper marriage counseling, my greatest critique must be taken with more than just a grain of salt. However, the Bible passages used as Life Promises did not always address the theme or message of the devotional, especially when read in the context of their wider Biblical message. However, the verses and passages used by-and-large provided a solid Biblical foundation for Dr. Chapman's insights and thoughts for couples. I highly recommend Life Promises for Couples as a devotional work for anyone involved in a relationship or for the couple looking for something to provoke better communication, understanding, and discussion.
My copy of this book was provided by Tyndale House Publishing free of charge. I was not required to write a positive review of this book, and all opinions expressed are my own.