Life Change for Couples by James M. Reeves
Life Change for Couples by James M. Reeves is a great resource for couples to work through the issues that come up in a marriage relationship. James, senior pastor of City on a Hill church in Texas is a regular contributor to conferences and venues relating to relationships, emotional issues, and marriage. As I began working through this book, I was initially challenged to ask the deep and thorny questions that come up when dealing with marriage. James has a way of pulling no punches in this book and getting to the heart of the issues. Whether in a small group of committed believers or as a couple, this workbook can go a long way in helping couples deal with their own sins and find healing through Christ.
The chapter on the emotional /spiritual principle was a particularly powerful chapter. James digs into the meat of the emotional turmoil that goes on in marriage by asking some key questions. A few of the questions include: What are some of the ways you have been emotionally wounded, What are some of the ways you have emotionally abused your spouse? If taken seriously, these questions can lead one to really find out the emotional damage they cause their spouse and how they, sometimes, unknowingly, they resort to a default setting by acting out of their emotional abuse of the past on their spouses. This unhealthy behavior is damaging to communicating and growing as a couple. The next chapter on the The Pile Principle is a further commentary on how the emotional garbage we bring into marriage like unforgiveness and bitterness can pile up to such a great degree that we cannot see through the end of the tunnel.
James goes onto to talk later in the book about our belief in God. It’s not that we don’t believe in God but that we often have wrong beliefs about God. Whether a policeman, grandfather, or old man, sometimes our behavior is predicated upon a false view of God. I would add here that the encouragement and right beliefs of a healthy evangelical church goes a long way in rooting out false beliefs that lead to bad behavior. Right thinking is the beginning of right behavior. So our beliefs about God and the good news are very important. The chapter on commit to Christ is another example of how a relationship with the Savior, right beliefs and actions about Him, go a long way in providing a hedge against temptation in a marriage relationship. No matter what, every marriage is conflicted by the damage of Adam’s fall, it is only through the grace of Christ that we can change. I was personally helped by this book by way of asking the tough questions about the way I relate to my wife. Healing begins with a healthy dose of the gospel and a recognition that our sin has to be dealt with, emotional and spiritual.
I hope many couples are encouraged by this book as I was. With a good dose of wisdom and biblical insight, James takes you on the road to healing.
Thanks to Kregel Ministry for the copy of this book in exchange for review.