For Better or For Kids by Patrick & Ruth Schwenk
July 12, 2016
For Better or For Worse…I mean Kids. This book is about staying encouraged and equipped to handle life and marriage with kids in it. The book is narrated by both Patrick and Ruth, both sharing their perspectives on different topics. As our daughter is only 3 months old it is a little early to apply most of what is being talked about in this book. Nevertheless, I found this book as a great guide of what is to be expected in the very near future. Patrick and Ruth talk about how to live a God-centered marriage instead of a child or me-centered marriage.
Just like a puzzle, we need to start by seeing the overall picture of marriage as God designed it so we can know and be excited about what we are trying to build.
Each chapter has a feature called “Just the Two of Us”. They contain a ton of great thought provoking questions that are designed to be discussed together to help cultivate a stronger marriage, especially now that kids are in the picture.
They also talk about how to find balance in the chaos of raising children, how to not neglect yourself and your spouse and most importantly how to effectively communicate with each other.
One of my favourite quotes from the book,
Even before they reach adulthood, children help us battle other intangible enemies, like cynicism, meaninglessness, and self-centeredness. Who can sneer at the world when gazing into a baby’s first smile? Who can feel replaceable when a child’s whole existence depends on you? And who can cling to selfish ambition and vain conceit when a child is tugging at your elbow, begging to play?
Now having a child it makes every little problem feel less significant. Making time for each other is something that we have to fight for, as everything around us fights for our attention.
Marriage is both a blessing we receive and a battle we fight for in love, commitment, sacrifice, and grace. The challenge in marriage is not how it starts, but how it continues, grows, matures, and flourishes over time.
One thing I definitely need to be reminded of:
Marriage is not 50/50. A Christian marriage is 100/100. You put in 100 percent and your wife puts in 100 percent. This is how Christ loved the church. He didn’t just put in 50 percent.
Overall, I found this book to be very well rounded and cover a wide array of topics and situations I know will definitely come up as our daughter (and future children) get older. I would recommend this book if you have children over the age of 1, especially multiple children.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4–9)