Most people who buy marriage guidance books are either seeking to repair a broken relationship or prepare for entering into a marriage. In either case, this book by Francis and Lisa Chan might not quite deliver what you were looking for.
Reviews of Christian books in this genre find that most books follow a similar format. They include Biblical advice and share experiences that the reader will hopefully find informative. The Chan’s have a unique take on the whole topic! We included this book in our selection of the best Christian marriage books.
Francis Chan has a reputation for being outspoken and original. With this marriage guidance book which he has written with his wife, Lisa, we get a look at his unique take on marriage.
The Chan’s live in California where Francis has been a pastor and teacher since 1994. They published You And Me Forever in 2014 after many years of marriage and serving a congregation where the topic of marriage is probably high on the agenda.
Most of the book reviews of You And Me Forever rate it average to good, but not for the reasons one would expect. Christian readers state that it is more about living as a Christian rather than specifically meeting the criteria of a marriage guidance book.
What Does Forever Mean?
With the tag line “Marriage is great, but it’s not forever” you are drawn into thinking that maybe there is a biblically acceptable way of getting out of the hell that you are experiencing with your spouse. Getting out of your marriage is far from what this means in Chan’s book.
This is an unusual marriage book written by an unusual man. Whether You And Me Forever book will have answers you are looking for in your situation is debatable, but you will certainly get some new insights.
Many couples have found the questionnaires at the end of the book are a useful format for evaluating your marriage and examining your faith. That is probably where a couple will find the most useful part of this book. Christian couples like the suggestions that are offered at the end of each chapter where they can consider how to develop a deeper spiritual experience.
If you are not married, or not of the Christian faith, then you probably will not find much of what is in this book relevant to your interpretation of marriage. You And Me Forever has a forceful theme that will probably come as a bit of a surprise to you.
This book does not follow the usual template of Christian marriage guidance manuals, although it does contain exercises for couples to complete as they study the text. You And Me Forever book turns the usual concept of a couple working through their problems to achieve a happy marriage on its head!
Serve God And Your Marriage Will Be Just Fine!
Because Francis and Lisa Chan believe that marriage is only the prelude and that the “till death us do part” is the really important part, readers get quite a shock when they start to read this book. The main idea that they are trying to get across with this book is that our main quest in life should be more about serving God than trying to make a marriage better. Chan’s vision is for couples to view their marriage as a medium for furthering the Kingdom of God.
From the first chapter, Chan declared that God is more important in his life than his wife. That is not to say that he does not love his wife. He just means that he loves God more. He believes that marriage problems stem from couples have a problem in their relationship with God. People who have spiritual problems will find these exacerbated by being joined in marriage with another person according to Chan
His approach is different from most marriage counselors in that he thinks that we put too much importance on our personal relationships and that all problems will be resolved if a person has a good relationship with God.
In the second chapter of the book, Chan reasons that a good Christian marriage will draw others to Christ. By the same token, a bad marriage is not going to be a good advertisement for Christianity. He believes that Eternity is where the prize for a good marriage is going to be –not necessarily here on Earth.
The third chapter is one of the few that has a tip for married couples. Chan states that the key to a successful marriage is humility. If the couple demonstrates that in their relationship then all their problems will be resolved.
He Gives Married Couples His Blueprint For Success In This Chapter:
- Become overwhelmed by the love of Jesus for us.
- Let this love overflow to our wives.
- Other people are awed by our demonstration of love for our wives.
- We then have the chance to tell people that our love for our wives is motivated by our love for Jesus.
What follows is Chan’s appeal for married couples to join the mission to “spread the gospel”. He believes that if the couple shares a common goal, their marriage will be inspired by God.
The Chan’s also share their wisdom on how to bring up children in a family where the main focus is on promoting the Kingdom of God and not focused on them.
Gird Up Your Loins!
This Christian marriage book is not for the fainthearted. It places a large emphasis on your marriage being an exemplary example to other Christians while on Earth, and then you can expect your reward in Heaven.