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July 2016: Summer Reading

Back when I was in school, one of the things I looked forward to during summer vacation was doing a lot of reading. I always loved to read, and still do (although I don’t get as much opportunity as I would like to indulge in reading “just for fun”). Many people still consider summer a prime time for catching up on their reading list. And while it’s great to enjoy a good novel or mystery, there is a benefit to increasing your knowledge or skills with an occasional non-fiction book. With that in mind, I’d like to share some favorites of mine for your consideration (all having to do with marriage and relationships, of course).

Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill & Pam Farrel is one of my all-time favorite marriage books, and if you’ve ever heard me speak, you know how “sold” I am on the basic concept. It is one of the most sensible and useful paradigms I have ever found for dealing with the differences between the sexes. Bill & Pam use lots of humor and stories to get their point across, making this book a truly fun read.

The Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas is styled after Dr. Chapman’s popular book on the languages of love. It takes the same approach to apologizing and granting forgiveness. Different people hear “I’m sorry” in different ways, and if you don’t understand your partner’s “apology language,” it can be difficult to overcome the inevitable hurts and conflicts of married life. This book will help you understand how to address those issues more effectively.

For men, Tender Warrior by Stu Weber is my number one recommendation for learning what true manhood is all about. Stu takes us back to God’s original design for a man, and clearly illustrates how that plan should be playing out in our modern world, and how far we have deviated from it. In the process, he outlines a strategy for taking back our God-given role and responsibilities in relation to our wives, our children, our friends, and Christ.

For women, The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger is filled with the delightful wit and practical wisdom that has made Dr. Laura so popular on radio, TV and in print. Her lets-get-right-to-the-point style is a refreshing and effective response to many of the complaints and concerns that women have about their husbands and their marriage. Her suggestions are equally valid for those wives who think everything is going well.

If you feel like your marriage is teetering on the brink, or if either you or your spouse are considering separation, don’t do anything until you have read The Divorce Remedy by Michele Weiner-Davis. This successful marriage therapist, author and speaker has developed a set of marriage-saving techniques that are effectively focused on solutions, not problems, and can be used by one partner even if the other is not engaged in the process.

That should get you started on a summer of stimulating reading and (I hope) an improved relationship with your spouse. If you want additional suggestions, please contact us. Happy summer!

Contributed by: Larry Compter, Executive Director
Above image courtesy of everydayplus at


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