Book Review: “Real-Life Marriage: It’s Not About Me” By Tim and Anne Evans (Real Life Ministries, 2009) -- By: Judith A. Diehl
Book Review: “Real-Life Marriage: It’s Not About Me”
By Tim and Anne Evans (Real Life Ministries, 2009)
Judith A. Diehl did her PhD work at the University of Edinburgh and currently teaches New Testament and hermeneutics at Denver Seminary. Married, with two grown sons, she has had an interest in gender issues for decades. Her other areas of interest include the Gospels and tools of biblical interpretation.
Real-Life Marriage: It’s Not About Me is coauthored by Tim and Anne Evans, a longtime married couple involved in Christian marriage counseling for many years. The Colorado authors open and close their book with an appealing image: “Marriage is a lot like climbing a mountain” (345). This image not only sets the tone of the book, but implies its purpose and invites a diverse audience.
Both men and women who are currently in a marital relationship for six months or six decades can benefit from reading this volume. Anyone who anticipates taking marriage vows in the future would be well advised to read it. As a wife of more than thirty years, I can only wish that someone had given me this book during my marriage preparation. Yet, even more than premarital concerns, this book addresses issues of great interest to any practicing Christian: sin, prayer, forgiveness, divorce, abortion, and family planning. The authors do not overlook critical sexual issues such as rape, abuse, and incest. With empathy, they discuss real relational and sexual issues that have plagued people for their lifetimes. Because of its conversational and comprehensive nature, this book and its companion workbook are recommended to CBE readers. It is a good tool for a wide range of readers who may be diverse in ages, backgrounds, faith stories, marital status, and experiences.
The authors meet real marital issues head on by using God’s word. The Scriptures are the basis for answers to difficult questions. From their own experiences, Tim and Anne Evans share their personal failures and triumphs in life and in their marriage in such a way that the reader is often surprised by their honesty. They extol, encourage, and challenge readers.
The goal is to encourage readers to enter into the “big story,” which involves the plans and purposes of God. God is the main character of this story, and life is all about him. In contrast, most of us live “small story” lives, where it is “all about me.” We are the main characters in our stories as we struggle to understand human relationships and our relationship with God. Disregarding God and his plans, we focus on our own needs and desires (4-5).
Thus, within God’s “big story,” the purpose of human marriage is to honor God. To do that, we “Reflect and Reveal the plurality and character of God”...
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