Sunday, April 06, 2008

Generation NeXt Marriage

A couple of months ago I signed up to participate in Tricia Goyer's blog tour for her new book Generation NeXt Marriage. I absolutely adored her book Generation NeXt Parenting, so I gladly signed up. But Tricia wanted a little something more than just a standard interview and review. she wanted bloggers to read the book, implement something from it and then write honestly about it. No pressure there!

I got the book six weeks ago and immediately started reading it as part of my nightly devotional. Two days in, Jesse and I had a rough morning. He lost my cellphone. I went into a complete panic and shouted at him while he got defensive and yelled back at me. Meanwhile, the kids slipped quietly out the door to wait in the van for me to take them to school. We both stormed out and didn't talk much throughout the rest of the day. I felt awful, sick to my stomach miserable. I love Jesse with all my heart, but I was 100% convinced that it was all his fault. When he got home, we both acknowledged that the problem stemmed from a lack of respect for each other. I didn't feel like he respected me by losing my phone, and I definitely didn't show him respect shouting at him in front of the kids. While we both knew what the problem was, neither of us knew exactly how to overcome it. When I opened up Generation NeXt Marriage in bed that night, guess what the chapter was all about? You got it, respect. Tricia said that she thinks about what can she do everyday to put a twinkle in her husband's eye. I read it and read it again and took the advice straight to my heart. For the next couple of weeks, I woke every morning thinking about what it would take to make Jesse's eyes twinkle. I sent him sweet text messages (my phone was in his car all along), left him notes around the house, and bought him little gifts. In our eights years together, Jesse has never been able to eat sauerkraut, because I can't stand the smell of it cooking. One day I stopped at the store and spent 84 cents on a can just for him. He and Mia had some for supper (I hid in the bedroom while it cooked so I wouldn't have to smell it), and that 84 cents was an amazing buy for the twinkle it purchased. There was a huge change in the entire house. Because I was treating Jesse with respect, so were the kids. He was happier and the twinkle was almost constant. It was a revelation about how my attitude affects the entire house. After a few weeks of wonderful results, life stepped in and I started to forget about respecting Jesse and started wanting respect for myself again. My innate selfishness reared its ugly head. There have been ups and downs since then, but I'm trying. Some days I ask Jesse what I can do to put a twinkle in his eyes. Most days I surprise him, and I know that he appreciates it. The difference in the whole house when I treat him with the respect he deserves as my husband is impossible not to see. I'm grateful to Tricia for showing it to me.

Generation NeXt Marriage by Tricia Goyer is a terrific, hip Christian guide to marriage for Generation X. As the first generation of latch-key kids who often came from broken homes, they view marriage in a way completely different than their parents and grandparents. They are less likely to see divorce as an option and more likely to require authenticity and honesty in their relationships. Each chapter begins with a lyric from a 1970s or 80s song, and Goyer uses that to jump start her conversation. And that's how her writing reads: like a conversation with a good friend. She uses statistics and studies to make her points, and them backs them up with Scripture. Goyer is very active online and uses anecdotes from her loyal readers about their marriages to add layers and depth to each discussion. Goyer is just as honest as Gen Xrs demand, including a chapter about a former boyfriend. She'll never make you feel guilty; she encourages and uplifts with humor and compassion. She's always a joy to read.

The winner of a copy of Generation NeXt Marriage was Debra LeBeck. Congratulations Debra!