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I Promise: How Five Commitments Determine the Destiny of Your Marriage Paperback – September 30, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The author’s impeccable grasp of what makes a marriage work is better than ever in his latest relationship guide. Nathan Larkin sounds unusually calm and centered as he spells out Smalley’s advice: Ironclad commitment to each other—no matter what happens—is an absolute necessity to promote mutual trust and authentic growth. The little things are also important: how we manage our appearance, habits, and career; how we listen; and how we show appreciation. Smalley’s lists of commitments and recommendations are illustrated with cogent stories from his own marriage and those of his clients. They show that security is best achieved when we serve our spouses daily and anchor ourselves to God’s love and authority."
T.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Silver Medallions. His national infomercial Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships has been viewed by television audiences all over the world. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for over thirty years and live in Branson, Missouri.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780785289234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785289234
  • ASIN: 0785289232
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the author and coauthor of 16 best-selling, award-winning books along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling. Gary has personally interviewed hundreds of singles and couples and has surveyed thousands of people at his seminars, asking two questions: what is it that strengthens your relationships and what weakens them?

Gary's books combined have sold over 5 million copies. Many of them have even been translated into various languages. "The Blessing" and "The Two Sides of Love" have won the Gold Medallion Award for excellence in literature. "The Language of Love" won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life. All other titles have been top-five finalists for the Gold Medallion Award.

In the last 30 years, Gary has spoken to over 2 million people in live conferences. He has been presenting his live two-day workshop, "Love Is a Decision," once a month for the last 20 years. Television audiences all over the world have viewed his award-winning infomercial, "Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships." Several versions of the infomercial--first with Dick Clark, then with John Tesh and Connie Sellecca, and also with Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford--have been aired. This 18-videotape series has sold over 4 million tapes.

Gary Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as "Oprah," "Larry King Live," "Extra," "The Today Show," and "Sally Jessy Raphael," as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary has been featured on hundreds of regional and local television and radio programs across the United States.

Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 40 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children, Kari, Greg, and Michael, and six grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
18%
3 star
9%
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See all 33 customer reviews
Easy to read yet very insightful.
Larry Schneider
I have read lots of relationship books looking for help with my relationship and none of them really helped.
Laura Hartman
This is a great book for any married couple to read.
Michael Root

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Christian Book Previews on January 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"For richer, for poorer; for better, for worse; in sickness and in health; `til death do us part," are the common promises that most of us make when we wed. However, in I Promise, Dr. Gary Smalley asserts that spouses need to make five more promises in marriage.

In the first third of the book, Dr. Smalley lays the foundation for his promises by explaining how these promises build security for both partners. Then he describes how to successfully change yourself so that you can fulfill the promises by changing your beliefs. He emphasizes how the power of what we believe about ourselves, our spouses, God, and life influences our actions and reactions.

The rest of the book discusses the five promises that will revolutionize marriage. These promises are radically tied to our Christian walk: the promise to conform our beliefs to God's truths; to be filled by God; to look at each trial as an instrument of growth from God; to communicate with love; and to serve the spouse throughout our lives.

Though many of us might think, "All right, Smalley, that's easy for you to say," he maintains that in most cases, changes in belief and behavior in one spouse will bring about changes in the other. Anecdotes from his practice and his life confirm his position.

Dr. Smalley writes in a down-to-earth, easy-to-read style with lots of stories supporting his principles. It's a very practical and useful book. This would be a helpful book for marriage counseling or pre-wedding counseling, for a married couple to read together, even for one spouse to read. It would be helpful for a Sunday school class, though it is not heavy on the Scripture. - Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
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Format: Hardcover
What's more important in a marriage than learning a partner's love language, being proficient in conflict resolution or having great sex? According to popular author and speaker Dr. Gary Smalley in I PROMISE: How 5 Commitments Determine the Destiny of Your Marriage, the answer may be "security."

"Do you feel secure enough to open up and share who you really are, including your deepest thoughts, hopes and dreams without those uneasy feelings creeping in --- feelings that maybe you'll be blamed, criticized, condemned, judged, or ridiculed?" This is the sort of intimacy Smalley believes is necessary for the best marriages.

Security, he says, means keeping your promise to love your husband or your wife no matter what. "It doesn't matter if either of you loses your attractiveness, turns grumpy, sour, or uncommunicative, gets a debilitating illness, or falls into deep depression. You will love him. You will cherish her. You promised. And that promise gives your marriage security." The more secure each partner feels, the more their feelings of affection toward each other grow, Smalley writes. But if partners don't feel emotionally safe with each other, he believes it will put the marriage in jeopardy.

Smalley, the author of more than 40 marriage and parenting books (MAKING LOVE LAST FOREVER, THE BLESSING) makes his points with a winning combination of personal, sometimes vulnerable, anecdotes about his own marriage of 41 years. Particularly impressive is his willingness to share his own serious marital mistakes in the early years of his marriage, and a sweet testimonial to his wife Norma toward the end of the book. Smalley's anecdotes are often delivered with a good helping of humor and an ability to poke fun at his own marital misdeeds.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Miller on January 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended on the website for the movie, "Fireproof" ([...] For anyone who's read Fireproof and would like a step-by-step example to work on your marriage ~ this is it! This book is equally useful for a couple that is newly engaged or married, in the "middle" of their married life, or seasoned pros. It has wonderful information and principles regardless if your marriage is strong or floundering, if both mates are equally yoked or imbalanced. Parts of this book stress our personal relationship with Christ and how it affects our relationship with our mate. I like that Dr. Smalley writes to both husbands and wives (with particular portions for each). This was inspiring!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. M on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a book on marriage, look no further. I have read this book over and over again. It has changed my thinking when it comes to how I treat my husband and how I want him to treat me. This book was given to us as a wedding present and I can say with confidence it is the best gift we received. I recommend this book to anyone who is getting married, or knows anyone who is getting married, married for 2 months, 2 years, or 20 years. Wonderful!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura Hartman on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is great! I have read lots of relationship books looking for help with my relationship and none of them really helped. The Five Love Languages just made me want to tell my boyfriend everything he was doing wrong. And all other relationship books just seem to have this list of things that will be a miracle cure for problems in a relationship, but they never are! I worried about that with this book but it definitely proved me wrong!

I absolutely loved this book! It points out five basic ways that help you fix things. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 1/2 years and had been going through a tough last year constantly talking about breaking up. Finally it came to the point where it was going to be totally over. We took some time apart and I bought this book. It made a huge differnce for me! I realized all the things that I was doing wrong to hurt the relationship. I was always focusing on the negative and pointing out things that my boyfriend would do wrong. I love how the book really reminds you to look at yourself and fix your faults before going and trying to fix your significant others. All of the points are brought back to God, and I love that! It just makes it so much easier to follow than advice from some person. When your focus is brought to God and what God wants for you it makes it so much easier to fix your relationship or keep it going strong! There is not much scripture reference, but it is definitely God centered!

I absolutely loved this book and it definitely saved our relationship. If you are the person in a relationship having doubts and always looking at the negative and complaining, I would highly recommend this book. Chances are the relationship isn't as negative as you think and your significant other is not as bad as you make them seem!
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