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Every Man's Marriage: An Every Man's Guide to Winning the Heart of a Woman (The Every Man Series) Paperback – March 16, 2010
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About the Author
Stephen Arterburn is founder and chairman of New Life Clinics, host of the daily "New Life Live!" national radio program, creator of the Women of Faith Conferences, a nationally known speaker and licensed minister, and the best-selling author of more than two dozen books. He resides with his family in Laguna Beach, California.
Fred Stoeker is a lay minister and conference speaker who has counseled hundreds of couples in how to connect in intimate relationships with their spouses. Fred and his wife, Brenda, live in the Des Moines, Iowa area with their four children.
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Someone suggested another book, but I felt it took too much of a guy's slant to "dealing with women". I didn't want to deal with women. I want a relationship with my wife. I want her to know, that she is "the one"... and I want her to feel like that, every day. She's worth it, isn't she?
Here's some UGLY facts, guys (from the book). 84% of women, don't feel they have intimacy in their marriages. 83% of women, feel their husbands don't even know the basic needs of a woman for intimacy, or how to provide it. I don't know the percentage, but a large portion of divorcees say that their married years, were their loneliest.
I wish before they let people get married, men especially, would be forced to read and understand this book. I wish I had. Because, for the first time in my life... I hope I'm beginning to get, at the least... what women want from a relationship. Intimacy with their mate. And by "intimate" that's a very broad definition.
I kept reading in this book, the word "submission" and most of it, speaking to the man reading the book, as the supposed leader of the family (which you eventually realize is another word that has a different definition/meaning)... submitting to his wife. Over and over... submission, submission. Just shut the heck up and submit to your wife, it said!
But, then I started looking at the word differently. Because the context it was used in. It wasn't about "submitting" to your wife's demands, feelings, etc. Its about nurturing and respecting her boundaries. Its about putting her feelings, needs and/or convictions, over your wants. Its about acknowledging and letting her know, that she... above ALL others, is YOUR partner in life. She wants to know you always have her back. She wants to know, if she falls... you'll be there, to pick her up and you won't criticize her, or correct her. When she wants advice... she'll ask for it. Otherwise, she just wants someone to listen. And you know what... she wants to be there, for you... in the same capacity.
There was a time, I would have read all of the above and just said, "Man up, dude. What's this submit crap, or psycho-babble? Women should just realize we're different and deal! Mars and Venus, you know?"
But again... because I didn't understand the word "submit".
Built on biblical principles, the authors challenge some conventional wisdom such as the widely held belief that a man is "master" over his wife. While scripture does say, "wives, submit to your husband", we can't stop our reading there. The verse concludes, "husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church." And how did/does Christ love the church? He sacrificed himself completely! He lived a life of sacrifice, of putting others needs before his own, of living for a higher purpose, and eventually submitting to death by a violent method as the sacrifice for what we do wrong. What an incredible example!
This book focuses on a husband's self-examination. It provides exercises to get us to look at ourselves and our approach to our wife both in attitude and actions and find ways to be better husbands. The authors don't shy away from "taboo" subjects such as sex, pornography, and stereotypical "real men" interests, rather, they face them head on while always basing their ideas and suggestions on scripture.
If you truly care about building a stronger marriage and becomming a better husband, this book is an excellent study. It is recommended to be used in small groups as the discussion with other men facing the same challenges can truly add value to just reading the book alone.
It doesn't matter if you've been married six months, six years, or even longer, we all have room for improvement in our relationship with the woman we vowed to spend our lives with. It's worth the time and study to make those lives as fruitful and enjoyable as possible.