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Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity Paperback – September 27, 2016
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"Too often our culture idealizes or demonizes marriage, as if it is a fairy tale of "and they lived happily ever after" or an archaic institution to forsake. Very Married is the book we have all been waiting for: hopeful, inclusive, practical, theological, honest talk about the complex sacrament of marriage as both reality to be lived and metaphor to be embodied. Katherine is a pastor at her core and on every page of this book, her calling is evident and whole-hearted. I'm grateful for her honesty, for her wisdom, for her work in this conversation. Now when I'm asked to recommend a book about marriage, I finally have an answer: Very Married by Katherine Willis Pershey!"
How many adjectives am I allowed to use to wholeheartedly endorse this marvelous book? Witty, engaging, honest, thoughtful, funny, wise, nuanced, gracious. I could go on. I will read this book more than once. I will give it to many friends. And I will be forever grateful to Katherine Willis Pershey for her honest and hopeful reflection on the complex, conflicted, and glorious institution of marriage.
"I've read my fair share of marriage books, but few are as deft in their storytelling or as honest in their reflection as Very Married. Pershey has written an extraordinary book, which shines an unfiltered light on the constituent parts of marriage--love, sacrifice, compromise, submission, and sex. Very Married does not shy away from the potential volatility of the time-honored institution, nor the God-ordained beauty of tender fidelity, and in this tension you will find its power."
--Seth Haines, author of Coming Clean
"I thought it would take a lifetime of marriage--of bearing witness together to all the heart and heartache of being human--before I could comprehend the profound beauty of this ancient commitment. I was wrong. All it took was reading this book. What Pershey has accomplished here is mysterious and sublime. Prepare to fall in love with marriage all over again, or perhaps, even, for the first time."
--Kelly Flanagan, licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Marriage Manifesto and Loveable
"This is a marriage book I can get behind: grace-filled; doesn't take itself more seriously than it ought. It is a book on loving your spouse for the 'rest of us': regular folks working daily liturgies, choosing to witness life with the one for whom we've forsaken all others. It is a beautiful treatise on loving the gift of marriage, one I can give to friends without a second glance."
--Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes from a Blue Bike and At Home in the World
"Without question, this is the most authentic, most engaging, most truthful book I've ever read about love and marriage. I intend to borrow shamelessly from this book for future premarital counseling and wedding meditations."
--Keith Graber Miller, Professor of Bible and Religion, Goshen College
"Witty, candid, and heartfelt...This is a book that celebrates the hard work of marriage and that makes readers believe marriages 'can be saved, and that marriage as an institution can be redeemed.' It is a book that is sure to become part of the premarital counseling canon, passed among friends, and opened whenever "for better or for worse" is put to the test."
In her second book, pastor and writer Pershey (Any Day a Beautiful Change) weaves together personal stories of the triumphs and tribulations of her own marriage, theological reflections on this ancient institution, and practical advice for both newlyweds and not-so-newlyweds alike. Witty, candid, and heartfelt, this book covers topics such as maintaining a healthy sex life and dealing with in-laws with a refreshing energy. Pershey’s love and respect, for both her husband and the covenant of marriage, is evident on every page. However, she does not shy away from discussing the sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes dull daily labor that marriage requires. With poignant and relatable honesty, she confesses to difficult times with her faith and fidelity: an almost-affair, her struggles with codependency and her husband’s alcoholism, and her marriage’s rough first few years. This is a book that celebrates the hard work of marriage and that makes readers believe marriages “can be saved, and that marriage as an institution can be redeemed.” It is a book that is sure to become part of the premarital counseling canon, passed among friends, and opened whenever “for better or for worse” is put to the test.--Publisher's Weekly
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1513800172
- ISBN-10 : 1513800175
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
- Publisher : Herald Press (September 27, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Those of us who have spent any time in Christian churches in recent years will no doubt be aware that beliefs about marriage and interpretations of relevant Bible passages can vary enormously. The greatest achievement of this book is that it will be relevant, useful, and appealing to readers on all sides of those debates. It does this not by avoiding those areas of disagreement - Pershey is clear about her views and eager to explain her reasoning - but by consistently reminding us of how much all Christians can agree upon when it comes to the beauty and significance of marriage. My favorite thing about Very Married is that it treats the Bible with the utmost seriousness, and yet it never forgets the particular challenges of married life in our culture and our time. I am so grateful to have read this book and to be able to share it with others.
Disclosure: I received a free copy for review, but I loved it so much I immediately purchased my own copy and anticipate purchasing many more.
I also love the gentle encouragement toward fidelity that is a thread throughout the book. Katherine shares her own victory over temptation, and I wholeheartedly agree that fidelity can be just as contagious as infidelity can! Her vulnerability shines through and lifts up its readers.
My biggest takeaway were the words courtesy and kindness. Though simple in meaning, these two simple traits can be difficult to cultivate, especially in the middle of crying babies, sleepless nights, financial crises, depression, health issues...and the myriad of hurdles that a couple faces.
I loved this thoughtful, sacred book. It gives its readers a lot to ponder and also a lot to laugh about. It takes itself and its subject matter seriously but not so much as to forget that life is fun and funny and all the more so in a covenant marriage!
Top reviews from other countries
I also greatly appreciate her respect for others' private lives in her book by not revealing personal or identifying information without each person's explicit permission, including her family. As a pastor's kid who was frequently the subject of sermon illustrations on Sunday mornings and later that week on the Christian radio station, this is very significant to me.
I also found it especially relateable to read from the perspective of a woman in church leadership whose spouse works outside the church. It's refreshing to be reminded that such a situation is not unique!
This book is filled with wisdom, honesty about mistakes and forgiveness, and a challenging and inspiring call to be "very married," not just married, and in mistakes, forgiveness, hard times, and joyful ones, to be as married to one another as possible.
Maybe that didn't quite make sense. I promise, she puts it better! Just read the book! :)