For Better Or For Kids

I picked up For Better or for Kids: A Vow to Love Your Spouse with Kids in the House by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk partly because of the cute and creative title, partly because of the appealing cover, and partly because I'm married and my husband and I have four kids. Juggling a marriage of 14 years along with four kids who range in age from 6 to 14 (almost the exact same age range as the kids of the authors, so I felt particularly like this book would be great for me), is not always simple and easy. I figured there would be a lot to learn from this book. I particularly liked the fact that it was co-written by a husband and wife team. I love marriage and family books that are written by a man and wife team because you get the perspective of both parties and I feel like the advice is usually more balanced and realistic. Subjects included in this book are expectations, our mission as parents, love, sex, unity, grace, time management, busyness, difficult seasons, communication, money, trials, and encouragement: so basically, all the big topics that include marriage and parenting. The back cover reads:

"The transition from “married” to “married with children” can be tough. Before they know it, a once youthful and energetic married couple finds themselves in a minivan loaded with noisy kids and littered with Cheerios, crusty Sippy cups, banana peels, and missing library books. As much as you love your children and work hard to nurture and train them for the future, the challenges that come with parenthood can make the “for better or for worse” promise a hard one to honor.

For Better or For Kids will enable couples to:

Build a God-centered marriage instead of a Child-centered or Me-centered marriage
Avoid the dangers of spouse-neglect and self-neglect
Effectively communicate in the chaos
Explore ways to parent together as one team
Find balance in the busyness
For Better or For Kids is about remembering that even when you feel worn out, over-extended, and neglected, you promised to be a team. Marriage with kids may not always be what we expected, but it is good. We need to make a vow to love our spouse with kids in the house."

I figured I'd pick this book up and read a chapter a day, but I found that once I picked it up I didn't want to put it back down again! I loved the stories and illustrations Patrick and Ruth used, drawn from their own lives. I could really relate to them and found myself laughing along, nodding, and thinking how glad I am that my family isn't the only crazy one! Reading this book feels like sitting in a couples therapy session with Patrick and Ruth - they admit the issues they've been through while doling out practical advice. I'm all about being practical, and I love books that give you actual tips and ideas that you can put into place right away. This book definitely fit the bill. I highly recommend For Better or For Kids to any couple who has children - or wants to have children!

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


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