Publication Date: October 16th, 2018
Rating: 3 ¼ Stars
Author, Kevin A. Thompson, is a pastor. As a pastor, Thompson has witnessed many marriages, divorces and deaths in his more than a decade of service. Given his role, this book leans heavily toward holy references, but I loved that he opened each chapter with a bang, quickly grabbing the reader’s attention and drawing you in.
For instance, Chapter 7 lists several Nobel Peace Prize recipients and other historically significant individuals, and, while each person mentioned holds significant prestige, they have something else in common as well – divorce. Thompson’s point isn’t to show that divorce is inevitable and that we are all headed to that ending, but rather to provide reference that success and accomplishments in one’s life do not translate to success in marriage. Just like one works hard in their occupation, one must work as hard, or harder, in their relationship.
As an athlete and “newly” married person one passage that really stood out to me was on page 103:
Ask a coach, “How’s your team?” and they know how to answer. Ask your co-worker, “How are sales?” and they know how to answer…. But ask someone, “How’s your marriage?” and they will fumble and stumble. Why? Because most people never look at marriage as something that can be improved. From the very beginning, they take a passive approach to their relationship, failing to understand its true nature. They treat it as though it’s out of their control. They pretend like marriage just happens.
This is powerful, because people constantly ask, “how are you doing” or “how’s married life” and I just respond with the typically “fine,” but after reading this I have begun to view these questions from the point-of-view of the team coach or class teacher. Is “fine” truly how it is? Or are “sales” behind? Or has your “team” had a string of losses recently? No passionate coach responds to the question “how’s your team” with a halfhearted “fine” that many of us are used to responding with when asked these questions personally.
There were MANY points made throughout Happily that resonated with me. My marriage of only two years is certainly fresh, but whether you’ve been with your spouse months or even decades, the advice within is seemingly sound.
*Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.