Gary Smalley, and his wife of over 40 years Norma, team up in this book to help couples make a crucial choice in their marriages: Love or Anger? Published by New Leaf Press,4 Days to A Forever Marriage is a book of personal insights and common sense practices to improve a marital relationship. The main focus is to develop an attitude of practical love in both the day to day and long term view of marriage and not let bitterness or anger take root.
Focused on 4 Days of intentional thought and discussion, this book highlights 4 things to do to further deepen and enrich one’s marriage: 1. Loving Words and Actions 2. Communication and Resolving Anger 3. Affection and Intimacy and 4. Trials and Treasures. Each chapter contains both authors sharing their views on each topic followed by a reflection section for both husband and wives to discuss what they have read and how that particular topic needs to be addressed in their relationship.
I found chapters 3 and 4 to be very meaningful as the Smalley’s define intimacy as being “they feel safe enough with each other to share their feelings and needs” (chapter 3) and the concept of “The Daily Treasure Hunt” in chapter 4 as a way to find gold in the midst of difficult circumstances. I also appreciated the section following chapter 4 “Your Season of Marriage” in whicn the authors offer suitable suggestions for those in various seasons of life. I think that this is a strength of this book because in reading other marriage books, I have often wondered what the targeted audience has been – newlyweds, long time marrieds, or ???
And though the Smalleys write from a faith based perspective I believe that those seek to have a healthy and solid marital relationship will find much help here.
On my scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (great) I give 4 Days to a Forever Marriage a 4 a “good” read.
Note: I received a free e-copy of this book from New Leaf Press in exchange for a review of it. I was not required to write a positive review.