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Ed Young serves as the Senior Pastor in one of American's largest churches, Second Baptist Church of Houston, TX. He is the author of numerous books, and featured speaker on "The Winning Walk", a world-wide radio broadcast ministry. He and his wife, Jo Beth, have three sons who faithfully serve in ministry.
The 10 Commandments of Marriage is a collection of ten Biblical principles that, Young maintains, can help to strengthen, enrich and deepen any marriage (17). The commandments are: Thou Shall Be Selfless, Thou Shalt Have No Strings Attached, Thou Shalt Continually Communicate, Thou Shall Make Conflict Thy Ally, Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Materialism, Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation--Online and Otherwise, Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Mate--490 Times and More, Thou Shalt Romance the Home, Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again, and Thou Shall Build a Winning Team. While, admittedly, the principles are not uniquely confined to a marital context, the author contends they are "best revealed in the intimacy of marriage", and when consistently pursued, they will provide the fuel to help ensure your marriage is one that thrives (14-17).
Strengths & Weaknesses
The 10 Commandments of Marriage is a good, practical, read for any couple that desires to grow in their marriage. My wife and I read through the book together, and much of the content sparked some really good and edifying conversations. Each chapter concludes with a "Reflecting on Your Relationship" section to help aid the reader in specifically applying the content of the chapter. The questions could also serve to help start healthy discussions in a small-group setting.
The book is very much Christ-centered and grace-driven. From the very beginning Young makes it clear that the commandments can only be lived out by a heart that has been changed by Jesus (13). The emphasis of God's grace, and the need for believers to daily rely upon the strength of Christ to embrace each of the principles, is a theme carried throughout the book. With all the self-help books and marriage-enrichment resources available today, this call for husbands and wives to ultimately place their hope in Christ was a welcomed reminder for this reader. Marriages are the strongest when they are built upon the foundation of the One who created marriage, and He (more than anyone else) knows how men and women are to "fit together" to make this thing called "marriage" and "family" work. Rather than a theological discourse of the "what, how, and why" of marriage, The 10 Commandments of Marriage is more like a practical guide to help couples foster an environment where their marriage can be, by God's grace, healthy and fulfilling.
Although the author does not specifically mention it, the book does read more like a sermon series that was tweaked to fit the requirements of a book manuscript. The content is true, helpful, and Biblical, but much of it is dotted with illustrations (I counted as many as ten in a single chapter)! Illustrations do serve a valuable purpose, in both verbal and written communication, but too many examples and "stories" can, at times, make reading wearisome, and be a hindrance to the main thrust of the particular chapter. Again, the content of the book is helpful; it just seems parts were left underdeveloped for the sake of including illustrations that might connect with various readers. Illustrations should enhance content, not replace it. This is, perhaps, the only glaring weakness of the book.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.