“Tying the Knot Tighter: Because Marriage Lasts a Lifetime”
Tying the Knot Tighter: Because Marriage Lasts a Lifetime by Martha Peace & John Crotts
P&R, 2007 (118pp, pbk)
A few months ago a friend recommended this to my wife. We thought we would read it together from time to time in the evenings as a way of profitably spending some time together (as opposed to my native notion of quality time as being in the same room at the same time).
The book is split into three parts: Basics (five chapters), Roles (eight chapters) and Responsibilities (six chapters). The topics covered are very much those that you would expect from such a volume. Each chapter is very brief, only a couple of pages at most. This substance is followed by a list of questions for discussion, some recommended reading, and then a written prayer. OK, so I do not like written prayers as a matter of course. So, we didn’t use them.
As to the rest, I must admit to being fairly underwhelmed to begin with: the chapters were not particularly demanding, and the questions – while better than some alleged study guides – did not appear to probe too far. However, as with many such things, you will get out what you put in. Once I had stopped making sarcastic comments while reading the chapters and making fun of the questions, the chapters did prompt some useful lines of thought and the questions did prove a helpful way of prompting discussions that did us good as a couple. The chapters make up in accessibility for what they lack in depth: their brevity allows you to at least cover the territory, and the questions enable you to address the particulars of your own relationship. Couples who have had little Biblical teaching on marriage will find this a very helpful starter; those with more understanding will still find this a useful reminder and prompt. Sure, sometimes it is a little cheesy, and you might hope for a little more distinctness and clarity at certain points. Nevertheless, couples – perhaps especially those with young children, and therefore lacking in time and energy – looking for a way to make the most of those scant hours when they can hang out without simply flaking out would do well to consider this.
Equally helpful as an introduction or refresher course, this would be useful to many. Be prepared where you can to think beyond what is immediately required, and when you are able to dig deeper than the questions immediately demand, and you will profit.