Your Marriage, God’s Mission: Discovering Your Spiritual Purpose Together, by Clint and Penny A. Bragg
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Kregel Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Having read the authors’ previous work about how they remarried some eleven years after their first marriage together had fallen apart . It is therefore little surprise that like some writers do , these writers continue to write about marriage and to use their own story in order to further a mission of encouraging healthy marriages. This particular book was striking in that it took a strongly military and strategic approach to dealing with marriage, while showing a great deal of graciousness and a high value in cooperation and collaboration between spouses. If there is one point that a reader gets out of this book, it is the point that a successful marriage requires a common central purpose and is greatly aided by a common mission that unites the spouses by their common passions and background and the needs they feel most important to address within a community or institution or society. This book provides a great deal of practical insight in how this can be done.
The five parts of this book take up a bit more than 200 pages of material. The first phase of this book looks at the mission operations of a marriage–pointing out that marriages require a mission, taking stock of what spouses have, and the importance of making a concise marriage mission statement. The second phase involves basic training on spiritual weapons, learning how to march in formation, breaking down fear, and preparing to possess what God has prepared for godly couples. The third phase looks at planning and protocols, how marriages can keep in operational order, having a marriage mission creed, sharing rations with each other and with others, and handling active duty. The fourth phase turns the reader’s attention to hazards and enemies, namely Satan, as well as focusing on sneak attacks, dealing with incoming assaults, and the beauty of battle scars that show our survival in spiritual warfare. The fifth and final part of the book encourages readers to patrol the borders of their marriages, engage in periodic rest and relaxation, and march forward in light of the knowledge of what this book contains. After that the book closes with some suggestions for further reading about how to deal with loss.
Although this book is a collaboration between a husband and a wife, this is a rare example of a marriage book that appeals strongly to men. Much of this book consists of an extended metaphor between spouses in a marriage and fellow soldiers in the military who are working in collaboration with each other. If you are fond of military strategy and its application to the marriage relationship, this is an excellent marriage book for you. I am not sure how large of a market it is, but I was highly impressed with this book and found it very enjoyable to read. And given my own ambivalent feelings about reading books on marriage in light of my own rather sad romantic state, that is saying something praiseworthy indeed. If you prefer not to think of partners in militaristic ways, this book is savvy in focusing on mission statements and parallel tracks and the language of business authority as well, for a family is not only a platoon involved in spiritual warfare but also a firm that operates for the well-being of everyone involved in the firm with its own authority and its own structure and areas of operations. So, whether you prefer to see families in military or business terms, this book has a lot to offer.
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