Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review - A Marriage Carol

Every Christmas season for me has some requirements to make it special.   Decorations must be up right after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy them for a month.  Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song album must be played and A Charlie Brown Christmas must be watched.   At least one version of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol must be seen.  I do not grow tired of watching Ebenezer Scrooge change from the meanest man in town to a kind and generous person.

What would this classic Christmas story look like if the “Scrooge” was a married couple? We get a chance to see the transformation of a marriage instead of a person in The Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman.   We are introduced to Marlee and Jacob who are on their way to get a divorce on Christmas Eve.  Ironically, they were also married on Christmas Eve.   The weather conditions are not great on their way to the lawyer and they become involved in a car crash.  Marlee tries to find her husband, Jacob after the crash.  While searching, she finds an older gentleman at home.     His home is actually a retreat for married couples to heal.   Marlee takes the older man’s offer of hospitality to get warm.   Being in his home is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket.   The older man tells her about the three golden pots which gave her a glimpse of the past, present and future.   She takes a chance and is given the gift of insight for her life.   

This book made me think about how easy it is to forget what is important.  Marlee was reminded of how special and close she was to Jacob in the beginning of their marriage.   Lack of communication and misunderstandings led Marlee and Jacob to a present that could not have been imagined at the beginning.    She saw how her choices affected everyone around her.   A choice that seemed insignificant today had a great impact on her life and the lives of her children and grandchildren.

One misunderstanding that stands out for me is when Marlee and Jacob attended a marriage conference.   She thought she was the only one who cared about making things work because she was taking so many notes.   Jacob did not look interested and he did not even write anything or so she thought.  That scene alone confirmed for me that I only know so much and that I need to give a little more grace to my spouse.   Wrong assumptions can cause misunderstanding and damage to a marriage.

I enjoyed this book.  I was reminded that even though a marriage can appear to be dead, one spouse can hope and make changes to improve the relationship.  There is no guarantee that the other spouse will respond favorably to the changes you make.  The important part is to work on you and take small steps each day for a lasting marriage.

Netgalley provided this free ebook for me to review.  All opinions expressed are my own.