Marriage 101 by Shawn Ward

I was recently given the opportunity to review Marriage 101 by Shawn Ward through the Booklook Bloggers review program. The description of the book definitely sounded interesting:
This book is for anyone planning marriage, as well as those who have been married for years. Marriage is patterned after Christ’s relationship to His Church; consequently, the more one understands about that relationship, the more able they will be to have a marriage based upon God’s prescribed order for it. More information is available at

I only wish the book was actually as interesting as it had sounded. I had a very difficult time reading this book because it was poorly written. It is very obvious that the author is more accustomed to writing speeches than he is to writing things to be read by others. 

The book starts with a description of what a Biblical marriage should look like. The wife submits to the husband, the husband leads and is guided by the Holy Spirit. The author says that a marriage between a man and a woman should be like the relationship between Christ and the church. This is absolutely biblically true and I agree with his perspective on this topic, however his arguments for this left me feeling offended. 

The next several chapters seem to only serves the purpose of hammering into the readers head that wives should submit to their husbands. Often with little to no actual argument or proof, the author simply restates this concept in a variety of different ways. Even the chapters which by their titles seem like they should be about the husband's role of leader of the home, go back to reiterating that a wife should submit to her husband. The only caveat offered for a wife not submitting is if the husband is leading her/their family to do things which are against what scripture says we should do. 

I had a hard time getting through this book and it is only about 60 pages long. In addition to being tedious and repetitive to read, the grammar is just awful in places. Phrases like "when we done things, I made we did them together," should have been edited out in my opinion. I realize that this is the way many people speak, but it honestly drives me crazy when people say it too. It is not proper English and has no place in a published book. The author also switched between writing in first person and third person frequently, often within the same paragraph which made it confusing to read. 

The last couple of chapters are not so much marriage advice but the author's stories of his failures and successes as a stepparent to his wife's son. Some of the information could be helpful to someone entering into a marriage where they will also become a step parent, however I feel like some of it should just be common sense. For example, to solidify the bond between you and your step child, love them and spend time doing what they like to do. I feel like that's what any parent should be doing regardless of whether they are a biological parent or a step parent.

While I do agree with many of the points the author made in this book, I simply cannot recommend it to anyone else because it is just so poorly written. 

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