24 June 2014

Book Review: The Marriage Builder

Originally published in 1982, Larry Crabb's The Marriage Builder: Creating True Oneness to Transform Your Marriage (2013) remains an important book for understanding and transforming marriages. As he writes of oneness, he mentions spirit oneness, soul oneness, and body oneness. As is common with Dr Crabb, he argues that we often believe our needs should be met by others whereas in truth, our primary needs are met in Christ.  He does admit, however, that we often lose sight of Christ's filling us. He then moves on to soul oneness, which deals with how spouses are committed to loving the other in an other focused approach. Finally, he spends some time writing about body oneness, or how partners meet one another's physical desires. Having established these facets of true oneness, he discusses a foundation built on grace, commitment, and acceptance. 

On the whole, this was a very practical book, grounded in the gospel. I believe that Dr Crabb rightly identifies that our primary identity and needs are met in Christ, but that we can also minister and serve through the marriage.  His differentiation between goals and desires, and our level of control over them, is an important one. The discussion of the 3 building blocks--grace, acceptance, and commitment--are also worth the price of the book.  This would be a very useful book not only for those who are just starting out, but also for those who have been married for a long time.

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