Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beyond I Do By: Jennifer Slattery

The message in this book makes it a must read. Whether you’re already married or hope to be, do not miss this. Ainsley Meadows is ready to marry the man of her dreams. But is he really? It’s a predictable, safe relationship, but will that be enough for the years after she says I do?

Ainsley strives to do what God wants her to do. She goes to church, visits the sick and shut-ins, volunteers at a women’s shelter, but her fiancé Richard Hollis, a psychiatrist, is more interested in marketing his new book. He figures he will keep her busy enough after marriage with social functions to cut down on her time to associate with such people.

Her neighbor, Chris Langley, just moved in. His mother is in an assisted living home. She has Alzheimer’s. He sold his lawyer practice and bought a coffee shop in order to be closer to his mother. God has given him a vision for the coffee shop. Will it come to pass? Or will it go under first?

Ainsley is terrified of ending up like her mother, jumping from relationship to relationship, job to job. Who does God want her to marry? I loved how this theme was handled in this book. As opposed to just jumping into a marriage without thinking about the repercussions, Ainsley is feeling unsettled and wondering where these feelings are coming from. She wants to pray about God’s will and know who He has picked out for her. Being a Christian and your fiancé not, brings discord into their marriage from the beginning. He does not understand her desire to help others, go to church, volunteer her time. And when she voices these concerns, his response is to blame her childhood and the games her mother played for her indecisiveness about their upcoming marriage. When she questions his faith, he promises to go to church more. She is not convinced of his faith and salvation, however.

Beyond I Do is a great book for young adults on the verge of marriage. It lays out questions you should ask, concerns you should talk about, and getting the discussion of salvation and faith out in the open to be sure both parties are on the same page. A relationship with Jesus is a personal one. It is a real relationship. Are you hearing from Him? What is He telling you? Before making that big time commitment, make sure it is the one He wants for you. Blessings from God do not bring added trouble.

This line stayed with me after reading this book: “Christianity isn’t about doing anything. It’s about accepting what Jesus Christ has already done.” We can’t earn His grace; it is freely given. Pick up this book today for a great read. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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