Book Review: Making Marriage Beautiful

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I loved this insightful book on marriage. Author Dorothy Greco writes with transparency and humor. Because she wants to help others, she and her husband bravely share their own not-always-perfect endeavors to have a beautiful marriage.

Greco hits the nail on the head when she writes:

What differentiates a loving, joyful, intimate marriage from a disappointing, frustrating one is the willingness and commitment to be changed, to say yes to God’s transforming work, and to become increasingly holy with each passing year.

Isn’t that true? The willingness to be changed must be present in each spouse or the marriage simply will not work. And yet this is what we struggle with most. We would much rather pray, “Lord, change my husband” or “Lord, change my wife” than “Lord, change me.” But the author encourages all of us to say yes to God’s transforming power. To not only admit our failures to our spouses to receive their forgiveness but to confess our sin to God and receive His grace. Making Marriage Beautiful reminds us that we all need changing and that marriage is often the tool God uses to continually transform us to the image of Christ.

I wish I had had this book when my husband and I began our life together. The chapters on differences in family cultures and expectations would have been especially helpful! Although we have worked through these issues now, having this book would have made the ride through the bumpy waters of early marriage smoother. Greco encourages all of us to examine the preferences we have “stockpiled” and how these preferences may affect unfair expectations we place on our spouses. She also reminds us to celebrate our spouses “otherness.”

The author ends the book by using an illustration from her own backyard. She tells readers that her home is on property that is glacial till–in other words–very poor soil. It is a constant struggle to grow beautiful flowers and shrubs in this environment. She then likens her soil to the cultural environment we live in. Growing a beautiful marriage in a culture that encourages self-fulfillment instead of sacrifice and instant happiness instead of steady faithfulness requires persistent work.

But she says,

Keep clearing the rocks. Keep amending the soil and pulling the weeds. As the seasons pass, your faithful obedience will result in the gradual transformation of your soul and your marriage.

Whether you’ve been married three weeks or thirty years, this book will help your marriage become more beautiful.

Author Dorothy Greco is a talented writer and photographer. Her writing has appeared  Relevant Magazine, Christianity Today, Her.meneutics, Gifted for Leadership, Today’s Christian Woman, SheLoves, Start Marriage Right, UnGrind, Junia Project, and Sojourners. I am a featured contributor for Gifted for Leadership, CTWomen, and Start Marriage Right. Check out her website.

Find her book here.