Messy Beautiful Love: Interview & Book Giveaway
You may be familiar with one of my favorite bloggers, Darlene Schacht, also known as the TimeWarpWife. I’m happy to announce that Darlene’s book is releasing tomorrow!
To celebrate, I’m giving away 3 copies of her books and letting you know a little more about why I’m so excited about this book. She answered the following questions for us…
Your book is called, Messy Beautiful Love. Can you tell us why you chose that name?
We all have expectations when we’re stepping into marriage. And if you’re like most women, those expectations are high, but the reality is that life gets messy. Whether it’s financial problems, sickness, aging parents, or an unhappy spouse, sooner or later we’ll have a mess to clean up.
But when we surrender our relationship to God in obedience to His will, we experience the blessings of marriage as He intended. That’s a beautiful thing.
How is Messy Beautiful Love different from other books on marriage and relationships?
Because I’ve been through a lot in my own marriage, I understand the importance of grace and forgiveness. I offer hope to women where hope would be otherwise lost. Can a broken marriage be repaired? Can a stale relationship be revived? Messy Beautiful Love answers those questions with a resounding “Yes!”
What is the main piece of advice you would give women in today’s world, who want to approach their marriage differently?
Women in today’s world are exposed to temptation on a constant basis. The Internet is a way of life for most people.
Our ancestors never experienced anything remotely close to what we are living with today. The outside world—along with its opinions, temptations, and distractions—has made its way into our homes.
I can’t tell you the number of times that women have confided in me about the struggles they’re facing online. It can mess with your mind when a seemingly perfect man (and I do mean seemingly) is paying attention to you, or waiting to chat.
We need to be on guard more than ever before, protecting our thoughts, our children, our faith, and our marriages.
In Chapter 4, you say that marriage isn’t 50/50. Can you explain what you mean by that?
It’s a beautiful thing when two people love as they should love. When each person is putting into the marriage more than they’re hoping to gain. But we all have days, weeks–and for some it’s been years–when we feel that we’re not being loved as we should be. What then? The truth of the matter is that the return on our investment doesn’t always come from our husband, but it always comes from the Lord. We have that promise. When we put our hope in Him we have a guarantee that He rewards those who are faithful.
Love is a gift, not a swap of emotions. If we hand over a gift with one hand open while the other is closed, the gift is lost in exchange, therefore the best thing we can do for our marriage is offer each other 100%.
Our lives are so full of distractions… careers, children, reality TV! What are some ways couples can prioritize each other, and keep their love alive over the years?
We all have seasons, which require more from us than others. Raising a family, starting a business, planting a church, moving across country, or taking care of aging parents are just a few of the things that can distract us and pull us apart. The important thing is to communicate with each other during these times, and to assure each other that each season will pass.
Depending on just how busy you are, intimacy may slow down a bit. But keep in mind, slowing down and eliminating that part of your relationship are two different things. Never ignore the marriage bed, and don’t place it on the back shelf where you forget about it. Just like anything else that’s a priority in your life, you may need to examine your schedule to see what you can cut and what you must keep.
In chapter seven you say “Dig into God and if you’re feeling let down and discouraged, dig deeper yet.” I agree. Do you have any practical suggestions for personal Bible study?
The Internet offers us so many tools for Bible study that it easier than ever to dig deep. I remember the old days when I would lug a giant concordance to the table and spend hours flipping through it to find the Greek meaning behind the words. Today we literally have this information at our fingertips.
One of my favorite ways to study is to read through a book like Romans. I pull out all of the key words while I’m reading and I look them up in the Strong’s Concordance. I’ll also flip over to Matthew Henry’s commentary every once in a while to get his take on things.
I’m currently using Logos Bible software which makes all of this easy for me since it’s all in one program. I can read my Bible with these resources side by side.
For someone who is looking for something a little lighter, I’d suggest trying the SOAP method. I first learned about it through Good Morning Girls, although I’m not sure if my version is exactly the same. It calls for a little journaling as you record the following:
S – Scripture: Highlight the scripture that you want to meditate on.
O – Observation: Journal your thoughts. What are some personal observations?
A – Application: How can you apply this to your life? Are there changes you’d like to make? Is God prompting you to focus on something?
P – Prayer: Pray before you start reading and again at the end.
We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes two to make a marriage work.” What would you say to the woman (or in many cases the man) who feels like they are doing all of the work in the marriage?
Absolutely. And if you are praying for your marriage than you can be certain without a doubt that you aren’t the only one doing the work. God plus you equals two. You’re not in this alone.
I’m not saying that it’s a good place to be. Absolutely not. But the reality is that some marriages are that way. Some people keep giving and giving without getting anything from their spouse in return, which is why it’s so important that while we’re down on our knees praying, our hope is steadfast on the Lord.
All good things come through Him and by Him. He is the one who rewards our faith.
God doesn’t expect us to do all of the work. He just wants us to be there beside Him while He’s doing His.
God, Thank you. I’m a cracked vessel held together by grace. I desire for my marriage to be encouraged. I don’t have it all figured out, and I doubt that I ever will, but I’m willing to learn to lean on the One who does. I’m willing to learn that when I follow His wisdom in lieu of my own, I’m walking in peace. Let that peace overflow into all areas of my life.
I’m giving away 3 copies of Darlene’s book to 3 lucky winners!
Enter to win below. Winners will be announced next Monday September 22nd. Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win.