A while ago I reviewed The Discipleship Series. Take Sande published a free booklet on marriage and asked to read and review it as well. Marriage is a lifelong commitment that is made without an option to turn back. Marriage is like a garden that needs constant watering and great care. If you really love your spouse then, your love is worth fighting for. Sande claims to offer a revolutionary approach to your marriage relationship without even knowing your or your spouse. It makes me suspicious. And yes, where each partner bears half of the relationship’s burden stopping to condemn the other one or expect to have found Mr. Perfect can cut marital glitches into half. Every little bit helps here. Priorities count. God comes first, then spouse and children should come second and third. Church and work are degraded to to fifth and below. Fourth place is for your parents (in law) and physical brothers and sisters. That sounds OK, but if that’s translated into time spent or attention given to, I’m afraid that work takes the first place in many lives without any wrong doing or intention. In order to feed your family you simply have to work. Other points I don’t agree with Sande are that you are in control of happiness (100% according to the author). True: be committed to love your spouse regardless of circumstance or situation. Stop trying to change your husband or wife. On the other hand: you don’t need to accept everything. You can learn from each other, correct and enrich each other. And no, “If you and your spouse shall agree in prayer about anything, it will be granted!” is not a quote from Matthew 18:19.
I don’t know how many families have formal family systems or explicit value sets. What to think of income statements, family balance sheets and net worth (“the difference between the family’s total assets and total liabilities. This is normally used to measure how wealthy the family is.”), and tips like “It is not wise to spend more than you earn, because you will end up having to borrow. Aim to save and invest at least 10% of your income.”
The booklet’s a series of shortcuts and conclusions, which would require revision or a good talk before application. Of course you can do that with your spouse, and please initiate these kinds of crucial conversations while you’re on speaking terms.