I love Darlene’s writing. I started following Time Warp Wife early on in my blogging days. So joining her launch team for Messy Beautiful Love was a no-brainer.
What I didn’t anticipate was how much this book would speak to me and my own marriage in such a real and practical way.
We are less than a decade into marriage and I think we’d both admit that it is messy.
Darlene opens the book with the testimony about how God saved her marriage. A raw, gut-wrenching story that reminds you how none of us are immune from our hearts straying from husband and home. And yet she weaves this wonderful, beautiful picture of grace that compares marriage with our Christian walk. The same grace that loves and forgives in marriage is that same grace we have received from Christ – that loves and forgives us every single day.
From there she touches on the hard stuff: patience, surrendering our rights, submission, leadership, conflict, communication…
…and these chapters are what spoke directly to me. As much as I believe myself to be all of these things, as I read each page, I felt my heart plummet, because I no longer saw myself through the lens of my own intentions, but rather through the eyes of my husband. It wasn’t pretty.
And this is the amazing thing about Darlene’s writing. She weaves personal stories with important lessons and effectively nails you between the eyes with a velvet hammer.
A few quotes that nailed me are:
” We don’t give because we are given, we give because it’s the way of the Lord.”
“When you realize that its more important to win the heart of your husband than it is to win an argument, you’ve seeing the fruit of mature love.”
“The problem here isn’t your husband; it’s that your level of expectation for him is outshining his character. When you measure him against the weight of expectation, you are left with an unbalance scale.”
She then moves the book into deeper areas of character for the wife: joy, building friendship, contentment and virtue.
This is a book I know I will read over and over again. I can already pinpoint areas of my heart and attitude that I have begun to intentionally adjust. Not because I didn’t know that these things are important in a marriage, but simply because she stated them in a way that connected with me and my present circumstances.
Beautiful Messy Love is written in an easy manner. Darlene shares wonderful stories from her own life that invite you into her home and make you feel like your chatting with her over coffee. And yet, in her easy manner,she expertly tackles the very hard topics that are needed to make marriage successful.
This is a book I would recommend to every new and seasoned wife. It is a book for all women, no matter how long they’ve been married.
You can purchase it on Kindle or in Paperback.