Not Your Typical Marriage Book
If you are looking for a step-by-step guide for revitalizing your marriage, this book is not for you.
If you are looking for a "how to" book, then this book is not for you.
What this book is, however, is a Christ-centered in-depth look at your life and marriage in light of the gospel.
This book written and narrated by Francis and Lisa Chan, is a biblically based book that emphasizes the importance of first having a relationship with Christ. Only after that relationship is solidified can your marriage have any hope of being a lasting relationship. Our first priority in life should be to look like Christ so it stands to reason that we should in turn love like Christ.
The Chans offer real world examples of what it means to love like Christ in your marriage and with your children. (There is even a chapter on parenting.) At the end of each chapter there are "Do Something" sections, where we, the listeners (readers) are encouraged to act out the Biblical truths we have just digested. The point being that reading the book and gaining the knowledge is useless unless we are putting this newly gain insight into practice in our every day life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was challenging and encouraging in my walk with Christ, my marriage and also in my parenting. I listened to this myself, but I strongly encourage couples to listen to (read) this book as a couple and to honestly and prayerfully go through the "Do Something" sections together as I plan on doing with my husband. And though this is a "marriage" book, I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to strengthen their relationship with Christ and their relationships with others.
I enjoyed the audio of this book and like that Francis and Lisa Chan read the sections they wrote themselves. You can sense their heart is really in these words they have written as they are reading them.
* I would like thank christianaudio Reviewer's Program for the audio version of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Marriage In Light Of Eternity
You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan is quite a fascinating and timely book on marriage in light of eternity. It focuses on attributes of marriage that will continue long after death and into eternity. It has the kingdom of God in mind, not a outwardly “happy” marriage, which is quite refreshing.
The focus of this book is that healthy Christian marriages are based on a husband and wife each pursuing God with everything they have, which has the added side effect of strengthening the earthly marriage relationship. Also there is an importance placed on being humble within marriage and being good examples to your children by backing up your words with actions.
Before I started reading this book I was expecting tips and ideas about making your marriage better or how to handle conflicts but this book approaches it from a totally different angle. It was really great to see a couple who were not just thinking about making their earthly marriage better but thinking about how their actions now would resonate in eternity. It was a very thought provoking book and something that will hopefully influence my married life in the future.
The narrators were the authors, which is usually quite good because they know how they want their material to be presented. At first I thought it was a bit lifeless but as the book progressed they were more animated, which improved the experience immensity.
This book is a must for people who are serious about living a life and having a marriage that has eternity in mind. The focus on God and His word regarding marriage and its purpose is really inspiring.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
It's a bait-and-switch, but thats OK
You And Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan is the best kind of bait-and-switch. It looks like a marriage book, and it sounds like a marriage book, but it’s not REALLY a book on marriage. It’s really a book about having the eternal view of every aspect of life, including marriage and parenting. It’s a book about seeking first the Kingdom of God and everything else, including a healthy marriage, flowing from that. And it’s about seeing everything you have, including your marriage, as something to be used for the mission of God in this world.
I estimate only about 25% of this book directly addresses marriage and marriage issues. I’m reluctant to let that cat out of the bag, because the best-case scenario would be someone beginning this book with their guard down, expecting some “tried-and-true marriage tips,” and getting creamed unawares by the Chans’ amazing vision of living a life focused on God and His mission.
This book rocked me like none I’ve read in a long time. It’s unquestionably the best book I’ve read all year, and the best marriage book I’ve ever read—if it indeed qualifies as a marriage book. This book is a manifesto of daily discipleship, in light of eternity. It was simultaneously water for my parched soul, and painful, jolting stab of conviction to my heart.
This is a book for married people, single people, people with kids, and people without them. The American church desperately needs the message of this book.
Francis and Lisa Chan do an excellent job of narrating the book. At first I found the narration a little dry. However, as the book goes on, both of them speak with deep conviction and seriousness, practically pleading with the listener to repent of their small view of God and His mission. It’s prophetic stuff, and I’m so glad they narrated it themselves.
Highly, highly recommended.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at christianaudio.com.
God-centered Book on Marriage
You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan is a foundational, God-centered, and eternity-minded book on marriage. Much of the material I originally heard from a marriage conference the Chans spoke at a few years back. I do not read many books more than once, but this is a resource that I will continually reference and pass on to others. It is very much different from many other marriage books in that the focus of the book is not about marriage, it is about God. Marriage is just a gift he has given to us. Francis and Lisa Chan also do a great job narrating the book, which adds to the overall quality. Hopefully, this book will bless you and challenge you to keep the focus of your marriage on God, and the rest will naturally fall in line.
I received this audiobook free of charge from christianaudio.com in exchanged for an honest opinion and was not obligated to provide a positive review. Please visit http://christianaudio.com for more info.
Worth your time? Perhaps...
Where does one draw the line between sharing one’s own experiences with particular Godly lifestyle choices and simply making excuses for one’s own decisions? That’s the question I kept asking myself as I listened to the audiobook edition of You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis & Lisa Chan. Don’t get me wrong: I agree with the basic premise of this book (that the way to have a great marriage is to put God first before even your marriage) and am happy to see the Chans write a book promoting this premise. And the great news is that this message does come across throughout the book. Unfortunately, it is mired in personal anecdotes that kept bringing me back to that question. Case in point: Francis says that he frequently travels and is away from his family. His children understand that he has to put God first and, therefore, might not always be there when they want him. While that sounds great, I would be willing to bet that he has a neighbor who is similarly not there when his children want him, but his excuse is that his work pays for their lifestyle. It’s just two excuses for the exact same result.
Again, I’m not saying this book is awful. There’s truth to be found. For example, Lisa says that she leads a Bible study on being a Godly wife. After many years, she has come to realize that we focus too much on “Godly wife” and “Godly husband” and that if we focused more on “Godly” we wouldn’t need the rest of it. I think that’s a great point and it’s not the only one in the book. Also, Francis and Lisa do use scripture throughout the book.
So, should you bother to listen to or read this book? Maybe. I still think it’s a great premise, but, honestly, the book has caused me to question that premise.
The narration is excellent. The book is read by the authors and they did a phenomenal job.
Oh, by the way, the summary of the book leads one to believe that this book is beneficial to singles as well. Here’s how that works: you need to get married today so that you can enjoy the wife/husband of your youth by focusing on God rather than your spouse. Personally, I believe that God gives us all singleness for a time for a purpose, just as he gives some people marriage for a time for a purpose. While single, we must focus on God’s purpose for our singleness. If we marry, then we must focus on God’s purpose for our marriage. The Chans are stuck in the common Christian attitude that marriage is absolutely God’s plan for us all, which has lead so many people to ignore God’s call for their lives.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from the christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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One of the only books you will need to listen to for your marriage!
What if we all tossed our books, seminars, and top-ten lists on marriage and decided instead to expose our hearts, motivations, and worship to what scripture says about the topic?
What if marriage was designed to make you holy and remind you of our personal relationship with God and transform the way we see all of our relationships?
The Chans’ are right, we spend too much time being self-absorbed on our rights, entitlements and idolatry. The only way to have a successful marriage is not by focusing on our marriage but on God the Father, satisfied by Christ Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Connie and I agree (yes we both listened to this audio and have recommended it many times already) “that Jesus was right. We have it all backwards. The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage.”
It used to be that the only resource I would recommend for couples regarding gospel-centered material was “When Sinners Say I Do” and now it appears that Connie and I have an additional resource, “You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity” by Francis & Lisa Chan.
Anything you can get your hands on by Francis Chan, you know is going to be good and to challenge you in your Christian daily walk. Because I heard the buzz before mainstream about it, I quickly purchased a copy. Connie and I had already listened to the audios by the time the solicitation came for an option to review for ChristianAudio. I had planned on writing a review and was further inspired with my email notification. This is a fantastic resource and the accompanying website is filled with valuable resources and tools that I would highly recommend to include a free .pdf version of the book.
For the rest of the review I would like to list my top 10 quotes from the book that I think will reflect how interesting, challenging, inspiring, enlightening, did it cause me to think
Eternal-mindedness keeps us from silly arguments. There’s no time to fight. We have better things to pursue than our interests. Too much is at stake! God created us for a purpose. We can’t afford to waste our lives. We can’t afford to waste our marriage by merely pursuing our own happiness...Christians in America have become experts at conviction--and failures at action...So today, do something. We all make mistakes. Err on the side of action.
When two people are right with Him, they will be right with each other. As a pastor for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that most marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are God problems. They can be traced back to one or both people having a poor relationship with God or a faulty understanding of Him. An accurate picture of God is vital to a healthy marriage. It’s vital to everything.
Someone can have a dynamic speaking gift, or generously give to anyone in need, or appear to know a lot of Scripture, but if they have a terrible marriage, it raises questions. How can he treat his wife that way? Why is she so disrespectful to her husband? They obviously do not believe what they claim to believe. It should burden us deeply that many of our marriages paint the gospel in a bad light....A quote I heard recently: “We are God’s plan to make it believable that He is good and loving and true.”
Part of our role as Christians is to tell people about God’s story. All of us should be regularly telling people about who Jesus is and what He has done. This is necessary, and we must never be ashamed of Jesus (Matt. 10:32–33). But it’s one thing to preach the gospel and another thing to display the gospel.
Something I learned in seminary is that with every issue, there are two sides. And there are scholars on both sides who are more intelligent than I am. So the best I could do was to study, pray, examine my heart, and make a decision. My goal is to stand before
God and be able to say, “I prayed and studied this passage. I tried to ignore my personal desires and interpreted it as best I could. I believed this is what it said, so I did my best to live by it.” I also try to hold my views with humility, allowing God to convince me of a better interpretation at any point in the future through more study, prayer, and heart-examination.
So many couples act like five-year-old soccer players when it comes to the spiritual war that we find ourselves in. God calls us to fight in an ongoing battle against darkness. In this battle, He has given us a clear mission—to make disciples. Yet Christian couples can most typically be found holding hands and skipping through life, ignoring the battle that rages around them. We have made happy families our mission. That is not the mission that Jesus gave us, but we try to justify this idolizing of marriage because it’s what we want.
Practically speaking, we have to start with the seed of prayer. When is the last time you prayed specifically and earnestly for your marriage? How about specifically and earnestly for your husband or wife? Do you realize that very few people are going to be praying faithfully for your marriage and your spouse? I don’t want to sound dramatic, but prayer changes everything! Prayer opens up that line of communication with the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to invite the sensitivity you need to even hear the voice of the Lord. Yes, we must read and know Scripture, but without talking to God in prayer, we are crippled. Jesus went away from the crowds many times to speak to His Father alone. Who are we to think we can function without it?
Your integrity in marriage will have a huge impact on your children. This does not mean that they will not see you work through conflict or have bad days here and there. But your kids need to know that you’re the real deal. It’s not enough to wake up early on Sundays, throw your kids in the car, fight all the way to
church, and then go about your own business the rest of the week. As important as a commitment to the church is, your kids need to see God’s truth shaping your lives throughout the week. If they can see you living out the gospel in the most intimate relationship
you have, they will have an authentic picture of what it means to live according to the Word rather than the world.
The ending prayer is FANTASTIC
God, help us love You deeply and fear You greatly.
Teach us how to love each other for Your sake.
May the humility of Christ be seen in the way we treat each other.
Show us how to enjoy each other without neglecting Your mission.
Remind us of the brevity of life so we share Your good news urgently.
Remind us of heaven so we will face rejection and trials joyfully.
When we settle down for too long, prod us to run.
When we are prone to fight, teach us to fight together, and to fight for You.
When we are tempted to run away, bring repentance and renewal.
May we spend our married days reminding each other of Your glory, Your gospel, Your love, Your power, Your mission, and Your promise of what is to come.
This audiobook was fantastic in that it was also ready by Francis & Lisa Chan, as I have mentioned before, nothing beats the author reading their own work. Further, although I did not quote all the scripture references, know that this work is SATURATED in scripture, in its entirety and without compromise. Connie and I zealously recommend this book to all, from all walks of life. It will change everything for those who have never heard, and revive those who have forgotten.
*For more resources from the book and the Official Website can be found: http://www.youandmeforever.org/
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from ChristianAudio, as part of its Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”