Saturday, January 5, 2008
Michal's Book of the Year 2007
I decided that I am going to do my own "awards show" this year. Why not? It seems like everyone else out there gets to do one. The first three months of the year you can't turn on the television without accidentally finding an award show. Mine will not have a red carpet with scantily clad superstars on it, but I hope you'll tune in anyway!
I'm going to start with my Book of the Year award. It wasn't published in 2007 and it wasn't even the book that I enjoyed reading the most, (actually, I haven't even finished it yet!) The award goes to Covenant Hearts: Marriage and the Joy of Human Love by Bruce Hafen. This is the book I read this year that I felt made the biggest difference in my life (not including scripture.) I actually bought the book for Jared for Valentine's Day and then decided a few weeks later to pick it up and read it myself. I'd read a chapter here and there throughout the year. I really like Elder Hafen's perspective on marriage. He spends the first several chapters making the case for why marriage is so important and why it has been so undermined by Satan. Once the reader sees the covenant marriage with new eyes, the author identifies the "wolves" that can tear apart a marriage. He draws from his experience as a marriage and family therapist as well as from the Scriptures.
This book helped me become more aware of the ways that I was unintentionally hurting our marriage. As I read it a chapter at a time, spread out over the course of many months, I had time to ponder each chapter and how its teachings applied to me in my own relationship with my husband. Reading Covenant Hearts has truly changed my heart, and has helped me unlock a deeper love and joy in my marriage--even though I was already in a loving and rewarding marriage.
This book is written for an LDS audience and includes scripture and teachings that are specific to the LDS Church (such as the doctrine of eternal marriage) as well as Biblical references. I believe that whether you are LDS or not, your marriage can benefit from reading this book if you believe that the marriage covenant is the most important relationship in your life and one worth making better, and that God has a desire to see you succeed in your marriage.
This past year has really been one of the happiest of my life so far, in spite of having my share of trials and struggles, and I believe that this is partly due to my experience with this book as I try to apply the principles in it. I wish I could give a copy to every married couple that I know!
So, check it out if you haven't read it. You'll be glad you did.