This past weekend I had the chance to get away with my friends and fellow writers of the Redbud Writers Guild in Chicagoland. It was a restful time and also a worshipful time as we realigned our center with God, fellowshipped with one another, and learned more about our craft. I am excited to share with you one of the books from a member of the Guild, Making Marriage Beautiful and an interview with its author, Dorothy Greco.
1.Why did you write Making Marriage Beautiful?
Everyone who says “I do!” wants a great marriage but none of us really know how to make that happen. There’s no such thing as too much support or encouragement when you’re married. Creating and sustaining a great marriage requires time, intentionality, and sacrifice. Based on our experience, we all need a little help.
To clarify: I did not write this book because we have a perfect marriage or because I am a marriage expert. I wrote the book because my husband and I needed it. Due to some circumstances beyond our control, life got very difficult four years ago. As we struggled to love each other, I became clear to me that if we didn’t start making some different choices, or marriage would be in danger. Two things that differentiate a joyful, dynamic marriage from a frustrating, unhappy one are our willingness to admit we’re struggling and our desire to change.
2. How is your book different from other marriage books out there?
Making Marriage Beautiful is distinct. First, it’s written by a woman to both men and women. Adding Christopher’s words and the eight other husbands ensures that men are well represented. Second, the book contains very vulnerable, real-life stories that allow readers to find themselves on the pages on my book. We chose to go for it because we wanted other couples to not feel so alone in their struggles. I think readers will easily engage and trust me because I’m choosing to trust them. Third, there are bursts of humor throughout, which is unexpected—but never inappropriate. Finally, I acknowledge that marriage and transformation are a process that cannot be “achieved” over the course of 30 days. I wanted to help men and women navigate that process well. For the long haul.
3. Did your husband feel exposed? You write some mighty vulnerable things about your marriage and about him.
One of the interesting and challenging things about writing a marriage book is that your spouse comes along for the ride. He read and OK’d everything before the publisher saw it. It was very important to me that he signed off on every aspect of the book. I did not want him to feel like I was exposing him or being in any way unfair. There were only a few sections where we disagreed on whether or not to include something. (If he did not want it included, I cut it.) This book does not malign him, poke fun of him, or in any way disrespect him. As he read through the first draft, he laughed in all the places I knew he would because he’s secure and knows I love and respect him.
4. Who do you hope will read Making Marriage Beautiful?
Making Marriage Beautiful will speak to couples who have been married three weeks or thirty years. It was written with your average husband and wife who long to create and sustain healthy, joyful marriages. Maybe they’re stuck, maybe they’re doing OK, and maybe they’re actually doing really well but want to be proactive. I’m confident that if newlyweds put the spiritual disciplines that I discuss into practice, they will be able to create a solid foundation. The book was not written specifically for couples who are in a full-blown crises though I do think they would benefit from it.
5. What can be gained from reading your book?
Encouragement. Direction. Strategies. And more than anything else, hope. We’re not created to be static. We’re created to grow. Making Marriage Beautiful helps readers to understand and gain vision for this, specifically as it applies to marriage.
6. Making Marriage Beautiful focuses on our willingness to change. Can you describe what you mean by that? What is a commitment to change?
Making a commitment to follow Jesus and making a commitment to marry someone are perhaps two of the life choices that will most deeply impact or change us. Parenting is also being right up there.
We can go kicking and screaming or we can choose to be malleable and perhaps even intentional about how we change so that we become more and more like Jesus and ultimately learn how to love better.
Christopher and I have found that it’s much more fruitful if we change intentionally and choose to remain malleable before God and before each other.
That way we’re not reacting to or not surprised by the requires changes, we’re looking forward to and embracing them.
As an example, Rather than resenting Christopher because he’s forcing me to be more patient and forbearing, I can go to God asking Him to resource me and expecting Him to help me to make the necessary changes.
7) How can readers best connect with you: your blog, Facebook, Twitter?