Marriage forecasting (book review)

Changing the climate of your relationship one conversation at a time
By Tim Muehlhoff
Authentic Media. 191 pages. £7.99
ISBN 978 1 850 789 680

This refreshingly honest and insightful book is based on the idea that every marriage has a ‘climate’ and taking an accurate reading of our relationships can not only enable us to communicate more effectively, but can build deep respect, mutual trust and produce an environment which is healthy and affirming. The style is accessible and practical, with a section at the end of each chapter intended to stimulate discussion and encourage action.

Possibly one of the strongest features is the way in which communication specialist Tim Muehlhoff transparently draws from personal experience, with stories and anecdotes that are down-to-earth and real. He is open and frank and this powerfully illustrates that even the strongest marriages can face intense pressure and no one is immune from wrestling with issues of communication, conflict, forgiveness and trust. Grounded in Scripture and drawing on current research, he offers convincing and helpful explanations for certain patterns of behaviour and ways of reacting within the marriage context, without being stereotypical or saccharin and even if the examples don’t fit exactly, the principles are easily transferrable into any relationship context.

Underlying the need to improve the marriage climate is a far bigger call for us all to face the challenge posed by C.S. Lewis: ‘You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God’. So the most important step we can take in improving the ‘communication climate’ with our spouse is to first focus on our ‘climate’ with God. We are left in no doubt as to the order!

Marriage Forecasting is a must for all married couples, or those contemplating marriage, but also a valuable tool for anyone involved in pastoral ministry or relationship counselling. Definitely worth thinking about as a study guide for a marriage preparation class!

Sian Baker, Highfields Church, Cardiff
This article was first published in the May 2012 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to EN or contact us for more information. 0845 225 0057