The Marriage Garden: Cultivating Your Relationship so it Grows and Flourishes
April 2010, Jossey-Bass
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Many enter marriage hoping it will always be as passionate and exciting as a great date – not unlike the relationships modeled on reality shows like “The Bachelor”. But both research and experience suggest that marriage is more like a fruitful garden that requires the right tools, patient care, and sensible effort in order to achieve enduring success.
“A good marriage is as lush, rich, and satisfying as a great garden. But neither the good marriage nor the great garden happens without wise and consistent effort,” write authors Wally Goddard and James Marshall. “That is why it has required decades of intensive research on marriage to provide the key to building strong relationships.”
Using the metaphor of relationships as gardens meant for cultivation, nourishment, and dedication, their book, THE MARRIAGE GARDEN: Cultivating Your Relationship so It Grows and Flourishes focuses on six, proven processes shown to make marriage blossom into a loving, long term source of sweet companionship. In a culture where individualism has run amuck, it takes great discipline to institute sensible principles in relationships.
Each chapter considers one process – Commit, Grow, Nurture, Understand, Solve, and Serve -and how it can be applied by those with a willing spirit. For instance, the chapter on understanding admits that gardening, like marriage, entails thorny times when couples get burned out in the sun and annoyed with the incessant bugs. But it’s during these difficult times that gardening partners learn to respond to each other’s pains rather than scold for not using the proper sunscreen or insect repellent. With this warm and upbeat approach, THE MARRIAGE GARDEN provides couples with tools to achieve a full and satisfying harvest.
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