Team Us: Marriage Together by Ashleigh Slater

When a couple promises "I do," they agree to more than just a shared last name, a joint bank account, and no more dateless nights. This husband and wife duo forms a new team. "Life together" becomes their mantra. Nothing can come between them. At least, that's the plan. But then real life sets in. With it come disappointments and frustrations. If the couple isn't intentional in their day-to-day interactions, that once enthusiastic "we" can slowly revert to "you" and "me." Before long, the couple's left wondering what happened to their team spirit. Team Us: Marriage Together offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. Author Ashleigh Slater shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.

My Review:

I'm fairly picky about marriage books.  Generally, I either love or hate them.  Some tend to focus so much on the intimacy of the marriage that they leave out the practical side of things.  Others do the exact opposite.  I'm happy to say that Team Us does a wonderful job of balancing the two sides of marriage:  the intimate side and the day-to-day practicality side. And while the book didn't really provide me with any new information or "aha" moments, it did serve to remind me of several areas that I could use improvement in, as well as areas in which I have grown lax over the years.

I think what I admired most about the book was Ashleigh's straightforward, down-to-earth tone.  She didn't come across as some high and mighty marriage counselor that had all the answers.  Instead, she approached the subject from the viewpoint of "Hey, I'm right here with you in the midst of this chaotic thing called marriage. Let's work together and see if we can't figure out how to make it everything God intended for it to be."  With real life examples and witty humor, Ashleigh takes you by the hand on a tour through her marriage, pointing out along the way what worked and what didn't.  It's is a refreshingly honest approach to what can often be a delicate topic--how to make a Christian marriage work.

Being roughly the same age as I am, Ashleigh used many examples that brought back childhood memories.  Her references to the old show "Full House," as well as the movie, "The Princess Bride" brought a smile to my face as I could totally relate to the point she was trying to make.  I could also  relate to some of the difficult situations she discussed, including what she terms "the weeping years."  In a nutshell, the book and the real-life examples contained within serve as proof that marriages can grow through even some of the darkest adversities, whether it be job loss or the death of a loved one.  It won't be easy, and there are no quick fixes or instant formulas.  But with a true faith in God and the choice to love one another no matter what, every marriage can be a success.

Whether you've been married for six months or sixty years, this book is a valuable guide to having and keeping a happy marriage, and I highly recommend it.

The Giveaway:

If you'd like to receive a free copy of Ashleigh Slater's book, Team Us: Marriage Together, send me an e-mail at Dana@DanaRongione.com.  Be sure to include your name and mailing address.  A winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, January 28th.  The giveaway is only open to those in the United States and Canada, sorry!