Saturday, April 30

Read, Pray, Win: A Book Review and Giveaway

Praying for Your Future Husband
by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer

Let me start by admitting (1) I never prayed for my future husband before I met Adam and (2) as I prepare to celebrate my seventh wedding anniversary, I'm pretty clearly outside the target audience for a devotional aimed primarily at teens to young unattached twentysomethings. Which, I suppose, begs the question, why exactly did I read this book?

Frankly, the top name on the front cover captured my attention. I counted today and was slightly surprised to discover I've read more than four dozen books by Robin Jones Gunn. She's written more than 70, mostly my favorite kind of novels: fun, fast-paced stories that direct readers' attention to God's love, grace, and unfathomable nature without announcing, "Hey, look; there's God! Now let me tell you all about Him ..." Robin's co-author, Tricia Goyer, has written more than 25 books herself, but I hadn't picked one up before now.

While there are a lot of books intended to offer suggestions for what to do while you wait, Praying for Your Future Husband seems to provide a unique framework for purposeful waiting that directs the reader to seek God and gives practical activities to enhance relationships, with both God and her husband-to-be. Each chapter is written around a single prayer focus, such as protection, faithfulness, contentment, even "The List" (qualities you want your husband to have). In addition to personal stories, poetry, and pertinent Bible passages, every chapter includes two prayers, one for the reader herself and another to pray for her future mate.

Perhaps the subtitle, Preparing Your Heart for His, should have clued me in, but I was pleasantly surprised to see as much or more of the text encouraging women to pray for their own edification as for their someday husbands. I also really appreciated the authors' choice to share their own love stories, the joys as well as painful missteps along the way. Some of my favorite moments in reading Robin's story involved learning about the real-life experiences that inspired fictional events in her novels.

Much like Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, which I read as a single woman waiting for a husband, Praying for Your Future Husband is a wonderful blend of personal memoir and practical guidebook. As a singleton (and remembering those years now), I was encouraged to read that now-married women had experienced the same emotions and worries and fears--and sometimes made the same poor choices--that I did. However, this same perspective that worrying and waiting are small in light of the rest of life, while accurate, can come across as slightly dismissive to a woman feeling alone, wondering if God has forgotten her. This is not necessarily a shortcoming of either book and may simply reflect an area in which I am particularly sensitive. Robin and Tricia acknowledge that, though a majority of women get married sooner rather than later, some will never marry and others wait many long years before their dream weddings become reality.

Overall, I liked it very much. The writing was engaging, by turns serious and laugh-out-loud funny. The authors have tackled relevant, sometimes delicate subjects with sensitivity and humor. My rating: five of five smilies.
☺☺☺☺☺

Praying for Your Future Husband will be released May 3rd. You can preorder a copy at Amazon.com or you can enter to win one right here!

Giveaway

As I've mentioned, this book really wasn't written for me, but maybe it's for you or someone you know. I'm giving away my gently read copy to one of my readers. For your chance to win, please leave a comment below; make sure I have a way to contact you. Link to this post (using the URL http://expimag.blogspot.com/2011/04/read-pray-win-book-review-and-giveaway.html) on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog for additional entries. Please include a link to your post or tweet. I'll leave comments open until 9:00 PM CDT on Thursday, May 5th and announce the winner Friday, May 6th.

I participate in the Blogging for Books program. WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided me with a free copy of this book for my review. Please click here to rate this review.

3 comments:

  1. Ok I'll enter to win! I've been married for 20 years now, but my daughter is 14. She may still be a bit young for it, but she's got lots of friends in the 17-18 year old category, PLUS she'll be ready for it in a few years. Or maybe she isn't too young? What do you think?

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  2. While most of the book is probably directed a little beyond 14, if your daughter is thinking about getting married someday, I'd say she's probably not too young.

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