TITLE: Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress
AUTHOR: Jennifer O. White
PUBLISHER: Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2014, (240 pages).
The book is written in two parts. The first part is before the wedding and the second part is after the wedding. In Part One, we read of the nine steps to prepare for battle and to be ready to defend the marriage. First, recognize the significance of marriage as not something "ever after" but earnestly sought after. It is that determination to honour God whatever it takes to elevate God's Name and Glory. Second, we are loved for who we are, not what we touch ourselves up to be. Third, every marriage has an enemy: the tempter, the deceiver, the destroyer. See the bigger picture so as not to fall prey to the devil. Fourth, begin with victory and continue with that spiritual stance in Christ. Let God be the Provider and the Protector. Fifth, fight for the prize of truth. Use the spiritual weapons provided by God. Sixth, expose the enemy with the help of the Word of God. Seventh, remember that God fights for us. Eighth, plan for the victory celebration when entering the wedding day. Be determined to let the faith in Christ lead the way. Ninth, show up as a soldier for Christ ready to defend the marriage and to attack the evil one. Then, like preparing the dress, White leads us through the Armour of God passage to dress ourselves in preparing for battle. Together with the posture of courage and faith, supplemented by prayer, we will be ready.
Part Two prepares for victory via basic training, partnering with God, and guarding the marriage. White shows readers the basics of what it means to be a "forever bride." She provides many tips on how to be trained to honour the marriage and spouse; to see the marriage relationship from the eyes of God. It means learning to respect the husband. She shows us how to partner with God to defend with love for the husband and becoming the best spouse possible. Other aspects of protecting the marriage include being constantly nourished in the Word of God; being peaceable at home; learning emotional truths of each other; learning to pray; and many more. Toward the end, there is a chapter on abuse in marriage, where White gives some advice on what to do about it.
Written by a wife for women, this collection of prayers help brides arm their marriages with prayer. Honestly, there is a strong overture of warfare and aggressive battle language that emanates throughout the book. It makes one wonder if it has been overdone. Marriage is precious and delicate. I suspect the intensity of the language of warfare is tied to the author's determination to learn from the missteps of her first marriage and apply the lessons to her second. While the descriptions in each chapter may be too overwhelming in terms of fighting and battling, I find the "prayer prompts" particularly helpful. That explains the title of the book. The prayers are the highlights, not the battle cries. For in prayer, we let God do the fighting for us, while we ready ourselves to respond to the promptings of God. The book cover is captivating as it summarizes in one picture what the book is about: Defending our marriages, in particularly, for the wife to declare her determination to protect the marriage with the tools as shown in Scripture.
The danger for many of us is that we are not urgent enough about protecting our marriages. We may not believe in fairy-tale endings, but our lack of attention to the vulnerability of marriages be become our Achilles's heel. With this book, we are reminded once again that marriage is not to be taken for granted. If this book can stir a desire to protect and to be ready to defend our marriages against the temptations of evil, it would have worth every cent.
Rating: 4 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of New Leaf Press and Cross-Focused-Reviews in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.