Assuming the reader is tenacious, hidden beneath an overly religious and extremely verbose shell are some choice marriage nuggets worth pondering. However, proceed with caution as one may come to the conclusion that without two hyper-spiritual individuals, all marriages are doomed to fail.
Throughout the book, author Ernie Baker inserts compelling statistics supporting his overall thesis on marriage. Sadly, these outsourced snippets provide the majority of the book’s intrigue. For instance, according to the book The State of Our Unions, the five major implications in the risk for divorce are:
- 1. Couples with annual incomes over $50,000 (vs. under $25,000) have a reduced risk of divorce of 30%.
- Couples who have a baby seven months or more after marriage (vs. before marriage) have a reduced risk of divorce of 24%.
- Couples who are 25 years of age (vs. under 18) have a 24% less risk of divorce.
- Couples that consider themselves religious or spiritual (vs. not) are 14% less likely to get divorced.
- Couples who have some college (vs. high school dropout) have a 15% less chance of divorce.
These statistics, while perhaps relevant, may also lead individuals not fitting without the criteria of the data to forego marriage altogether, choosing co-habitation instead. In other words, if one is poor, young, and uneducated, there is no hope for a successful marriage? While financial solvency, education and the maturity that often comes with age may make enduring the trials of life/marriage easier to navigate, a healthy dose of respect, effective communication and unselfish giving also go a very long way in ensuring a marriage’s success.
Some of the author’s perspective could be considered offensive. His opinion that a woman’s attire is responsible for causing men to lust is ludicrous. If a woman wears a knee length dress with a sweater and sandals, most religious circles would deem that modest attire. Everything is covered. However, if a man with a foot fetish sees her toes and is filled with lust, there is absolutely nothing she could have or should have done differently.
As a reader with a 30 years strong Christ-centered marriage, I found the book sorely disappointing. I selected the book fully expecting to find chapters full of guidance I could wholeheartedly agree with, instead, I sighed with relief as I finished the final pages.
***In exchange for this review, Cross Focus Media provided a complimentary copy of the book reviewed.