My friends Justin and Trish wrote a marriage book. It’s called Beyond Ordinary and I don’t read marriage books, but I love this one.
I’m pretty roll-my-eyes when it comes to reading books about marriage at this point in my life because I’m all, “tell me exactly how that has anything to do with the wild and crazy party hard no regrets single life I have right now.”
Except for the “wild and crazy party hard no regrets” part. I made that up.
But seriously, I don’t read a ton of books for married people because, well, I just don’t want to. But I wanted to read Beyond Ordinary.
For the ol’ bloggy here, I thought it would be fun to talk to Trish [it always is] because I had some questions, before and during and after my book reading experience.
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You gotta shoot me straight here- why should a single person read this book about creating a stronger marriage?
“As Justin and I started writing this book we quickly discovered that ordinary was simply the overflow of two individuals choosing to live ordinary lives. I can’t change my husband anymore than he can change me. Our book is the discovery of two individuals learning how to let God move each of us onto the path of extraordinary. It’s a story of being on an extraordinary journey, which became ordinary and eventually catastrophic. Single or married we all have messy relationships. We hope our book will inspire you to choose to live in the extraordinary in all your current or future relationships.”
I love when y’all say “discontentment leads to entitlement” — how do think that is true for singles?
“I’ve been married for almost twenty years so it feels a bit unfair for me to give you a declarative response to this question but I’ll do my best. 🙂 I believe discontentment is blind to marital status. We all want to be good at what we do. Whether it’s achievements or relationships, when we give a lot to something or to someone there’s this natural feeling of wanting it to be reciprocated.
“Discontentment always pushes us to compare what we have to what someone else already has. But comparison is never about the person we are comparing ourselves too but rather it’s about the condition of our heart. Discontentment leads to entitlement, which sets the tone that when people fail to meet our expectations we are owed even more.
“I have a lot of single friends and one the biggest frustrations I see in many of them is being defined by their marital status. Some are happy to be single and get frustrated that they are pressured to find that “special someone.” I have other friends who long to be married and are equally frustrated with how people feel free to insert their personal opinion on the matter. It’s maddening!
“Regardless of where you are on the pendulum fighting feelings of discontentment is hard and often leads to feelings of entitlement. So how do you move from the ordinary life of comparison into the extraordinary of contentment? The answer lies in one of the most powerful scriptures in all of the Bible.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
“In other words JUST BE YOU! You don’t have to compare or try to impress others. Be who God called you to be and trust he has a plan for you. Trust he is not withholding anything from you and giving it to others but rather dreaming bigger dreams than you could ever dream.”
Good word, Trish. Phew. So what’s one piece of advice you would tell to singles looking for a spouse?
“Well, no pressure on this question! [I like that Trish feels like I’m a hard hitting journalist. Because, obviously, that is exactly what I am.] After being married as long as I have the one thing that remains above beauty (even though I still think my hubs is hot), status or wealth is friendship. Justin is truly my best friend! I love being with him. That doesn’t mean we always like the same things or never fight but at the end of the day he is the person I long to spend the rest of my days with.”
What do you hope to see change in marriages?
“Our passion is to restore hope and renew relationships. There’s only one catch… they have to choose it. Couples will have to choose to trust God’s love for them didn’t change because their marital status did. We want to encourage others to go beyond ordinary and become more of who God created them to be so they can become the friend, husband or wife God is calling them to be.”
When is a good time to gift Beyond Ordinary to someone? Before they get married? For an anniversary?
Our hope is that this book will meet you right were you are at. Single, married or single again this book will take you on a journey in which you will find your own story in the midst of ours. We hope ordinary will be defeated with each turn of the page and you will see that God is fighting for you more than you are fighting for yourself. So to answer your question, right now is the best time to gift this book or to read it.
[Fancy answer there at the end, Trish. I like your style.]
My plan? I’m gonna give this book to my married friends whenever I want to- when it feels like they want to learn or grow or when they are celebrating a new season.
I’m proud of Justin and Trish for telling an honest story, full of heartbreak and hope, and encouraging us all to go beyond the easy, beyond the normal, Beyond Ordinary.
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I was not paid to talk about this book, though I did get a copy of the book for free… but that’s mainly because we pass out books at CrossPoint like they are communion wafers. Amen.