One of the things we embrace here in the International Christian Mompreneur Network is imperfection. That’s because we know we can so easily get discouraged when we strive for perfection or compare ourselves to others. And we know that taking imperfect action is better than taking no action at all. Jill Savage, of Hearts at Home ministry, uses this concept of imperfection to reveal the truth about REAL marriage. And I don’t know about you, but I can attest to the fact that my marriage is not perfect. But…it is most definitely REAL.
I’m honored to host a discussion with Jill here on the blog today as she shares her thoughts about the newly released book No More Perfect Marriages. She co-authored this book with her husband Mark. Together they share the painful and challenging journey of their marriage — and the strategies and tools they’ve learned to help you in your imperfect marriage.
Q. Why did you choose the title “No More Perfect Marriages” and why do you think that message really resonates with couples today?
A. We believe that right away the title helps couples –or individuals—know they’re not alone in dealing with the hard side of marriage. We wanted readers to know that perfect doesn’t exist, inviting them to explore along with us how to deal with the imperfect parts of our relationship.
Q. Who is the book written for – is it for marriages that are having difficulty, new marriages or all marriages?
A. All marriages and even dating and engaged couples are benefiting from it already. We certainly share our story of healing from Mark’s infidelity throughout the book, but it’s not really a book about that. It’s a book about the slow fades every relationship goes through and the tools we need to use to turn those fades around. Marriages naturally drift apart if we’re not intentional about pulling together. No More Perfect Marriages helps good marriages become great and hurting marriages find healing.
Q. I love that this book shares the perspective of both the husband and the wife. What was that like to share your very personal story and to work together on a project of this magnitude?
A. Painful at times. We had to somewhat relive our story to write about it. As we wrote, it prompted conversations that were hard at times, but thankfully we’ve learned how to communicate better over time. We’re also very different thinkers and writers so we had to learn how to blend our differences in a positive way to make a stronger book!
Q. This is a community for mom entrepreneurs. Many of us work from home while raising children. What tips or messages do you have for the mompreneur who wants to grow in her marriage?
A. Make sure your husband is at the top of your “to do” list. As entrepreneurs, we always have a huge to do list going on in our head. We put our kids at the top of the list because frankly they can’t function without us. However, it’s tempting to look at our husband and say, “you can dress yourself, feed yourself, and get yourself from one place to another, so you’re on your own buddy!” Don’t. Do. It. Your kids need to see you prioritize your marriage. They need to see you love their daddy. It not only gives them security but also serves as a role model for their future marriage.
Q. How do you suggest we use this book – read it as a couple or in a small group?
A. Either honestly! If your spouse is willing, you’d probably get some of the best ROI if you read it together and discuss it along the way. This is a good book to read aloud together for 10 minutes each night. Or get two copies and read at the same time. Or take turns reading one copy and she highlights in pink and he highlights in blue. Or get the audiobook and listen together on a trip! Then talk about your takeaways.
If your spouse isn’t a reader or not willing, it’s still valuable to read as an individual or in a group study. There will be free curriculum videos available for the book at www.NoMorePerfect.com (should be available by the end of February 2017!) so it’s great for a church small group or a moms group.
Q. One of my favorite things about the book is the way it helped me understand myself and my spouse on a deeper level. You referenced a free online quiz that taught us about our love style. Can you please tell us about that?
A. Yes, that was absolutely a game changer for us too! We put together the No More Perfect Marriages E-Challenge to include that quiz and a couple of others that really help you understand yourself and each other. Couples or individuals can sign up for the E-Challenge here.
Q. Reading this book is almost like going to counseling. Except that it’s not. How do you know in a marriage when it’s time to reach out to a professional counselor?
A. When you can’t hear each other or you keep getting tripped up with the same issues over and over again, that’s when you need to ask for help. The earlier the better because then you have less pain and hurt to untangle. There’s no weakness in seeking help for your marriage, it’s actually a sign of strength to ask for help.