The Seven Rings of Marriage is a new book by a new author. Jackie Bledsoe has a sincere passion to share what he’s learning in his marriage to encourage others in their marriages. His fervency is the strength of this book.
The High Value of Marriage
I greatly appreciate the high value that Jackie puts on marriage. This treasuring of marriage reflects the heart of God, and it is something we jettison to our own loss.
Jackie excels in speaking directly to other husbands. His style is that of a friend who is urging his buddies on and sharing advice from his own life. With an earnest voice, he maintains an unwavering focus on strengthening marriages.
Jackie does a great job of calling husbands to be heroes in their marriages. He says that he learned from Kevin Bullard that “[o]ne of the root meanings of the Hebrew word husband actually means ‘champion.’” Speaking to husbands, Jackie explains that God wants men to be champions in the way they love their wives:
“As the champion in our marriages, we have a twofold role: (1) defeat our rivals, and (2) fight on the behalf of our wives. We do this by caring and feeding her spiritually while we advance together against the enemies of our union.”
He concedes that this “won’t always be easy or even always enjoyable. But the person we are fighting for and with is worth anything we have to go through on the way.” (page 31)
Jackie is a list-maker. He includes lists of how to be a happy husband, how marriage counseling can help your marriage, 25 fun date-night ideas, why you must attend marriage retreats, habits that create unbreakable marriages, and many more. Here are two of his lists:
How to Restore Friendship in Your Marriage:
- Go back to basics. (Show kindness and respect.)
- Stop saying yes to everybody else.
- Get desperate about date nights.
- Talk, talk, and talk some more.
- Prioritize your friendship. (121-122)
How to Enrich Your Prayer Time with Your Spouse:
- Choose a time but be flexible.
- Pray alone before praying together.
- Thank God and praise Him for your spouse.
- Use Scripture for your prayers.
- Write a prayer and read it.
- Start short.
- Show some affection. (46-47)
The Model Husband
Here is some further advice from Jackie:
“Do you really want to love your wife and prosper in your marriage? The solution is simple. Do what Jesus did.
“Jesus loved His bride. … He gave up what was most important for Him when it conflicted with what was best for her, the church. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, His life. His life was important, probably more important than anything we are holding on to. The Bible shows us the conflicting emotions He had while praying in the garden of Gethsemane. He didn’t want to suffer, but He knew doing so would be the greatest blessing for His bride.
“He constantly built her up, and His relationship with her made her look even better. … Ephesians 5:27 says He makes the church look radiant (NIV). Husbands, we should constantly encourage our wives, and the result will be beautiful.” (148-149)
While the writing in The Seven Rings of Marriage could be improved, Jackie Bledsoe’s passion to strengthen marriages is faultless. Kudos to Jackie Bledsoe for being a great champion of marriages!
And may God bless YOU for being a champion in your marriage!
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (2nd image)