Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First Choice Only Choice by Bill Thompson

It takes wisdom to have a good family,
and it takes understanding to make it strong,
It takes knowledge to fill a home
with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

There's a reason why, in spite of most couples attending pre-marital counseling, unions are still failing at a 50% rate. 1 in 2 couples will decide to be unmarried, 1 in 2 families with children will be torn apart, 100% of 1 in 2 couples will be emotionally devastated when it's all said and done. Could this be a strong indication that the pre-marital counseling isn't doing what it's designed to do? Maybe, instead of preaching at the couple regarding their roles according to Ephesians chapter 5, the counselor should use the allotted time to teach on basic human relationships or how our relationship with God affects our interaction with each other. What if the counselor taught about how baggage brought into a marriage potentially ruins the union and how to overcome that baggage. Wow. Wouldn't that be dream therapy.

It's not a dream. Author Bill Thompson has spent over 30 years observing, questioning and studying broken relationships. From his studies emerges First Choice Only Choice. As if the title wasn't appealing enough, I found myself, an old married woman of 20 years now, thumping the book on certain pages asking aloud "Why didn't someone tell me about this 20 years ago?" Thompsons research borders genius, but that's where you realize his insight is directly from the one who instituted relationships and marriage in the first place.

Not only does Thompson teach basic relationships 101, he dives deeper into marital relationships and even further when he describes the importance of integrity, commitment, and having a good character and reputation. All of these ideals are exactly what I would tell my sons in regards to marriage. Having the talk-you know, the birds and bees-is secondary to keeping marriage held together for the duration of life. The information presented in First Choice Only Choice is the meat to what keeps a union strong and long lasting.

Broken down into 24 short chapters, First Choice Only Choice is ideal for a pre-marital bible study or a format to follow for Christian counseling. It makes a great "devotion" for young adults to read prior to entering a relationship. Christian schools would serve their students well by offering this as a credit course. (Hey, why not? It is the perfect antidote to the permission-to-be-promiscuous classes public schools currently teach through their sex education courses.) Colleges that offer Psychology degrees could benefit from including this in their curriculum. It's a great tool to educate anyone, but I would love to see this taught in a classroom setting where discussion could follow. The information here is so thought provoking and informative, you could literally spend weeks navigating and discussing its contents.

Here's where the rubber meets the road. It takes wisdom, understanding and knowledge to build a strong family. You don't acquire that by sitting under a counselor merely pointing out the differences in male and female roles. It takes being armed with the know-how and the why's to get it done. Once you understand, reasoning becomes second nature and then you begin to gain that wisdom and knowledge. Thanks to Thompson, it starts here.

"God created you to make someone else happy and God created someone just for you."

91 pages
WinePress Publishing