The first thing that captured my attention with this book was the title, Beyond Ordinary: When A Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough. It immediately resonated with me because one thing that my husband and I have prayed for since our wedding is an extraordinary marriage. However, with all the hardships presented in marriage it can be difficult to believe in extraordinary.
I was so excited to read what Justin and Trisha Davis would share about, regarding marriage being beyond ordinary.
I must also point out that I love the cover of this book! It brilliantly depicts a marriage story of a “picture-perfect marriage” experiencing brokenness, yet the background reveals restoration. My marriage relates to that, and I am sure many others do as well.
In the opening pages Justin & Trisha explain the equation that defines many marriages:
Time + unintentionality = ordinary marriage
I agree with this 100%. Intentionality is a key component for a thriving marriage, an extraordinary marriage. This small equation was very interesting to me, as well as convicting! It had me evaluating where my marriage is currently at. I was left questioning myself and my intentions in marriage. Knowing that this would most likely be a theme woven throughout the book, I was hooked.
The format of Beyond Ordinary is great. Each chapter includes personal testimonies from Justin and Trisha as they unfold their marriage story, it also inclues scripture, marriage principles and questions that correspond to the content, but are directed towards the reader. I really enjoyed the questions at the end of each chapter because it helped me to understand the marriage principles explained in light of my own marriage. Some of the questions were difficult to answer as they challenged me to really search my heart.
This aspect of the book makes it a great resource for couples to go through together, using the questions to prompt discussion.
The other aspect that makes this book an amazing resource for married couples is the transparency Justin & Trisha have as they expose very intimate details of their lives. Their authenticity provides encouragement in that anyone reading it will be reassured that they are not alone in their struggles. I commend them for being able to share their experiences with the world, giving God the glory of taking their broken marriage and transforming it into extraordinary.
Another theme highlighted in Beyond Ordinary is intimacy. Not sexual intimacy, but rather the idea of making yourself fully known to God and your spouse. In Chapter 3 it says,
“The greatest adversary to being fully known is dishonesty. And fear is the driving force in most of our dishonesty.”
I am so glad that Justin & Trisha wrote on this topic. It is very near to my heart and in fact it is something that I mention in my book that will be available later this year! Before my husband and I could heal from brokeness in our marriage God revealed to us the importance of intimacy and there was a season He walked us through of making ourselves known fully to God and each other.
I believe couples need more encouragement in this area of marriage because it can be overwhelmingly scary to share things about ourselves with others. Those fears lead us to believe that our spouse might get mad or worse leave us, so we become content with omission. God revealed to my husband and I the value of this kind of intimacy and it has transformed our marriage, just as it transformed Justin & Trisha’s marriage, and it has the power to transform your marriage.
Remember it takes intentionality!
Beyond Ordinary is filled with encouragements for your marriage! There were so many one-liners that I underlined to refer back to as often as I need them. Below are a few quotes from the book that had an impression on me and how I view marriage.
“Unrealistic or unfair expectations will always become unmet expectations.” (73)
“We turn our disappointments into ransom notes for our hearts: our spouses must either give us what we want to get love from us or get nothing at all.” (93)
“The choices we make every day determine the quality of our marriage.” (114)
“Where forgiveness lives, intimacy can be restored.” (166)
“Unresolved or avoided conflict becomes a cancer that eats away intimacy, trust, passion, and sexual attractiveness.” (195)
There are many more encouragements found throughout this book that will have a profound impact on marriages. Their story of an ordinary marriage, brokeness, and restoration is a testament of the extraordinary power of God and all that can be done when we invite Him into our marriages.
I also don’t want to give to much of the book away, but if you are struggling with any of the areas listed below you should definitely read this book.
Experiencing an extraordinary marriage is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it! Justin and Trisha implore us with these words:
“You will have to fight for an extraordinary marriage, and each time you do, its attractiveness will outshine the dullness of life lived any other way.” (198)
If you are interested in reading the first two chapters of Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis you can download the free PDF by clicking this link ~> Download Chapters 1 and 2
You can purchase this book HERE!
Below is a trailer for the book Beyond Ordinary, check it out!