- Provides a model for the integration of social science into a profoundly Christian vision of God's gift of marriage
- Offers practical help for hurting or growing relationships that doesn't dissolve the mystery of marriage into mere pragmatics
The Balswicks bring together their years of teaching, writing and being married to each other to produce a book of faith and wisdom for facing the challenge of marriage in the twenty-first century. They offer a vision of marriage that is both profoundly spiritual and thoroughly practical by drawing insight from Christian theology and from social science research.
About the Authors
Jack O. Balswick (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is senior professor of sociology and family development at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has twice received an American Senior Fulbright Scholarship Fellowship. He has been associate editor of the Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Review of Religious Research. He has written or cowritten articles in over seventy professional publications, including Men at the Crossroads, The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home, The Gift of Gender, Social Problems: A Christian Understanding and Response, Relationship-Empowerment Parenting, The Reciprocating Self: Human Development in Theological Perspective, and A Model for Marriage: Covenant, Grace, Empowerment, Intimacy.
Judith K. Balswick (Ed.D., University of Georgia) is a licensed and practicing marriage and family therapist in practice for over thirty years and has taught for over twenty years in the marriage and family therapy program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She has served on the editorial board of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal, and she has contributed articles to that journal and to several others, including Family Ministry, American Journal of Pastoral Counseling, Journal of Psychology and Christianity and Marriage Partnership. She is author or coauthor of The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home, The Gift of Gender, Mothers and Daughters Making Peace, Raging Hormones, Life Ties, Then They Leave Home, Families in Pain, Relationship-Empowerment Parenting, The Two-Paycheck Marriage and A Model for Marriage: Covenant, Grace, Empowerment and Intimacy.
In these times of confusion about what marriage is and does, or even if it should exist at all, a refreshingly clear and biblically precise reminder of what God intended for marriage is most welcome. Not only do Drs. Jack and Judy Balswick offer a sound theology of marriage, but the trinitarian model on which it is based leads naturally into practical guidance for couples on how to build a godly marriage. The book is 'state of the art,' yet it takes couples through very practical topics such as differentiation, communication, conflict resolution and also the seasons of marriage. It is a helpful resource for couples at any stage of marriage, and at the same time provides an excellent resource and textbook for colleges and seminaries. I predict that this book will be around for a long time; it is timeless!
The Balswicks have given us yet another great resource in the quest to understand just how Christian marriage is Christian. This volume is a premier example of how theology should inform our work as marriage counselors. Readers will be enriched as they learn from the authors how the biblical concepts of covenant, grace, empowerment and intimacy should govern our conduct in marriage.
As a couples therapist, I get to see the empowerment of the Balswicks' differentiation-based understanding of marriage up close in the lives of couples. No one has articulated a better Christian model for the growth-producing challenges of contemporary marriage. Their rich practical integration of social science, theology and spirituality makes this book highly unique among the stacks of books on marriage. I am eager to recommend this book to clients, counselors and therapists.
This book on families is saturated with the wisdom gained from more than three decades of writing, teaching and counseling. The Balswicks' understanding of family dynamics is deeply shaped by their relational theological convictions. The writing is accessible; the insights are profound.