Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress was an encouraging read, to say the least. I was encouraged by a fresh charge given to new brides to strengthen their marriages through prayer. Yet, this is more than just another self-help book. The author also includes study and meditation of God's Word, seeking godly counsel, and including the groom in the process.
In fact, I love how the author, Jennifer O. White, puts an emphasis on seeing one's husband as a fellow believer (if he is one) and as a fellow human being made in the image of God. Sometimes in the heat of passion and later the heat of disagreement, we forget that men are people, too. Jennifer reminds us of the ONE-ness of marriage and how we are being blended into a beautiful fulfillment of what God intends to be a picture of the union between His Son, Jesus, and His bride, the Church.
Jennifer is also faithful to remind new brides of the honor and respect due to the office their husbands hold, as the Scriptures teach us. This is a key encouragement left out of much of today's advice to new brides. Yet, without it, no marriage has a chance of maturing into what God intends for a husband and wife to be as a reflection of Christ and His bride.
With much confession of her own failures and the hope God gave in what he taught her through one failed marriage and nearly a second one, the author is transparent yet discreet. Don't let it turn you off that Jennifer has been divorced and remarried. Through her tragedy, God taught her many things which she shares in hope that others will not have to suffer as she did. Though Is is sad she had to go through all she did as a result of her mistakes and sin, but there is hope in what she has to say to those who still have an opportunity to make things right either from the very beginning or before it's too late.
In this way, the title is a little deceiving. This book isn't just for new brides; it is for old brides, too, and good brides, bad brides, confused and broken brides, brides who are angry and bitter, even abused brides. There is a whole treasure trove of godly counsel, wisdom, and prayer and Scripture study prompts to keep any bride always seeking after God's beautiful plan for her marriage.
At the end of the book, Jennifer has included a resource list of books, a DVD series, ministry recommendations, websites, blogs, and online communities for further study and encouragement. She also lists free downloads from her own site, PrayersforNewBrides.com.
So, if you are already married, be sure to get your own copy of Prayers for New Brides, along with one for the new brides in your life. May the Lord bless us one and all as we seek His face in growing strong, Christian marriages for His glory and the good of our spouses and ourselves.
[Please note that, although the publisher has provided a complimentary copy of this book through Cross Focused Reviews, these review thoughts are entirely my own.]