Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight is a guide to help couples deal with marital conflict in a way that honors Christ and the marriage vows. The book explores the importance of healthy conflict and provides tools to learn how to express it in a way that aligns with scripture and allows the couple to develop a relationship of genuine understanding and intimacy.
Men marry women thinking, “I hope she never changes.” Women marry men thinking, “I can change him.” The resulting struggle creates disappointment, dissatisfaction, and sometimes divorce. And Christians are not immune to this experience.
My husband and I beat the odds. We met at 16, married at 19, and find ourselves 38 years later, a very happy couple. We are not immune to conflict, but we’ve learned how to let it change us together as a couple in ways that have built and strengthened our marriage.
We believe that conflict is not the real problem. It’s how we deal with the conflict that is important. It can lead to discovery—greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and perspective. But if handled poorly, it can lead to damage, and ultimately, destruction of the relationship. When we shoot from the hip, we may both walk away wounded.
This book is not a memoir of our marriage. Instead, we will share the stories of men and women just like you. We will unearth the treasure found in both their struggles and their triumphs. Throughout, we will explore the instruction for marriage found in the Bible, our ultimate user’s guide to marriage, honoring it as the authority in the life of the believer.
Married for nearly 38 years, author Deborah DeArmond and her husband have made the spoken declaration, “I choose you today” a regular part of their communication. It’s when we least feel like saying it that we need to remind ourselves that love is a choice, not a feeling. I Choose You Today features 31 scriptural principles that support marriage and help couples develop healthy biblically based behavior.
Built on an introductory anecdotal story, each chapter has an inspirational takeaway of not only what to do, but how to begin applying the principles immediately. Thought provoking questions create talking points for couples to explore their own choices and experiences in each area serve to generate open dialogue of discovery. I Choose You Today is not a book of “shoulds,” but one of clearly identified choices that each individual can make to grow their marriage and align it with the word of God. Every saying ends with a conventional wisdom quote.
The caricatures are everywhere, the jokes are inexhaustible, and the stereotypes fill the screens. From Marie Barone (Everyone Loves Raymond) to Viola Fields (Monster-in-Law) to Internet sites and social media pages like ihatemyinlaws.com and a Facebook page for ihatemymotherinlaw there is no shortage of examples of the caustic relationships that can develop between the two women in a man’s life.
Deb DeArmond and her three daughters-in-law have conducted their own exhaustive research into the status of the women-in-law relationship. Their research, which incorporated online surveys, interviews, and discussions, included asking about the faith factor in the relationships they studied. Of the respondents, nearly 90 percent claimed they were Christians, and 79 percent said their faith was foundational and guided their actions and decisions. As discouraging as it may be, the numbers of those they surveyed who reported that their women-in-law relationships were “bad” were nearly identical to those in a survey conducted by a popular secular website that recorded no statistics on faith.
Beyond the statistics and their analysis, Deb brings to this book more than thirty years working with adults to improve communications and deal constructively with conflict. Aside from her research and her professional expertise, perhaps the most important asset Deb brings to this work is her own relationship with her three daughters-in-law that is so obviously and unusually positive that she—and they—are often asked to explain the secret of the relationships they share.
This practical and unapologetically scriptural book covers issues of personal perceptions, strained communication, the roles of sons and fathers in the relationship’s success, how to begin these relationships on the right foot, and the necessity of trust and love. Deb’s one motivating objective is to help women-in-law move from women who are simply related to strong and confident members of a truly spiritual family.