"For richer, for poorer; for better, for worse; in sickness and in health; ‘til death do us part," are the common promises that most of us make when we wed. However, in I Promise, Dr. Gary Smalley asserts that spouses need to make five more promises in marriage.
In the first third of the book, Dr. Smalley lays the foundation for his promises by explaining how these promises build security for both partners. Then he describes how to successfully change yourself so that you can fulfill the promises by changing your beliefs. He emphasizes how the power of what we believe about ourselves, our spouses, God, and life influences our actions and reactions.
The rest of the book discusses the five promises that will revolutionize marriage. These promises are radically tied to our Christian walk: the promise to conform our beliefs to God's truths; to be filled by God; to look at each trial as an instrument of growth from God; to communicate with love; and to serve the spouse throughout our lives.
Though many of us might think, "All right, Smalley, that's easy for you to say," he maintains that in most cases, changes in belief and behavior in one spouse will bring about changes in the other. Anecdotes from his practice and his life confirm his position.
Dr. Smalley writes in a down-to-earth, easy-to-read style with lots of stories supporting his principles. It's a very practical and useful book. This would be a helpful book for marriage counseling or pre-wedding counseling, for a married couple to read together, even for one spouse to read. It would be helpful for a Sunday school class, though it is not heavy on the Scripture. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
In I Promise, America's foremost marriage expert comes to a startling new conclusion: Great marriages are built on a foundation of trust, not behavioral skills. So, it's not enough to learn your partner's love language, become proficient in conflict resolution, learn to control your emotions and even become an expert in the bedroom. If your spouse does not feel safe enough to open up his or her heart without fear of being judged, criticized, blamed, or rejected, nothing you do will be effective. It's only when couples feel emotionally "safe" that they can truly become one, as God intended. Based on 10 years of research, Dr. Gary Smalley shares five heartfelt promises you can make to your mate that are guaranteed to build trust and help your spouse become the true soulmate, lover and friend you desire.