If you’ve been following this site, you know how much I love the devotional Draw Close by Willard & Joyce Harley. My husband and I have read quite a few devotionals in the past couple of years. However, this one has really spoken to us the most. Typically, devotionals have short, encouraging messages. Each day in this devotional is short, but it is filled with solid, Godly marriage wisdom. I was shocked at the insight this books gives to couples. I had a hard time letting go of how much I wish we had studied this book early on in our marriage.
Harley talks about marriage principles that every loving marriage should have. They really are such wonderful guidelines that would make any marriage thrive. Some of them are very difficult to put into place. However, we really wanted to make this work. We chose to follow these principles. For example, Harley has a policy that requires radical honesty in marriage. I believe this concept alone is so helpful for any marriage that is surviving the devastation of pornography use. This is because pornography is usually viewed in secret. When wives discover these lies, they are shocked. So putting the radical honesty policy in place changes marriages. This is just one example. The whole book has so many concepts just like that.
This devotional is very easy to read. It was easy for my husband to stay committed to reading it even when he was working full schedules. Each day is very short and leaves you with something important to discuss. We always tried to answer the questions and pray about the topic.
It actually took us a long time to read the whole devotional. This is because we went back and read a few chapters again. We had a setback while we were in the middle of this book. We had just finished reading two chapters about honesty and openness. The chapters discussed never hiding information from you spouse. We had been greatly praying over these chapters. At the same time, something upsetting happened to my husband at work. He knew it was something he was not going to tell me. He decided to hold back information and flat out lie about something for almost eight months! He didn’t tell me the truth because he thought I would be too upset. This was a very big mistake. After we read these chapters, God placed a burden on my heart that my husband was not telling me something important. I went to my husband with this and he then confessed what he had been hiding. This was when we decided to read the chapters about honesty again and pray over them.
This was a very stressful time in our marriage and it stopped a lot of our growth. I was obviously hurt again. My husband was sad and confused. This is something that we always pray about- that he will have an easier time with honesty. However, we talked so much about this that we now feel assured that he is not going to hide information again!
I’m just sharing this story with you so you can see how God used this devotional to help grow our marriage. And that is not the only area. If you haven’t read this book with your spouse, I strongly recommend it. It will really open your eyes to many issues and definitely grow your marriage.
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If you would like to see more recommended books, check out the page Books to Grow Your Marriage. Please add any books you would like to recommend and I will add them to the page.