Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis

This book wasn't quite what I expected.  It's not really about a transition from ordinary to extraordinary or good to's a transition from dysfunction to restoration.  Each chapter is roughly half the personal story of the Davis's marriage journey, and half marital advice that they have learned and wish to share.  The personal story is told with alternating points of view, while the advice sections are written with one voice. 

What I Liked: The Authenticity.  Justin & Trisha are willing to bare their struggles, weaknesses, and mistakes in order to help others.  It took a lot of courage to share the details of their story...but they did it for God's glory.  For couples who have lost hope and think their relationship is beyond repair, this book can restore their hope and demonstrate that healing is possible.  The marital advice given is a great starting point.

What I Struggled With: The Shock Factor.  The first half of the book talked about the ways their marriage began to break down.  I think many people can relate to the ways they began to settle for "ordinary" instead of making the effort to thrive.  Then out of the blue came Justin's confession. *spoiler warning*  He was working as a pastor and had just spoken about the importance of godly relationships.  He then goes home and tells his wife that he is having an affair with her best friend (and church staff member) and wants a divorce.  What?!  There is no information about how the affair started or advice on how to avoid the same temptation - just the confession, the marital struggle, and the eventual healing that followed.  For couples who have reached that same level of brokenness, this story may bring them hope.  But for those in a good marriage, like myself, who are more focused on how to strengthen and protect the relationship - there are much better books available.  I am glad Justin and Trisha found restoration with each other and with God.  But I personally have a hard time taking advice from someone who broke the public trust in that way. 

There is a value to this story being told.  There is hope to be found in the journey from dysfunction to restoration.  It would have helped me to know up front who the target audience would be.  Then maybe I wouldn't have been tempted to curse and "throw the book across the room" as the author mentioned in the introduction :)

To learn more about this book or the Davis' ministry, click on the following links:
RefineUs, the Davis' ministry website
The Beyond Ordinary book trailer
The Beyond Ordinary information page

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review*

1 comment:

Justin and Trisha Davis said...

I just wanted to thank you for your honest and thoughtful review of our book. Thanks for investing your time into reading it and helping us share its message with others.