When I was growing up our family lived in the middle of a neighborhood block with 14 houses. Everyone once in awhile a bunch neighbor kids would get together and we would play whiffle ball. The games would go long into the night and all the parents would sit out on each others decks watching and hanging out. It was the sort of thing that the TV show Wonder Years would base an episode on. It was an awesome childhood and relatively sheltered. I say that because I remember the first time I was confronted with divorce. One of the neighbors near us had gone through one and I never really was sure what that was all about. However, this neighbors story took a different path then most. It would be about 10 years later after we had moved that my mom shared with me that they were going to a wedding. It was this same neighbor couple who had divorced years early and had fallen back in love and was getting married again. I never knew the details of their story but my guess is that it was similar to the premise of this book.
I Do Again, written by Cheryl & Jeff Scruggs, offers a real life story of a couple who was disappointed in marriage divorced and then seven years later married again. Knowing the hope filled ending of the story before you read doesn’t prepare you for the brutal realities that come along with divorce, an affair, and the entire mess of it all. As the Scruggs reveal their struggles and personal accounts of the events I was filled with disappointment. I found myself reading paths that led to places no one wants to go and all you could do is watch. God steps in and redeems the situation but as I finished I was left thinking and how many couples will ever have the blessing of that? In reflecting I’m not sure who is a better audience for this book. Is it the couple that is currently struggling or the couple that has already thrown in the towel? I guess both but in some ways it could lead to a false sense of hope. It is clear that the Scruggs offer wisdom and even to this day counseling couples but I fear reading their story could translate into others thinking that could be their story and honestly I just don’t know if that is how it works. What was clear and what I will sign off on is that God is desperately trying to get our attention and is on a mad pursuit for us. For those who enjoy reading books that have to do with God saving the day, I Do Again, offers that.
One final thought. Early in the book Cheryl shared a list she had of all the flaws she saw in her relationship with Jeff. Her list included:
- Unable to meet my emotional needs
- Does not know me / has no idea who I am as a person
- Does not care to know my heart, my interests, or my passions
- Does not care to share his heart with me
- Obsessed with money instead of our relationship
- Is emotionally shallow, unable to connect on a deep level
- Has unrealistic expectations of what he wants in a wife
- Is critical, condescending, and demeaning
- Not interested in making love – just in having sex
- Will not engage in conversations / cares more about activities then connecting
- Does not make me feel wanted, treasured, or admired
- Our relationship is full of silence
This list struck me as significant because I wonder how many wives could identify with several of these. If you do – what are you doing about it? Are you pulling away? Are you sharing this with your spouse? Are you finding yourself growing cold? Are you nervous? One of the greatest witnesses the church has is a healthy marriage so it should be no surprise that one of the greatest schemes of the enemy is to destroy marriages. This means we need to stay alert and stay active in working on making our marriage more and more like Christ.
You find this book on amazon here.