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Customer Reviews for Tyndale House Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough

Tyndale House Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough

How safe is your marriage? You may be surprised! Showing how settling for "the ordinary" can drain a relationship, Justin and Trisha Davis share the story of the slow fade that occurred between them. Their candid account of the events that led to their near divorce - and their heart-change - will encourage you to pursue healing and restoration in your relationship.
Average Customer Rating:
4.235 out of 5
4.2
 out of 
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(17 Reviews) 17
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14 out of 1782%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Review 1 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Do Not Recommend

Date:August 29, 2013
I want to preface my review by saying that I understand that Justin and Trisha Davis (the authors) are real people. I think it shows great courage to write a book sharing the darkest, ugliest parts of your life in the hopes that God would be glorified through your testimony and that others might be helped.
Unfortunately, though, I didn’t feel that the book was executed well. First, let me explain the layout of the book. The book is divided into twelve chapters. Each chapter begins with Justin and Trisha telling a little about their story—how they met, some about their dating life, their young marriage, having children, struggles in their marriage, the issues that nearly caused their marriage to crumble, and a bit about how they were able to overcome those problems. The “story” alternates between the two of them, so you get both perspectives. This section reads like a blog or a conversation. Then the last half to two-thirds of the chapter is “teaching” on marriage and topics geared toward helping couples improve their marriage. This section reads very much like a sermon.
Now, here’s what I liked about the book. It was well-written, technically speaking. Everything made sense and was well-edited. I also liked the back-and-forth style of the first part of each chapter, allowing both Justin and Trisha to tell their story in their own words.
From the beginning, I found it extremely difficult to like Justin and Trisha—as they chose to portray themselves through the first section of each chapter. Justin especially seemed unlikable, and I wondered all along why “Team Justin” felt so strongly that Trisha and Justin should date and marry.
Throughout the book, Justin told story after story of awful things he said and did to Trisha and their children. There were only two instances that I can recall that he prefaced it by saying he was sorry or ashamed or something similar. Since this is not a journal but is written from the perspective of having repented of these sins, I wished he would have shown that repentance throughout the book. I needed him to reiterate over and over that he regretted these things, that it was painful to admit them, that it was embarrassing and shameful to have to share with the world what he had done.
Similarly, as Trisha shared mistakes that she made in their marriage, she confessed to what she did but I didn’t feel her sorrow, grief, or repentance over these actions and words. (Side note: Justin and Trisha most likely are extremely remorseful and repentant of the actions that took place in their marriage, but it doesn’t come through in how they tell their story in this book.) And with both Justin and Trisha, it seemed that blame was the name of the game—obviously in the past, but it felt like they were still blaming each other, other people, and their circumstances at the end of the book without taking personal responsibility for what happened. With all of this presented as the background, it made it difficult to view the “sermon” portions of the chapters as something that I should listen to and put into practice.
In regards to the content of the book, I left the book feeling like I needed more of the “after” part of their story. The build up to the “final straw” and the chapters dealing with the initial response was so drawn out and had me feeling so negative towards marriage in general and Justin and Trisha in particular that I needed more of the “redemption” part of their story. I wanted to know how in the world they managed to save their marriage after ten chapters of such tragedy. I wanted to know how they are doing now. How is their marriage different now than when they first got married or when they first started trying to make things right? What steps are they taking to prevent another catastrophe? What accountability is in place for both of them to keep things moving in the right direction? Some fairly serious things happened during the first ten years of their marriage, and the “fix” was simply glossed over. The last few chapters were long on sermon and short on personal account, which contributed to this feeling of needing more.
My final problem was with the overall tone of the book. I read Christian books—both fiction and non-fiction—because I want to read books that leave me feeling hopeful. On a whole, I didn’t feel that this book was hopeful and inspiring. Parts of it were very negative and hopeless.
I really struggled while writing this review. These are real people who are sharing their personal story. I never want to appear to criticize someone’s story because it’s just that—their story—and everyone’s story is worth telling. My goal was to critique the telling of the story without diminishing or attacking this couple or how God has worked in and through them. I hope I have succeeded in doing so.
With that said, I would not recommend this book. I believe other books would be more helpful to couples in crisis and portray an overall more hopeful picture of how God can redeem anything for our good and His glory.
+2points
3of 4voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Beyond Ordinary

Date:August 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
ajreader
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Justin and Trisha Davis use their story throughout Beyond Ordinary to explore various aspects of marriage. The book can be classified as a cautionary tale of "do as I say, not as I do." The Davis's marriage has been marked by serious conflict, betrayal, and mistrust....They held nothing back. Each chapter addresses a specific attribute of marriage and how to take it "beyond ordinary." They tell their own story over the course of these chapters, opening with their history and moving into a section on that topic's biblical support. The book aims to allow readers to learn from the Davis's mistakes and save their marriages before its too late.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Beyond Ordinary

Date:August 9, 2013
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muffin
Location:Honea Path, SC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book is about Justin and Trisha Davis' marriage. The book is part of their story and then part advice/help in all marriages. Things happened in their marriage that I never saw coming. This book really kept my attention and it is amazing what God has done in their lives/marriage. I felt like I benefitted from their advice and I think everyone could whether your marriage is fine or is in trouble. I would recommend this book to all, whether you are just recently married or have been married for 50 years.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Part Autobiography/Part Gentle Advice

Date:July 24, 2013
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:Columbus, GA
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Beyond Ordinary" by Justin and Trisha Davis is a unique marriage book, combining autobiography with gentle advice. Justin and Trisha write in the final chapter that their goal in writing this book is to help both couples whose marriage is in crisis and couples whose marriage is okay, but just ordinary.
The book takes readers from the earliest days of Justin and Trisha’s relationship to current day. Each of the twelve chapters, though, identifies something significant about the relationship at the point of time covered. Justin and Trisha take turns talking, telling that segment of the story from his or her point of view. Then, together, they tell what they’ve learned from the experience. They share with great vulnerability in hopes that God will use their story to save or strengthen other marriages.
It was a privilege to read this book, and I’ll gladly recommend it to anyone looking for information that can help to bolster and better their marriage. As the Davis’s say in Chapter 11, “We have to choose oneness . . . because none of us drift toward oneness.” "Beyond Ordinary" will encourage couples as they make this daily choice.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

No "ordinary" marriage book

Date:July 19, 2013
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mduncan
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am not married, but, having studied Marriage and Family Counseling, I am often looking for books about family and marriages, so when I seen this book, it caught my eye. I have read a few marriage books, but this one is different from most. It is written in a he said/she said, journal/blog format, which I really enjoyed. It felt like I was able to peek in on their lives and see exactly how they did life and marriage. As they wrote about different stages in their life, they were able to write what was happening at that time in their marriage as well, and share problems in their marriage that, at the time, might have not seemed like a big deal, but in retrospect is what caused major problems later on. So, not only is this a marriage "self-help" book, it is an autobiography.
This book also looks at the "self" a lot, and what you need to do to move yourself beyond ordinary and have a greater relationship with Christ, so you can have a beyond ordinary marriage. So, while this book is for people who are struggling with their marriage, I recommend reading this book before you even get to that point, even before you're married. I will definitely be keeping this book on my bookshelf and recommending it to every couple I know who wants to move "beyond ordinary" and have an extraordinary, Christ-centered, marriage!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Candid and compelling

Date:July 2, 2013
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Koalateas
Location:Atlanta, GA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Inspiring read that makes me believe an extraordinary marriage is possible. Without finger-pointing, the authors use a back-and-forth style of writing from each of their perspectives and reveal the mistakes they each made. It also details the steps they took to healing and creating an extraordinary marriage where they both support each other. This story is especially compelling as they were involved in church ministry: church ministers and leaders are not immune to marriage problems! However, when both are sincerely seeking what God wants for them, healing can occur out of the most disastrous situations!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Valuable and Insightful

Date:June 28, 2013
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eb7bibliophile
Location:High Desert West
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I strongly agree that faith in God is the best tool to keep a marriage headed in the right direction. I appreciate the Davises` sharing their story, and their message. I am left with a lot to think about. I was not sure what to think about some of the points they made, and that might be because our marriage is not similar to theirs, or because of the slightly simplistic writing style they used. Some of the points could have been fleshed out, to clarify them. I did feel that Gary Chapman's 4 Seasons of Marriage had more to say to me and my husband, but this is useful as well. All in all, it is a good guide to healing in marriages.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

nice format

Date:June 17, 2013
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Leeann
Location:CdA, ID
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Beyond Ordinary was a great book to challenge couples to not settle for an ordinary marriage. They authors say that if you neglect a marriage, even the best marriages get dull and people can drift apart. But this isn’t a how-to book. I loved the fact that they say Jesus is the only way to a better marriage because without Jesus we can’t do anything. Jesus needs to change our hearts before we can love our spouses the way we ought to. The husband and wife take turns writing, which was a fun format. They walk you through their marriage story and bring in lots of scripture as well. There are good questions for discussion at the end of each chapter. I found the book encouraging and Christ-centered. I wouldn’t recommend this book for newlyweds just because I don’t think most newlyweds can imagine having severe problems in their marriages…even though it would be good for them to think about. And this isn’t just a book for a marriage dealing with an affair. The principles are the same for any marriage.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Book full of God's Truth about Marriage.

Date:June 17, 2013
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bookworm
Location:Pennsylvania
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
To be honest, I rarely read books on marriage because I am not married nor have I ever been, but I decided to read it because I got it for free from Tyndale. I found this book to be more than your average book on saving struggling marriages. It is full of useful advice and God's truth that would be very good not only for struggling marriages, but all marriages in general. I am glad I read this book because if I ever get married, which I highly doubt, I will have already learned some important truths to bring to a marriage such as keeping God first in my life and not looking to a husband to fill a void that only God can fill. I think that this book should be read by everyone is married before their marriage is in danger of becoming a divorce because prevention is better than treatment. Though this book is geared for those who are married, I found a lot of truths that I can apply to my life such as becoming a new person by allowing God to break me and transform me. Everyone has wounds of some sort in their life and learning to forgive is something that everyone needs to do and this book was very helpful in showing me what true forgiveness is. Though I am not married, I realized that this book was still for me because I realized that God had a lot to do in my life and that I need to allow Him before I even think about getting married and starting a family.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent resource

Date:June 13, 2013
Customer Avatar
rlighthouse
Location:PA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I was hesitant at first about reading a marriage book because I didn't think it would keep my attention and after a chapter of what I should or shouldn't do it would be a struggle to keep reading but that definitely does not describe this book. The authors share their real life marriage experiences in each chapter and some things they have learned along their marriage journey to turn a marriage from ordinary to extraordinary. Justin and Trisha shared both separately and together their struggles and triumphs during the course of their marriage so far. It was an excellent book. It was very hard to put the book down-I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened to their marriage.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Okay

Date:June 10, 2013
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Virginia
Location:upstate NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This is the story of Justin and Trisha, who had an "ordinary" marriage, and how they overcame their struggles together.
The book is this couple's testimony, told from both the husband and wife's perspectives, with marriage advice and questions at the end of each chapter. I did not feel that this was a good book to help with my marriage. There are better books out there to strengthen and help marriages.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Dealing with the Hard Stuff Carefully & Well

Date:July 25, 2013
Customer Avatar
Melissa
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Even though I'm not married and have no immediate plans to be, I thought this might be a good book to read. I was right. At first, the authors, Justin and Trisha, seemed rather shallow and mediocre, and they did struggle in their marriage a lot. However, some of their advice is applicable even to single people, for our relationships with God and others. For instance, the everyday choices we make, whether they are selfish or sacrificial, and putting God first. There were many practical and good tips. No doubt it would be even more helpful for married couples to read. There were questions at the end of each chapter for those who are married to apply to themselves.
Here are a few quotes which were helpful to me:
'We went from "I love you so much; how can I serve you?" to "If you loved me, then you would do this for me."'
'In order to move beyond ordinary, we have to be intentional. We have an enemy who is intentionally coming against our marriage relationships. We won't drift into extraordinary; we will have to fight for it.'
'Distorting truth and compromising truth often seems innocent and harmless, but it always comes with a price.'
'When we start expecting our spouses' words, behavior, or choices to fill parts of our hearts that only God can fill, we set ourselves up for ordinary marriages.'
'But much like the Israelites, we can easily stop focusing on the presence of God and focus instead on the presents of God.'
'The crossroads that all of us stand at every day is do I choose ordinary again today, or do I choose extraordinary?'
'Bitterness is like picking up a stone to throw and holding on to it so you'll have ammunition the next time you're wounded. We take our stones, hold them tight, and find comfort in them. But if we dwell in bitterness long enough, resentment is sure to follow.'
'I had tried to escape the crushing of teeth and the breaking of bones and in the process had also forgone the faithfulness and mercies and salvation and compassion of God.'
'When we do not live in the fullness of God's love, we are incapable of loving others fully.'
'Wherever sin lives, intimacy dies. That is true in your relationship with God, and it is true in your marriage. But the good news is that wherever intimacy lives, sin dies.'
'We sometimes confuse discipline with a lack of grace, but discipline is an extension of grace.'
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Safe your marriage

Date:July 15, 2013
Customer Avatar
George Roa
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is a book that every couple should read before and after married.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

AMAZING book! EVERY married person must read this!

Date:July 9, 2013
Customer Avatar
aklinslow
Location:Anchorage, AK
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I seriously cannot get over how amazing this book is. I have never heard/read the problems in marriages today expressed so truthfully and Biblical and practical advice given so honestly and pertinently. Justin and Trisha write this book with a transparency that's not graphic and over-the-top, but rather just what you need to hear and would want to hear from Godly, biblical counselors.
 
The Davis' take turns with the writing of "Beyond Ordinary" so that it's always written in the first person; sometimes both of them sharing about the same incident but from their own perspective, which I found incredibly helpful. Each chapter begins with them sharing aspects of their lives/marriage, some good and some bad, and then ending with Biblical excerpts, comparisons and application. Such a great foundation for a book on marriage.  
I have to say, I was completely shocked by the twist about 2/3 into the book, but honestly, the HUGE problems they shared in their own marriage only made them more likable and approachable as real humans who had real problems in their marriage. 
I truly wish I had the money to buy a copy for every couple I know, as this is THAT good! So, if you're married, plan on getting married, know someone who's married or plans on getting married, you NEED to buy this incredible book! :)
(By the way, I'm single, never married, but I think that only goes to show how powerful this book is, as I could see the truth in it, just from living with my married parents and having married brothers and married best friends.)
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Marriage Must Read

Date:January 16, 2013
Customer Avatar
Proverbs 31 Wannabe
Location:Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Justin and Trisha Davis had a seemingly fine marriage from the outside. They were building a ministry and a family together and from a distance they were living the fairy tale marriage. For a long time, they didn't even realize themselves that something was wrong. The mistake they made, the mistake so many of us made was that they settled for ordinary.
As I read their narratives there were times I could see my hubby and I in similar situations. There were times that as a woman I would read Justin's thoughts and shake my head, knowing just how much trouble he was digging himself into. I became involved in their story because I think we can all identify with rocky times in our relationships.
I like the way they incorporate Scriptural principals into the book so that the reader can see from the outer perspective how God made us and what our natual tendencies are as couples. Illustrations from the Bible help put it in context and also help the reader to learn who God wants us to be in our relationships with Him.
There are questions at the end of each chapter that can help couples as they think about their own marriages seek the extraordinary. I enjoyed reading this book and reflecting on my marriage and how I can go the extra mile to make it extraordinary. God wants His very best for each and every one of us and until we seek Him first and obey His calling on our lives, we can't have that. God has to be at the center of it all.
I highly recommend this book! It was a great read ~ so go get your copy today!
Check out the rest of the Blog Tour of Beyond Ordinary here (PDF File) and visit some amazing blogs!
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Tyndale Blogger Network, for the purpose of review
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A must read for every marriage

Date:January 10, 2013
Customer Avatar
Nicki
Location:Evans, GA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book is a must read for every marriage. It offers a down to earth approach to relationship issues all couples struggle with and practical advice to strengthen our marriages and find the extraordinary oneness we all desire. Oftentimes it's easy to feel our marriage is okay so we pour our efforts into our children, our jobs, our churches, etc. We nurture the other relationships in our life and wonder how our marriage became the "ordinary" marriage we swore we would never have. Justin and Trisha Davis offer the reader a transparent look into the struggles they faced while pointing out the little things that creep into our lives and threaten oneness.
I love the unique approach of reading their journey through both of their perspectives.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great marriage resource!

Date:December 5, 2012
Customer Avatar
Rebecca
Location:Western Canada
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I received this ebook from Tyndale for review. I hadn't heard of the authors or their website RefineUs, but the title seemed interesting and I've been looking for more non-fiction this year rather than sticking with novel after novel.
I enjoyed this read overall and felt it gave some excellent points to put into action to make one's marriage stronger and more than the mundane.
I liked when Justin and Trisha told their relationship history in separate sections, clearly marked "Justin" or "Trisha." When they combined to speak about specific spiritual and marriage issues, there were points that they still slipped into using first-person singular but then added a name in parantheses for clarification. I found this distracting and wished they had tried for first-person plural and then each other's name here and there when necessary. Point of view is one of my reading pet peeves, though, and it's the only negative thing I would have to say about the book.
I recommend this book for everyone married or expecting to be married someday. Why settle for an ordinary relationship when there are resources to avoid that path in life?
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.