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Tyndale House The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything

Improve your marriage by taking responsibility for your own reactions and emotions. In The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage relationship experts Amy and Michael Smalley show you how to stop the blame game and have realistic expectations - even when your spouse doesn't. Paperback.
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4.125 out of 5
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7 out of 7100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Review 1 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A helpful reflection of a godly marriage

Date:January 13, 2012
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Ginger
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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The following is my review on The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage by Michael and Amy Smalley.
First of all, I love the simplicity of the cover with it’s mirror reflecting the voice of the book. My son said they ought to make it silver or something, and I totally get what he’s saying.
Upon opening, it immediately confirmed my spirit. If I am looking for a miracle, I must change. That’s why I am here. I am in this place to change ME.
It really is that simple. God never points out something within someone else’s life without directing us to change our own.
Another thing that stood out to me–as Michael Smalley pointed out through a story about his mom—was how we have to take responsibility for our own responses and not take on another’s issues–we must return them. (ch 2 p 18)
Add to that this awesome quote from Amy Smalley, and you’ve got a healthy recipe for repentance. (At least in my case, as these words mimic me all too well.)
“By focusing on Michael’s brokenness, I put him down with blame and elevated myself with pride.” (ch 3 p 21)
Wait, now I have to reevaluate my view of defensiveness?
“Defensiveness is a person’s attempt to resolve a problem through arguing, explaining away, or being combative.” (ch 4 p 28)
You mean, it’s not really defending myself when I don’t need to?
“Discussing the facts only causes defensiveness in the person we’re arguing with.” (ch 4 p 28)
One of the good things about this book is, it is complete with a study guide to walk you through the process.
*This review is on behalf of Tyndale House Publishers who provided a complimentary copy of this book.
** Visit the following link for my complete review:
http://heresmycuplord.com/bookshelf/the-surprising-way-to-a-stronger-marriage/
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Review 2 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Material for Personal or Ministry Use

Date:December 1, 2010
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MenuMom
Location:Berlin, WI
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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I received a copy of this book through the Tyndale Blog Network. The single image on the front cover of a hand mirror aptly describes the book before you even pick it up. It is about taking personal responsibility in your marriage. No matter what kind of shape your marriage is in, you have the power to begin the process of changing it for the best. You cannot base your relationship solely on what your spouse does or does not do. It is your responsibility to change yourself into the spouse YOU should be.
I was very pleased with the way the Smalleys have written this book. It is laid out in a very informal and straightforward style. I appreciate the fact that they present the material from both the husband's and wife's perspective in sharing personal stories and stories taken from their counseling experience. The material is presented in a step-by-step type process of things to begin working on in your marriage, which makes the change seem more easily achievable. Probably the best part about this book is the fact that all the material is based on what the Bible has to say - we are told to remove the beam out of our own eye before trying to remove the spec out of someone else's eye. God judges us by how we act and react not on how our spouse treats us. The book includes a study guide to help the reader change. It provides a challenge, key verse, and a few questions to ask yourself about the role you play as a spouse. The only downside to the study guide is that there is no space provided for you to write down your answers, thoughts, etc. This book will be wonderful material for me to use now in my own marriage and in future ministry helping others. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling in their marriage or planning to counsel someone who is struggling.
+1point
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Review 3 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Excellent Resource for Help for Marital Woes

Date:November 18, 2010
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Michell
Location:Metro Manila, Philippines
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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There are things that God brings our way at just the right time in our lives. That’s what the book The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage by Michael and Amy Smalley is to me. At a time when hubby and I are going through some struggles, this book arrived. It did not look too interesting to me at first. In fact, I wondered why there’s a mirror in the cover. Since this is a book about marriage, shouldn’t the cover have a picture of a couple in it?
After reading the first chapter, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading it because it actually opened my eyes to the reality of our marital problems. I learned that I don’t have to wait for me husband to act on our problems. What I needed to do was to start taking responsibility for our problems, to stop blaming him and looking to my husband for solutions, and to start looking at how I also contributed to the problems and how I can start the change in me.
Authors Michael and Amy Smalley have been married for 15 years and “specialize in teaching couples the principles of loving well and loving for a lifetime.” Their teachings are biblical and realistic, making you look at yourself to start making a difference for your marriage.
I plan to read The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage by Michael and Amy Smalley all over again for the stuff I missed because I read it so fast. The mirror on the cover was actually just right because they say that the solution to your problems is staring at you when you look in the mirror. I’m not claiming that my problems are solved after reading this, but it has made me take a different perspective, not only in my relationship with my husband, but also in relationship to others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House as part of their Book Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 4 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 22, 2010
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Sweetslady
Location:Wichita, KS
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
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If you think your marriage is at the end of the rope or you just want have a better marriage, this book is for you. It helps you to see with "the power of one", you can accomplish a lot with changing your own thinking and looking within yourself as to what you can do. I've always been told that while we point fingers at others there are those that are pointing right back at ourselves not to mention that tells us that we shouldn't point out the speck in someone else's eye when there is a plank in your own.
I love that this was written by both of the Smalleys together as they both talk about what they have gone through in their own marriage and dealt with personally. I also enjoyed that it was a short read and had a study guide in the back to go along with it, so I don't have to purchase an additional study guide.
I know this has already made me see things that I need to work on within myself to make my marriage better, and I can't wait to loan it to friends. :)
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
+3points
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Review 5 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

I enjoyed this book.

Date:October 22, 2010
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Rebecca
Location:Krum, TX
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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I like this book and would recommend it to couples for a couple of reasons:
1. At 139 pages (plus a study guide in the back) it’s easily read in a day or two. And since their are two people contributing it almost has a conversational feel. I liked having the point of view of both husband and wife. The back and forth of their conversation and stories flowed well throughout the book and didn’t make for a choppy read. I appreciated the couples honesty and authenticity in sharing of their own relationship and struggles.
2. I think my favorite quote from this book is, “We can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we respond.” The authors focus on what “you” can do in your marriage instead of blaming someone else (i.e. your spouse) for your unhappiness. They do a great job of guiding someone through forgiveness and disappointment in marriage and showing you how to respond in love (even in a hurtful situation) and work towards reconciliation.
Michael and Amy Smalley have written a wonderful resource for marriages that are in trouble or for couples who want to take a preventive measure and go through the study that’s in the back of the book together. This book is definitely worth a read, and I’ve already recommended it to a friend who is struggling.
This book was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishers for review.
+2points
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Review 6 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage

Date:October 22, 2010
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KSchnee
Location:Wichita, KS
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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In their new book, The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything, Michael and Amy Smalley describe the means to a better—and possibly happier—marriage. In marriages encountering strife, finding a way beyond problems can protect the union from divorce. While many marriage counselors focus on the problems, Michael and Amy Smalley provide readers with some hard but useful information. By taking control of their own reactions and feelings, husbands and wives can produce change in their relationships. Through scripture and practical application, the Smalleys give readers the means to a happier marriage. Even if the other partner is not open to change, the Smalleys' teachings will still be effective. By growing up and taking personal responsibility, married readers will be able to enjoy fulfillment no matter their situation or the outcome of their efforts.
Change can be difficult; personal change can be even more so. Michael and Amy Smalley show readers, however, why they must change if they are to have more fulfilling relationships, especially that with their spouse. As Christians who also faced their own difficulties, the Smalleys know whereof they speak. Readers may not like their teaching and may even want to dismiss it totally. No matter how hard it is to read this book, married readers, especially Christians, will want to take the time to consider each chapter. Their teaching is biblically sound, and they offer practical ways to apply their thoughts. If one is truly committed to their marriage, then they will want to read this book written by Michael and Amy Smalley. It is a challenging and thoughtfully written book that will possibly give you the way to be that “one” for change and hope.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their blogger program.
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Review 7 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A good read if your marriage is in crisis

Date:October 22, 2010
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CoffeePlease
Location:New Jersey
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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3 out of 5
My Review of The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage by Michael and Amy Smalley
Well, this is my first ever, "eh, it was okay" book review. Don't get me wrong: this book has tons of fabulous advice and tips on how you, individually, can work to make your marriage stronger. While relevant in marriage, a lot of these tips can be used in everyday life as well - i.e. dealing with children. It just isn't a book that I will be running to recommend to all of my friends if their marriage is not in crisis. If it is, I will surely recommend if they ask my opinion at all.
This book wants you to work on the items you know you are lacking: confidence, patience, and motivation, to touch on a few pointed out. Basically, the book is telling you to make yourself better by working on items (the ones mentioned are the ones I know I am falling short in) and by feeling better about yourself, you will present yourself differently into the marriage and it will improve (or stay good.)
Also, I am a Christian, but maybe not as devout as the authors are. Much of the Scripture quoted makes perfect and relevant sense within their text but I am unable to "leave my problems with God" and not dwell on them. It is one of the ways I am not, nor is anyone else (as also pointed out in the book,) perfect.
There was a quirky way in which this book was written where they pointed out who was speaking in parenthesis. I think that maybe they should have prefaced each area of thought i.e. "Amy's thoughts are ..." etc. This could have led to further confusion but each time I hit a parenthesis, I would have to stop, reread the line and try to apply it to that author.
All in all, it was a good book filled with great advice, including the Golden Rule "Do onto others as you'd have done to you." If you are suffering any type of marital woes, this book will coach you through looking within yourself for the answers instead of blaming your spouse.
*A free copy of this book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishers who asked only for my honest opinion and did not require me to produce a positive review.*
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Review 8 for The Surprising Way to a Stronger Marriage: How the Power of One Changes Everything
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:September 28, 2010
the surprising way to a stronger marriage is a great read for married couples.authors of the book Michael and Amy Smalley are the executive directors of the Smalley Marriage and Family Center in The Woodlands, close to Houston, Texas. the center provides premarital counselling, marriage crisis consulting, and marriage and parenting seminars.the thesis of the book is that we can make our marriages stronger by becoming stronger ourselves, individually.it takes two to tango.the subtitle of the book speaks to the thesis as well: "how the power of one changes everything."there are so many ups and downs in life. there are so many storms that come our way. there are so many moments in the valley as well as on top of the mountain.these things happen in marriages too.the surprising way to a stronger marriage is for the downs, and storms, and moments in the valley of that come to our relationships.i requested this book as a pastor, as another resource for ministry, and as a husband, because there's always room for improvement in a marriage.the Smalleys provide wonderful advice and steps to improving ourselves and our marriages. their book is a valuable resource and text for life.*NOTE: Tyndale Publishing gave me a free copy of The One Year Book of Encouragement for a review posting on my blog. For more information check out the Tyndale Blog Network.
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