Tomorrow my son’s long anticipated book, Loveology, will appear on the shelves of bookstores.
Today I sit at a coffee shop in Portland with my own copy in my lap and marvel.
This is my son— the one I taught to form letters and read words. The same boy who, in ninth grade, agonized to meet his page quota for a paper on Silas Marner. Not because he couldn’t do it, but because he fought his teacher’s insistence that papers must be long and wordy.
This book isn’t wordy.
Instead, John Mark has broken the worn-out publishing paradigm that insists that more is better. He has written a treatise on marriage for a generation that reads fast—to the point, crystal clear, wise, and raw.
For the first chapter of my reading, I did what I always do. I got out my pen to underline the most important points; my way of remembering what I, as a way-too-fast reader, need to take with me.
I underlined nearly every sentence.
Then I started taking notes. Along the margins, in my notebook. Arrows and circles, numbers to follow along more closely… I found myself treating Lovelogy like a workbook.
Pretty soon I stopped reading it for a review and started reading it for me.
For my marriage.
For my understanding of the Father’s intent when he made Adam one way and Eve another and then told them to go and do their task to change the world.
And then, about half way through this book, I had to stop and close it tight for a while. Because through these words my own son put on paper, the Father began to speak deep into my heart about things I thought I knew but didn’t.
About men. About marriage. About God. About me.
About purpose, about pleasure, about the point of it all.
And then I had to grieve, just for an honest little while.
Because I didn’t know this plan for marriage 35 years ago when I married Phil. I knew some, but not nearly enough. And if I had known, really understood what marriage was all about and what marriage was for, I would have done those first years differently.
Why didn’t anybody ever tell me?
That marriage is for more than my own happiness.
That my success as a wife is not measured by my success at making my husband happy.
That marriage is about achieving something far beyond ourselves, something that can and should and will, if we let it, change the world.
And that is what my son’s book is about— a plan from God to change the world.
I’ve gushed more texts to John Mark as I’ve read his book than is seemly— I can imagine the rolling of his eyes as he dismisses his mom as slightly manic.
But I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to fully understand how fairy tales shape a woman’s heart. And how crushingly sad a woman feels when she realizes she didn’t marry Prince Charming after all. Or how embarrassingly bad a woman can behave when those dreams don’t carry her away on the white steed of her imaginary world.
My first years of marriage were not what they should have been because my view of marriage was not what it needed to be. I married a good and godly man and still managed to shame him for being less than I needed.
Because I thought about marriage mostly wrong and so I did marriage mostly wrong.
Loveology is the right way to think about marriage. God’s way.
Steeped in Scripture, filled with background and history and explanations and word studies, this book fully explains. John Mark makes sense of the mystery Paul talked about while exploding the myths most of us believe.
I needed this book.
You need this book if…
- you hope to get married some day
- you are afraid to get married
- you want your sons and daughters to go into dating and marriage with God’s wisdom to guide them
- your marriage failed and you want to understand why
- you’re unhappy in your marriage and want to know what to do
- you want hope
- you want truth
And most especially, read this book if you’ve been following these He’s Not Your Prince Charming posts. Because John Mark explains all the why’s and what’s and how come’s that keep haunting your misplaced dreams.
From a heart
… bursting with pride in my son,
… humbled by my own brokenness,
… thankful for the faithfulness of my husband,
… and hopeful for the next generation,
PS. Who’s going to the Loveology event in downtown Portland this weekend? Let us know in the comments and look for me, I’ll be there!