Beyond Ordinary is not a quick and easy, feel-good read.
It’s an arrow to the heart of your marriage, and mine.
In early 2010 someone I follow on Twitter linked to a blog I hadn’t encountered before. Called RefineUs, the blog was written by Justin and Trisha Davis, a couple who got married in 1995, only to see their marriage and ministry disintegrate. RefineUs is a result of the restoration God performed in their lives and the resulting passion to help other couples find the same healing, or—hopefully—to avoid the same mistakes.
Because of my familiarity with the Davis’s story, I began reading their book with some trepidation. Fortunately, Trisha and Justin know how to write, and they didn’t get bogged down in unnecessary detail. Just enough to understand why what happened later happened. At the end of each chapter, they include a short section of questions designed to provoke deeper engagement or discussion. Even without this help I found myself asking my own questions and seeing possible answers to the riddle of why a young couple with so much to offer could be so careless with their lives.
Fortunately, Beyond Ordinary isn’t just a story about falling short, but a very powerful testimony of redemption, told by the people who lived it.
Who should read it?
I think there are four audiences for Beyond Ordinary:
- Young Christ-followers, married or single, who want God’s best for their lives. For them, this book will be both a cautionary tale and a road map for the right way to build a marriage and a life.
- Couples who are beginning to see cracks in their relationship with each other and, most likely, in their relationship with God. For them, Beyond Ordinary can serve as a necessary mid-course correction. A way to motivate and guide them back on the right path—before it’s too late.
- Couples who have failed. Or for that matter, anyone who’s failed and whose life lies in pieces around them. The best part of the book is the clear message that God restores and heals. Not just marriages, but all of life.
- Those who don’t know Christ. This kind of transparency is powerful among people who haven’t yet experienced a personal relationship with God. The reality and grittiness of the Davis’s story has great potential to reach their hearts. This is a hurting world that doesn’t know how to keep its promises and is desperately seeking a way back to order and health in its relationships. What better way than Beyond Ordinary to show how God redeems and restores?
I recommend Beyond Ordinary for all of them.
Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough by Justin and Trisha Davis is published by Tyndale House Publishers.