Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

Well, this was an interesting book. Aside from the real mouth full of a title, it is chocked full of advice that, if followed to the letter, will lead you to complete and total marital bliss...

OK, maybe that's not exactly right. But Rick and Bubba have been at this marriage thing for a little while (33 years of marriage - to their wives, not each other) and have some good advice to share with men and women (mostly men).

Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey are the hosts (and stars) of the Rick & Bubba Show (or should I call it the Rick & Bubba Empire?) and New York Times Best-Selling Authors (at least according to the book cover). They are also very good observers of the things in their lives and use many stories gleaned from daily life with their spouses and families to impart wisdom.

The book itself is a series of short chapters where Rick, Bubba, or both, talk about the important things that make marriage work. They often use clever "counter examples" to help illustrate their points. That is, these two fine men are quick to share the mistakes and mishaps that led to many of the lessons they learned and share with their readers. From stiff-arming your wife for crowding your lane in a race on the beach to explaining why his losing the keys was her fault, this book will have you laughing hard.
Three Sides to Every Story
The situation: "Great looking outfit, dear. How much did it cost?"
His side: Who cares - as long as it leads to romance?
Her side: It was on sale for only $63 - marked down from $65 - and I couldn't pass it up.
The truth: Goodbye, new truck...

Amidst all the laughter, there are some real good words of wisdom from these two fine gentlemen. Rick and Bubba are professed Christians (Rick is a licensed minister, too) and they are not ashamed to talk about how their faith is a central part of their marriages, and their lives:
Show us a good marriage, and we'll show you a union of two good forgivers. In fact, one reason the divorce rate is so high, especially among Christians, is that many of us have forgotten how to forgive. And one reason for that is we have a blind spot to our own need for forgiveness.
When Jesus taught us to pray, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors," He was demonstrating how God reserves the right to tie our own forgiveness to how completely we forgive others. Grace is a free gift, but if we withhold it from those around us, He might withhold it from us.

My copy of the book also came with two bonus features: a CD with bits from the radio show and the "Book of Blame." The Book of Blame is an important piece of literature that men around the world will do well to study. It contains the 50 articles of blame that women use to blame their husbands for everything:
Global warming? Your fault. 2008 financial crisis? Your fault. Her speeding ticket? Your fault. Grocery store shopping cart with that flailing wheel? Your fault.
Reading the Book of Blame won't help it not be your fault, but it will help you with what to expect... :-)

Per the recent FTC ruling, I am required to tell you that I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in return for publishing my review.