Category Archives: Book

Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards Dr Ray Colleen Hammond

Book Club: Improve Your Marriage! (Dr. Ray)

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Improve Your Marriage!

For Book Club this summer, we’re going to improve our marriages! We’re diving in to Dr. Ray’s, Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards.

At $13, it’s a small investment in a 5-star book to improve our relationships. (Thanks to Janet for the suggestion!)

If you’re on Facebook, join our Facebook Group and add to our discussion!

If you are NOT on Facebook, I’ve listed our questions below. Feel free to add to the discussion here in the comments.

Here’s the snippet about the book from Amazon:

The secret of a good marriage, for the most part, is that there are no secrets, only commonsense, time-tested ideas practiced by countless others who have done it well.
—from the IntroductionMarriage Small Steps Big Rewards dr ray

Marriage expert Dr. Ray Guarendi has counseled enough couples to know that building a better relationship with your spouse doesn’t mean learning exotic new communication techniques or rearranging your lifestyle. In fact, a few of his ten “small steps” are lessons you learned in grade school, such as:

Say “I’m Sorry”

Listen a Minute

Make a List

Use Your Manners

Plus, with his “resistance rationales,” Dr. Ray helps you overcome any reluctance you might feel to taking these small steps. Filled with straightforward advice, this book reminds you that a happier, more rewarding marriage is just a few small steps away.

Discussion Questions:

Step 1: Say, “I’m Sorry”.

  1. When was the last time you apologized to your spouse? With or without feeling, mumbling, or looking elsewhere?
  2. Most of us see ourselves are “more innocent” than we really are. Even though we may have been (or feel that we were) provoked, is there something we did/said that we feel sorry for? That we can apologize for TODAY? Are they any Bible quotes, Saint quotes, or quotes/advice you can share that has helped you with this?
  3. Remember the Bible verse: “A soft answer turns away wrath.” (Proverbs 15:1). Can you apologize for raising your voice? Tone of voice?
  4. Have you ever thought, “My apology won’t be accepted. It will just be thrown back at me.” Does that help or hurt the situation?
  5. Have you used Resistance Rationale: “Even if I say it, I won’t feel it.” ?
  6. Sometimes, we think: “I may not say, ‘Sorry’, but I act sorry.” Is that good enough? Would words help or hurt the situation?
  7. Does it seem “fair” that, even though we “didn’t start it”, we take the lead in apologizing first?
  8. Are they any Bible quotes, Saint quotes, or quotes/advice you can share that has helped you with this Step?

Step 2: Don’t Say it!!!

  1. Are there times in the past you WISHED you had bit your tongue? Said words you regret? Are there times you have “controlled your passions” and found it to be a BENEFIT?
  2. “I can’t help the way I FEEL.” We know that feelings are neither right nor wrong–they simply ARE. Are there times where your “perception” of an event changed how you reacted to it?


(Questions will be added as we get to that point in the book.)


Book Club: The 5 Love Languages

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Join us this month as we’re reading The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts!

Add your comments below, OR join us in the Facebook Group for lively conversation!

Question #1 actually comes from group member Anne Cox, and it was SO good I’m skipping my “first question” and putting her’s first!!!! I’ve expanded on her thought a bit, too:

“Do we have love languages with God? Do we respond more to “gifts” or words of encouragement, etc… ? Do we look for God in our life based on our own personal love language?”

Here’s the description of the book:

Simple Ideas, Lasting Love

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?

In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.

The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.

Includes a His and Hers Personal Profile assessment so you can discover your love language and that of your loved one. Review

Unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root cause: we speak different love languages, believes Dr. Gary Chapman. While working as a marriage counselor for more than 30 years, he identified five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. In a friendly, often humorous style, he unpacks each one. Some husbands or wives may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one spouse, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their “love tank.” Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. Chapman illustrates each love language with real-life examples from his counseling practice.


Better Than Beauty a Guide to Charm

Book Club: “Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm”

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Charm: Book of the Month Club

Last month, we read The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish.

This month, we’ll be discussing the book, Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm.

You can comment below, or join our Facebook Group where we’ll be discussing a new question every few days.

About the Book:Better Than Beauty a Guide to Charm

Chronicle Books resuscitates the long-lost art of charm with this classic compendium of hints, tips, and tricks guaranteed to boost anyone’s quotient. First published in 1938, this delightful handbook is overflowing with timeless advice to guide readers through a maze of social interactions with wit and grace. More than an etiquette or personal grooming book, Better than Beauty tackles complicated social situations with delicacy: How to be kind to atrocious people How to avoid the gossip mill How many drinks is too many drinks How to deflect unwanted advances from married men How much to tip And much, much more With good humor, authors Helen Valentine and Alice Thompson offer straightforward charm counsel, making it a cinch to win the admiration of friends, family, and suitors. Featuring original artwork, Better than Beauty proves that charm never, ever goes out of style.

Question #1: Every era has its own concept and definition. What do you think constitutes “charming” in today’s world?

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