Strangely enough, reading “One Month to Love: 30 days to Grow and Deepen your Closest Relationships” (previously published as “love at Last Sight”, Waterbrook Multnomah, 2010) by Kerry and Chris Shook reminded me of Mayberry RFD. That may be a schmaltzy way of putting it, but it’s meant in a positive way. Sherriff Taylor used to have these heart to heart talks with Opie, talks full of homespun wisdom and truisms, with examples drawn from the Good Book, from what Opie should be learning in school, and what was happening in Mayberry at the time.
In much the same way, the Shooks draw on Scripture, media, and the realities of life according to the daily news and personal experience, to point out important lessons about relationships. Lessons like loving ‘even when’ as opposed to loving ‘until’; like be present instead of letting yourself get distracted by life, like the goal of loving others as God loves us. They talk about things like needs, and how easy, and dangerous, it can be to assume that the needs of those we love are duplicates of our own.
They point out some of the things that we probably all know already, but tend to forget, like relationships are hard work and they can be messy; they remind that if we ‘act as if’, the act, over time, becomes reality.
The book is broken into a month’s worth of lessons with an encouragement to journal about 3 close relationships, each day’s lesson closes with several questions to consider and journal about. There are also some practical action steps associated with many of the days. Especially helpful is the “Relationship Summary” found at the end of the book
I was glad to see the book is full of common sense rather than a lot of high powered, high priced theories and programs. Nothing new, nothing flashy, but an easy read with lots of potential for those motivated to stick it out for the full 30 days. All of which doesn’t mean that this is easy. In fact to do it well may be one of the more difficult things in life that some of us have done.
If the relationships are good, following the 30 day program will probably make it better, but if there are serious issues, a lot of hard work will be required, probably more than miserable people are willing to invest.
I received an ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.