I’ve been meaning to get a post out on this for a while. I received Danny Silk’s book on Defining The Relationship Workbook: A Relationship Course For Those Considering Marriage a while ago from a family member.
The chapters in this book are as follows:
- Series introduction
- Powerful people, powerful decisions
- Pillars of Healthy Relationships
- Love Languages
- Your “Normal”
- Communication Dance
- Conflict Management
- 90/10 Factor
Having heard Danny Silk preach before, I thought this would be good. Unfortunately, this book falls flat on its face.
The vast majority of Scriptures used in this book are randomly cherry picked from general Christian living — namely, 1-2 verse Jesus quotes and 1-2 verse Paul’s epistles quotes. Most of these cherry picked Scriptures are used in context which is good. The issue is that most of the general Christian living Scriptures are supposed to be used in the context of the Church and community not just within relationships. They’re useful for same sex relationships and opposite sex relationships. The fact that anyone can use them is not a bad thing, but this is supposed to be a book that prepares you for a marriage relationship with the opposite sex. You’d think there would be some more information specifically on relationships between the opposite sex.
The very bad. I read through the book the first time and was amazed because I found zero references to the Scriptures on marriage such as Eph 5, Col 3, Tit 2, 1 Pet 3, and the like. I was stunned about this so I went through the whole book again and found nothing again. I came back to it later and went through it again and found none the third time too.
If you’re a Christian and considering marriage, you would think a book about relationships would have some direction and discussion about what God says about marriage (ESPECIALLY with marriage in the title of it). Nope, you can’t find it in this book. The “5 love languages” made it into this book, but the Scriptures on marriage didn’t make it. That’s just terrible.
Additionally, this book was also missing a large discussion male and female nature, in the context of the Scripture. It would’ve been a great idea to reference how males and females relate differently and how this can lead to misunderstandings between the sexes. Unfortunately, there are only small tidbits here and there, and it doesn’t paint a good picture of the nature of interaction between the sexes.
The section on conflict management is good. Silk generally does a good job at explaining how conflict management is supposed to work in terms of Christian principles. Obviously, it’s not as simple as say “love your neighbor as yourself” or Jesus’ “love one another as I have loved you.” There are solid actionable steps that you can take to resolve conflict, including putting your heart and attitudes in the right posture. However, as I mentioned earlier, these steps could be applied to any type of relationship, not just one between a potential husband and wife.
Rating: 1/5 — I wholeheartedly would not recommend this book, at least until the glaring holes are fixed.
Danny Silk is one of the more well-known evangelical pastors (as he is from Bethel), so to see a book like this on preparation for marriage without references to any of the Scriptures on marriage and no references to the Scriptural differences in male and female nature is very disappointing. The sad part is that it’s not unexpected either, given the watered down message of the whole Church in our culture.