What follows is a review of my book The Mystery of Marriage by Sharilee Swaity, excerpted from her blog page. Needless to say, it’s a glowing tribute! She writes:
In a recent interview I was asked which three or four books I would take to a deserted island and chose the book The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason. When I bought this book years ago I was unmarried and read it with a sense of wonderment and anticipation. Several years later I read the same pages after marrying my husband. This time, I read the book with a sense of grim recognition. As the author described the difficulties and turmoils of married life, I nodded in relief at recognizing my relationship on the pages.
Two readings. Two very different responses. That is the beauty of this breathtaking work: it speaks to anyone on the marriage journey: to the one dreaming of marriage someday, to the old man reflecting back on a life-long relationship. Anyone connected to marriage can learn from it. In fact, Mason actually wrote the book during his engagement, as a way to reassure himself that he was making the right decision.
How to Read This Book
•Read it expecting to be blown away by both the beauty and the painfulness of marriage. Mason doesn’t paint it all as a frolicking good time. No, he is raw and honest.
•Read this book as a meditation, not a manual. Don’t expect the book to tell you what to do in your marriage. But do expect it to help you remember the importance and enormity of your decision. To help you remember your priorities.
•Read this book randomly, if you like. You can open it anywhere and find depths of truth. Each chapter stands on its own. Of course, reading it in order will make sure you don’t miss anything but you don’t need to read it that way.
•Read this book slowly, and let it sink in. It is kind of like sipping on a rich cup of tea. Savour it. Indulge in it. Allow yourself to meditate on the miracle of marriage.
A Big Tree in the Middle of the Living Room
My favourite section of The Mystery of Marriage is when Mason compares marriage to a big tree that is sitting in the middle of your house. This image has always stayed with me. Here is a snippet:
“A marriage, or marriage partner, can be compared to a giant tree growing right up through the center of one’s living room. It is something that is just there, and it is huge, and everything has to be built around it, and wherever one happens to be going—to the fridge, to bed, to the bathroom, or out the front door—that tree has to be taken into account. It cannot be gone through; it must be respectfully be gone around. It is somehow bigger and stronger than oneself.”
What an amazing illustration to the “giving up” and sacrifice that we go through in marriage. Sometimes that sense of giving is pure joy, while at other times it seems beyond our capability.
In conclusion, I highly recommend The Mystery of Marriage. Five stars all the way! I have had the book in my possession for about fifteen years and have read it three times since buying it. I will most certainly read it again.
~from a blog by Sharilee Swaity, who has written her own book on marriage called Second Marriage: An Insider’s Guide to Hope, Healing & Love.
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