While this book, Fit to be tied by Bill and Lynne Hybels (Zondervan, 1991), contained lots of good material for those contemplating marriage, I had a few problems with it. Bill and Lynne had a surprising number of difficulties in their marriage considering that they both came from stable Christian families and had known each other for five years. Much of the book is biographical, yet depressing. The Hybels completed the book only a couple of years after working through many of their martial problems and I wished they had waited longer. Time would have tested some of their conclusions a bit more thoroughly.

Nevertheless the message that Bill and Lynne share needs to be aired. They cover issues such as the influence of family background, temperament and handling conflict. They address these issues, not from the theoretical point of view, but rather the personal viewpoint, including many stories that reveal their humanness. Their honesty is commendable. However if they want engaged couples to be helped they need to lighten the material. Personally if I had read it when I was engaged I would not have finished it, as it is too discouraging. Alternatively they could pitch the material at those already married.

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