Reconcilable Differences: Hope and Healing for Troubled Marriages, by Virginia Todd Holeman. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004. 247 pp. ISBN 0-8308-3219-x.
This is the author's version of a work that was submitted/accepted for publication in the following source:
Shaffett, J. E. Christian Librarian 50:46 2007
Dr. Virginia Todd Holeman is professor of counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Prior to joining Asbury, she served as a full-time counselor in a private practice. She has extensive experience in marriage and family therapy.
Dr. Holeman attempts to answer four major questions in this book: “Can couples reconcile when their marriage has been severely damaged by moral wrongdoing? What roles do forgiveness and repentance play? Do other elements contribute to marital reconciliation in addition to forgiveness and repentance? Do reconciled marriages look alike, or are their contours unique, given the various contexts in which couples find themselves?” (p.9)
These questions led her to interview twelve couples from across the United States and Canada to talk to her about their marriage. The interviews sought to answer the question what went wrong in their relationships and what they did to repair their relationships. Dr. Holeman “developed a list of essential items for repairing damaged relationships in general and marriage relationships in particular” based on her studying these interviews, social science research, and theological studies. These essential items are “commitment to Christ, commitment to reconciliation, commitment to a reconciliation-friendly community, emotionally growing up, repenting, forgiving, restoring truth and trustworthiness”(28).
The author does a good job in communicating these points. She shows how these points are supported by social science research. Including the stories of these couples add a personal touch to the book. It illustrates these essential points to the reader intelligibly or in a way that is easy to understand.
This book is recommended for all libraries. It will be helpful to couples who are experiencing difficulties in their marriages. It will be helpful to all couples in learning essential truths for gaining intimacy in marriage.