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20 years ago my husband and I said our vows in a chapel next to a beautiful stained glass wall of Jesus praying in the garden. 

We vowed to love each other

For better or worse

Richer or poorer

In sickness and in health

As long as we both shall live

 I’m pretty sure there was no way we could envision our present busy lives with four kids in the house, sticky floors, unending chores and the inability to finish a thought—let alone a conversation.

The title of Patrick and Ruth Schwenk’s book, For Better or For Kids hooked me from the start. It’s the missing vow that commits to love each other when we transition from marriage as a couple to marriage with children.

 Without this vow, it’s easy to become comfortable living a child-centered or me-centered marriage.

“Marriage is both a blessing we receive and a battle we fight for in love, commitment, sacrifice, and grace. The challenge in marriage is not how it starts, but how it continues, grows, matures, and flourishes over time.”

I enjoyed every chapter of this book! Patrick and Ruth seem to address every challenge busy parents face when trying to communicate and nurture their relationship. I loved how they shared real-life experiences I could relate to and understand.

They cover exhaustion, sharing responsibilities, finances, parenting as a team, overpacked schedules, parenting fears, communication, and intimacy.

For Better or For Kids by Patrick and Ruth Schwenk offers Biblical and practical advice for busy couples to stay connected and vow to love each other with kids in the house.

They give Biblical, practical advice to meet these challenges.

  1. Marriage: It’s Not What we Expect, But it is Good
  2. Marriage with Children: A Mess with a Mission
  3. The Missing Vow: Love Your Spouse with Kids in the House
  4. Fanning the Flames: Sex with Your Spouse with Kids in the House
  5. Parenting Together, Not Separately
  6. Grace for Those Not-So-Perfect Moments
  7. Time, Rest, and Rhythm: Making our Days Count
  8. Dealing with Busyness
  9. When You’re Running on Empty
  10. Communicating in the Chaos
  11. Taking the Fight out of Finances
  12. A Test of Your Togetherness: When Life Gets Really Hard
  13. You Will Live through This! 

Each chapter ends with questions for couples to discuss, called Just the Two of Us.

“One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids is a healthy, loving, and God-honoring marriage.”

It’s easy to let our exhausting schedules deplete the effort we should be putting into our marriages. But this book helps you evaluate your schedule and relationship. 

“As a marriage relationship progresses and time goes by, the temptation to stop pursuing our spouse is likely to set in. When kids come along, it is easy to stop trying.”

Don’t stop pursuing each other! Share on X

While this book encourages couples to stay united, it also emphasizes the blessing of children and the importance of our mission to teach them God’s truth.  

Children are gifts from God! (Psalm 127:3)

“God has designed the family to be one of his primary vehicles for passing on faith to the next generation. So amidst all of the messiness of life with kids, we have a mission.”

I loved this book and would give it 5 out of 5 stars.

For Better or For Kids

This post is linked up at

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review through the Booklook Bloggers program.

I was not required to write a positive review. 

The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Ruthie Gray’s book, Count to Nine is an excellent resource for moms looking to curb their anger! Don’t you feel like a Mad-Mom Make-Over? 

God gives you the tools to control your anger.

 BONUS!!!  As your gift with purchase, you will receive a beautiful, downloadable journal with Scripture cards!

Bonus Journal

You can purchase her book here:

Count to Nine

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