About the Book
Book: Building a Ridiculously Great Marriage
Author: Gil Stieglitz
Genre: Christian Non-fiction
Release Date: November 2019
Click here for your copy.
About the Author
Dr. Gil Stieglitz is a prolific author, engaging speaker, and insightful pastor who has spent thousands of hours helping, coaching, and strengthening marriages. Gil has written over twenty-five books on marriage, parenting, soul development, and spiritual warfare, including top-seller Becoming a Godly Husband, God’s Radical Plan for Wives, and Marital Intelligence. He speaks to thousands of people each year about the wonders of God’s principles. Gil now serves as Discipleship Pastor at Bayside Church, a dynamic multi-site church near Sacramento, CA. He is on faculty with Principles to Live By, a nonprofit organization that helps people connect to God’s principles in everyday life. He and his wife, Dana, enjoy a ridiculously delightful life in Northern California. For more information, visit ptlb.com.
More from Gil
Mindy Houng’s Interview with Gil Stieglitz
What inspired this book?
There is a stark contrast between people who have great marriages and people who have lousy ones. I find that couples just don’t know what to do to create a great relationship in marriage. I am amazed that a few simple routines and habits can make a sensational relationship. Yes, it is some work to add some new things to your day, week, and month, but the payoff is huge. The more I interview couples who have great marriages, I find they know exactly what I am talking about regarding these routines and habits. Couples who are only enduring their spouse and marriage have never heard of or thought about doing most of these.
I tend to make the most progress in my life when I admit what I don’t know and find ways to do whatever it is that needs fixing. It doesn’t matter whether it is finances, leadership, career, family, church, God, or marriage; there are things you need to do to be successful in each area. If you admit you don’t know, and you want to learn, you can find the changes you need to make to get really good at the thing. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I offer this book as a cheat sheet to have a ridiculously great marriage.
Which chapter was the most difficult to write?
I found the chapter most difficult to write was on the habit of Scheduling Sex, which is something great couples do. They have some system in which sexual intimacy becomes expected and regular, so both spouse’s needs are met. This needed to be said so couples can get out of the notion to wait until both of them are in the mood, which always leaves one spouse frustrated and one feeling put upon.
I didn’t want to try and become a sex therapist, but there are some rudimentary ideas and solutions that couples need to talk about in this area of sexual intimacy…the three kinds of sex, the physiological sexual cycles that exist in both men and women specifically. If this crucial arena of married life is going to be a source of delight and true intimacy, then in some form it must be scheduled and communicated. I refer to a few books on the subject that go into much more detail on the issue of sex in marriage; I do not want to be seen as an expert on the sexual dysfunctions in marriage—I do want people to get the help they need.
What would you like your readers to get out of this book?
I want them to have ah-ha moments—“Oh, I had never thought of that!” or, “You can do that?” I was very pleased as we were recording the audiobook that one of the sound engineers (who was divorced) kept saying at the breaks, “If I had only known this fifteen years ago.” I want people to add these practices to their life and watch their marriage change. These practical actions are like the change in the golf swing that immediately stops the ball slicing. They really do work. I want people’s marriages to be a source of joy, one that is ridiculously great.
My wife and I often say to each other, “Our marriage is not normal; it is so good. Let’s not mess it up.” In other words, we need to keep doing the things that got us here—the things addressed in this book.
Which author influenced you the most?
I have been the most influenced by Gary Smalley, who mentored me out of my lousy relational habits and into a whole new life relationally. His material has been a revelation to me over the years. It changed everything for me. People stopped being the key to meeting my needs and became a goal in themselves. I understood the point of the Scriptures about marriage and relationship because of his mentorship of me. Life Is Relationships. We must learn how to love, or life will not make a lot of sense.
Now, I find myself delighted, surprised, and reinforced by the work of Dr. John Gottman. He has done his work by studying couples in his Love Lab in Seattle, while I found the keys to relationship by starting with the Scriptures. I am so delighted with how these two sources of truth agree. Different sources, same truth.
What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?
My life verse is Philippians 3:8, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but rubbish that I may gain Christ.” There have been many times when Christ has asked me to sacrifice what I might think is best to grow my relationship with Him more deeply. It has always been worth it in the long run, even though the short term can be very painful.
I find that Christ asks me to sacrifice what I want in some cases to have a relationship with Him and with others that is priceless. I love Scripture and tremble in front of it when it says, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it.” There is sacrifice needed in great relationships, but it is so worth it to be deeply loved and to love deeply. Selfish people who seek to use people do not create great relationships.
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I am always the most blown away by Yosemite National Park. I still have to pull over when we pop through the tunnel and glimpse the Valley. I am just stunned by the beauty, wonder, and grandeur. I also love Lake Tahoe, the Redwoods, the Swiss Alps, underwater in Monterey Bay and Lake Louise, but Yosemite takes my breath away every time.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading the Science of Trust by Dr. John Gottman. It is a wonderful compilation of the tests and studies that have quantified how to build and destroy trust in relationships. It’s a compilation of Scriptural ideas sifted through scientific studies and empirical data sets.
What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?
Probably the refrigerator. It is a magnet. I love to look into it and see if anything has changed or been added in the last twenty minutes. I love having snacks, fruit, and vegetables that come out of it. I sometimes find myself just staring into it with the door open hoping something new has happened in there.
Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair.
I am surrounded by huge book cases filled with books. On top of the cases are pictures and mementos of our family. Pictures of my girls, family trips, trinkets from my past. When I moved into the smaller office I now inhabit, I had to pare down my books from near 8,000 to only 4,000 of the keepers—it was very difficult. My desk is on my right side piled high with books I am reading or referring to. There is a window on my left that often stays closed because I am in a writing zone, and I don’t want to be distracted by what is happening outside.
If you could have one piece of art or music on a deserted island, what would it be and why?
I am tempted to say a Yellow Submarine, but I think that evades your question. I would want the Bible, which is a work of art, ageless wisdom, an antenna into eternity to hear from God, lyrics written by inspired prophets, and the beauty of truth.
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Spoken from the Heart, December 8
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 9
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Stories By Gina, December 11
Artistic Nobody, December 12 (Author Interview)
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 13
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
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A Reader’s Brain, December 16
Inklings and notions, December 17
A Diva’s Heart, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, December 19
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