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From Ashes to Beauty: Spiritual Truths for Rebuilding and Revitalizing Your Marriage Review by Krystin Corneilson

By Jeff Colón
Pure Life Ministries
14 School Street
Dry Ridge, KY 41035

From Ashes to Beauty offers a breath of God-inspired fresh air for couples struggling to keep their marriages afloat. The book is a combination of Scripture-based teaching and real-life examples. Author and Pure Life Ministries' Executive Director Jeff Colón explains how a thorough understanding of the Beatitudes can be the key to marriage restoration and shares dramatic yet humble experiences from his own marriage. Included in the back of the book is a chapter-by-chapter study guide, with the idea that a separate journal or notebook for each spouse be used to jot down answers, insights, etc. There are also appendices of enrichment tests, exercises, and activities. Resources for additional study are listed too.

This book is for married couples. Specifically, it deals with marriages in trouble due to unresolved sin. That said, it is an easy, but not fast, read. Each chapter has content to be savored and considered. It can be read straight through or used as a textbook, with the reader completing the chapter questions as he or she goes along. It can be used by just one spouse, but it would obviously be of more use if both read and participated in it.

Pro's: Some of my homeschool girlfriends and I studied The Love Dare this summer. While most of us considered our marriages pretty solid, we all agreed that marriages take constant prayer and work. The Love Dare provided us with many ideas to strengthen our relationships and reminders to pray for marriages in general and each other in particular. From Ashes to Beauty is another such book. While my marriage is not on the brink of disaster, very good friends of ours are going through a divorce due to unrepentant infidelity. The situation has rocked our small groups and our church. However, this book is a treasure that I can't wait to share with all of our friends and church leaders. It helps me to understand that there are two sides to every story and that any unrepentant sin can damage or destroy families. It also made me look at the Beatitudes differently, with a more appreciative eye, and I am even more thankful to God for providing His Word for us.

Con's: I really can't think of any reason for Christians NOT to read From Ashes to Beauty. It is helpful for those of us who are married, those who will be married someday, and those who know married people.

Marriages are in trouble all around us. That's a fact. This book encourages us to look and truly see the culprit. From Ashes to Beauty deals directly with the cause, points out its effects, and challenges all of us to deal with our own sin. The title says it all: once we have repented and God has reduced our sin to ash, He then will raise us up in His beauty.

Product review by Krystin Corneilson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2009