Friday, 20 September 2013

Book Review - Broken Vows

What would you say to someone who's undergoing or who has already went through a divorce?
Is the gospel powerful enough to handle a divorce? The answer is a resounding yes, and John Greco seeks to show that in his book.

The book is split into 5 short chapters, and each of them was very readable.

The first chapter sets the context of the book, it talks about the author's experience in divorce, mainly about how his ex-wife had an affair and wants now to undergo a divorce. Not only so, the divorce had a domino effect and he lost his job as a pastor, but it then introduces the wonder of the gospel, with an eager expectation that one day, we will be free of all such effects of sin in this world that we currently live in.

Chapter 2 talks about how God works in mysterious and unexpected ways and how sometimes God does things for reasons known only to Him. Then it proceeds about the danger one faces when undergoing such situations, like a belief in a better circumstances in the future, or we begin to trust ourselves. The chapter ends with a clear call to trust in God in everything and for everything

Chapter 3 deals with the situation where one has to undergo 'unjust' suffering through no apparent fault of their own - "What is God doing?" - one will struggle with the question "Why I am made to got through this when I am not in the wrong?". The truth is, as the author points out, there is no one who's innocent, we are all sinners. In these situations we might be better than the other party, but hey, even our most righteous deeds are filthy rags, we too need Jesus to carry all our guilt. 

Chapter 4 is the gem of this book, the author gives 6 steps for us to think through when we undergo such situations,
1) Leave vengeance to God
2) Forgive
3) Pray
4) Be wronged to the glory of God
5) Help the one who's hurt you
6) Move forward

Why are they the gems? It is full of scripture, each is explained and backed with scripture, and one that particularly struck me was the fifth one, where he chose to help pay for the car payment of his ex-wife days before the divorce was finalized because he was still, technically her husband and as Christians we're called to love those who are unlovable, and this is just one demonstration of it.

Chapter 5 ends with how others have tried to deal with martial affairs but these may not be gospel-centric, and again drives us back to the word and the gospel, to be centered onto it no matter what. And Christ when He saved us, has secured everything for us and that nothing can change that, no matter what situation or trials come our way.

The book clearly shows the power of the gospel, even in situations like a divorce, I would certainly recommend this book especially to those who are in similar situation like the authors' but also to anyone whom I know who are undergoing through 'unjust' suffering in his/her life. The gospel that is truly sufficient for all things.

Two quotes in the book which I think summarizes it "A gospel-centered life learns to recognize everything - even the seemingly bad things - as being the very best from the hand of a loving God and Father." "Life is good, because God is good."

Ratings: 4/5