Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lifting The Veil in Marriage:The Unveiled Wife-A Review

Her name is Jennifer Smith, but you may know her better as The Unveiled Wife. She writes the blog of the same name and has gathered nearly 400,000 followers since starting her blog in 2011. 

Jennifer is very soft-spoken as she shares her heart in video. Her lyrical writing style mesmerizes as you read her inner-most thoughts spilled onto the pages of her book. 

I've always felt that she holds nothing back from her readers. Her daily struggles, large or small, are an expected part of her community. Her readers seek out her gentle wisdom and prayers as comfort for their own troubles and struggles. 

So, I felt I had an idea what to expect when I started reading Jennifer's new book The Unveiled Wife. After all, I'd also read and reviewed her devotional Wife After God. I follow her on Facebook and Twitter. I've read her biography and I even guest posted on her blog before.

But as I started reading one night, I found myself completely drawn in to Jennifer and her husband Aaron's story. I could not put the book down. I walked around my kitchen while making dinner, carrying the book and reading it out loud, putting it down briefly once or twice only when absolutely necessary. That evening, I laid awake in bed until 1:00 in the morning, reading, because I simply had to see what happened next. I grew up as a teen reading Robin Jones Gunn's Christy Miller series, and I swear this was exactly how I felt reading about the fictional heorine, Christy Miller. Except, Jennifer and Aaron are real people with real problems, and faith the size of Texas. 

Jennifer begins the story by explaining a morning when she and Aaron walked into church, broken and at the end of their rope. You immediately want to know more; how they got to this place, what led up to this moment.

Jennifer goes on to paint the picture of her parents' broken marriage, her life growing up in a blended family, and her acceptance of Christ. 

As she details how hers and Aaron's friendship grew, I smiled and rooted them on and felt disappointed as their relationship drifted and they took different paths for a time. 

My eyes filled with tears when Aaron gave Jennifer a sweet brithday present and Jennifer expressed in the book how much that meant to her to have someone, for the first time, be so thoughtful. I understood that feeling. 

I nodded in agreement as she described the brokenness in her expectations and thinking concerning boyfriends and waiting for them to make the first move. I cringed as I saw myself in her explanantion of how she would use manipulation to get what she wanted from her relationships. I found myself pausing only long enough to put something on Facebook about what I was reading--it was that thought-provoking.

I totally bought-in to their story. I was hooked and I had to see it all play out. 

Jennifer and Aaron had a very bumpy road in their first four years of marriage. Their marriage remained unconsummated during that time because of issues Jennifer experienced when they'd try to be intimate. The shame and failure she felt was unbearable. As a result, there were many times she turned away from Aaron and shut down. 

The stress took a huge toll on their marriage. Adding to the angst was that both Aaron and Jennifer struggled with pornography addictions--with neither of them knowing at first that the other struggled. Not a topic often talked about in the Church or Christian circles, Jennifer busts through the wall and is completely open about her struggle. In fact, at one point durning the lengthy four year timeframe when she and her husband couldn't consummate their marriage, Jennifer feared she was gay. She details in the book how her words tumbled out and tears streamed down her face as she confessed her fear to her husband. 

I was moved. I was stunned. I was so refreshed at the level of transparency she was willing to offer in her book. At no time did I feel that anything was shared in a way that was distasteful. I never felt like she revealed too much or that I was sorry I was reading. Jennifer has such a delicate way of expressing truth that the reader cannot help but be brought in, feel the emotions in the moment, and understand at some level the struggle they faced. 

Marriage is hard. 

My marraige looks nothing like Jennifer's but I was able to learn so much from her story. The Biblical Truths she shares in her book and on her blog are as applicable for my marriage as they are for anyone's.

Whether you've been married for 5 days or 50 years, Jennifer's fresh and fiercely Biblically based approach to marriage is spot on. It's obvious she has a heart for God and a passion to honor Him in her ministry. 

Download the introduction and first chapter for free HERE.

Watch Jennifer's Promotional Vodeo below:

*I received a copy of Unveiled Wife in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are 100% genuine and my own. 
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