When a couple promises ‟I do,” they agree to more than just a shared last name, a joint bank account, and no more dateless nights. This husband and wife duo forms a new team. ‟Life together” becomes their mantra. Nothing can come between them. At least, that’s the plan.
But then real life sets in. With it come disappointments and frustrations. If the couple isn’t intentional in their day-to-day interactions, that once enthusiastic ‟we” can slowly revert to ‟you” and ‟me.” Before long, the couple’s left wondering what happened to their team spirit.
Team Us: Marriage Together offers couples practical ways to cultivate and strengthen unity in their marriages. Ashleigh Slater shares from her own marriage as she presents couples with realistic ideas on how to foster cooperation, deepen commitment, and exercise grace on a daily basis.1
Ashleigh, with dry witty asides by her husband, Ted, tells the whole truth about marriage – the struggle we all face day to day as we try to function with this “new being” in our household. We endeavor to subdue our “me-ness” to be an “us,” yet we forever find ourselves facing the truth that we’ve become self-centered yet again. It takes real effort to put the marriage ahead of our own needs – to consider the marriage more important than what we feel we need at that point in time. We learn to pick our battles – and let the small stuff go.
As Ashleigh so engagingly explains, we need to practice grace and forgiveness on a daily basis. Practicing grace – the concept of doing rather than receiving grace – affected me deeply. So many times I’ve let me take over and forgotten the us. I’ve held onto grudges instead of offering grace and forgiveness. And yet the times when I’ve followed Ashleigh’s advice, our marriage has grown and strengthened.
Ashleigh and Ted Slater are a delightful young couple I had the pleasure of interviewing during ICRS (International Christian Retail Show). Such a young couple writing a marriage “how to” book intrigued me. They related that they wanted to be viewed more as mentors and friends than as “experts.” Ashleigh told me that she learns from stories and wanted to share stories from their marriage that could help others perhaps a couple of years younger to not make some of the same mistakes that they had made – to be able to give practical ideas rather than untried theories.
Ashleigh and Ted have been married for 11 ½ -years and have four girls. Ted relates in the book and told me that he had been engaged twice before he met Ashleigh. Because he felt himself a walking disaster with relationships, they did not hold hands until they were engaged and did not so much as kiss until the minister said, “You may kiss the bride.” Ashleigh says this make her feel like Ted respected her so much more. Ted is 12 years older than Ashleigh – one of her friends told her this (she was only 23 when they were married), but Ted had to have one of his friends ask her in front of him to find out her age – asking her himself seemed to him a bad move – they both chuckle about that.
Ashleigh got her start writing music reviews – her mom was very supportive and sent one of her reviews in when Ashleigh was 16 – and it was published. Ted says she brought 1000s of CDs to their marriage. They both studied communication in college and grad school and know that the ability to communicate is of paramount importance in marriage. They both view life as a narrative empowered by the grace of God. Ted says he is the “wild card” and Ashleigh has told him in return that he’s not allowed to have a mid-life crisis – that she is that crisis. More chuckles from both of them ensued.
I am 31 years married and learned some new things and new tips from Team Us. Regardless of how long you’ve been married, or if you’re planning on being married, you’ll enjoy reading Team Us: Marriage Together
I was given a copy of this book by Moody Publishers for my unbiased review.
1.) Back Cover Copy