1-Sentence-Summary: Keep Showing Up explores the struggles that married couples face on a daily basis, from falling into a routine to fighting over their children, and how to overcome them by being grateful, positive and re-establishing a connection with God.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Oftentimes, we see marriage as a ‘’happily ever after’’ version of the story. Hollywood movies and sneak peeks into the lives of celebrities have made marriage look like an effortlessly achieved fairy tale filled with good times only. But is that the reality?
Keep Showing Up by Karen Ehman sheds some light on this stereotype and presents a few truthful facts about the reality of marriage. In addition, the book dives deep into the subject of healthy couple relationships and recommends a strong connection with God.
Sometimes, we start to wonder why the other person isn’t the same as before, why things feel so different, or where it all went wrong. So, naturally, these are questions that go through everyone’s mind once they become involved in a long-term relationship.
Fortunately, some strategies can help us get through the bad times and appreciate the good ones. They are designed to help everyone refresh their relationship, understand and accept their partner‘s differences, and strengthen the connection with God.
Through this book, Ehman offers many lessons that can help anyone achieve serenity in marriage. My three favorite ones are:
- First, love goes through four different stages according to the New Testament.
- Love has different languages, and we must learn how to understand each one and appreciate them.
- Second, seek guidance from God through prayers if you need to overcome turbulent times.
Lesson 1: Love changes over time and transforms into new types of affection.
Love is a powerful sentiment that has to be maintained and nourished in a marriage. However, we can’t expect it to stay the same forever, even if we care for our partner and do everything right. Love changes and takes different forms over time, and we have to learn to evolve with it and with our partners.
According to the New Testament, love takes four different forms. The first one is erotic love — passion. This type of affection happens when we first fall for someone, but it fades over time and evolves into something else. This type of love is selfish, as it’s all about how the other person makes us feel.
The second type is brotherly love, similar to friendship. This is a normal and quite important stage of marriage. However, this part of love is conditional, as we love someone because they feel the same for us. The third type is familial love. We love our significant other because we’re expected to love them by this time in the relationship. However, it’s dangerous to let our love sit here for too long, as it can get monotonous.
The fourth type is the one that originates with God. This is unconditional love. This type is selfless, similar to the love God has for us. Love the other despite his faults and not for his acts. At this stage, a successful marriage should be kind, loving, and peaceful.
Lesson 2: Learn to understand love languages and be grateful when you notice your partner showing affection.
Just like in the world, we don’t all speak the same language. In love, we might not always show the same gestures of affection. But would you get upset if the person living in a foreign country doesn’t speak your native tongue? Of course not!
Love knows five specific languages, according to Dr. Gary Chapman. And because everyone is unique, we all display different signs of affection. Knowing which are these signs allows us to appreciate our partner more and recognize when they show us, love.
For example, let’s say you like to have your partner help around the house with chores, like washing the dishes or sweeping the floor. However, your partner likes to bring you flowers, chocolate or other small gifts. You may appreciate those but not consider them a love language.
Learn to interpret signs of affection and understand when your significant other speaks to you. Another aspect that can shake your marriage is boredom brought on by the routine. Try to break it once in a while by doing things you both enjoy, such as going on a little trip or a date.
Lesson 3: Difficulties are often opportunities disguised, and seeking God in those times can help you overcome them.
Sometimes it can be difficult to oversee some negative aspects of your partner and remember the good ones. Always remember that every relationship has ups and downs and that bad times only last so much. However, we can’t avoid trouble knocking at our door.
When it does, you will want to be prepared. Keep in mind that God is around you at all times and that difficulties in life are inevitable, but they will pass with a little faith. Pray for an opportunity to learn, listen, and forgive, rather than cry in despair over what happens.
Remember that your partner isn’t perfect, but you knew that when you chose to marry them. Embrace their differences and respect that sometimes they are going through some changes themselves. Always remember that both of you are humans, and this means that you are also flawed.
After accepting your situation and starting to reconnect with God, don’t expect your troubles to vanish. Instead, develop a meaningful relationship and don’t give up on your prayers while also making sure to practice gratitude and ask for patience and strength.
Keep Showing Up Review
Keep Showing Up is a must-read for struggling couples, as it provides the simplest yet most meaningful pieces of advice on how to fix their problems. The book has a realistic approach to the couple’s life and breaks the stereotypes of the Hollywood, perfect-like marriage we see on the screens. By learning how to reconnect with God and their partner, people reading this book will improve their marriages and form better connections.
Who would I recommend the Keep Showing Up summary to?
Couples that find it difficult to adjust to marriage, well-established married couples who feel like they are falling out of love and lack something in their relationship, or people who want to re-establish a connection with their partner and God.