FINDING EVER AFTER:
A Romantic Adventure for Her, An Adventurous Romance for Him
Robert S. Paul and Donna K. Wallace
Bethany House Publishers
About the Book
We never tire of the epic tale of undying love between a man and a woman, spun with timeless threads of adventure and romance. Our imagination is captured by chronicles wrought with danger and uncertainty, where two lovers dare to encounter their greatest fears for the sake of the other. Why? Theirs is a love worthy of gallant sacrifice, a story worth living.
At first glance, such a relationship might sound like nothing more than fantasy, but I couldn't disagree more. What we've widely come to accept as mere fantasy is, in fact, our deepest reality. I believe we are all born with incalculable potential, and I have learned never to underestimate the power of the human heart.
Nevertheless, I listen daily as couples privately confess to finding themselves restless, bored, even trapped in a reality worlds apart from their dream marriage. Whether outwardly cynical or quietly resolved, disillusioned partners ask, "What's the point?" I'm saddened that so many feel bound to a commitment they can't define: "I made a promise ... and now I will live in regret the rest of my life. I'll stay, but I'll never be happy."
We've learned that men and women are from different planets; we know why men can't remember and women can't forget; we're aware of the battle of every man and the desire of every woman; we've heard what she most craves and for what he most yearns. Couples are loaded with communication styles and love languages, yet their marriages still seem mundane—far too often devoid of passion and fascination. She's secretly aching for what may never be. He's trapped in boredom, fearing the day he might cave in to temptation or fail to feel at all. Or, flip the variables—maybe he's longing and she's impassive. Either way, there's loneliness and restlessness.
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It doesn't have to be this way! I am absolutely confident of our research findings and our revolutionary approach to marriage in the areas of adventure and romance. Through working with the National Institute of Marriage, couples are not only astounded at their initial relational healing, they're also blown away by how exciting and natural it can be to grow together as they discover and enjoy fun, fascination, and freedom.
In moving toward finding their Ever After—discovering new life and seizing momentum toward ongoing happiness—those couples invested in learning how to fan sparks into flames that will continue to fill their marriages with romance and adventure. I hope you will be motivated and inspired to do the same. Why should we stop at being interested in "knowing how to hang in there"? We don't just want to know how to survive; we want to know how to go from where we are in order to thrive. How to make the ordinary extraordinary!
The Foundational Element of Inspiration
We want you to discover with us what it means to be vitally alive together as man and wife, jointly traversing uncharted territories instead of punching life's time clock or longing for the next available escape route. Have you ever wondered what it might look like for two hearts to be vulnerably and intimately joined, day by day becoming the full expression of God in our homes and in our world? I hope you will find your own blueprint within these pages. Our Creator is the author and finisher of your adventure and romance.
A Radical Spin on Dramatic Tension
What draws us back again and again to our favorite stories? Just as with marriage, dramatic tension is essential to rousing and sustaining our interest. Here we find the necessity and beauty of arousal, which arises when male and female differences spark at the connecting point—the point at which adventure and romance meet. Though it's intended to carry the fascination of a fairy tale, Finding Ever After is not meant to be an oversimplification of or detour from reality but rather the full embrace of it. What follows is an intensity-filled voyage through the dramatic tension of masculine and feminine differences.
A Non-Stereotypical Perspective on Adventure and Romance
Our generation's perilous pace frequently convinces us that we don't have time for make-believe damsels in distress and made-up mavericks swooping down to vanquish foes against all odds. However, in the contemporary era, married life requires flexibility and creativity like never before. While much in Christian literature has endeavored to bring about our awakening to the wonder and beauty of divine reflections in the masculine and the feminine, men and women still broadly seem to be finding themselves in opposite corners, without "the connecting piece."
I want to show you that missing piece. I will intentionally address oft-present "his" and "hers" emotions and concerns while showing men and women the power of their own story in concert with one another. Unique but inseparable, "his/hers" components validate and allow husband and wife their own individual discoveries of the inspired life. Only then are both partners free to arrive, together, at the true climax of their story.
Though men and women often approach life and love through different doors— sometimes called "orientations," as in men tend to be oriented toward adventure, women toward romance—my desire is not to define gender differences as much as to help identify or recognize individual strengths. While avoiding stereotypical extremes, my aim is to set up references for men and women in general—mainly for the ease of communicating ideas—while also validating those who intensely identify with non-stereotypical approaches to romance and adventure. (Women tend to be much more diverse in identity and social roles than men.) Because many readers will identify with traditional roles, the discussion here will follow traditional expectations. This in no way should be construed, for example, as an invalidation of women who gravitate toward adventure or of men who are more uniquely oriented toward romance.
Ever After: Starting Now
I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.
—J. B. Priestley
Your love story is now.
Do you seek adventure—to be challenged, empowered, thrilled? Welcome to the pursuit and capture of inspiration, freedom, exhilaration.
Do you dream of romance—to be desired, treasured, fulfilled? Welcome to the reframing of your story, the actualization of your longing, the coming-true of all you were created to be.
Your curiosity can be reawakened. You can learn how to become playmates. Watch your dreams come true with discovery and passion as you make finding Ever After your deepest, most profound reality.
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Excerpted from FINDING EVER AFTER: A Romantic Adventure for Her, An Adventurous Romance for Him © Copyright 2017 by Robert S. Paul and Donna K. Wallace. Reprinted with permission by Bethany House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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