“For Better or For Kids” Patrick and Ruth Schwenk



The transition from “married” to “married with children” can be tough. Before they know it, a once youthful and energetic married couple finds themselves in a minivan loaded with noisy kids and littered with Cheerios, crusty Sippy cups, banana peels, and missing library books. As much as you love your children and work hard to nurture and train them for the future, the challenges that come with parenthood can make the “for better or for worse” promise a hard one to honor.

For Better or For Kids will enable couples to:

    • Build a God-centered marriage instead of a Child-centered or Me-centered marriage
    • Avoid the dangers of spouse-neglect and self-neglect
    • Effectively communicate in the chaos
    • Explore ways to parent together as one team
    • Find balance in the busyness


For Better or For Kids is about remembering that even when you feel worn out, over-extended, and neglected, you promised to be a team. Marriage with kids may not always be what we expected, but it is good. We need to make a vow to love our spouse with kids in the house.



Patrick Schwenk is a husband, father, and pastor. Ruth Schwenk is a wife, mom, and blogger. She is the coauthor (with Karen Ehman) of Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off. She and her husband are the creators of ForTheFamily.org and TheBetterMom.com. Patrick and Ruth met while attending the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. They have been married for more than seventeen years, have four children and have been in full time ministry for over fifteen years. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.



For better of for worse, that is the best title ever! I mean, seriously, marriage was a cake walk compared to marriage with kids.  The ability to balance being wife and a mother to three boys has definitely proven to be a challenge. This book made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this crazy parenting/wife world. So many of the topics covered had me shaking my head yes in agreement! I was relieved to find out that we are not the only ones who have failed every once in a while of being good spouses.

The husband/wife author team made it personable for both sides of the marriage world. Well written and enjoyable for either/both husband and wife. I shared several of the sections with my husband and will definitely be recommending it to all my friends with kids. It is a breath of fresh air, an all out truth to what it’s really like to be married with kids.

This book can be read as a stand alone or also as a study for yourself or as a self-help for married couples. It refers to the bible throughout the entire book, quoting scriptures that are related to loving our spouses and how we should honor and cherish one another just like God does for us. There is even a chapter on how to keep up with your sex life even when we are exhausted and just ready to go to bed once the kids are asleep.

I truly enjoyed this book. It is a light-hearted but deep down truthful reality that we all face time and again. Our kids are our world, but so is our spouse and we have to remember that marriage is a team effort! The questions at the end of each chapter help to reflect on what has been read and also helps you as a couple to remember why you love him/her and how important it is to spend quality time together. Some of the questions were really deep and took some thought, but it made me realize that I need to adjust my schedule to spend more time with my hubby. Such a great book, that I will be keeping around for future reads!

All around great book and I would definitely recommend it! I received the copy of this book from a publisher for a fair and honest review.


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