The Secret to a Beautiful Marriage (Giveaway and an Interview with @TedCunningham) @David_C_Cook

Margaret —  November 2, 2013 — 62 Comments

Win a Copy of Fun Loving You (Plus and Interview with @tedcunningham) @David_C_Cook

This week we're giving away THREE copies of my dear friend, Ted Cunningham's book, Fun Loving You. Ted is the founding pastor of Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, Missouri. He is a graduate of Liberty University and Dallas Theological Seminary. Ted and his wife, Amy, have been married for 15 years and live in Branson, MO with their two children, Corynn and Carson. Ted is also the author of Trophy Child and Young and In Love and co-author of four books with bestselling author, Dr. Gary Smalley, including: The Language of Sex; From Anger to Intimacy; Great Parents, Lousy Lovers and As Long as We Both Shall Live.

I recently had the chance to ask Ted a few questions about his book: 

Margaret: For readers who aren’t familiar with the book, what is the main idea?

Ted: Outdated. Boring. Preachy. Feminine. Those four words describe the approach most men fear from marriage resources, conferences and sermons. Somehow marriage ministry in the church today has lost the Ecclesiastes 9:9 message: “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.” You do not need to choose between life and a wife. You can enjoy both at the same time.

Win a Copy of Fun Loving You (Plus an Interview with @tedcunningham) @David_C_Cook

This book is a practical read with hundreds of questions, fill-in-the-blanks and conversation starters to help you and your spouse laugh, date, and enjoy life together. I refuse to accept the message that says, “God gave you your spouse to beat you down and suck the life out of you so you can be more like Jesus.” God did not give you your spouse to be the grind. He gave you your spouse to join you on your journey through the grind.

What were the biggest challenges or struggles during the writing process?

My greatest struggle in writing is translating humor into print. For this reason, I write out loud. Comedy and humor have so much to do with body language, tone and pace. It’s hard to do that for the reader. I also keep in mind that what is funny to me, may not be funny to you. That’s why my wife, Amy, is my first and primary editor. She has no problem telling me when something is harsh or dry.

What do you hope will happen in the reader’s heart and mind after they finish with the book?

Years ago my counselor friend said to me, “Ted, sometimes I think couples make it harder than it needs to be.” I agree. I want couples to lighten up, get unstuck in the grind and have a blast together. The ultimate goal of the book is to increase marital satisfaction and lower the divorce rate, one couple at a time!

What 3 books have most impacted your life and ministry (besides the Bible)?

What’s So Amazing About Grace (Yancey) - This book came to me 15 years ago at a time in my life when I needed rescuing from legalism.

The Purpose Driven Church (Warren) - I was 22 when I first read this book and it completely changed my motives and strategies for leading in the church.

Speaking Secrets of the Masters - Gary Smalley had me read this book years ago and it changed the way I teach.

Check out the trailer for, Fun Loving You:

(RSS Subscribers, click here to view.)

To win a copy of Ted's book, enter a comment on the original blog post below. Winners will be selected and notified on Friday!

Congratulations to the winners: Josh, JR, Elisa Gray

What's your secret to a beautiful marriage?

62 responses to The Secret to a Beautiful Marriage (Giveaway and an Interview with @TedCunningham) @David_C_Cook

  1. Grady Paxton III November 2, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Saw Ted speak here in atlanta a few weeks ago. Very good humor and insight.

  2. I married my best friend. We have always laughed together and talked about anything. He has been an encouragement and a shoulder to cry on. He has been a kind reminder of truth in my life. After almost 20 years, he became my husband in June 2013.

  3. This book sounds like a fun read! AND a very useful one!

  4. I love to laugh, my spouse, not so much! We need help!

  5. Sounds like a very beneficial teaching on marriage! I would love to read it.

  6. A very good read from one of the best speakers on marriage. Thanks Ted!

  7. I’d love to read this!

  8. Sounds like a great book for married couples, would love to read.

  9. I want to read this book!

  10. Always looking for marital advice.

  11. The trailer was great. One can never learn enough about how to strengthentheir marriage. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. Tomorrow is my husband and my 29th anniversary. I would love to read this book! We have been through ups and downs but we still love one another. One of our secrets is to …laugh and have fun together.

  13. I don’t think I can offer anyone a secret to a beautiful marriage right now. We’re in a tough kind of growing season (I trust) right now. Bringing laughter back in the way this book offers would be a gift.

  14. Sure would like some laughter in my marriage – I fear it has become a grind. Need to read the book.

  15. Our secret laughing and forgiving

  16. “Everyone falls in love with the front end of a puppy.” Hilarious! And, after 38 years of marriage…ermmmm…yep, so true. So grateful to have a great marraige. Books, such as this, make me want to jump with joy! (Loved the trailer!)

  17. Sounds like a great read!

  18. The secret to a beautiful marriage is being a student of your spouse every single day- never stop learning about them.!!!

  19. Would be a great tool

  20. This sounds like a perfect book for where we are in this life!

  21. Secrets?

    First, stay alive–for a long marriage!
    Second (or, maybe first)–commitment to God and each other, no matter what!
    Third, laugh a lot!

  22. Forgiveness is so important; because I’m not perfect either.

  23. What works best? Love with Jesus’ love. Simple concept…on paper

  24. My husband of 31 years and I look for ways to serve each other. Today he cleaned out the latest mouse nest in my trunk. He’s a keeper!

  25. My husband is a great kidder and he gets me laughing even after 41 years of marriage! Sure we have our ups and downs but all in all life is good with this man. Love him!

  26. My husband and I just celebrated our 11 year anniversary on November 1! Our secret? Being honest and helping each other. He encourages me to do things out of my comfort zone and I’ve grown because of his wisdom and encouragement. Thanks for offering this book! Look forward to reading it!

  27. Sounds like a great book!

  28. We are coming up on 27 years together, and laughing more than we used to. I would love to read this book!

  29. This book sounds both fun and helpful. I definitely want to read it!

  30. My husband and I have been married 23 years and there have been plenty of ups and downs, but one one of the best tips I could give is to learn how to have fun with your spouse. When you truley enjoy being together, doing things that you love, it makes all the difference!

  31. 13 years and going strong with my beautiful wife – but most days come with the realization that we could be going even stronger. My wife deserve not just good, but the best, so I welcome any help in making that happen. I’d love to get some insights from Ted through this book.

  32. That’s exactly what my husband assumes those books will be like: preachy and outdated. But one with humor sounds great!

  33. Here’s to 33 years and lots of laughter and tears.

  34. I love the very word LIGHT. Looking forward to reading this book and being reminded to live light and close and to enjoy the journey god is orchestrating for us in our marriage.

  35. My husband and I love to laugh. We share this , our faith, and love for family. This book sounds delightful! I can’t wait to read it!

  36. The secret to a happy marriage is loving God first and allowing him to be the center of your life. Pray for each other and never go to bed angry.

  37. Michelle Killpack November 3, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Sounds like a great book!! I would love to read it!

  38. I am dating the most wonderful man right now, and humor is a big part of our relationship. I am hoping, praying, for a proposal some day soon. 🙂

  39. Our marriage needs more humor and fun. It’s way too much of a grind. Thanks for the Opportunity.

  40. Would LOVE to read this book, just what we need!

  41. Our secret is showing kindness/love to each other even when we don’t feel like it; especially after working 12 hour night shifts.

  42. I love reading all of these comments. Thank you, Margaret and friends.

  43. Communication is everything in marriage. I think the root issue for all marriage problems is that there was a breakdown in communication at some point. If there is always open and honest communication, then I think marriages can get through anything.

  44. I think the most important thing is always taking the time to talk with (and listen to!) each other. Even if it’s about things you couldn’t care less about, you HAVE to take the time to connect or your relationship will fall apart. Friendships can’t last if you don’t put time into them, and neither can marriages, because at the heart of what a marriage is, is a friendship. At least it should be!

  45. Sounds like a great book for me to read BEFORE getting married!

  46. Saw him on a website sermon, he was HILARIOUS! Love to read his book

  47. Been married for 28 yrs. to my husband & while it has not been an easy journey at all, we are still together. I’ve seen GOD work in both of us. That is what gives me hope even though we still struggle to bond. I would love to see if your book could deepen our bonding. Thanks so much!

  48. After 21 years of marriage we still consider it important and lots of hard work! any new ideas and tools are always welcome.

  49. My husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage over the summer. Like most marriages, we have faced many challenges along the way, including some that almost always wreck most marriages. I think the secret to a beautiful marriage is a “pre-decided heart”. Just like any other success in life, you have to pre-decide and then “commit”. We may not always be able to control our feelings or emotions, but we CAN always control our behavior and our response to our feelings. Love is a decision. So decide to have a beautiful marriage!

  50. I’m getting married this coming weekend and would love this resource!

  51. I’m just getting married this Sunday, so I don’t have any secrets YET, but for us, taking time everyday to get to know each other and connect has been one of the most helpful things for us. And laughing. A lot.

  52. Like seeing books like this. And that’s one of our secrets, we talk about everything and read up on whatever we can to keep learning.

  53. We’ve been married 42 years and still love and like each other! We’ve been in a season that is pulling on our time…….work changes and challenges, a dear Mom with dementia and very involved with her care, ministries…..we’ve both been saying that we need to have fun!
    Our spirits, nerves, and bodies need it! I can only imagine the wisdom that Ted has gained from researching for so many books on marriage…’s got to be a “must read.” And a must laugh!

  54. I have read two of Ted’s books and I would like to read all of the books he has authored!

  55. My secret to a beautiful marriage is to realize that it’s not all about me and how I feel all the time. I need to use my words and not hold things inside expecting my husband to have a crystal ball and magically know how I feel. I need to find out what he likes and dis-likes and then act accordingly. I also need to let him know, in a sweet way, what I like and don’t like. And if I have a need that is important to me, I should ask more than once 🙂
    Love God, Love your spouse.

  56. My husband and I have been married for little over one year. My secret so far? Remember why you got married.

    I remember my first pre-marriage counseling session with our pastor. He asked me why I wanted to get married. Being the type of person I am, I climbed onto my soapbox and talked about the importance of marriage in the church, how marriage should represent the relationship of Jesus to us, and how awful I felt when I hear divorce stories. Especially those from inside the church walls. I felt compelled and called to marry to help set an example. The statistics of marriage failure rate (around 50%) is the same both inside and outside of the church. How are we to be a light to this dark world when we act and look just like the darkness? We are to be different, we are to help guide those that are stumbling and be honest about our failures – not pretend we have none and not have our hearts break and hurt at such saddness. I finished my (small) speech and the pastor merely looked at me and said…do you love him? Well, I dissolved into giggles and said, yes, of course I do. Isn’t that the obvious answer?

    So my advice? Remember why you got married. Yes, love is a big, important reason as I had to remind myself that day, and many days since. I’ve always seen marriage as a tripod. Love, lust, and commitment. When one is lacking, the other two help hold it up until it gets strong again. I may not feel very loving or romantic at any single moment, but at those times commitment keeps me strong – and vice versa. So, I don’t have just one reason to stay married, I really have three. And God is the author of all of those beautiful, incredible reasons.

    I’d love to win this book. I love reading, I love growing spiritually through that medium, and the author is from Branson, which is in my home state!

  57. I’ll be glad and happy to win this book.

  58. looking for help in any way for my marriage.

  59. My husband and I have been married for 31 years. We have been through many ups and downs over the years. I would like some new ideas to freshen and liven things up.
    I am very thankful for my husband. He is always making me smile– even when I don’t want to.

  60. its gud to here from other married people. i have been married for a year and some months now and i can clearly says things are not rite. though am quick tempered and working on it, ma spouse isnt helping matters. i love him despite everytin and cherish this marriage so much.

  61. will be happy to get daily posts on how to make ma marriage beautiful if dat is possible.tank you

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