When Good Enough Isn’t

When Good EnoughWhen my good friends and fellow pastors with my husband at The Church at Rancho Bernardo, Pam and Ken Ingold, told me they were going to write a marriage book, I knew they were the perfect couple to pound out words on a topic that has already been written about many times over. (Make sure you read to the end of this post because they’re giving away a copy of their new book, When Good Enough Isn’t!)

There are a lot of great marriage books out there — does the market really need another? Well, I can tell you why it needs this one. Not only is it full of great content, it’s slim! (just under a hundred pages) Let’s face it. We live in a busy world where time is precious. Not everybody loves to read outside what they need to for work (shocker, yes, but it’s true) and a lot of men just plain don’t. That’s what statistics say, not me.

But this is a book a busy couple could read together and not get bogged down in. And I would say it’s not just for couples in trouble. It’s the perfect book for couples to read before there’s trouble!

I “sat down” if you will, with Pam and Ken and interviewed them about their new book.  They’ve been married 35 years and have two grown children and one grandchild. They have been in vocational ministry for the past 17 years, and together have performed over 150 weddings and provided countless hours of pre-marital and marriage counseling, and they love witnessing a broken marriage restored! Here’s what they had to say.

What was it like writing a book together?

We have very different writing styles so it was definitely a challenge. It gave us an opportunity to practice what we preach, to truly collaborate rather than compete, concede or compromise.

What was the main reason you decided to write it?When Good Enough2

We have counseled couples in crisis for over 15 years, and we’ve seen some amazing transformations, but those are infrequent. At the same time, we’ve counseled couples experiencing “slow drift” headed toward crisis and discovered that, with the right tools, a marriage can frequently go from good to great!

What do you think is the biggest threat to keeping a marriage healthy in this day and age? Has it changed from what it was fifty years ago?

The biggest threat to marriages today is the sheer number of distractions, from social media to materialism, to kids activities, to perceptions created through marketing. The bombardment of outside influences has increased exponentially from 50 years ago, making building a great marriage harder than it has ever been.

In your book you wrote: “Expectations set marriages up for failure.” What     do you mean by that, in a nutshell?

When you expect something from your spouse and they don’t meet your expectation, you’re disappointed. If they do, your feelings don’t change. When you lower your expectations, you create an opportunity for your spouse to exceed them and you are able to celebrate together.

 That’s a very cool concept! Okay, so what’s wrong “with good enough”?

Do you remember the good meal or the great one, the good vacation or the great vacation, the good player or the great one? Why should marriage, the greatest institution on the planet, settle for anything less?

Touché. Did you learn anything new about marriage in the writing of this book?

We learned that we’re not giving up our pastoral careers! Seriously, we learned our culture has created an acceptance of marriage being good enough and not every couple is going to be willing to do the work that is necessary to make it great. But it’s worth it!

What advice would you give newlyweds just starting out?

First and foremost, put Jesus at the center of your marriage relationship, where your marriage is built on a covenant rather than a contract. Secondly, seek counsel from couples with great marriages and utilize the resources available. Third, spend time together – just the two of you! Make sure your marriage remains a priority, before children, while your raising them and when they’re grown.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Back to our day jobs and helping couples move their marriages from good to great! We don’t sense God calling us to write another book right now, but if we did, it would probably be on parenting.

Susan here: Thanks, Ken and Pam. Readers, if you want to hear more from this wise couple, here’s their Real Marriage blog that is full of more marriage-building tips. If you would like win a paperback copy of When Good Enough Isn’t for yourself or to give to someone (wedding season is here!), just leave a comment below. A winner will be drawn by random drawing on Friday, May 30 at noon Pacific.  And if you want, include the best marriage advice you ever got, heard, or gave.  Fire away!

Author: Susan

This post has 14 Comments

  1. Amy Weatherholt on May 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I am excited to read it. Their blog has been a blessing to me and I look forward to the next blog.

  2. Pattie on May 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    We just celebrated our 23rd anniversary, and I know we have much still to learn.

  3. Susan on May 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    That’s the thing about marriage, isn’t it? You are always learning something new, no matter how long you’ve been at it!

  4. Shelley gardineer on May 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    We read the first chapter together today. I am excited to see what comes next.

  5. Charlotte on May 27, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Thanks for letting us know about this book! I have found in the 50+ years we’ve been working at this marriage that keeping the lines of communication open especially if one or the other is away for any length of time or times is very important.

  6. Judi and Roger on May 27, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Ken and Pam, what a blessing you are. We are looking forward to reading your book. After 54 years of marriage, we can still learn something new.

  7. bn100 on May 28, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Lovely interview

  8. Karen Ogden on May 29, 2014 at 1:30 am

    We cannot WAIT to read this to create an even better marriage! Greatest words of wisdom: women, don’t expect men to read your minds, get rid of all those ridiculous distractions that are unimportant,…and value the male brain, as it makes me relax just thinking about it!

  9. Jenny on May 29, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Hi,
    I’ll love to have this book! This is a constant issue at home, sadly for my husband good is good enough.
    Thanks 🙂

  10. Terri on May 29, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Friendship with open communication seems the most important to me, and the desire to see our blessings everyday. I look forward to reading your book!

  11. KC on May 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Looking forward to reading it! And a parenting book if that comes out! 😉

  12. Lori Archambault on May 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulations, Pastor Ken & Pam, on publishing your first book on marriage. Joe and I are celebrating 35 years this July. I’ll be honest and say it hasn’t always been easy. We encountered a rough patch in our marriage three years ago when Satan interrupted our spiritual lives through a devastating and hurtful experience. In order to sustain our marriage, we decided the best thing to do was to get back to where we began 38 years ago. We started dating again. We started to focus on “us” rather than the things that distracted us from one another (ministry, work, children, family). We go to the beach almost every Sunday. We go to Red Sox games and ball games together. We go out dancing (he bought me a tambourine) My suggestion for a health marriage, is to get back to where you once were… Always keep God in your hearts; he will never fail you!

  13. Susan on May 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Congratulations, Charlotte! Random.org selected you as the winner of Ken and Pam’s book! Shoot me an email and we’ll chat. Thanks for all your comments and well-wishes everyone. And if you didn’t win the book, it’s just $5 a download at the link above. All proceeds go The Alabaster Jar Project, a ministry to women in crisis.

  14. andre on May 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I would love to read this book!

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