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Book Review

Book Review  by Dorothy Nyong’o
Marriage is a subject that elicits opinions as varied as there are people in the world. Many books have been written on marriage, yet Marriage Built to Last stands out as a must read. This is Jennifer Karina’s first book. It is written in an honest, succinct, profound and compelling manner. Jennifer, in providing suggestions for making marriage work for young people contemplating marriage, as well as young couples and those who have been married longer, shares her own experiences from her 34 year old marriage to Bob Karina.

Her sincerity stands out when she says, “I clearly remember our first fights, just as clearly as I do our wedding day. Coming home late was not a big deal for Bob. I found that unacceptable. What was even more challenging was that when he came late, he always expected me to wake up, leaving my already warm bed, to heat up his food, serve him, and keep him company while he ate.”

Marriage Built to Last addresses key challenges that confront modern marriages such as communication, intimacy, sex, fidelity, friendship, finances and relationship with the mother-in-law. This is a practical, humorous, sensitive homegrown book, written by a Kenyan for Africans. It is a useful guide for young people and couples who are determined to find and sustain a happy and lasting marriage. It is written for the modern, urban individual, from a Christian perspective with Biblical references.

Jennifer also uses examples from the life of numerous couples she has helped rebuild their marriages as she poignantly tackles the issues that inflict major blows on modern African families. Jennifer infuses her writing with precious cultural anecdotes, “Apparently, Kikuyu culture dictates that a man be at his wife’s side until the baby is born… According to grandma, the pregnancy periods were great because her husband really indulged her.”

Her tips for making marriage work are practical. On finances, she advices couples to plan for savings together: “The investment you make now determines the quality of your future. Remember always that a time will come when you will not have the energy that you have today, so live within your means, and enjoy stability and a comfortable future.” On raising children, she opines, “Take your children to school, so that you can share that time to talk to one another.”

Jennifer Karina is a Relationship Coach, an entrepreneur, an accomplished motivational speaker, a trainer and a marriage counselor. She is the founder of Mentoring Moms, a Ministry that trains women and their spouses. She is married to Bob Karina and together they have raised three children who are all married. She has four grandchildren. A tear rolled out of my eye as I read the words of a card her children had given them several years ago, “…Monday dinners we shall miss but in our hearts, we are joined in love and unity forever…” Jennifer acknowledges that “we do not go to school to learn how to bring up children”

She is passionate about empowering women and their families. She believes the institution of marriage is under attack and must be protected. She acknowledges that marriage takes work and is a core value for mankind. She wants to make a difference by enabling young people prepare for marriage and enjoy it. She upholds that marriage is beautiful and her vision is to encourage those not yet married to do so with the right understanding, and those who are already married, to enjoy their marriages and make them work.

In Marriage Built to Last, Jennifer has courageously shared her life’s experiences to point out the pitfalls to avoid and to alert those considering marriage and those already married about the beauty of marriage and how it can be built to last.

Dorothy Nyong’o is the MD of 7th Sense Communications Ltd.

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