I commited to reading To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams because of signing up for a blog tour; it’s not necessarily the kind of book I would choose to read. However, I found myself hooked from the very first words of the Introduction and struggled to put it down. I forced myself to read it in two or three sittings, but I could have devoured it in one go. Lara has such a readable writing style – you really do feel as if you’re sitting cosily with her, mug of tea in hand, chatting confidentially about stuff. She has a real gift for drawing in her reader and keeping you turning the pages.
Although To Walk or Stay is about marriage, the lessons Lara shares from her story and experience are much broader than that. In fact, I found I could relate well to much of what she wrote from the illness I had in 2010. I liked the way the book is set out with each chapter covering an issue that Lara has had to face in her marriage: her husband’s betrayal, her need to control, her right to be loved, to leave or not to leave, choosing forgiveness, prayer. She discusses sensitively the choice between divorce and staying in a marriage, carefully considering what the Bible has to say. I couldn’t detect any judgement or condemnation on her part, just a raw honesty of the way she chose to deal with these difficult, heart-breaking issues. What did God want for her? What was His best for her and her family?
At the end of each chapter is a short section of relevant questions along with some suggested Bible passages for use in small group discussion. This is followed by a section called ‘Digging Deeper’ in which Lara unpacks some general spiritual and biblical truths that she learned through this rocky period of her marriage.
For wives or husbands struggling with the heartbreak of adultery and betrayal, I would strongly urge them to read this book. God is able to do impossible things beyond anything we can imagine in the most unlikely of circumstances. To Walk or Stay is a book that every Christian counsellor and church pastor/elder should read, especially when giving marriage advice and ministering to hurting couples. There is much hope and strength to be drawn from someone’s personal experience coupled with biblical truths, as Lara demonstrates in her book.
In spite of feelings, and regardless of what may seem like a hopeless situation, the Lord may challenge you to stay committed in your heart, regardless of the unlove of your spouse. He may dare you to stay because he may want to do something wildly miraculous in your home.