Note from September 2018: I no longer agree with or recommend this book, due to many shifts in my world view.
About four years ago, I prayed earnestly for God to give me a clear sign about a young man. Was he “The One”, or wasn’t he? The answer I received was not at all what I was expecting. It wasn’t a yes or a no. It was one word: prepare. I remember sitting on my bed, in shock. Prepare? That wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, from then on I tried my best to prepare for my future husband and family in every way I knew how. I gathered cookbooks, housekeeping books, sewing books, health books, and read them all. I sewed, salvaged and bought dozens of household items, and filled my hope chest to overflowing. For the past four years, I have done everything possible to prepare myself physically, mentally and spiritually for marriage. But even with all of the skills, knowledge, and training that I have been blessed enough to acquire, nothing has prepared me for my future role as a wife like Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin’s new book, It’s (Not That) Complicated.
A good friend let me borrow It’s (Not That) Complicated last week. I couldn’t put it down! I was addicted, reading it in every spare second. I’m not one to read lots of relationship how-to manuals and survival guides, but It’s (Not That) Complicated was by far the best relationship advice book I have ever read. I had expected the Botkin sisters to deal almost solely with boy-girl relationships, like the subtitle suggests. Instead, I was delighted to find reams of godly, Biblical advice on parent-daughter, sibling-sibling, husband-wife, and general friendship relationships as well as guy-girl relationships. Unlike some advice books I’ve read, It’s (Not That) Complicated was filled with extremely practical advice and not just theories and theology. The Botkin sisters do clearly and logically lay out the theological foundation for each topic they cover. But they also fill each chapter with practical steps and advice on how to put the Biblical truths into action.
As I first started reading It’s (Not That) Complicated, I kept coming across incredible truths that I wanted to share with others. But before I’d even finished the second chapter, I gave up trying to gather quotes. If I tried to memorize every amazing passage in the book, I would literally memorize the entire book. I can’t even choose a passage to share with you in this review! I don’t even know how to begin to urge you strongly enough to read It’s (Not That) Complicated. God used it so powerfully in my life; I felt as if my heart underwent major surgery. Through the Botkins’ book, God exposed wrong attitudes and areas of sin in my heart. He also used their book to equip me with right attitudes and truths that will aid me for the rest of my life. I honestly cannot recommend It’s (Not That) Complicated enough! Fathers, mothers, pastors, young men, brothers and sisters should read it – not only single women. Though it is officially written with young women in mind, It’s (Not That) Complicated will encourage Christians of all ages.
Combining strong Biblical truths, humor, practical advice and wit, It’s (Not That) Complicated encouraged, convicted and challenged me. I feel more prepared for a healthy, happy marriage now than ever before. And not only did It’s (Not That) Complicated help prepare me for the future, it equipped me for the friendships and family relationships I’m in right now. I am forever grateful to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin for the truths they taught me through their book. They reminded me that it really isn’t that complicated after all.