Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story {Book Review}

“Life will not always be this hard, or marriage so difficult.  There is coming a Day when something so grand and glorious will appear that it will supersede even marriage. Heaven is on the horizon for us all, and what we do down here on earth – every drastic obedience – all of it will one day have a direct bearing on our capacity for joy and for worship and for service in heaven.”

Words such as those can only be written by people who have lived in the trenches. The trenches of a war that threatens to steal joy, crush hope, and mock any little victory. To say Joni and Ken Tada have lived in the trenches is an understatement – they’ve fought there. Joni & Ken

Having lived the last 46 years with quadriplegia after a diving accident in her teens,  Joni Eareckson Tada’s story of pressing onward despite her circumstances has become an inspiration to many. A Christian, Joni is very clear that her life is wrapped up in humble obedience to Christ. A concept that may seem foreign to many, but becomes surprisingly real when you hear Joni openly and bravely discuss her struggles with anger, anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. A life that is committed to Christ isn’t free of trials, but its filled with Christ.

One part of Joni’s remarkable story that hasn’t been publicly told is that of her marriage to Ken Tada.

Written in a third person voice, that of Larry Libby, Joni and Ken’s memoir weaves in and out of various stages of their marriage and life together. I really enjoyed how their story would pick up at one point and then move the reader backwards to reveal more layers of the plot. Of course, when I say “plot” I am entirely aware that Joni & Ken is very much a real story about two very real people. But perhaps that’s the beauty of their storytelling. If marriage is a portrait of Christ and the Church, then the Tada’s masterpiece is beautifully framed.

To give you an idea of that framing, I’d like to share a piece that the Tada’s highlighted in the conclusion of this book. Take a moment, if you would, and watch one of the most devastatingly gorgeous pictures of a faithful, Christ-like marriage I’ve ever seen.

Joni and Ken’s memoir echoes with the resounding thought that marriage only gets better. With Jesus at the center, how could it not? Needless to say, this book comes highly recommended to all. Single, married, widowed, or divorced I think many will benefit from the Tada’s picture of marriage – not so much for the love or romance, though those moments are wonderfully tender, but for the shining picture of how Jesus loves us.

You can watch the book trailer for Joni & Ken on Zondervan Publishers’ YouTube channel. Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story can be ordered on Follow the ministry of Joni and Ken Tada by visiting the website of their international ministry, Joni & Friends International Disability Center.

Have you read the book? If so, what did you think? If not, are you planning to put it on your reading list?

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