Q&A with Tim Chan: Fight With Me: How We Learned to be Married (Free eBook)
I am delighted to introduce my friend Tim Chan. I first encountered Tim at a leadership conference during college. I soon discovered we had a lot in common. Not only did he graduate from the same business school, but also both of us had a consuming passion for reading and writing. Most importantly, he loves Jesus Christ and serves Him in all his endeavors.
Tim and his wife Olive have written a very important book on marriage – particularly for those in the first several years of marriage. I conducted a Skype interview with Tim to share more about his book. This is a practical, relatable and fun book for those thinking of marriage in the near future or newlyweds in their first several years. You can get their first ebook, Fight With Me: How We Learned to be Married, for FREE!
Paul: What inspired you and your wife Olive to write your first book?
Tim: My wife and I have been impacted by reading many books over the past decade. We have really appreciated the thoughts, ideas, and stories shared by authors and leaders around the world. They have challenged us to live better and dream bigger, and what they have written has shaped how we think and how we live. I think it’s neat that we can learn from leaders everywhere without having to meet them in person – it’s like being mentored from afar. Both of us have hoped that we could do the same for others at some point in our lives, but we didn’t know it would be this soon.
Paul: There’s a plethora of books on marriage and relationships on the market. So, why another book on this topic?
Tim: We have benefited from many of the marriage books that have been written. Most of those books on marriage are “how to” books written by experts (researchers, PhDs, counselors, or pastors). They have much expertise on the topic and write from their wide range of experience.
Our book is very different. We are no experts in marriage – we’ve only been married four years. Our book isn’t a “how to” book, but a “how we” book. It is a fresh perspective of the beginning of married life and what it was like for us. Our hope is that our story, reflections, and experiences are relatable to others. Instead of being experts with the answers, we want to be fellow journeyers sharing what we’ve learned.
Paul: What are the most common mistakes newlyweds make in the first few years in marriage?
Tim: We can’t speak for everyone, but from our experience one of the mistakes we made was not resolving conflict. Both my wife and I tend to avoid conflict. Early on in our marriage we would not fight much. We quickly learned that this was not a healthy way to build a marriage, as conflict that is avoided turns into resentment. One thing we had to learn is to fight with each other and to fight fairly to resolve the arguments and differences we had in our marriage.
Paul: What are the top three pieces of advice you would give to Christian newlyweds?
Tim: The first piece of advice would be to take extra time in the first year of marriage to spend with your spouse and build your marriage. Back in Biblical times, newly married men would not go to war during the first year of marriage so they could be at home with their wives. We advise newly wed couples to pull back from doing overtime at work and volunteering at church, so that they have extra time to figure out how to be married.
The second piece of advice would be to create memories. Do the things that you’ve both wanted to do and have a good time. Now that my wife and I have a baby girl, we don’t get many opportunities to go out and have fun. But what we do have is many great memories from our first few years of marriage – of the trips we took and the crazy things we did together. Often when we feel discontent about our current social life (or lack thereof), we reminisce of the things we were able to do at the beginning of our marriage and it brings us joy.
The third piece of advice would be to reflect and be thoughtful. Marriage is not easy and doesn’t come naturally.
The fourth piece of advice would be to work on growing your love for your spouse. We believe that marriage can get better over time as you take time to grow in love with your spouse. Both you and your spouse will continue to change over time – it’s important to be aware and learn about how your spouse changes, and to love the changes that happen. Otherwise, one day you’ll wake up and wonder why the person you are married to is not the same person you fell in love with when you got married.
Tim is a cheerful pessimist that married Olive, a friendly introvert. They have two daughters, a marketing business, and blog about thoughtful marriage, parenting and life. One of their favourite blog posts is “Books to Prepare Your Toddler for a New Baby.” You can download their ebook by clicking the following title: “Fight With Me: How We Learned to be Married” for FREE.