Book Reviews

How to Build Children with Integrity

“Imagine the beauty and peacefulness of a civil community freed from victims and imprisoned expectations; this book is the recipe.  With a mix of parenting ideas and an accountability mindset, Karen takes us through the secret garden of developing kids where they bloom by what we put in, share, and value.  It is a must read for parents, pastors, teachers, college administrators or anyone seeking to shape young lives.  As you read its lessons, it will open your circle of knowledge and open your heart to the grace received by practicing intentionality, hospitality and spirituality.”
Donald Packham, Human Resources Executive experienced in working with leadership teams and boards in the oil industry, government and higher education. Presently CHRO for a non-profit education system of 5 colleges with a mission to graduate professionals in psychology, education, law, and related health fields. Served as FBI’s Chief Human Resources Officer in a post 9/11 transformation to create an intelligence led organization. With 800 employees and a budget of over $400 million built recruitment strategies, developed leaders and delivered HR services for over 33,000 employees. Senior VP of Human Resources at BP with global accountability, leading HR in talent and succession management, M&A, compensation and benefits, outsourced services, and HRIS.

A word to the reader or potential reader of this book:
There are CD Series, DVD’s, seminars, and books you can invest your time in regarding raising your child. Most are helpful, some are confusing and others offer suggestions that are in opposition to biblical standards. Then there is this all-encompassing work by author Karen Budzinski, How to Build Children With Integrity. Truly a worthy read!
With several decades leading a congregation, I’ve read those books, watched those DVD’s and listened to multiple CD’s about marriage and family. I say with all sincerity that I’ve not come across a book that covers the concepts of raising children as thoroughly as this book does. The insight, application and personal stories will keep you turning the pages!
I have had the privilege of observing the fruit of these principles as Karen and her husband Gary have lived what you’ll read in these pages. Their children, their spouses and now grandchildren are a testament to principles that work.
I enthusiastically recommend this book… for yourself and for your children!
Jerry R. Weinzierl, Senior Pastor, Grace Christian Church

This is a powerful parenting resource that combines solid theology with personal experience and practical ideas for any family. Every parent who reads this book will find their internal compass auto correcting to God’s design. This book is real, authored by a compassionate and thoughtful theologian who knows how to give parents a vision for what could be in their home now.
Dr. Scott Turansky and his wife, Carrie, have five children and five grandchildren. Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, have co-authored fifteen books on parenting and created three video series with accompanying children’s curriculum. They speak around the country teaching parenting seminars in churches and schools. They are the co-founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Biblical Parenting University.

“How to Build Children With Integrity is a tool book all parents must have on hand! Just as any craftsman should study from a professional who has a proven record in their craft, parents should also look at this book as a professional guide for their “craft.” Author Karen Budzinski has raised five children to have the qualities she advocates in her book. Her anecdotal stories and tips from her own experiences are priceless to parents who are not just looking to learn what they should be doing, but want to know how to do it.
As is encouraged in Titus 2:3-5, Karen teaches what is good, urging her students to live in a way that aligns with the Word of God.
Theresa Wegner
Theresa Wegner is a mother of four children. She has been a Mom’s Group Leader for eight years and has served in worship at church as well as supporting Compassion Pregnancy Center in various ways.  Theresa graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2002 with a degree in theatre arts and the desire to become a famous actress and singer.  When Theresa received Christ as her savior the desire to make herself known changed to a desire to make Christ known.  Theresa left Los Angeles and continued acting and singing on a professional level in her home state of Michigan until she became pregnant with her first child.  Her decision to leave her career to focus on caring for her family has never been a regret. She loves to help other moms by sharing what she has learned in her experience while still acknowledging she is still a student in need of the advice of other wise Mamas.  Theresa and her husband live in Michigan.

A must read for young parents!  As a mother of 3 boys, Karen’s book is filled with Godly, concrete, and practical tips on how to raise children into becoming Godly men and women.  I just wish I had read this sooner!
Loretta Quan
Former Ward Mops Coordinator at Ward Church
Loretta Quan is a mother of three boys.  Loretta has served  in her church in various ways, including MOPS coordinator (2 years), MOPS leadership team (3 years), Preschool Sunday School Teacher, VBS Supervisor, VBS small group leader, and Sunday School Storyteller for both preschool and elementary. Loretta also currently leads a Moms In Prayer Group for her boys’ local elementary school. 
She has previously been a Preschool Director (2 years) and taught a 1-2 multi-age classroom for 6 years before moving to China with her husband for his work.  China is where Loretta delivered her 3 beautiful boys!   While in China, Loretta tutored many ESL students out of her home as well as serve as Sunday School Director  and as a Sunday School Teacher for the International Church we attended. Loretta also led a Young Mom’s Bible study while living in China.   Most recently, Loretta’s children have all entered school full time and Loretta has gone back to work as a part time ESL adjunct Professor at Schoolcraft College.  Loretta’s desire is to serve her husband and children in a Godly way as well as helping other moms to focus on God’s plan for us as wives and mothers.  Loretta and her husband and 3 boys reside in Michigan. 

How to Build an Enduring Marriage

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “How to Build an Enduring Marriage” by Karen Budzinski, by EmunahAn, 17 Apr 2018, 04:43] 4 out of 4 stars

If you are like me, you probably do not like being told that you cannot change your spouse or that you should be the one to change. It is always easier to place the blame on someone else and expect them to change. Still, it is such a frustrating perspective as experience has taught us that people rarely change out of coercion. For us to be truly happy, we can only change ourselves and our role in relationships.
How to Build an Enduring Marriage by Karen Budzinski is a book written from a Christian perspective on matters relating to marriage. Budzinski’s book is written mostly for women who would want to see their marriages succeed. The book covers various topics that revolve around, cultivating a godly character, effective communication, giving up control, role-play, change, having the spirit of joy throughout marriage life as well as other insightful themes.
One of the things that stood out for me in the book, How to Build an Enduring Marriage, is the fact the author appreciates women’s concerns. She does not just brush them off. Instead, she recognizes them but offers an alternative to having a critical mindset. The alternative, in this case, is to focus on your spouse’s strengths. This frees the relationship off of strain and gives the other partner the liberty to express themselves. As Karen Budzinski puts it, “Some behaviors do not change, but our attitudes can.” Further, she asks the reader to be realistic and to remember that their fulfillment comes from God alone.
The information contained in How to Build an Enduring Marriage is also expansive covering many important areas of marriage. Budzinski’s advice is wholesome and reflects on the institution of marriage from a spiritual, emotional, financial, social and physical outlook. There is not any form of interaction between spouses that the author does not address. Her advice is also backed by scriptural passages from the Bible. To give the message even greater depth, Karen Budzinski adds real-life illustrations sometimes including her own experience of marriage, as well. These stories along with the advice in the book ultimately create an impactful read.
The author’s message is also current and recognizes the challenges that face marriages in today’s world. Every reader needs to connect the message of a non-fiction book to their world, I am no exception. In this aspect, the themes contained in How to Build an Enduring Marriage are on point and directly relate to what we go through or what we see happening around us. I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars and I recommend it to any woman who would love to truly build an enduring marriage.

Where do I even begin…. how about with THANK YOU!!! Your book, is such an encouragement and inspiration. I just got married this last Saturday and received your book as part of my wedding gift. To suggest that I am eating up every wise word in it is a severe understatement. In fact, I find my myself only getting through a few sentences at a time before I am putting the book down, closing my eyes and asking God to put deep down within my heart and mind every bit of wisdom I am reading. Since the day I said yes to my now husband’s marriage proposal, I knew I wanted our marriage to be different than the ones I saw around us. I would often say to others that my goals include having a husband who likes going to work but loves to come home, or that I desire for my “career” to be a Godly wife and THEN a Godly mother, It seemed like christian and non-Christian woman a like would often give me a look that said something a long the lines of “sure honey, that’s what you think right now!” and honestly, it was terribly discouraging. I have known for so long that I have wanted to be intentional, responsible and wise about my marriage, and although I know we have plenty of work to do (we are on our honeymoon), I have never been so excited to do work. I love my husband and I look forward to enjoying with him the struggles and successes that life bring us via hard work aligned with Jesus.  I look forward to finishing your book and I also look forward to connecting with a mentor in the near future so that I can learn from someone who has and is living and continuously working towards and intentional and enduring marriage. Thank you so much! (reader)

“I just have to tell you how much I absolutely love, love your book. I started it last night and I was just so moved. I know this is going to bring excellence and blessings to my marriage – and many other peoples. I’m so excited to take this journey to build an excellent, called, and enduring marriage. Thank you! I’ve been hi-lighting practically the whole book.”  (reader)

“Just finished chapter 2. Inspired to raise the bar in so many areas of my character. I want to plow through the book but at the same time I want to proceed slowly so I can soak it all in. I think I’m going to read it through quickly (as quickly as my free time allows) then inch through it making specific and strategic goals. Maybe even doing one new challenge every month so they have the time necessary to become good habits.”  (class attendee)

Karen, I love your book! You have beautifully capsulized a way to have an exciting, meaningful, long lasting marriage, and who doesn’t want that?! Read the book and have yourselves a movie-magic marriage!

This is not a rehearsal, it’s opening night, every night. Marriage is real, it’s tough, it’s gritty and it can be just wonderful at the same time! Karen has not given us theory, she’s giving us the real thing! If it has given her a great marriage (& it has!) you can have one too!

Have a happy, long-lasting, Spirit filled marriage>>read this book!

You are right, Karen, happily ever after is NOT a fairy tale, it’s God’s plan and He gives us the tools. You have simply laid out the tools and labeled them clearly so they can be used to make marriage wonderful!

You are right, Karen, marriage is a relationship of the highest calling, and this book can bring you to the apex!

Such wisdom, such great advise from someone who has lived it>>it’s not about saving your marriage, it’s about living it out, and enjoying it day by day by glorious day!

From reminding us of the small drops of oil to keep the flame burning, to using movie quotes, and practical personal examples, Karen Budzinski has captured practical ways to have a wonderful marriage! Want one? Who doesn’t?! Devour this one!

“You have the ability to stop talking mid-sentence.” Tough, yet fun and practical ways to getting the best marriage you have always wanted! Read the book, follow the advice and have fun being married!!

If you really want a better marriage…who are we kidding, if you are married, you want it to be the best! Read this practical guide to remind you of things you may already know…and some things you never thought of! Don’t settle for a marriage that just gets by, go for a marriage that you deserve and that God wants you to have: The best 2 becoming 1 that ever lived!

It is pretty simple instruction for a great marriage: love is sacrifice, but always worth it. As the Word says, as you give it will be given back to you…you want to be blessed? Learn from someone who has lived out the hard work it takes to have a life-long joy-filled marriage! Read Karen’s book!   (Robin Sullivan, on air personality, WMUZ Detroit; Speaker and Missionary, Robin Sullivan Ministries)

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Karen Budzinski has made such a amazing impact in my life. She has taught me how to be an amazing mother and wife and still enjoying every aspect of it. Her advice is easy to apply to your life … Even the simple tips she talks about here and there have changed the way l handle my relationships. I KNOW that if you read this book you will love it and be able to relate and apply the things she teaches to your life. Amazing book!! Can’t wait for the sequel!  (Christa Doto)

I have known Karen for more than 30 years. I have known Karen for more than 30 years, She has been a huge Blessing in my Life. I have taken this class and I can say, She lives out what She teaches. If you need inspiration and insight than you NEED to get this book and the workbook. Everything She teaches points back to one person ( Ourselves ) and our relationship with the Lord and our Spouses. She also points out the day to day living and shares what she does.  (Diane Parrish)

This book will change your marriage!  I’ve learned some amazing practical material that I’ve been able to apply to my life and marriage. It has helped shape me into a better wife and woman all together. My marriage is better because of the tools I’ve been able to use from it. It should really be a prerequisite before saying “I do”. Lots of really great info and advice! Highly recommended!  (Andrea)

Karen has a message for you in this book, and by the end you will feel better than ever – enlightened. Reading “How to Build an Enduring Marriage” saved my marriage before it even had a real chance to start. I saw, firsthand, marriages and relationships healed and restored just by simply living out this book’s wisdom! These were real women I saw about to walk away after years and years of marriage, barely hanging on, but after this book their relationships completely redeemed! I consider Karen’s wisdom in this book more precious than any gift I’ve ever been given. Whether you’re married, divorced or even if you haven’t met your future spouse and aren’t in a relationship quite yet, this book is still for you! With each chapter your cup will be FULL with Karen’s positive and authentic wisdom, experience and advice. She does it with such grace so that you can forgive yourself and begin again. This is the best relationship book ever written! (Trust me. I’ve read plenty!) I can not tell you enough how important and influential this book is for your future. Karen has a message for you in this book and by the end you will feel better than ever before! You will be enlightened, empowered and able to grasp that you can be the loving, endearing, joy-filled woman you were created to be. Best relationship advice, ever. Karens joy and wisdom is contagious. I’m forever grateful for this book!!  (Lauren)

The best gift you could ever give your kids is…  The best gift you could ever give your kids is a strong marriage. This book is unlike any book. It is written just for women. We (women) set the bar for our family, and this book will encourage you to “raise the bar.” Stop the excuses and looking at ‘who is doing more’ to work on the marriage- the bottom line is that we all desire to have strong, healthy, happy relationships. This book does NOT focus on our ‘needs’ or ‘differences’ or our ‘problems or circumstances’- only on solutions. We should not be focused on ‘changing’ our partners- only ourselves.This book will provide the foundation and tools to not only have a stronger marriage, but it will make you want to be a better person.  (Kathy Andrews)

One book isn’t enough when you want to share with a friend!!  I am so excited to order this book! I had a chance to preview a little bit of it and it looks absolutely AMAZING! Karen has been a friend of mine for about 25 years and she never ceases to amaze me, inspire me and encourage me through all my experiences. Her approach is like no other and what I like best about it, is that God is first in all she does. Her wisdom comes straight from the Word and she doesn’t just speak it, she DOES it! This book is first on my gift list when I need to encourage a friend. I have heard countless victory stories of relationships being restored and I KNOW that the concepts in this book is where it all came from. Congrats Karen on a job well done.  (Trudy Hoffmeyer)

A must read for all relationships. Karen is one amazing women, great wife, mother and friend, her teaching is the real deal based on Christian values. I’ve learned so much from Karen on relationships, has truly helped my marriage. A must read for all, you will walk away with so much knowledge. (Sue Matouka)

Very insightful! Love this book!  Karen Budzinski is very insightful on building relationships. This is a must read for everyone whether you are single, dating, or married. I have followed Karen’s speeches and classes for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed every word she has to say. This is a must-buy!  (Beth H)

Best relationships book you will get your hands on!!! Karen has taught me some of the most important lessons for marriage that I am not sure I would have ever received without her book and materials. I have read many marriage/relationship books but this one far exceeds any book or advice I have been given. I learned life lessons not only in marriage but in everyday life and relationships. I admire and look up to the way she is as a wife, mother, author and friend. She is the perfect person who God ordained to write this book and no one could have written this with more love and knowledge. Thanks for the wonderful teachings and taking the time to bless us all with this book and work book! (Meghan Alcamo)

There is no other marriage & relationship book that I would recommend higher than this one. Karen has changed the way that I look at my life and relationships. She lives out everything that she teaches through this book and teaches from examples that you can immediately apply. My marriage was set out to succeed before it even began because I was able to learn from the incredible principles that she teaches. This book will change your marriage & your relationships. There is no other marriage & relationship book that I would recommend higher than this one. Your life will never be the same if you apply what this book has to say. Enjoy every page of it and watch your life transform. (Kristen Cooper)

Read it; Apply it; You’ll LOVE it!  One of the things I appreciate most about Karen’s approach to teaching about relationships is her very effective use of analogies. The picture lessons stick with you and encourage you to raise the bar in your relationships and in your personal life. The teachings transcend marriage advice; they have helped me in my relationships with my two children as well. There are countless gems of wisdom hidden here in this book. Put these principles into action and reap the rewards of a life transformed!  (vbcoachjess)

Whether you are on your journey towards marriage…  Whether you are on your journey towards marriage or have been married 40 years, this book will inspire you to live your relationships out with exciting purpose. The principles of relationships are well defined and practical and applicable. I was so blessed to learn and grow my marriage from these lessons. A must read for every marriage that wants to live out a “happily ever ever” on purpose. (Gabe Bahlhorn)