The PLEDGE of a Lifetime Book

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What is it about conflict that causes all of us to shy away? Why is it so difficult? What if there was a step-by-step process to guide us through conflict and create a deeper connection at the same time? And what if the principles learned could enhance all communication?

In The Pledge of a Lifetime, follow Jake and Lisa’s story and discover how to transform tense confrontations into rich conversations. Watch family dynamics improve as everyone works together to communicate in a manner governed by love.

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The PLEDGE of a Lifetime Book

14 replies
  1. Phil Mershon
    Phil Mershon says:

    I have a masters in biblical counseling, so when Mark first shared the concept of PLEDGE with a small group we were co-leading, my initial reaction was, “This is too simplistic and mechanical. Come on, Mark, you know we need to deal with the deeper heart issues.” But as I’ve seen Mark teach this and now through reading it, I realize this is GENIUS. We can’t get to the deeper waters if we keep running out of the water when it feels cold and uncomfortable. I love how Mark teaches these concepts through a story that I could see myself a part of. I laughed. I cried. I lamented my own failings. And I left longing for deeper connection with my wife and kids. Thanks, Mark! –Phil Mershon, M.Div. M.A.B.C.

  2. Kim Cole
    Kim Cole says:

    Mark Oelze’s God inspired application of PLEDGE during conflict has the power to enhance communication in any marriage, or any relationship for that matter. If followed, the step by step process of PLEDGE will change how you listen to, hear, and respond to others. Using this unique tool can make the difference between a dissatisfying relationship with your spouse (and others) and a God-honoring one. We know that because God has used this method of communication to bring healing to our marriage!

  3. Rodger Thompson
    Rodger Thompson says:

    “Mark Oelze has poured his many years of marriage counseling experience into this simple but powerful tool called PLEDGE. He has written it out in narrative form so the reader can see how PLEDGE will work in real life. It is interesting and thought provoking as he takes timeless truths of communication and breaks them down into understandable and practical bites. As I read I thought of married couples I know who need this helpful tool. I found myself evaluating my own communication skills. Everyone can benefit from learning how to successfully navigate the troubled waters of communication by simply working the PLEDGE.”
    Rodger Thompson

  4. Cassandra Grieve
    Cassandra Grieve says:

    My husband and I have had the privilege of learning the PLEDGE process from Mark personally. We attest to the life-giving impact it has on our relationship. This process has taught me how to love others well. The unique explanation of PLEDGE, through narrative form, provides real-life application that relates to all couples. Going through the PLEDGE process to address conflict, takes you and your spouse into a deeper conversation, thus a deeper connection, drawing you towards each other. Mark is an authentic man, who doesn’t just teach these principles but strives to walks them out daily.

  5. David Dennis
    David Dennis says:

    We absolutely loved “The Pledge of a Lifetime.” Mr. Oelze speaks to the heart – right where we as men and women live. This engaging “real life” story is filled with great nuggets of insight and timeless truths. There is so much depth packed into this story that you’ll find yourself going back time and again to re-read it. The book is priceless for healing and growing all kinds of relationships. We found the principles discussed to be very practical in our own lives. These principles, if consistently applied, are life changing as we make a difference in someone else’s life. We highly recommend this book be read and re-read as couples, and the principles applied in your marriages, in your business and with your children. It really works!” — Dr. David and Karla Dennis

  6. Rebekah Carver
    Rebekah Carver says:

    As newlyweds twelve years ago, my husband and I were experts at fighting. We are both oldest children and had lived as independent adults for a few years. We both had pretty strong ideas about how day to day life should go. We really needed PLEDGE in our communication tool box.

  7. Edward Acosta
    Edward Acosta says:

    The use of the narrative voice was very helpful because it lends itself more towards real life than the “clinical” approach. My wife and I highly recommend the book to couples who have given up on their marriage, it will be the best investment you have ever made. The PLEDGE is the best way to help couples fulfill the VOW they made on the day they wed.

  8. B. Livengood
    B. Livengood says:

    I loved the whole book and am eager to share it with friends. When I read it, I thought, Wow! This could be my husband and me that he’s writing about because we have had exactly some of the same issues, some of the same questions, and some of the same past results. The good news is that we have been using PLEDGE for about six months now and it has made a world of difference in the way we communicate not only with each other, but also with our grown sons. We are so thankful for the skills we have learned so that we now really do try to listen to each other’s heart and we seek to build up love instead of tearing each other down

  9. Jo Lynn Bright
    Jo Lynn Bright says:

    Everyone loves a great story, especially when there is a happy ending! Mark Oelze, in his genuine, caring, and engaging manner, delivers such a story that adds the bonus of practical and life-giving principles that can only revolutionize the way couples communicate—through a heart of love. Mark brings his expertise’ as he further offers each reader hope and a great opportunity to love well as they “commit to” and “work at” the PLEDGE process—may each of us find that it is worth the W-O-R-K!
    ~ Jo Lynn Bright, LCMFT (Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist)

  10. Steve Miller
    Steve Miller says:

    Why does this work? The thing that stands our for me is the Pledge principles for communication both honor God, and honor and respect people. This is a great environment that leads to life and relational transformation.

    Ministering overseas I ask the question, will the principles, examples and lessons taught relate and be effective cross-culturally? Then I divide the core truth of what is being said from the presented application in our life. My experience is it is rare that both the presented core truth and application are effective with out making some cultural adjustments to the application in one’s life. Asian couples share with me one of their greatest challenges is communication, so I was eager to hear their response to Pledge. So far they have been elated, “yes, this is very practical and what we need!”

  11. Alyssia
    Alyssia says:

    The Bible states in 1Corinthians 13:4-8 what love is. The PLEDGE process is the most powerful and practical “how-to” in implementing that love into our relationships through communication. Needed not just in marriages, but in any relationship whether it be with spouse, colleague, children, or friend.

  12. R. N. Alsop
    R. N. Alsop says:

    This book is a presentation of a communication method called PLEDGE where each letter stands for a step in the process: Pause, Listen, Echo, Disarm, Give, Engage.
    The author uses a hypothetical couple that is going for counseling to tell the steps of the process he calls PLEDGE. The book is not simply broken up into one chapter telling about each step in the process. The book reflects the story he developed of the couple going through counseling. “My hope is that by presenting this in story form, it will carry you along while it demonstrates PLEDGE in action… While the story itself is fictional, in a sense it is a true story as well. It is a composite of the countless stories I have [counseled]” (Page xxii).
    This author is very effective at showing some of the interactions between the spouses: Jake and Lisa, as they use the PLEDGE method of interacting and communicating. In chapter 7, “Journey to Hope”, the couple has their first great interaction about their differences. On page 87-88, Lisa finds out that Jake finds respect more important than love in how he receives love from Lisa. It strongly reminds me of the book by Emerson Eggerichs called Love and Respect.
    This author did a great job of not allowing the book to be divided simply into six chapters each about one step of the PLEDGE. In the first couple of chapters, Mike, the counselor, covers the first three steps and then they have a break and the next couple of chapters share the way Jake and Lisa interact and find out how to use the Pause Listen Echo part of the process to help talk through an issue about taxes.
    When I began reading this book I was assuming it was going to be another canned treatment of basic communication tools for marriage. It is a treatment of communication tools for relationships. So it is specific in its focus but it also is not Gospel centric. So the process could be implemented by anyone without the need for God much less a saving relationship with Jesus.
    The process does force you to be other focused but it does not even introduce a relationship with God into the discussion. There are Scripture references given simply as a side note, never as a basis for the principle given. So as a method to improve communication it is great, but I do not believe it is gospel transformative as it could be.

  13. Adam Mautino
    Adam Mautino says:

    Keeping connected through loving, candid communication is perhaps the most important key in building and maintaining a lasting, happy marriage. In his book The Pledge of a Lifetime, Mark Oelze does an incredible job of setting out an easy to understand method for communication between marriage partners, providing explanation of not only the how but also the whys. Recently engaged with a wedding date set, my fiancée and I are looking for every insight that will help us start and build a loving, happy and long-lasting marriage relationship. Toward this end, The Pledge is an extremely valuable resource for both of us. One of the most impactful realizations that Mark Oelze pointed out is that our words can bring life or death. Making that connection has better prepared me to have constructive conversations with my future spouse. Just the thought process of how to use open, intimate communication has given critical understanding of how it can be used to strengthen our relationship and thus avoid slipping into non-sharing silences that can lead to resentment and divisiveness. I recommend this book to everyone, whether they are just starting or years into a relationship–personal or professional. This book was a gift from the author’s daughter and its message will be indelible to me for the rest of my life. Thank you Oelze family. Thank you very much.

  14. Lauren CK
    Lauren CK says:

    Fantastic book! Should be a must for every single married couple on the planet. This WORKS to heal marriages!


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