The Ring of Fire | Book Introduction

Dad (John McDonald) wrote the very first ever marriage advice book authored by an engineer. We will be posting portions of it each day here on the AE. There are 3 major sections the chapters are divided into: Practical Advice, the Secular Setion, and the Christian Section. Each one examines the truths and principles of life and marriage from a different angle. This first section will be the first chapter of Practical Advice. We encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments. Happy Reading! -Charity

The Ring of Fire

By John McDonald

Edited by his loving wife and daughter, Charity

Dedicated to
Roger and Heather Ward


Couples starting out the lives together in 2013 face serious moral and cultural challenges. For the first time in recorded history, more couples are divorcing than staying married and more than one-third of all children or 24M[1], in the USA are growing up without their biological father.  Keep in mind studies show that the #1 factor that determines a male’s interaction with law enforcement, his future earnings, and his future education level is living with his biological father.

This is not a reason to condemn anyone as we are all part of the failure. This is not a reason to throw rocks – as Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery. Adultery was a punishable by death in those times.

John 8:7 – 11 “Him that is without sin let me cast the first stone at her. Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

In America, the “No Fault Divorce” movement resulted in the legal de-valuing of the marriage covenant/contract. The devalued marriage covenant led directly to the explosion in the divorce rate in the mid 1970’s. The American societal wreckage was massive.

For the past decade the rate of marriage in America is falling as women in particular don’t view the marriage contract as an added protection for them or their children and so many don’t bother to marry. Many don’t want the pain they experienced from their parents’ divorce to be repeated on their children. Many women can’t find a “good” guy who is willing to be a committed husband and father because many young men can easily find sex outside of marriage and so don’t feel the need to grow up and prove themselves.  Sadly, many women support a weak marriage covenant/contract believing it reduces spouse abuse and that divorce  is emotionally healthier for  children as opposed to parents fighting. Many women now find themselves in the middle of their lives with no spouse hurt emotionally by the culture they espoused unaware they’ve bought into a lie.

Strong contracts make for strong commitments – and it take a lot of commitment to be married for a lifetime and raise children.

Be of good courage … Congrats Roger and Heather on your marriage.

Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it

Practical Marriage Advice

Google “Marriage Advice Electrical Engineer” and the first things that pop up are “Help! I married an engineer” and a short blog on “Would you marry an engineer.” Perfect! There is no pre-existing intellectual property in this area. Apparently, no engineer in history has ever found it worth his or her valuable lab time to write a book on marriage. As uniquely unqualified and untrained as I am to write a book on marriage, I’ve decided to forge ahead because I married an awesome woman and because marriage in America needs an intellectual defense.

Since my daughter Heather is marrying geologist Roger Ward, I also googled “Marrying Geologist” and the first things that pop up are “The home life of a Geologist” and “You know you are married to a Geologist when …”

your bridal registry is at REI
he already Mohs scale tested your diamond
the honeymoon is someplace with interesting geology

There are apparently three reasons why electrical engineers and geologists don’t write marriage books. One, they are too busy writing real books. Two, they would never buy a book on marriage. And three, few would recommend a marriage book written by an engineer.

Normally, we engineers leave all that how to be a man stuff and marriage books to those guys who attend seminaries, have overly blow dried hair, and go to dude ranches and dress in cowboy outfits to find their lost masculinity.

[1] US Census Bureau