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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Former student turns to faith, publishing house for solace

Photo by Photo by Morgan Engel

For one former student, the answer to recovering from a trying divorce was to share his journey through marriage and faith via a published book. 

Math teacher and coach-turned-writer Dean Schendel, Class of 1992, recently released his first piece of work, titled “Oneness: A Call to Honor God in the Marriage Relationship.” 

The book explores relationships in the Christian context in which Schendel’s marriage existed.

“I just knew that I was supposed to be writing this book even though I’m not a writer, no matter how it comes across,” Schendel said.

Schendel said a focus in the book is how to rely on God when it comes to marriage and to turn to faith in difficult times. 

“As sinful people we tend to be selfish, we need to deal with that part of our lives,” Schendel said. “Jesus Christ has to be the rock and the foundation through which our relationships and marriages are built.”  

Having spent most of his adult life as a math teacher and coach, Schendel said it was a difficult but rewarding process when it came to writing the book.

“I wanted to quit at times, and then to just pull the trigger on getting it published — it was just totally unfamiliar territory,” Schendel said. “Now that it is a done deal, it’s great and I’m enjoying the process more now that all the hard work is done, not that there still isn’t work to be done.”  

Schendel said in his book he dives deep into the discussions and ideas many couples face throughout their marriage. One such idea discusses how couples have to keep working through their problems no matter what the other person has done, making sure couples understand the importance of taking their marriage vows seriously. 

Mary Anne Covey, a psychologist and associate director of the Student Counseling Center at A&M, said there can be a connection between relationships and the topic of faith.

“Faith can go either direction with a marriage, if two people are willing to work at what that means,” Covey said. 

With 17 years of working in the field of psychology, Covey said she has counseled many couples who have faced the problems and struggles that Schendel writes about in his book.  

“As a psychologist, my answer is that every human being has a right to be treated with dignity and respect,” Covey said. “That sounds so simple but there is so much to it.”  

Schendel said it gets much more difficult when one or both people in the relationship stop trying to work through the problem.

Covey said the scary part of marriage is the helplessness felt by one person in the marriage when the other gives up trying.

“In a relationship you have to understand that you only have control over self … if the other person is not willing to work, then there is nothing you can do, “ Covey said.

Katie Mahan, a professional counselor at the Student Counseling Center said open and honest communication can help ease strains on a marriage.

“You have to make sure the couple is on the same page when it comes to tackling those problems,” Mahan said.

At the end of it all, Schendel said he hopes his book will help and encourage couples get through the trials that can come with marriage.

“If anything, I talk about our hearts a lot, and our choices reveal where our hearts are at,” Schendel said. “That’s one of the bottom lines of the book.”

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