Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage

Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage

by Beth McCord, Jeff McCord

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Overview

How Christian couples can understand their personality types—and build a more powerful bond of love.
 
He doesn't listen to me . . . I don't understand her . . . Why do we keep having the same fight?
 
If you’ve ever felt baffled by the person you married, join Enneagram Coach Beth McCord and her husband, Pastor Jeff McCord, as they pull back the curtain to reveal why you and your spouse behave in different ways. Applying the Enneagram through the lens of the gospel, they provide practical steps, insights, and tools to better understand yourself and each other. This book will help you:
 
  • Answer the question, “Why do they do that?”
  • Stop committing “assumicide” about each other’s motives and dramatically improve your communication
  • Relate to your spouse in ways they actually understand
  • Awaken a tired marriage that feels like it’s on cruise control
  • Defuse conflict before it starts, especially the same old “dance”
  • Enjoy your spouse again, even if you’ve loved each other for years!
 
Whether you’re preparing for marriage or celebrating a fiftieth anniversary, Becoming Us will revolutionize the way you understand yourself and your spouse, and transform your marriage into the powerful, loving, and satisfying relationship that God intended.
 
“An insightful resource for those who want to understand themselves, their spouse, and their marriage through the lens of faith and the tool of the Enneagram.” —Ian Morgan Cron, Enneagram expert and author of The Road Back to You

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642794175
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 265
Sales rank: 100,151
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Beth McCord is a member of Southpointe Community Church, a Presbyterian Church in America congregation. Beth is a Certified Enneagram Coach who has been using the Enneagram in ministry since 2005. She has been featured in articles for Relevant magazine and other faith-based magazines. She lives with her husband, Jeff, in Franklin, Tennessee.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"Assumicide"

My friend's daughter, Stephanie, and her fiancé, Dustin, were deep in the midst of plans for their upcoming wedding one Saturday afternoon. They were running errands and making final decisions about the major details of the ceremony and reception. Needless to say, they were tired and stressed.

They were in Dustin's truck, and Stephanie looked over at him and said, "I know there are lots of details to get worked out, but one thing is really important to me. I'd like to get a nice wedding band."

Dustin looked over and said, "Why? That seems crazy."

She heard contempt in his voice. But she quietly said, "There are a lot of things that I don't care about, but I think having a nice wedding band is important."

He looked over at her and said, "Don't you think you're being a little ridiculous?" "Well, I've always wanted a nice wedding band," she said.

Dustin said, "I just don't get it. I think it's nuts."

At this point, tears started filling in her eyes. She said, "I'm just trying to tell you this is really important to me." She got really quiet and turned her head toward the window.

Dustin could sense she was upset and said, "Look. I'm just saying I think you're being ridiculous."

Stephanie said, "If it's a matter of money, I can contribute."

"That's even more crazy," he said as his fists tightened on the wheel.

Now tears were rolling down her cheeks, and they were both tense and quiet.

She finally broke the silence and said, "It's something I'm going to have the rest of my life, and I just thought it would be good to get a nice one."

"The rest of your life? It's just one night, and I think it's a waste to spend a lot of money on a wedding band that's just for one night."

"Wait? One night? I'm talking about a wedding band ... to go with my engagement ring, not a wedding band to play at the reception!"

"Really?" he said. "This whole time I thought you were talking about a wedding band to play music at the reception."

"No! I was talking about a ring!" she said as they looked at each other ... and burst out laughing.

* * *

Sometimes we assume we know what the other person is saying when we really don't!

"Assumicide" perfectly sums up what we do in our relationships with each other. It's when we (incorrectly) believe we know another person's thoughts, feelings, and motivations. We assume we understand why they are behaving in a particular way, and then we respond without asking clarifying questions. Assumicide can lead to "killing" or damaging any relationship, but it's especially devastating in our most precious relationship — marriage.

I know I'm guilty of committing assumicide — I've made wrong and hurtful assumptions in my marriage (and with my children, my co-workers, and in just about any other relationship you can imagine!).

Committing assumicide is so easy to do because we truly believe everyone sees the world from our perspective (which we believe is the correct perspective, right?). If others say or do something from a different vantage point or perspective than ours, we can feel confused and hurt, and we can end up damaging the relationship if we assume they acted with ill intent.

In fact, I remember looking at Jeff late one night (after a frustrating day when we hadn't been communicating well at all) and feeling completely baffled by this person sleeping beside me. I wished he came with an instruction manual!

Well, God, in his mercy and providence, provided just that through the insightful tool of the Enneagram.

As you read our stories and learn about the Enneagram (I'm a Type 9, known as the Peaceful Mediator, and Jeff's a Type 6, known as the Loyal Guardian), we want to invite you to think about your own story and open your heart for the Holy Spirit to bring revelation, insight, and willingness for you to allow God to come in and transform you from the inside out.

We'll start by telling you a little about us, who we are as individuals and as a couple, and we'll share some of the ups and downs in our twenty-four-year marriage — including our sometimes painful, sometimes funny, assumicide stories.

Because Jeff and I have gone to the "school of hard knocks" when it comes to committing assumicide, we would love for you to learn from our mishaps and blunders and help you avoid making some of those same devastating mistakes.

Believe me when I say we haven't graduated from the school of hard knocks, but we can say how God has redeemed us (and continues to redeem us) time and time again.

Yes, Jeff and I would say we are truly best friends. We got married when we were just twenty years old and had our two kids, Nate and Libby, by the time we were twenty-five. (It's amazing to realize how time has flown by. They're now in college!) We are blessed to be very close to our children and to have a deeply committed and loving marriage.

But before you start to commit "assumicide" and think we have this perfect marriage and family (like on social media where it looks like everyone is super happy with zero problems), we are anything but perfect!

Because we're human, we still have turbulent days and seasons, yet the insights God has given us through Scripture, pastors and counselors, good books, dear friends, and the help of the Enneagram has assisted us in being able to maintain a strong and loving marriage even when turbulence hits us.

Throughout these twenty-four years, we've had to do a lot of difficult work individually, and with each other, in order to have better communication and understanding.

In fact, it's the hardest (sometimes even painful!) work we have ever done. This process has truly exposed who we really are at our core and has driven us to fall at the foot of the cross and cling to it all the more. The paradox is that it has also become the most beautiful part, because Christ is always there to make us more like him in every way. He gives us rest, peace, and hope every time we come to him.

As you read Becoming Us, Jeff and I will be transparent in sharing from our personal experiences both as a couple and as individuals (since we know our examples best) and hope you will see how we became more aware of ourselves and used the truth of the Gospel to change how we relate to one another. Use our illustrations as a springboard for you to do the same for your personality Type and relationship combination.

As you read our stories and think through your own relationship dynamics, we would love for you to focus on how you are personally using the Enneagram and not just focus on, "What's it like for a Type X to be married to a Type Y?"

But as you'll find out, there is an answer to that question, and we think you'll be happily surprised at the answer!

So, as you learn about yourself and your spouse, we pray you will simply rest in Christ's finished work on the behalf of your own soul, your spouse, and your marriage. He is here with you now, so take a deep breath, rest in him, and be assured of his goodness, love, and compassion.

Because here's our goal: We want to help you strengthen your marriage while living out your truest and most authentic self in Christ. We want you not just to survive but to thrive in your relationship with God, each other, and yourself! So, pull up a chair to our "kitchen table," grab a cup of coffee or tea, and join us as we work together toward Becoming Us.

CHAPTER 2

Our Becoming Us Story

Becoming "Beth and Jeff"

Beth

Our story of becoming us, "Beth and Jeff," started when we were freshmen in college at the University of Kansas. We met in March of 1994 and got married in May of 1995! Yep, that's quick!

Like so many couples, we were convinced we were super mature and ready to get married. We knew this because we believed we both saw the world from the same perspective! We had so much in common. We had the same beliefs and values, and we "knew" (assumed) we would have a happy and fulfilling marriage. Of course, we thought there might be a few bumps on the journey, but we didn't anticipate any significant problems ahead — and there was also the fact that we were in love! What could go wrong?

But if you've been married for longer than a honeymoon, you may realize that you really didn't know each other quite as well as you thought you did. In fact, if you were young like us, not only do you not know your spouse very well, you don't know yourself very well, either!

When I met Jeff, I purposely hadn't dated anyone for a while — which was a refreshing, enlightening, and inspiring time for me. Why? During that season of being alone, I discovered some unhealthy patterns in my past relationships (I now know some of it was related to me being a Type 9 and merging with other people, taking on their interests over mine). During this time of not dating, I found myself satisfied and connecting with the Lord instead of a boyfriend.

This season was sweet and life-changing. I learned that God's love and grace completely fills me so that I don't need other relationships to give me identity and fulfillment. I saw clearly that I already had what my heart longed for ... Christ. This time with Christ allowed me to experience freedom from negative patterns of relating that were harmful to me and my relationships.

My first date with Jeff was a coffee date right before spring break, and thankfully he passed my very simple test — paying for my coffee and treating me with kindness and thoughtfulness! (This was an important hurdle since the last guy said to me on the same coffee date, "You can pay me back when you want." What!? Let's just say that was the last time I went out with that guy.) Jeff was kind, generous, attentive, and extremely handsome!

Jeff knew from that first date that he wanted to marry me — a fact he shared with me on our second date! Whoa! For someone who was just beginning to learn to be her own person, immediate talk of marriage scared the daylights out of me. I had to tell Jeff to back off a bit! (I should have known then that he was more decisive than I was!) But I loved the fact that he respected me, honored my boundaries, and still passionately (but appropriately) pursued me.

And the more time I spent with Jeff, the more I loved spending time with him. Our relationship grew quickly with deep and meaningful conversations. Summer came too fast, and we went our separate ways. Jeff went home to Texas, while I went to South Carolina on a college ministry project.

At the beginning of our sophomore year, when we were both just nineteen years old, we told our parents that we wanted to get married. They were understandably concerned. They asked us to wait, get to know each other better, and let them get to know us better as well so they could more fully support and guide us along the way. We agreed.

Since Jeff played football for the University of Kansas, I attended all of his football games with my parents. During that fall, my parents got to know Jeff well. They could see our love and his genuine support of me. They truly appreciated him and could see why we wanted to get married. With their blessings, Jeff and I got engaged on New Year's Eve of our sophomore year. We were so excited. We had our finances worked out and our parents' support, and we couldn't wait to get married!

But here's where the cracks started early on to reveal my own heart and internal struggles.

Not only did I have the normal load of spring semester classes, homework, and building my relationship with Jeff, I added planning a wedding with the wedding date only four months away! I began to experience a new level of anxiety and stress I'd never known before.

I didn't know it then, but my Type 9 personality was constantly urging me to merge with everyone who had an opinion about my wedding (and by "merge," I mean putting everyone else's thoughts, opinions, and desires ahead of my own). As you can imagine, accommodating everyone's desires and opinions is an impossible task! I was so overwhelmed and afraid to mess up that it affected how I thought, felt, and behaved. I was like a different person. I was irritable, scared, nervous, defensive, and controlling.

Who was this person? I didn't enjoy her, and neither did others who experienced this side of me. Jeff was very understanding and "assumed" that once we got past the wedding, I would go back to my peaceful and fun-loving self.

At the end of those four (beyond stressful) months, Jeff and I finally got married!

So here we were, two newly married people who didn't know really much of anything about each other or ourselves, trying to do a new dance together.

We assumed while we were dating that, since our relationship was like amazing professional ballroom dancers, we'd become the most amazing marriage partners. Our dating life had been so rich, deep, and meaningful that we truly thought we knew what we were in for — we were going to continue in our marriage in the same way as our dating experience and be a couple with almost no problems.

Instead, we found ourselves stepping on each other's toes and falling over each other time and time again. It just didn't make sense; we couldn't understand why this was happening. But we quickly realized we didn't know each other, or ourselves, very well at all. Not only were we not professional ballroom dancers, we didn't even know how to slow dance! (Maybe you can relate to this struggle.)

I truly believe that if we'd had the tool of the Enneagram from a Gospel perspective, it would have helped us to avoid this kind of friction and allowed us to approach each other with more kindness and understanding.

But God had other plans and ways for us to learn these things and eventually pass them along to you. But what we learned that changed the course of our relationship actually needed to start by looking back in time to us growing up as two vastly different human beings and the impact that was having on our relationship.

Becoming Beth

By God's grace, even though I had a significant reading disability growing up, I had a great family who loved me and encouraged me.

My dad, a Type 7 (the Entertaining Optimist) is a physician, while my mom, a Type 6 (the Loyal Guardian) is a nurse; she stayed home with my brother and me until we entered middle school. My childhood, with a few exceptions, was pretty peaceful and so positive that I still have a great relationship with both my parents. My dad's super-optimistic and encouraging personality allowed me to feel very affirmed growing up, which helped me thrive as a child. My mom's loyal, faithful, hardworking personality taught me the importance of being responsible and thoughtful of others.

Not long into my study of the Enneagram, I resonated with the Type 9 (the Peaceful Mediator). As I reflected on my childhood and teen years, I could see how that Type made sense with my life story.

My brother, Mark, who is four years older, loved to torment me (like all siblings do) when we were kids. In the early 1980s, my parents bought one of the first television sets with a remote control (I know I'm dating myself here!). When you pushed a button, a red light would appear on the remote. Mark convinced me that it was a laser, and if he aimed it at me, it would hurt me. Whenever he wanted to have fun at my expense, all he had to do was aim that remote in my direction and I would run for my life throughout the house with him close behind ... of course, with him laughing at me the whole way.

Now that we're adults, I have to admit it's kind of funny that he chased me around with the remote, but don't tell him that! In case you're wondering, my adult relationship with my brother is great. He's a Type 2 (the Supportive Advisor) and is a seminary professor and amazing husband, father, and friend — and it helps that he no longer chases me around with the laser remote!

But when we were kids, Mark also found it hilarious to sit on top of me so I couldn't move, the way big brothers often do! He didn't do anything to me except laugh while keeping me from getting away. I, of course, tried everything in my power to get free. But his laughter and teasing would hit a "nuclear" button inside me, and I'd become enraged.

I'd transform from being the peaceful and kind Dr. Banner, from the Marvel comic books, into being the raging Incredible Hulk (or at least it felt that way). But truthfully, my Incredible Hulk wasn't powerful at all, except within myself. I hated it when this furious part of me showed up, because it felt too big and powerful. I simply wanted to be at peace and in harmony — especially with Mark.

This kind of internal eruption — from peaceful to enraged — followed me into my adult years, even though it only revealed itself occasionally since I was constantly pushing it down to suppress it. Only recently have I realized that it can actually have a positive purpose (though it's still uncomfortable), and I've had to do a lot of internal self-awareness to work on it and use it correctly to express and assert myself.

When I entered kindergarten, I was a happy, bold, and confident little girl, well liked and athletic, a great peacemaker who made friends with girls and boys equally. This personality trait remained throughout life. But in first grade I hit some major speed bumps — I had a very hard time learning to read (I later got diagnosed with a reading disability that ran in the family). Before I got the right help, I felt stupid and inadequate, causing great amounts of shame to follow me throughout elementary school and into adulthood. Shame made me believe the lie that I didn't matter, even though my parents did a wonderful job saying otherwise.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Becoming Us"
by .
Copyright © 2020 Beth McCord and Jeff McCord.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword,
How to Use This Book,
Introduction: Our Kitchen Table,
Part 1,
Chapter 1: "Assumicide",
Chapter 2: Our Becoming Us Story,
Chapter 3: Discovering the Enneagram,
Chapter 4: The Enneagram,
Chapter 5: Childhood Messages,
Chapter 6: Communication,
Chapter 7: Conflict and Hope,
Chapter 8: Becoming Our Best Selves,
Part 2,
How to Use the Enneagram Roadmap,
The Enneagram Roadmap,
Acknowledgements,
About the Authors,
References,

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Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Nana_Beth 19 days ago
I'm an Enneagram fan and student. This new book is so helpful in equipping me with the tools needed to communicate better, not only with my spouse, but with others. Part One sets the reader up with great information in a very readable writing style and connects the Gospel to the Enneagram consistently throughout. I love the way Part Two is an Enneagram Roadmap. It can be used as a quick reference tool. It's even color-coded! Beth and Jeff have set this book up to be a great read and resource. This would be a great gift for an engaged or newly-married couple. AND, it's great for someone who's been married for years! You can teach an old dog new tricks! :)
Anonymous 19 days ago
The McCords have changed the game for my husband and I when it comes to the enneagram. We knew our numbers before but this has truly helped us see each other, love each other other and grow together. We have yet to find a better enneagram book that helps describe how we can see the Gospel through our numbers and how we can become more like the best version of ourselves as we align more with the Gospel. I am handing out this book to family and friends like crazy!
MeganEricson 10 days ago
The Enneagram is often thought of as a personal journey but I loved Jeff & Beth McCord's book on using this tool specifically for your marriage. I've followed their teaching for quite some time and even became an Enneagram coach through their training program. Even though I'm trained in teaching the Enneagram, Jeff & Beth packed new and life-changing insights into this book – a must-read for married couples at any age or stage!!
Anonymous 15 days ago
The Enneagram is a personality tool that helps you understand more than just what you may be more prone to do but the why behind it. Understanding the "why" of our personalities is crucial to better understanding ourselves and our reactions in everything life throws at us. This book helps you understand how our personalities and our "why" infulences our relationships. How we can use that information to recognize when we are acting "healthy"/more aligned with the Gospel message, when we might be steering away from that truth towards "unhealthy" behaviors and then also how that can influence our spouse. While this book uses marriage as the main relationship that can grow from this knowledge, it can truly be applied to any and every relationship we have in our lives. Beth and Jeff used their personal struggles and story to help explain how we can grow to better understand ourselves and our spouses and therefore grow closer together by improving our relationship. I loved how they addressed the complex system of the enneagram by breaking each type down and discussing the wings and what tendencies/behaviors each type tend to express when they are "healthy" and "unhealthy". They also explained so well how messages we received from our lives/surroundings in childhood can affect us today. They give you tools to help recognize when we are headed for the "unhealthy" side of our personality by addressing "road bumps" that each type can identify in themselves to be able to reverse and correct our misunderstandings. THe book is broken down into two parts. The first part discusses all the things I mentioned above, and more! The second part breaks down each part looking at our core motivations, childhood patterns and messages, levels of alignment with the gospel (aligned- living as His beloved, misaligned- living in our own strength, and out of alignment- living as an orphan), the wings for each type, each types stress and growth patterns, communication tendencies and conflict style for each type, Gospel transformation and my personal favorite part: "understanding them". The understanding them section addresses how others can better understand that type their behaviors, core motivations and how to love and affirm them better. This has been so helpful for me personally in better understanding my Type 5 husband as I am a Type 1. I would recommend this book to ANYONE- married, single, divorced. All of this information can help you grow as a person and in your relationship with Christ as well as help you improve all the relationships in your life. Cannot recommend this book enough!
LaKrisha 16 days ago
I’ve known someone in every circle that I communicate with that has been excited about the Enneagram, and to be honest, I just didn’t get it. I haven’t explored it much, but I don’t really care for labels. That being said, I saw that this book in particular was from a Gospel-centered viewpoint using the Enneagram to strengthen your marriage. So, I signed up to be on the launch team. As I’ve read through the book, I have become more and more intrigued. Not so much in labeling others but in discovering what makes me (and my husband) “tick” according to our respective Enneagram Types. Beth and Jeff share stories of “failure” from before they discovered their Enneagram Types and then how they’ve been able to overcome those said “failures.” I would recommend this book to avid fans of the Enneagram or someone, like me, who is skeptical of it, and everyone in between.
Anonymous 16 days ago
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to improve communication in their marriage or just communication in general. I think the principles in this book, while targeted to married couples, would apply just as well as any other relationship were bad communication is a problem. The principles spelled out here and the resources in the book would be just as helpful in a family situation, work setting, or friendship. I really liked the focus in the first half of the book on not committing "assumicide" to our spouse, assuming that they mean the worst instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt. I know I do this A LOT, so the information about that was super helpful to me. I'm also a big fan of the second part which has a section for each Enneagram type. There's a section for you to read about yourself and how you can improve communication on your end and a section for your spouse to read about how they can better communicate with your type. I think that's genius! Though this book is obviously focused around the Enneagram, you don't need to be an Enneagram expert or nerd to learn from it. In fact, I think it would be a really helpful introduction to the Enneagram. The simple synopses of each type in this book were really well done and really easy to understand. Whether you love the Enneagram or know nothing about it, I think this book would be helpful.
LeahEverson 16 days ago
Beth McCord is the best Instagram-Enneagram coach out there and she has wrapped her expertise you can find online into this book she co-wrote with her husband, Jeff. Through stories of their own marriage, and short stories from other couples, Beth and Jeff illustrate how learning about ourselves through the lens of the enneagram can help us grow and help our relationships thrive. Becoming Us features a great introduction to what the enneagram is and how a life in Christ helps us grow. The enneagram cannot fix us, it is a tool for self-awareness. I really appreciate this distinction in the McCord's book. Furthermore, with that awareness, the McCord's illustrate with their stories how we can approach marriage knowing what we do about ourselves and our spouses, asking God for his help to heal us along the way. I think if you want an in depth study of the enneagram, there are many other books out there that give more information, but the McCords have done an excellent job applying the Enneagram to marriage. I highly recommend this book for the Roadmap in the second half of the book alone. And be sure to read that chapter on Childhood Messages. One of the best, for sure. All in all, an excellent book on the Enneagram and marriage.
JackieA 17 days ago
The more you know your partner and yourself the more you can live well together. Years of Eeneagram exploring have helped us understand and love people with grace. And to know your own limitations and areas or power is transforming. My non reading husband and I enjoyed and learned from "Becoming Us". Better together. Better than before. Growing is never done. Grace to me and through me.
Anonymous 17 days ago
I have been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years and we are talking about getting married. The enneagram has been such a helpful tool for us as we have learned how to understand one another better. Becoming Us was such an encouraging read, in particular, the way it points us all back to the gospel. Jesus is the only one who can truly satisfy us and meet our needs and desires. Anywhere else we look will only leave us empty and disappointed. While I have heard this truth before, I needed to hear it again and be reminded of what is true in order to truly free me to love my boyfriend, and really, everyone, well. The plays our into communication and conflict in every relationship in my life. I also really appreciated Part 2 which explained each type and important things to know when relating to other types. I am so thankful for this resource and how it emphasizes that it is the gospel that transforms, but the enneagram can be a tool on that journey to help strengthen, heal and grow healthier and stronger relationships.
PamelaRenee 17 days ago
As a student of the Ennegram, I've seen incredible growth in my life as I've done the hard work of getting to the root of wrong motivations and behaviors. As a byproduct, I've seen my relationships improve, so that's why I was excited that a book that blends marriage and the Enneagram is finally here! The first part of the book is mostly story, the second contains general Gospel-centered marriage advice, and the third is what makes the whole book worth it! This section gives you a practical deep dive into each type in a way I've never seen it presented (and I've read many Enneagram books)! I felt so much more equipped to better relate to my spouse and others in my life and even gained new treasures to apply to myself.
Anonymous 17 days ago
If you're curious about the Enneagram, are looking for new material on the Enneagram, or have never heard of the Enneagram and just want to help grow your marriage, Becoming Us is just the book you're looking for! Enneagram coach Beth McCord and her husband Pastor Jeff McCord have put together a wonderful, easy to use resource for anyone who wants practical steps and tools to better understand themselves, their spouse, or really anyone they have a relationship with (friends, parents, children, co-workers, etc). The book is in two sections. The first section details Beth and Jeff's own story and how the Enneagram helped their marriage. They also share examples from friends whose lives and marriages have grown through learning about the Enneagram. The second section is what the authors call "an Enneagram Roadmap". It is a detailed guide of each Enneagram type (there are 9 total) that teaches the reader how to better understand him or herself and also how to better understand his or her spouse. The first section gives a summary of the nine Enneagram types and what the core fear, desire, weakness, and longing of each is. It describes each type in detail, working from the core belief that each type equally reflects God's glory and creativity when it is emotionally and spiritually healthy and living in alignment with the Gospel. This section also discusses the layers of the Enneagram, including triads and wings. Don't worry about all these terms, they are thoroughly explained in the book. The second section, the Enneagram Roadmap, is divided into two parts: Understanding Me and Understanding Them. It teaches how to understand your spouse (or other person you are in relationship with) better, how to recognize their behavior tendencies, their core motivations, and their communication and conflict styles. The main focus of this section is how you can best understand and love each other. Beth and Jeff''s desire is for every marriage and every relationship to be thriving and Gospel-centered. Their mission is "for people to see themselves with astonishing clarity so they can break free from self-condemnation, fear and shame by knowing and experiencing the unconditional love, forgiveness, and freedom in Christ." I am most impressed with the McCords and the work they put into this highly researched, well laid out book and I highly recommend it!
Anonymous 17 days ago
The Enneagram is such a great tool to understand your inner landscape. The McCord's do a phenomenal job of exploring this and explaining how empathy, compassion, and understanding are worthy pursuits. They share how the Enneagram is a tool for awareness and clarity and the Gospel the means of transformation. No matter where you are on the marriage spectrum - happily married to struggling marriage this book needs to be on your bookshelf!
SDSuzi 17 days ago
Becoming Us has put words to my feelings and given me tools to improve my relationship with my husband as well as others I interface with. It is a marriage book - but has application to all other relationships. This has brought together in one place so many aspects of the enneagram in a relatable, referenceable and practical way. Such a valuable resource!!
Anonymous 17 days ago
So grateful to be able to add this awesome tool to my marriage tool kit. Thank you Beth and Jeff for not only maki g the enneagram so easy to understand it also keeping the Gospel in the forefront as well. If you are looking for a great way to help you connect in a better way with your spouse or just a better understanding of all the Enneagram types this is the book for you; you won’t be disappointed!
Anonymous 17 days ago
The book is a wonderful resource regardless of how long you have been married and what you know about the Enneagram. The Enneagram has been a great tool for my marriage - understanding the motive on how we operate and giving us a new language to talk with each other. But what I enjoy most is the McCord's do a fantastic job at integrating the gospel into the Enneagram.
Amanda Alcamo 17 days ago
This is the 3rd Ennea-book I have read in the last 6 months. As someone who was new to the whole concept, I found myself still trying to understand what everything meant. I believe one of my favorite parts about this book is the usper easy guide at the end of the book that helps you not only understand yourself better when it comes to your number, personality and such but even more importantly your spouse and the Gospel. Such a great read and something that I have referenced multiple times in the past weeks!!
Alicia_Flynn 17 days ago
Beth and Jeff McCord, together, take the enneagram through the lense of the Christianity. This book has not only begun to transform the view I have of myself, but also of my husband. We've garnered a way to look at the things we each do and understand WHY we do them. It's given us insight in to marriage between our respective personality types, conflict resolution, and creating a thriving marriage centered on Jesus. Beth and Jeff are not offering an instruction manual, they are offering years of experience from the life of a Pastor and the student of the enneagram. This book is filled with their own personal stories that resonate with so many experiences married couples have. If you're married, GO GET THIS BOOK! Even if you are not a follower of Jesus, this book may just help you understand what faith looks like and why the sanctity of marriage is such a blessing!
Anonymous 17 days ago
Becoming Us is truly a wonderful, Gospel-filled tool to understanding relationship using the Enneagram. As Beth puts it early in the book, "The Enneagram is an insightful tool, but the Gospel is transformation," and this message is weaved artfully throughout the entirety of this book. As a result of Becoming Us, my husband and I have been able to put into words so much more of how we are truly feeling - our communication continues to grow and develop with the help of the Enneagram and Jeff and Beth's wisdom. We are learning more about not only ourselves, but each other, in a much deeper and more Gospel-centered way. This book would be great for all couples, especially those beginning to navigate more meaningful relationships!
ElizabethJ 17 days ago
My husband and I are fairly new to the enneagram and this has been the best book I’ve read to navigate it through a gospel lens. In our marriage, it seems like the same arguments and even assumptions about the other kept arising and causing tension between us. This book has been an amazing way to learn about ourselves and each other in a deeper way, more than any other personality typing tool out there, and then be able to practice grace with each other and recognize in ourselves where our own weak spots are so we can be better to each other. I am so grateful to Jeff and Beth for this amazing book. AND, This is not only for marriages, this is for navigating all relationships! GET IT!
Autumn_Stan 17 days ago
This book is such a helpful, applicable resource for strengthening your marriage. Learning more about the enneagram has given me so much insight into why I think, act, and respond the way I do, and has helped me realize why my husband views the world the way he does. Whether you've studied the enneagram before or not, this book will be extremely helpful to you in your marriage. The first part of the book describes each enneagram type, how the wings influence each number, and how each number responds in stress and in growth. One of my favorite aspects of this book is the way that the authors point us toward the Gospel. Christ is our hope, no matter our number, and it is only through our deepened, dependent relationship with Him that we can grow into the healthy, whole people we are created to be. This is not a book about how to make ourselves better, but about how Christ can transform our brokenness and flaws. The second part of the book is the enneagram roadmap. It is broken down into sections specifically for each number. Each section offers an in-depth look at understanding ourselves - our perspectives, childhood patterns, wings, stress and growth paths, levels of alignment with the Gospel, communication style, conflict style, and Gospel transformation. Then there is a section under each number for "Understanding Them" - this gives insight into your spouse's number and offers helpful guidance for how to improve communication, relate to them in conflict, and love them better. You'll walk away from reading this book with a better understanding of yourself and your spouse, and really practical ways to improve communication and the relational "dance" of your marriage.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Have you heard of the Enneagram? If you haven't, you may be living under a rock! It seems like it is just another in a long line of "personality assessments" or "categories" to explain why you are the way you are. BUT -- don't stop there -- because as a person who has taken ALL the assessments, and read ALL the things, I really feel that the Enneagram has helped me more with my personal growth and relationships than all the others combined. This book is a GREAT help in that journey. I have read some other Enneagram "basic" books (The Road Back to You is a great starter), and judging by the title, I figured this one would be solely focused on how to use the Enneagram to help my marriage become stronger and our communication better. Boy, was I wrong! While this book DOES do that (and does it very well), it's about so much more than marriage. I have found it helpful in understanding others in many of my relationships -- my coworkers, my boss, my parents, my friends, and yes, my husband too. In addition, the second section, which goes into each number in great detail, is a GREAT primer for anyone who is unfamiliar with the types and what each number's core motivations and desires are. I am a Christian and a pastor, and so I must mention that this book comes from a perspective of being unashamedly Christian and Gospel-based (hey, it says so on the cover). I believe we can do all the personality work in the world, but if we lack the message of the Gospel and the love of Christ, it's all worthless. That said though, if you do not consider yourself a Christian, I still think you will find some value in this book if you're willing to give it a try. So, if you are brand new to the Enneagram, pick up this book. If you are an old pro, pick up this book. If you have any relationships with any other human beings (not necessarily romantic), pick up this book. If you have any desire to understand yourself, your friends, your family members, and your significant other better, and learn healthier patterns for interaction and communication, pick up this book!
Anonymous 17 days ago


As I’ve learned about the Enneagram, Beth McCord’s information (Your Enneagram Coach) has been my favorite among the many resources! I love how she uses it to point to spiritual realities that help us grow as Christians.

 One of the best parts of “Becoming Us” is the friendly, caring, hopeful tone that sings on every page. The authors obviously love the Lord and love people, and they communicate that beautifully and practically in this easy-to-read book. Whether you’re new to the Enneagram or already familiar with it, Jeff and Beth have crafted a book that will be useful to you and your spouse (or any relationship!). In Part 1, they tell their story, give a brief but thorough explanation of and introduction to the Enneagram, and distill information from various excellent sources about conflict and communication.

Part 2 is a reference guide to apply what you’ve learned to yourself and your spouse specifically. Rather than read through the entire section, you can find the color-coded pages for information and insight specific to you and your spouse’s type(s).


Katie_BR 17 days ago
Both my husband and I work in the insurance industry, and I was even a Risk Management and Insurance major in college. The first step in the Risk Management process is to Identify the risks. And when it comes to having a healthy marriage, I think identifying your personalities, your different styles, your approach to various types of communication, and your personal problem areas, is one of the most important things you can do. I learned about the enneagram several years ago and shortly after, started following Beth's enneagram teachings using the Gospel. She was one of my main resources in 1.) learning the enneagram fundamentals but more importantly, 2.) actually USING and implementing what I learned so I can be better. A lot of people use it flippantly and say "Well, I'm just a ___" and "You're being a ___" but Beth's main goal is to help you understand you're so much more than a number, you're a child of God with a particular way you view the world. Beth and Jeff did such an incredible job with this book. They used real-life examples from their marriage and how their numbers affected the way they "marriage" at different parts in their life. But more so, they give encouragement that learning your number isn't the end and you don't just have to live in that, but rather that there's a path to grow and be better. And the entire Part 2 of this book, is probably the best and most in-depth roadmap to the different types I have yet to find. SO HELPFUL for beginners and non-beginners alike. I'm extra-thankful for this resource because I can already see how much we've been able to identify the different elements in our marriage. And now, we can pray through our struggles and problem areas, and love each other better because of it.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Beth and Jeff take a strong grasp of an ancient typing process and apply their knowledge of the Gospel - what a powerful opportunity to discover more about one's faith. I'm a certified Enneagram coach through the Narrative Tradition and appreciate how Becoming Us has helped me to deepen my faith, not just my ability to help someone develop self-awareness to their automatic patterns that, if left unchecked, can run many unhealthy rackets in my life. While the Enneagram itself is neutral (it doesn't "belong" to any certain faith), overlaying it with the most transformative tool of all (the Gospel) is bound to offer a life-changing invitation to those who read Becoming Us.
Melis Chambers 18 days ago
As an Enneagram 5 I was beyond hesitant to be labeled or think anyone could tell me anything useful about myself, I’m just too weird (there’s that wing 4). But once I hear Beth McCord on Annie F Downs Podcast, That Sounds Fun it became something I quickly added to my special interests. I’m an avid reader and even enjoy a deep academic dive and while building my faith and growing closer to God are my first literary and study interests I read any and everything. But when it came to the Enneagram books were so academic I couldn't share them with others, were conversational but too heavy on the Enneagram as the source until “Becoming Us! As a true book nerd it’s more than just the words on the page; a truly exceptional book has a feeling in my hands, a smell I can’t resist, pages that allow all of my highlighting to glide along without smearing and takes what can be informational overload and turns it into a conversation with a friend! And rarely does a book like this work for all learning types and levels of the subject but Becoming Us more than does! And the cherry on top is Beth and Jeff McCord’s ability to have two distinct voices flow together beautifully! I can’t recommend Becoming Us more and you don’t have to be married to appreciate, learn from it and see growth!