of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Laura Rene5 Stars Out Of 5Great thoughts-- counter culturalOctober 20, 2015Laura ReneQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5This book has been on my reading list for years. So many of the wives I look up to list it as one of their favorite books on marriage. I love reading books that help me become the best version of myself, and in this new role of wife there's plenty of room for improvement!
The subtitle of this book is so poignant: "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?" Our culture shouts the opposite: test-drive the opposite sex, use others before marriage, it's all about your happiness and your gratification. It's no wonder we have so many divorces in our society when we're encouraged to simply focus on our own happiness all the time!
Author Gary Thomas radically challenges us to the opposite in this book. He asserts that God intended marriage to sanctify us, to make us holy. And sanctification involves pruning, molding, burning away our selfishness. The beautiful thing about this realization is that it no longer becomes about you. The pressure is off for a perfect marriage of perpetual happiness (which doesn't exist anyway!). Instead, your marriage becomes an offering to God, a union open to His hand and His transforming power.
Thomas gives historic, spiritual, and practical insight within these chapters. I would highly recommend this book to any couple discerning marriage, engaged, or already married. As an added bonus, my husband and I are reading the devotional that accompanies this book: Devotions for a Sacred Marriage. It's been neat to have him experience the same principles in devotional form that I'm reading in the longer book.
Christmas is coming up in two months! Either book would make a cozy read by the fire...and might stir those coals in your marriage, too.
Have you read Sacred Marriage? What's your favorite book on relationships?
Kris BushOrlando, FLAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5What if Marriage was intended to be sacred?September 16, 2015Kris BushOrlando, FLAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5How often do we go into marriage with the understanding of being made happy by the marriage and our spouse? How often do we hear people end marriages because they were "unhappy?"
Now what if you were to learn that God did not design our marriage with our happiness as its central focus? What if our marriage is designed to make us holy before Him? What if marriage was not designed for our happiness but to completely glorify God?
That is what Gary Thomas is answering for us and opening our eyes to see in his book Sacred Marriage.
This book is filled with examples of couples who had been going about marriage (and in some cases divorce) the wrong way. They'd been consumed with themselves and what made them happy. Yet they either forgot or were completely unaware of the fact that happiness is fleeting and that is not marriage's purpose. That is not our spouses purpose. We cannot burden our spouses with the task of making us happy all the time. Our joy must come from the Lord and when that happens we become content to let marriage be what God designed it to be.
I think the quality of this book is great, the only thing that could have possibly made it better is if it were a hardback instead of a paperback. This book actually exceeded my expectations.
(FYI: I did receive my copy of the book as a member of the Booklookblogger program in exchange for my HONEST review.)
BrenVancouver, WAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5What if God designed marriage to make us Holy?? Great question!August 25, 2015BrenVancouver, WAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Was recommended by our counselor. It's been healthy for both of us. We bought two of these so that we could each read in our own time on the same days. It's been fun to do the questions together. It's been money well spent. We'll pass them on to friends. God is good!
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Marriage: A Spiritual Discipline?August 19, 2015Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Marriage: A Spiritual Discipline?
How has Gary Thomas sold half a million copies of a book about marriage that does not promise readers a happier marriage?
No promise of six steps to more intimate pillow talk.
No descriptions of three tips for more zip.
The fact is that Sacred Marriage The Revised Edition talks about the challenges and disappointments that come with married life, our ugly attitudes and our selfishness, and it asks this important question:
What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?
Bucking centuries of church tradition, Gary Thomas puts forth the notion that, just as monks and nuns have used celibacy to grow their service, their obedience, and their pursuit of God, marriage can be a platform to spiritual growth not an obstacle to be overcome. I first encountered Gary Thomass writing in the late 90s when Seeking the Face of God challenged me to become more intentional in the life of Thirsting for God (the books updated title). The same depth of appreciation for the church fathers and the importance of spiritual formation is folded into the pages of Sacred Marriage. The pursuit of God is the lens through which Gary views marriage, and, therefore, marriage becomes:
an analogy to teach us about God Himself;
a spiritual discipline to create space in which God can work;
a mirror of our desire for God or of our own selfishness;
an opportunity to practice faithfulness and perseverance for acquiring, in the words of Francis de Sales, the true and solid virtues.
Gary dissects a number of marriages chiefly his own to demonstrate the truth of his assertion that marriage is the ideal context for growing in Christ-likeness. In a multitude of ways, we need our pride assaulted and our eyes turned toward the advancement of Gods kingdom. The natural tendency in marriage is just the opposite, but as a couple begins to seek purpose and meaning outside their marriage in a commission from God, the marriage is infused with deeper meaning.
Perhaps the most valuable (and certainly the most unique) content in Sacred Marriage is Garys blunt acknowledgement that this broken world is and always will be littered with marriages that are lop-sided and limping. In the case of a Christian marriage, this provides an opportunity for both spouses to become God-dependent rather than spouse-dependent, an occasion to persevere, and a moment to have our flaws exposed and expunged.
Heres another challenging theory that no one wants to hear: Behind virtually every case of marital dissatisfaction lies un-repented sin. Sit with that one for a while and let it come to mind the next time you mutter a complaint against your spouse.
Is it possible for even a difficult marriage between two polar opposites to awaken our souls, to become a signpost pointing to God? Yes. The image of Gods presence resting between the two cherubim on either side of the Ark of the Covenant is a powerful visual reminder that the presence of God comes to us as two beings are joined. What if, instead of seeking God mainly in solitude, believers began to consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:19,20:
I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Even if a marriage has not previously been characterized by purposefully seeking God, Sacred Marriage builds a road for going forward on that basis, allowing God to enter into and sustain marital love and companionship.
Gary Thomas is challenging engaged, married and single people from all ages and stages to join an on-line community with the goal of exploring the connection between marriage and worship. This invitation to pursue an honest conversation about the joys and frustrations of marriage comes with the hope that your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God.
This book was provided by Zondervan, through the BookLookBloggers Program, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Katie5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Resource for Marriage!August 18, 2015KatieQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?" Though I first read Sacred Marriage in 2007, this tagline has stuck with me over the years. "To do this, we must not enter marriage predominately to be fulfilled, emotionally satisfied, or romantically charged, but rather to become more like Jesus Christ." Throughout the book, Gary Thomas elaborates on this thought by exploring themes such as love, respect, sin, perseverance, forgiveness, sexuality, and spiritual development as they relate to the marriage relationship. The included discussion questions can easily be used for individual study, reading as a couple, or studying with a small group.
Of the several books that I read as part of premarital counseling, Sacred Marriage was my favorite. While I had not yet experienced the particulars of marriage discussed in the book, I appreciated Thomas's high view of both God and marriage. Re-reading the book almost eight years into marriage was a wonderful opportunity to revisit these important themes with a few years of experience to back up an earlier theoretical reading. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to be married, is engaged, or has been married for any length of time. It is a valuable resource to be read time and again throughout marriage.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from BookLook Bloggers.