(I received this book from FlyByPromotions and was asked to read it and give my opinion. All opinions are my own. Full disclaimer below)
I had heard of Gary Thomas before, and had heard of his books being used in marriage classes at church, etc. I had never read one of his books, and just love how he can write from the position of a man, a husband and someone trying to minister to others for how to live a Godly life. So many times, you read a book by someone and wonder if they take their own advice, you know? Hearing the stories of Gary and his wife, Lisa, are ones that bring smiles to your face and a thought to your heart about what you are doing great, and what you could do differently.
My husband, David, and I have been married for 14 years now and have known each other for over 20. In today’s world, you don’t hear of that much anymore. I remember when we were first married and began going to a marriage class with some friends from our church in CA, and we just wanted to learn from some who had been married for a long time, and be able to hear their advice and trials. We learned so much from that amazing group of people and really pray that we can be married as long as they have been one day.
It was such a blessing to know that even in today’s world, you can fight for the right to be married…and a for a long time at that! So many people just have that day when they don’t get along, and then the court papers start flying. Get over it, people – learn to move through it, and grow because of it. Like I’ve heard in the past, and always think about is how some say that “the grass is always greener on the other side”. Well, get out your fertilizer and take care of your own yard – don’t you think the garden is much more beautiful when all of the weeds are gone and the “fruits” begin to flourish? By learning to solve one problem, your relationship grows that much deeper, and you feel like you can make it through anything!
“I don’t fill up my gas tank on Monday and then curse the automaker when I need to fill it back up on Friday. There isn’t a car in existence that can keep going without refueling, and there isn’t a marriage alive that can keep pressing into sacred intimacy with daily drawing on God’s presence and power.” -Gary Thomas
The author says on page 29: “In Christian circles, we do a disservice if we try to “fix” marriages without first proclaiming the necessity of fixing our lives on this magnificent obsession, the kingdom of God.” He is the one who truly put you together in the first place, so remember to put God first and then all else will fall into place. He is to be the center of our lives, our marriage and everything.
The author then talks about changing Luke 11:2 up a bit on page 89, and praying it a bit differently, which I love: “Father, glorify Your name and bring Your kingdom rule to my heart, our marriage and this house.” So many of us skip the thanks to God and start asking Him for things, etc. If we first give God the glory and then focus on using our relationship to better serve Him, things could be a lot different.
I had never really thought of marriage as a ministry before, but after reading this book – it truly seems like it can be. After 14 years, I’m loving my husband even more, feeling special when we are together, and wanting so much to say in years to come how God has worked in our lives. Join with your partner as a team, ready to tag the opponent (the devil) from getting anywhere near your life (home base). As they say, 2 are better than 1, but just think, with God as the center of your life and marriage, that makes 3!! Wow, devil, YOU’RE OUT!!!
About the Book:
LIVE OUT A SACRED MARRIAGE – You believe your marriage has eternal purposes. You long for it to reach beyond your home and encourage others. But what does it look like to have a spiritually intentional relationship in the midst of dirty dishes, work deadlines, and car pools?
In Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas showed us that God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy. Now Thomas gives us the practical tools to craft our marriages into inspiring relationships that breathe spiritual life to others.
Whatever season of marriage you are in, A Lifelong Love gives you the practical help you need to infuse your marriage with a spiritual passion that will not only change you but will change the world around you.
Gary Thomas believes couples often settle for too little when it comes to marriage. We fail to understand how deeply God cares about our spouse. We diminish our need to not only understand what biblical love really is, but also to become a people who excel at it. We let ourselves drift apart instead of making the daily choices to grow closer together.
Whether your marriage needs a complete makeover, a touch up, or just a new purpose, A Lifelong Love promises to set your relationship on an entirely new dimension. You will never look at worship or your spouse in the same way again. You will understand how living for that day will so radically transform the decisions you make this day. And Gary will guide you through the power shifts and seasonal mine fields that blow up so many marriages so that you can grow in your love instead of in your disappointment.
Thirty years of study and two decades of working with couples has led Gary Thomas to his most significant book yet on the relationship between husband and wife. Find out for yourself what all the fuss is about—and why A Lifelong Love is sure to challenge the way the church talks about marriage.
Includes discussion and reflection questions for couples..
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (October 1, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
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About The Author:
Gary Thomas is writer-in-residence at Second Baptist Church in Houston, a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and FamilyLife Today radio, and a popular speaker. His award-winning books, including The Sacred Search, have been translated into over a dozen languages and together have sold more than a million copies worldwide. Thomas and his wife have been married thirty years and have three children.
About The Publisher:
David C Cook is a nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing and distributing leadership and discipleship resources to help Christians all over the world grow in their faith and pass it on to the next generation. We call this “DiscipleShaping“. We were established in 1875 by David Caleb Cook in Chicago, IL. Since that time, we have published numerous bestselling books from The Picture Bible to Crazy Love by Francis Chan, developed over ten lines of Sunday school curriculum, and published many of today’s most popular praise and worship songs through our music division, Kingsway. As a ministry, we do more than just publish and distribute Christian resources. We partner with indigenous organizations to equip Pastors, Lay Leaders, and Sunday School Teachers with our materials in places like India, China, and Cuba. In some places (underdeveloped countries), we make them available at no charge. In others, (developing countries), we subsidize the cost to make them more affordable.
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“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this book for my review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”