Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas

About the book:
Discover how to 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, in A Lifelong Love, 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 your 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.

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.

My Review:

Marriage according to God and His Word is meant to last for a long as we both shall live, not as long as we both feel loved. Our society treats marriage as a casual relationship that can end in a divorce whenever it doesn't work out the way one spouse (or both) feels/thinks it should. This book shows how to live out a sacred marriage that is pleasing to God and honoring Him. The secret or key to a lifelong love/a lifetime marriage is not found in a formula or 1-2-3 steps, but rather in God who is Love and who designs marriage. The author presents marriage from an eternal perspective and from God's principles. The book is divided into 3 main parts: The Magnificent Obsession, Growing Together, and The Journey Toward Love. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions for reflection & discussion and a prayer. At the end of the book, there is an appendix titled, "God Hates Domestic Violence".

Have you ever thought of God as your Father-in-Law (assuming your spouse is a believer)? The author helps readers see their spouse through God's eyes and treat him/her as God wants His precious child to be treated (with love, benevolence, honor, and respect). The focus of marriage should first be a magnificent obsession with God and His kingdom. A Lifelong Love will help you and your spouse grow closer to God and to each other. The book will challenge and encourage you to rely on God, obey God, glorify God, and rest in God no matter how your spouse responds. You will find practical, Biblically sound advice on how to improve your intimacy. It does take work and effort; you have to be intentional and prayerful. When you put God first and aim to please God in everything you do, your spouse and your marriage will greatly benefit and be blessed. It will change self-centered marriage (which is doomed to fail) into God-centered marriage (which will last for a lifetime). I highly recommend this book to any couples who desire a spiritually rich & satisfying marital relationship!

"When God becomes part of the equation, it's not what we get from or even bring into our marriages, but it's what we do with His empowering presence that creates a rich intimacy and a beautiful relationship." (p. 18)

"Since marriage is one of the most profound acts of worship any two believers can ever share, it is impossible to be married in a sacred manner without the Holy Spirit being active in our lives, helping us to understand what it means to love, giving us the power to love, convicting us when we fail to love, renewing our hearts when we grow weary in love, and pouring out hope when we grow discouraged in love." (p. 74)
"And that's the miracle of marriage--it forces us to depend on God, and all of life is transformed when we live in dependence on Him." (p. 76)
"Creating a marriage worthy of my calling means creating a marriage where the character of Jesus is displayed for all to see." (p. 110)

"Love is a disposition to do what is best for the other, out of the inner compulsion from the Holy Spirit, to serve this person's best interests." (p. 256)
"Biblical love isn't a feeling to be felt; it's a commitment to be kept." (p. 263)
"The Biblical goal is a shared experience of God living in us and God's love being made complete in us." (p. 281)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this excellent book! Only valid in US & Canada. Ends 11/15.
To Enter: Please share the best marital advice you've ever received. 
For Extra Entries: (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):
- Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyLthomas

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~Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and 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.


  1. The best marriage advice I received was to make it a priority to pray with your spouse.

  2. To pray together and always include The Lord in all our decisions. We have 7 children and a lot of the time it is so hard to find balance in our marriage. I would love to read this book.