Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas

Here is a book packed full of marital insight!  While I found the second half of the book to be more engaging than the beginning, there are nuggets of wisdom to be found in each chapter.  Here are some of my take-aways...

The first section of the book begins to establish a healthy perspective of marriage.  It encourages us to view marriage in light of eternity, let challenges push us toward dependence on God, and live on mission as a couple.  My all-time favorite concept was viewing God as "Father-In-Law".  It's the idea that we are all God's children.  I want my children to be loved by their future spouses despite their faults.  People can earn my favor or wrath by how they treat my kids.  Is it possible that we can cause God pleasure or pain by how we treat our spouses (His kids)?!?

"A good marriage isn't something you find; it's something you make". The next section of the book focuses on growing together.  We are taught that each couple is unique.  With God's help marriages can be built and re-built if necessary.  Gary helps us understand power shifts that can occur during different life stages, and how honesty and oneness can benefit our marriages.

The final section of the book is on loving....the way that God has called us to love.  "Biblical love isn't a feeling to be felt; its a commitment to be kept...The kind of love the Bible calls us to is a love that is focused on others' welfare; our desire is for their good, not our own benefit."  It's a call to be giving, rather than self-focused.  We learn that love is not the same thing as desire.  Sexuality is discussed, as well as the sin of withholding good.  It's also mentioned that doing small loving things consistently is more effective than the occasional grand gesture.

I've mentioned a few of the highlights, but I encourage you to read the chapters in full to gain greater understanding.  Each chapter ends with a few discussion questions that you and your spouse can discuss if reading this book together, followed by a prayer.  The time spent thinking through and applying this material will be well worth it!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C Cook Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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