Read Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? by Gary L. Thomas Free Online
Book Title: Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?|
The author of the book: Gary L. Thomas
Date of issue: August 23rd 2011
Loaded: 1429 times
Reader ratings: 7.1
ISBN 13: 9780829730265
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 914 KB
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This book began with several problems for me, and really the best chapters come toward the end. First, I wasn't particularly fond of the portrayal of women in the book as always housewives or working women "toppled by their ambition." I couldn't decide if this was because Thomas's own wife was a housewife and so that was the male-female relationship he knew more to speak about, which seems reasonable, or if he very firmly holds to a complementarian view of men and women, which often is a tricky business to me. Relatedly, the book is certainly written from a very masculine standpoint, and often seems to be written to men. That is not to say women can't gain insights from the book, merely that the male voice within the book is unmistakable.
Otherwise, the book is certainly peculiar. There are many great single lines and lessons within the book that can engage the reader on a very practical level. I was impressed with a lot of the passages about how sometimes God calls us to humble ourselves and choose to be the better person even if we're not getting back at the time in a marriage, not only for the sake of a better marriage or to get along with a partner, but simply because God often commands us to love unconditionally without getting it in return. This was an obvious lesson, but very profound to me (perhaps because I'm always terrified of giving more than I get). At the same time, because the book refuses to be another "10 Steps to a Happy Marriage" book, it offers little advice, especially not until the end, for how to handle conflict. The book readily admits couples will not always get along and sometimes things will even be unfair, but often it does not offer a good solution for how to toe the line between addressing your needs so that your partner can fulfill them (which it says you should do) and understanding when things aren't going to go your way and humbly deciding to love your partner anyway (which it also says to do, for God's sake).
I actually really like Thomas's main thesis, which is simply put that marriage, before anything else, is not designed necessarily to make us happy but instead to make us grow in God. I can see how other reviewers could think (as I did at parts) that he seems to push this point too hard, instead forgetting the joys, delight, and companionship that marriage really can bring. At the same time I think it is an important message that is often lost in these times. Christian or not, a marriage is a commitment to make something as permanent as humanly possible, so it requires commitment in the face of much ugliness and adversity. Having seen poor marriages, it is clear to me that not all marriages are an idyllic state, even if we like them to be. Even the best marriages go through trying times. For those people, or during those times, Thomas's message is one of hope, showing that even in the worst moments we are engaged in an important project not just for the betterment of our partners but ourselves and our relationship with God.
While I do not regret having read this book as a young woman soon to enter into marriage, I definitely think the audience is meant to be already married couples who find themselves disillusioned by the commitment they've entered. You're going to find advice for addressing the partner you have, not finding a better one or somehow changing him or her. Likewise, if you're looking for easy steps to fix your marriage, don't read this, because there aren't any. If you're looking for food for thought in helping you understand and define the nature of the commitment you've made as well as what can make you stronger within it, then certainly check out this book.
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Read information about the authorGary Thomas’ writing and speaking focuses on bringing people closer to Christ and closer to others. He is the author of 18 books that have been translated into over a dozen languages. These books include Cherish, Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?. The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, but Why?, Sacred Pathways, and the Gold Medallion award winner Authentic Faith. Sacred Marriage has won the Evangelical Christian Publisher Association’s Gold Book Award and the 2016 K-Love Impact Book of the Year Award.
Gary holds an MA degree in systematic theology from Regent College, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Western Seminary. He serves on the teaching team (and as Writer in Residence) at Second Baptist Church, Houston, and is an adjunct faculty member at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. His books and ministry focus on spiritual formation: how we can integrate Scripture, church history, and the time-tested wisdom of the Christian classics into our modern experience of faith. Gary’s speaking ministry has led him to speak in 49 states and ten different countries, and on numerous national television (The 700 Club, PTL, and 100 Huntley Street) and radio programs, including multiple appearances on Focus on the Family and Family Life Today.
Gary enjoys running in his spare time and has completed 12 marathons, including the Boston Marathon three times. He and his wife Lisa have been married for 33 years and they have three adult children.