Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas is a fresh look at God's purpose for marriage: holiness rather than happiness. This is an updated, revised version of his classic work which was originally published 15 years ago, in 2000. I've never had the chance to read the original book, although I've always wanted to, so I was excited to read this new, updated release. The book description reads:
"Happy is good. Holy is better.
Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. What if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy . . . but holy?
Sacred Marriage doesn't just offer techniques to make a marriage happier. It does contain practical tools, but what married Christians most need is help in becoming holier husbands and wives. Sacred Marriage offers that help with insights from Scripture, church history, time tested wisdom from Christian classics, and examples from today's marriages.
Sacred Marriage reveals how marriage trains us to love God and others well, how it exposes sin and makes us more aware of God's presence, how good marriages foster good prayer, how married sex feeds the spiritual life, and more.
The revised edition of Sacred Marriage takes into account the ways men's and women's roles have expanded since the book was first written. It has been streamlined to be a faster read without losing the depth that so many readers have valued.
Sacred Marriage uncovers the mystery of God’s overarching purpose. This book may very well alter profoundly the contours of your marriage. It will most certainly change you. Because whether it is delightful or difficult, your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God, and to a spiritual integrity that, like salt, seasons the world around you with the savor of Christ."
Many people's goal in getting married today is a life of unending bliss and happiness. As any person who's been married for a number of years can attest, that is impossible. Two sinners joining in marriage for life will never be able to live without at least some problems, no matter how in love they are. Unfortunately, many times when a husband or wife gets to the hard part of marriage and realizes that life isn't a fairytale, they quickly turn to divorce and look for a new person who they hope will make them happy. Gary Thomas turns this idea on its head and shows us what the Bible has to say about marriage and its purpose. Any married person will be helped and blessed by this book. Yes, marriage can (and should) make us happy. However, marriage is an excellent tool God uses to accomplish His purpose - making us holy and more like Him. I highly recommend this book to every engaged or married couple. It will shift your focus off of yourself and onto God and your spouse.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.