Gary Thomas' book, A Lifelong Love

A Review of “A Lifelong Love” by Gary Thomas (Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2014)

I recently finished reading Gary Thomas’ book, A Lifelong Love. The text at the bottom of the cover simply asks, “What if Marriage is About More Than Just Staying Together?”

One of the reasons I love this book is because Mr. Thomas beautifully expresses some of the same thoughts that I have. I’ve also written about marriage being about more than the feeling of being “in love” and believe with absolute certainty that feeling like you love your spouse or that you should stay committed to your marriage because of the Biblical principle to do so, simply isn’t enough to maintain a fulfilling marriage.

Before writing this book, Mr. Thomas also wrote the book Sacred Marriage, where he discussed the truth that marriage wasn’t designed to make us happy as much as it was to make us holy. And while I loved that book also, I felt that it was somewhat limited in not describing how we can also be happy in marriage. This newest book, A Lifelong Love, does a fantastic job of also showing that we can be happy – truly happy, in marriage when we practice the simple principle of loving well.

In chapter ten, Mr. Thomas talks about the importance of building true intimacy in marriage. He says, “…a good marriage isn’t something you find; it’s something you make, and you have to keep on making it.” I agree 100% with this statement. It isn’t always easy, but making your marriage good should definitely be a priority.

I encourage you to grab a copy of Mr. Thomas’ book, A Lifelong Love. I truly believe it will bless you and your marriage.

My prayer for you is that you do indeed have a lifelong love in your spouse!

Blessings on you and your marriage,
Jessica

 

Marriage God’s Way: A Book Review

Marriage God's Way Book CoverI recently, within the last few months, met a pastor named Scott LaPierre, who is the author of Marriage God’s Way. Now when I say met, what I really mean is a virtual introduction. We’re both bloggers for the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association and through that common network we’ve become friends. He’s actually written on this blog on two occasions:

After reading his posts on my blog, I decided to read his book as well. While I’ve briefly reviewed it on Goodreads and Amazon, I wanted to give a slightly fuller review on my site. Also, one of my commenters will receive their own copy absolutely free. Sweet, right?!

Let me start by giving you a bit of an overall understanding of Pastor Scott’s view of marriage. From the book, you can easily see that he is complementarian in his view. Basically, the complementarian view of marriage holds that “God has created man and woman equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but different and complementary in function with male headship in the home and in the church.”

You’ll see the complementarian view woven throughout the book. In fact, after one of his posts on my site, I had a reader express some upset feelings regarding this role. Don’t worry about that part too much. I’ve read this book, and whether you hold strictly to this view or not, I assure you that you’ll be challenged to improve your marriage and be encouraged that it’s possible. Here are a few examples why…

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A Helper Comparable to Him

Guest post from Scott LaPierre, the author of Marriage God's Way

The following is an excerpt from Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. I have invited Pastor Scott to write some guest posts on Genesis 2:18 when God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.” In his last post he discussed why it’s not good for man to be alone, or in other words, why men need a helper! Now he’s going to discuss why women shouldn’t be bothered being identified as their husband’s ‘helper.’

The Hebrew word for helper is ezer. It means “help” or “one who helps” looking to the complementarian roles between husbands and wives. The word ezer occurs 21 times in the Old Testament, including twice in Genesis 2, first in verse 18 and then in verse 20 when Adam named the animals and could not find “a helper comparable to him.”

Some women might find it offensive to be identified as their husband’s “helper,” but the title is not a criticism of Eve’s insufficiency but an identification of Adam’s inadequacy! In the Amplified Bible Genesis 2:18 reads: “Now the Lord God said, ‘It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone.’” Woman is the helper man needs because he is not sufficient without her! God created woman to remove man’s deficiency. Marriage experts and authors Richard and Sharon Phillips explain:

To call a woman a helper is not to emphasize her weakness, but her strength. Not to label her as superfluous but as essential to Adam’s condition and to God’s purpose in the world. Helper is a position of dignity given to the woman by God Himself.[1]

Ezer is never used in Scripture for something negative, such as a sycophant, minion, or slave. Instead it is used to describe great strength and support. Consider these verses:

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The Helper a Man Needs

Guest post from Scott LaPierre, the author of Marriage God's Way

marriagegodsway

The following is an excerpt from Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. I have invited him to write some guest posts on Genesis 2:18 when God said, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a him a helper comparable to him.”

For six straight days, God created dry land, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and animals. At the end of each day, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But for the first time in the Creation account, in Genesis 2:18, God saw something that was not good—man’s being alone.

God’s statement is even more interesting when we consider that Adam and Eve had not yet disobeyed. We do not typically think of anything being “not good” until after the Fall. Since Adam had not sinned yet, it was not Adam himself who was not good. Neither was it anything he had or had not done that was not good. It was simply Adam’s being alone that was not good. Let’s understand why it was not—and still is not—good for man to be alone.

Why Man Needs Needs a Helper…

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Three Marriage Books You Should Buy Today.

Couple smiling reading books together

I truly love to read. The only problem is there simply are not enough hours in the day to read all of the books that I want to. I’m always on the lookout for new books to add to my “favorites” so I can offer those to people when they ask directly about books for marriage or intimacy. Today, I’m sharing three of my favorite books about making your marriage a little more fulfilling. 

#1: From Anger to Intimacy by Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham

There are a few reasons I love this book. First of all, this book is incredibly practical for a couple to read together. The authors don’t use clinical language, but instead tell stories about times when conflict happened in their marriage and easy-to-take action steps (or at least easy to understand) toward reducing conflict. They give a step-by-step action sequence for reducing conflict, but go beyond that to help you identify the ‘why’ that conflict occurs in your marriage.

The title might lead you to believe that this is a book that is mainly for couples with one spouse (or two) that gets angry easily, but in actuality, this book can be used even if you wouldn’t describe yourself as angry. In fact, they describe a form of anger that is less intense than most think of when they think about anger in marriage. The authors do such a great job of explaining how to do conflict well that I really believe it is a must have for any couple that has any difficulty resolving conflict.

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