Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing the prize for this giveaway. Winner will be randomly chosen and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a copy of the book in exchange for this review.
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 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.
Jerry and I have a pretty good marriage, but I’m still always looking to make it even better. So I signed up to review the book A Lifelong Love: What If Marriage Is about More Than Just Staying Together? by Gary Thomas. Jerry and I read some of it together, the rest I read alone, and let me just say, the book is love-changing. Not just life-changing.
At the start of this journey, give us a new thirst to draw nearer to You, nearer to each other–regardless of any pain we’ve been through–and nearer to a more biblical expression of what it truly means to love.
This book is so full of truth, wisdom and perspectives that I’d never considered before. I wish I had a working camera. I would show you pages of the book – pages so filled with my hi-lighting that there’s no way I’ll be able to quote all that I found quotable! So I’ll have to do the unthinkable and pare down to a few (as an editor, this is easy for me to do to others’ writings, but so tough to do to my own!).
A Lifelong Love focuses on the first chapter’s title: The Magnificent Obsession. What is this magnificent obsession?
…a marriage with a shared love of Christ–a magnificent obsession–is a marriage that grow ever deeper over time; as God shapes our hearts to desire Him, He is also, in that work, shaping our hearts to desire and enjoy each other.
This is the central theme of the book, just as it’s the central theme in a godly marriage. We all know and say “put God first in your marriage…” but how often do we actually?
I take delight in the eternal will of God, because God is giving me the heart to do so. His eternal will is that I love my wife as Christ loves the church…
Living in worship, and letting our marriage live in worship as well, is another main focus.
…long-term marital satisfaction is found first and foremost in worship, in yielding our hearts first to God, and in cooperating with God’s grace to make us not only do what is right but truly desire what is good and worthy of praise.
It’s about Heavenly living, not just living for ourselves here and now on earth.
The radical teaching of an eternal perspective is that all of us need to view this life as a journey, not as a final destination; otherwise, we’ll make some very poor choices.
Always remember Who the source of your peace, your lifeblood, your existence is. It’s God, not your spouse.
Marriage has been healing to me on many levels, but it is not my reason for being. To expect it to become that is to smother it. It would be like asking your baby, whom you love so much, to prepare your dinner. It’s ludicrous and backward.
My other favorite part was the thought of God as my Father-in-law. I have always thought of Him as my Heavenly Father, as my Abba (Daddy), but never considered that He is also my Father-in-law, because he is also Jerry’s Father!
One of the things I love about this is that “secular” love is based on things that constantly change: health, beauty, mutual enjoyment of each other, and circumstance. My wife will never stop being God’s daughter, so my main reason for loving her will never change. If she is an eighty-year-old arthritic Alzheimer’s patient, she will no less God’s daughter than she is now. And I must never mistreat her, demean her, or do anything to dishonor her any more than I’d want my own daughter to be demeaned or cheated on.
Oh, and that reminds me of the beautiful love story between Robertson and Muriel McQuilkin. I cried as I read it. When Muriel was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he prayed, essentially:
Lord, I pray You will do a physical miracle in my wife, but if You choose not to, then work a spiritual miracle in me so that I can love her well until the end.
Robertson teaches us that if we want a lifelong love, it is not about how a marriage can fulfill our needs, but how we can fulfill our spouse’s needs.
I did not find A Lifelong Love to be perfect. There were some theological differences, but to be honest, I am used to that. Mr. Thomas was a bit long-winded (he often said things in a l – o – n – g paragraph that could have easily been said in a sentence or two) and also repetitive.
But I truly recommend this book to anyone, single or married. If your marriage is bad, read it and pray. If it is good, imagine it being magnificent, read it and pray.
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.
Watch a clip of Gary talking about A Lifelong Love:
You have the chance to win a copy of it by Flyby Promotions! 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.
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