One of the most popular books in recent years in the “Christian dating genre” was I Kissed Dating Goodbye. But there comes a part in most people’s lives when they want to get married, and it can be hard to get married while kissing dating goodbye. Which is where the new book by best selling author and Christian marriage expert Gary Thomas comes in. His new book The Sacred Search is all about the issue of marriage, but instead of focusing on who you should marry, it looks at why you could marry.When Gary focuses on the why of marriage looks at the issues that all Christians should give thought to before deciding to get married. He takes as his basis that underpins the entire business of finding someone to marry the verse Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness”, which isn’t a verse often associated with dating, but Gary uses it to help readers reach a new understanding of what is most important in a relationship – that you and your potential partner are seeking God, and together are working effectively to advance his kingdom.
Gary covers lots of aspects to give consideration to, such as what your personalities are like, what things you are prepared to compromise on and what you are unwilling to compromise on (issues like should you live in a town or the country for example), does your theology match up on the important issues, will they make a good mum/dad and what there will be to sustain your relationship once the initial buzz of infatuation fades and the looks that may once have attracted you to them are long gone.
The Sacred Search is filled with both examples from Gary’s own marriage and real stories from his friends and those he has counselled over the years that help you learn from what others got wrong, and also what they got right. There are also questions to ponder at the end of each chapter to reinforce the many wise teaching Gary fits into each chapter, and to help you relate it to your own life and your own relationships.
The Sacred Search is a very thought provoking book, and is full of lots of wise advice for people who are either in a serious relationship considering marriage or who are single but hope to get married some day. It is a very Biblically rooted book, and it also sets a high standard for the personality of the sort of person you should aspire to marry (and the kind of husband/wife you should aspire to be). It is a book that will make you think as you read it, and it challenges a lot of the lies that society says about dating. I would highly recommend it.
One side note: I learned the hard way you get strange looks from fellow passengers while reading a book like this on the train…
NB: There is also a companion “Couples Conversation Guide” that I received, but unfortunately I have not had a chance to put it to use yet…
David C Cook sent me a free copy of The Sacred Search and the Couples Conversation Guide in order to consider doing a review. I chose to request The Sacred Search and read it out of personal interest. I was not obliged to write a positive review.