My first encounter with Gary Thomas was in 2000 when I read the prequel to this book, Sacred Marriage, which I underlined and notated and have revisited several times.
With A Life Long Love: What is Marriage is More Than Just Staying Together? Thomas continues to bring a positive, helpful, and hopeful view of marriage that is refreshing and needed today. For instead of seeing marriage as an all fulfilling romantic relationship, Thomas suggests that we see marriage as one way to encourage and empower our spouse through, as well as in, marriage. I also think that in paying attention to the book’s title, A Life Long Love we can understand that this is a book not just about marriage but about developing the kind of love that sustains a marriage.
Divided into three sections- the magnificent obsession, growing together, and the journey toward love – Thomas offers a view of marriage as a rich and dynamic relationship which empowers and blesses the other instead of being focused on one’s own needs and wants.
Alongside good Biblical content that strongly affirms women as vital contributors to marriage as well as asking men to step up and be empowering and supporting husbands, Thomas offers the reader many helpful concepts and suggestions to deepen one’s marriage in a helpful and grace filled tone. Helpful reflection questions at the end of each chapter provide couples with the opportunity to discuss what they have been reading. Thomas also has composed a strong statement against Domestic Violence in marriage in his appendix.
What I liked about this book is its hope filled message that any marriage can turn around with a willingness to seek to affirm and bless their spouse. I discovered both inspiration and information in this book for my own marriage!
There is unabashed Christian teaching in this book but it is a grace filled teaching that seeks to help both husband and wives give the most in their marriage with the goal of having a greater love across the years as well as a deeper and more fulfilling marriage.
I rate this book an “outstanding” read!
Note: I received a galley copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.