I always look forward to reading books about marriage. My marriage is pretty good, but there’s always room to work on relationship and on myself, so after reading Gary Thomas’s A Lifelong Love last fall, Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? drifted towards the top of my reading list. So, when I received the opportunity to review the new, revised edition of Sacred Marriage, I knew I wanted to read it.
Gary Thomas’s premise in Sacred Marriage is that God would rather us be holy than to be happy. As such, Thomas reminds us that our marriage isn’t about just us and our own happiness. Instead, through our marriage, we receive the opportunity to practice love, forgiveness and self-sacrifice in a way that bring help us to develop Christian virtue.
As I read the book, I found so many things that stood out to me and convicted me. I truly could have highlighted or underlined something on every page. This book is full of wisdom about marriage, and yet, it is very easy and entertaining to read. One of the biggest statements that convicted me is one that I’ll include here.
Making God’s daughter feel smaller so we can feel larger in the eyes of the world is a good way to make our heavenly Father-in-Law very angry. Ever notice, men, how Jesus left the crowd to minister to the individual; while we rationalize leaving the individual–particularly our spouse–to curry favor with the crowd? The same temptation, of course, is true for women in ministry. It is a lie to suggest we can excuse ignoring God’s daughter or son in the name of worshipping him.
I’ve often felt guilty because I spend so much of my time in my home and family, doing the things that my husband and I agreed that I should do when there are so many other appealing ministries to participate in. I often find myself with lust for the other, to make a name for myself in ministry or in writing. God though, continually sends me the message that my place is at home, as my husband and I agree on, raising the children as my primary ministry and participating in other ministries as my family time allows. Marriage is great for our spiritual growth, and fully participating in my marriage truly grows me spiritually as I seek to conform to God’s will and my husband’s leadership.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.