A friend who knows how passionate I am about healthy, godly relationships gifted me this book yesterday and yes, I read it in just one day!
We work with a lot of young single people, so I love reading resources that can help them.
This book The Sacred Search, by Gary Thomas is an excellent read for single people who hope to get married one day. By the way, I do NOT make any money on my endorsement of this book!
I loved this book because he very clearly spells out what to look for in a spouse, areas of growth to identify in yourself to see if you are getting ready for marriage, and he also lays out some practical scenarios and red flags. I really appreciate how he spells out why he doesn’t believe in the myth of “the one.” I also, do NOT believe that God has “the one” out there for you. I very much believe in our God given free will and choice.
Some amazing, thought provoking nuggets of truth in The Sacred Search (his words are in bold and italics, mine are normal):
A good marriage isn’t something you find, it’s something you make.
…people who resolve conflict in a healthy way will be willing to seek a third opinion in the face of a stalemate. There will be times in your marriage when the two of you cannot come to complete agreement, and you may need to find a godly pastor or counselor to hear both of you out and provide wise counsel…I wouldn’t marry a woman who was afraid to visit the doctor, because I know her body will eventually get sick and need medical attention. Likewise, I wouldn’t marry a woman who was afraid to seek a relational doctor, because I know there will be moments when our marriage will get sick and need outside attention.
I whole heartedly agree with this! It is sad to me how many believers are so closed to getting Christian counseling. There is often such a stigma attached to counseling. We live in a fallen world, none of us are perfect. I am a HUGE believer in getting counseling when needed. I love my counselor! She has brought incredible insight and truth into so many areas of my life!
Hardly anyone says, “I have a broken arm, I am going to just sit and wait and not go to the doctor because I am waiting for God to heal me.” But so many people have this attitude towards counseling…something is clearly emotionally wrong and yet you are “waiting for God to heal you.” God is a God of miracles. He can absolutely heal you in this manner. But more often than not, I have seen God use real people to help bring the healing, wise counselors who can help speed up the process. 💜
I can tell you this: if you marry someone who doesn’t want to go overseas, they will win that argument every time. You just can’t force someone to go overseas and expect that marriage and ministry to prosper. If God has called you overseas, it is your spiritual duty to marry someone who has some experience overseas so that they know what they are signing up for. Otherwise, you are being a poor steward of your life call and putting it in jeopardy…your spouse will have enormous veto power over where you live and what you do…
Wow. This is an excellent word. My husband and I are actually exceptions to this, but I can honestly say that when we were getting married at 23 and 25, neither of us had any clue we would move our family overseas one day. One thing we were both committed to when we got married to though is surrendering our lives completely to Him and being obedient to Him.
Dr. Paul Friesen boldly stated, “There is no area that blinds couples more to their challenges than premature sexual involvement.”
This is SO TRUE! That’s why you see so many couple who obviously are so wrong for each other, but they are the only ones that CANNOT see it and can’t let go.
There is just one line that I disagreed with in his book. He thinks that singles should not get married before dating for one year. I understand his reasoning for saying this, but my husband and I set our wedding date after 3 months and we are happily married. I know lots of happily married couples who got engaged in less than one year and are also happily married. I think a key to getting engaged on the quicker side is church COMMUNITY (It seems like the author agrees with this too). If you are in community or meet people in your boyfriend/girlfriend’s community and they can vouch for their character, than I think this is a great endorsement for who this person is. However if you meet a guy or girl outside of your community and they aren’t in a good local church community…I agree with the author on this, slow things down until you can really see who this person is. I would also seriously question why this person isn’t in community, because this could indeed be a red flag. I also have to agree with the author in situations where people meet online, it may take much longer to get to know that person. I am totally cool with online dating as long as you use wisdom😊.
I hope this book review is helpful to some of you singles out there! It is such a great read and very clearly written! I did not do any of the study questions after each chapter because I am obviously already married. But if you are single, I highly recommend you journal and really reflect on his thought provoking questions. 💕
**Ok I thought of one other disclaimer, for my single friends overseas, please take his comment about getting out there and mingling with a grain of salt. Honestly, I haven’t been able to think through the author’s thoughts on this very well. As in all things, I encourage you to just glean the good stuff from the book and throw out the bad 😉