July 07, 2007

I've Finished Reading "When Sinners Say I Do"

I cam across this book while checking out some things at Sovereign Grace Ministries and because of some friends who are either getting married or in the process of getting close to being married, I thought it might make a good gift.

I was rewarded and the positive spin at the SG site proved reliable and trustworthy. It's 183 pages of fantastic counsel and wisdom for folks who find themselves waking up next to a "sinner".

I also have to say that there were times where I simply cracked up laughing and couldn't get it together. One such passage that tripped off the laugh-O-meter was:

Or how about this? Rather than watching the football game on your day off, you decide to do the repair project she's been asking you to finish. Five frustrating hours later you put the the tools away, and look to your wife for some expression of appreciation for your personal sacrifice. She glances at your work and says, "I wish you would have asked me before you did it that way." Cue the pyrotechnics!
And that kind of storytelling, honest writing, and conversational approach is throughout the entire book. And the refreshing part is that Harvey doesn't give you psyhobabble bullhockey to fix your marriage. Ultimately, the answer is in the Gospel. He takes the entire book to lay that out and show you how that practically plays out, but he doesn't try to give some trite "how to" in hopes of fixing your marriage. He's real. He's Biblical. He's right.

His focus on words such as grace, mercy, forgiveness, repentance, sin, etc just don't feel very good sometimes but he rightly diagnoses that if we get those words right in our lives and in our vocabulary, then our marriages will be much healthier and Christ exalting. What's more is that he basically postualates that our marriages are not about us. They're about God and glorifying Him. Wow! What a concept.

The 10 chapters cover ground such as "What Matters Most", "Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement", "Stubborn Grace", and "When Sinners Say Goodbye". And oh yeah, there's the obligatory and most anticipated chapter, which he saves until Chapter 9, on SEX. There you have it, you wondered if the book talked about it, and it does. "CONCERNING SEX" is the title of Chapter 9. Men mark it down! :)

All in all, I'd have to concur with all the positive reviews of the book. You need to read this one whether you're dating to become married, newly married, or married for 50 years. It's for you. You won't be disappointed.


Ryan Rippee said...


Thanks for the review and the comment on the book over at Joshharris.com. The reason I was asking is that I am currently doing marriage counseling for a friend I grew up with that is a complete pagan. He doesn't have a single bit of exposure to Christianity, nor does his fiancee. I'm hoping to give them something to read to follow up my counseling, and I have yet to find a book that is oriented around the Gospel, but this one gives me some good hope. Anyway, I should be receiving it in the mail this week.

God's grace to you,


Anonymous said...

I have not read this book, but can't wait to get it. Judging by the folks that have promoted it, it must be very good. It sounds close to what my husband had been looking for in recent years (for counseling) when he decided to take up the task of writing a gospel-centered marriage study for our church. It eventually turned into a full-blown book: The Pursuit of Pleasure in the Pleasure of Another. (A Christian Hedonist Guide to a Happy Marriage). I in no way mean this as a competition to the book reviewed, just as an added resource.