Book Review: “The Sacred Search: What if It's Not About Who You Marry, But Why?”
The Sacred Search: What if It’s Not About Who You Marry, But Why?
by Gary Thomas
(Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2013)
Author Gary Thomas urges Christians to base their choice of whether and whom to marry on Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” Noting the sad outcomes of marriages based solely on physical attraction and emotional attachment, he advises seeking someone who shares a common sense of purpose, similar values, and a desire to grow in the knowledge and love of God. He offers guidelines for getting to really know the person you are dating and notes that premature sexual involvement may “cement” your relationship to someone who is not a desirable marriage partner. Thomas points out that you cannot really know a person’s character until you have seen him or her in a variety of situations and have discussed numerous topics in depth. Even then, you want to be sure current behavior reflects who the person really is, not just a temporary performance. Does this person possess character qualities that lead to a successful marriage, such as integrity, kindness, compassion, and discipline? Would this person be the kind of parent you want for your children?
Churches should encourage this kind of in-depth thinking about choosing whom to marry – or whether to marry at all, since marrying for the wrong reasons can have long-lasting negative effects. Pastors, youth leaders, and church school teachers can promote such a point of view, recommend this book, and offer opportunities for group study and discussion. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this an excellent resource.
Jane P. Ives, United Methodist Marriage and Family Ministries Consultant
10 Quaker Lane, Portland, ME 04103, 207-797-8930, [email protected]