Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

In his popular bestselling book (with more than 500,000 copies sold), Gary Thomas uncovers how your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God and each other. If you haven’t read it, you should! This post is basically one big plug for that great book!  : ) Really, if you’ve read the book, you understand why. But if not, read this post to whet your appetite for this great work!

Happy is good. But holy is better. Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. 

What if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy . . . but holy?

What a great thought! Imagine a marriage that lives not just for happiness—but for holiness! 

Sacred Marriage doesn’t just offer techniques to make a marriage happier. It does contain practical tools, but what married Christians most need is help in becoming holier husbands and wives. Sacred Marriage offers that help with insights from Scripture, church history, time tested wisdom from Christian classics, and examples from today’s marriages.

Sacred Marriage reveals how marriage trains us to love God and others well, how it exposes sin and makes us more aware of God’s presence, how good marriages foster good prayer, how married sex feeds the spiritual life, and more.

Sacred Marriage uncovers the mystery of God’s overarching purpose. This book may very well alter profoundly the contours of your marriage. It will most certainly change you. Because whether it is delightful or difficult, your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God, and to a spiritual integrity that, like salt, seasons the world around you with the savor of Christ. I encourage you to read it and tell me what you think. See if it doesn’t bless you like it has me. 

Here are some other comments from other readers of this book—taken straight from the Amazon page linked above:

  • This book has left me speechless. Considering how the world views marriage, especially in America, it’s easy to get swept up into assuming marriage is all about you and romance and the surface stuff. This book gives you Heavens perspective on marriage. It will challenge you, but give you context for the challenges. Where things that I’ve endured in my life have seemed pointless and have left me questioning, this book punctuates all that you’ll face in your marriage so that it makes sense spiritually and naturally. It gives you the wisdom, understanding, grace and strength that you’ll need to press on through the rough times. It gives meaning and purpose to the obstacles that the enemy will use to try and destroy what God has called together. Gary Thomas nailed it! God bless this man for allowing God to use him to speak into the lives of so many married and soon to be married couples. I will read and reread this book for the rest of my life!
  • I always tell people that besides the Bible this is the best book I have ever read. Completely life altering for me. It changes the way you view your marriage and your parenting. We have a problem in our culture because Christians view their marriages as an institution designed to make them happy and when they are aren’t happy they try to find a way out. But for the Christian life isn’t about being happy all the time (and if you live your life that way you are going to be greatly disappointed in not just marriage but anything). So Gary poses this powerful question… What if my marriage is designed to make me holy more than to make me happy?
  • Too often we enter marriage with the fairy tale idea and we will “live happily ever after”. But then, the first big fight comes along and we decide that we are incompatible. When the truth is this fight is only exposing our own bent toward selfishness. If we open our hearts a bit, we can learn the lesson and improve our image of God and subsequently have an improved marriage.

What do you think? Have your read it? Did you love it as much as these folks? As much as I did? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or email me anytime.


On the Marriage Matters USA Blog, we talk about all things marriage. I’ll definitely explore helpful and fun ideas to strengthen your marriage. As we explore these things, let me ask you to do a few things:

  1. Give me your feedback. Is this idea helpful? Are there other ways you’ve seen this principle or idea at work in your life? Do you have suggestions for topics? Feel free to email me and let me know what you’re struggling with—or what you see couples struggling with—the most in your circles at home, at schools, at your church and in the community.
  2. Give to Marriage Matters USA. We have expenses we wish to cover and some exciting things we’re hoping to release to help strengthen your marriage and lead your church to do this same. But we can’t do it without your help. Visit here to learn more and give.
  3. Share this post. Sharing posts like this helps our ministry reach more folks who need our help. Please consider sharing this post with your friends by email and on your social media accounts.

At Marriage Matters USA, our vision is cultivating Christ-centered marriages that glorify God. I’d love to hear from you. You can connect here to get started. As we learn how to serve you, your marriage and build churches that champion strong marriages, ask me how to build a solid marriage ministry for your local church and community? I’m always delighted to help you and talk about how we can make marriages stronger at home, at church and in your community.

This post is from David Sheets. David is founder of Marriage Matters USA. David has been married to Bea for 41 years and they have 2 children and 6 grandchildren. He has served in church ministry for 41+ years in music, worship and marriage ministry. David is a certified facilitator of Prepare|Enrich and SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) assessments. After leading a thriving marriage ministry at McLean Bible Church in Washington DC, David and the board of directors developed a strategy to make this powerful, agile ministry available to church planters, churches and other target groups. Email David here.

Marriage Matters USA facilitates the development and growth of marriage ministries by delivering Christ-centered leadership training and providing partnership opportunities among churches to enable them to more effectively enrich marriages in their community.

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