When Alicia and I got married, I committed myself to reading at least one marriage book or marriage-related book a year, in order to intentionally stir my mind and cultivate intimacy with Alicia. The book for the first year I chose was 'Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace' by Gary and Betsy Ricucci. Betsy is CJ Mahaney's sister and Gary is on staff at Covenant Life Church (where Josh Harris is now pastor). This is a very refreshing read. It kindled my love for Alicia and for the ordinance of marriage. They have a very high view of marriage, namely because they have a high view of God, where marriage begins. As with all of the people at Sovereign Grace, these writers are Spirit-filled, Word-centered, and gospel-saturated. They also are complementarians, doing a great job covering roles and responsibilities. Another added benefit, is their understanding of the necessity of the local church in all of life, especially marriage. The chapter on the husband's role is insightful and challenging. The chapter for wives is great too. I am so thankful that as I read the calling of a Godly wife I was not thinking, "Man, Alicia needs to read this," but rather, "Man, she is doing such a great job!" The chapter on conflict is great. These writers have spent some timing learning from the guys at CCEF (Tripp, Powlison). Conflict is inevitable (if there is true intimacy), but the way in which you resolve conflict is vitally important. I was particularly challenged to be very specific and use biblical terms when confessing sin (and no 'but's'). The chapters on romance and sex were great too. Busyness is a type of selfishness, a failure of priority. I would highly recommend this little book to all, single, engaged, and married. Throughout the book, they acknowledge their indebtedness to the Mahaney's and point the reader to this book and this one for further study.
"Nothing is more important to your marriage than your theology" 21
"Nothing is more essential to a marriage, and nothing brings more hope, than applying the gospel of Jesus Christ." 23
"So many couples spend their lives avoiding conflict. They choose a superficial 'peace at any price'--a price much higher than they realize." 113