I read a lot of Christian books but I have recently steered clear of Christian books on marriage. The simple reason is that they tend to include what, to me, seems like an overload of anecdotes. The formula goes something like this: idea, supporting Bible verse, a few examples from people’s lives. I know some people like this formula but it drives me crazy and bores me. I want something more practical, something with more substance, more numbers. Ah numbers, not very romantic right? I would disagree. I love numbers, facts, figures, practicality! Numbers can tell a story that will make even a skeptic believe. So when I heard that Adam Hamilton’s new book Love to Stay: Sex, Grace, and Commitment was primarily based on survey results, I knew I had to review it.
Love to Stay draws its facts and figures from a survey of thousands of couples and singles, interviews with relationship and marriage therapists, the latest research in the field, and wisdom from the Bible. Using all of these resources, Hamilton discusses what it takes to create and sustain healthy, meaningful romantic relationships throughout the stages of marriage. It is an easy read that will draw you in and encourage and challenge you.
Some of the practical information contained in the book is presented in charts and lists that are based on survey results. Some of these include the traits that are most desirable when searching for a mate, turn-offs, things spouses do to make us feel loved, frequency of sexual intimacy, satisfaction by time married, and happiness relative to having children. Some of the data was very eye-opening. For example, did you know that couples who attend church together regularly have a higher marital satisfaction rate and are sexually intimate more often than couples who do not attend church or who attend infrequently? Check out this info-graphic (click on it to get a better view).
One of my favorite things about this book is that it paints a vivid picture of the stages of marriage and how they relate to marital happiness and intimacy. I found that highly encouraging because it was easy to see where my husband and I were in the midst of all the statistics of other thirty-somethings with kids. Also, there are questions and ideas for discussion with your spouse at the end of each chapter.
I highly recommend this book to you. It challenged and encouraged me in my marriage. I can see more clearly where we are succeeding and where we could use a little work. I can specifically see where I need some improvement and also what the future may have in store for us and, let me tell you, it is looking brighter than ever.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book to review it. I wasn’t paid and all opinions are my own.