Archive for September 20, 2015

Book Review XXVII: 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love

Recapturing Your Dream Marriage


A book which i purchased last year during a sale season in TIR.
Pretty interesting book. Is there really such secret to a lasting love?
Well, probably yes.
The subtitle of this book says it: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage.
Perhaps an analogy in physics helps.
Second law of thermodynamics. Law of entropy: Things, left by themselves, will eventually disintegrate.
An apple, left by itself, will just rot away, for example.
A marriage is no different.

Many times, dream marriage will fade away with time since the couple do not put enough effort to keep it fresh and nurtured.
Six secrets of lasting love represent six types of love and effort the couple can do to prevent dream marriage from disintegrating.
They are secrets too because not many couples know them. If they knew, the divorce rate would be way lower.

So, what are these six secrets of love?

1. Forgiving love
2. Serving love
3. Persevering love
4. Guarding love
5. Celebrating love
6. Renewing love

Forgiving Love
Some couple are emotionally distant from each other and no longer meet each other’s needs.
The earlier the couple addresses this issue of emotional distance, the easier this issue is resolved.
However, many couples do not do so, resulting in a even deeper hurt and anger.
This is when the couple needs to forgive each other.
In a marriage, forgiveness is more than forgetting the offense. It involves effort of closing the loop of conflict which leads to restoration.
One effective way to resolve a conflict is when a couple prays first before discussing. Let Lord Jesus be the Guide in it.
Forgiving love heals hurts and helps couple feel accepted and connected.

Serving Love
God created man and woman with legitimate needs which should be met by a spouse.
By applying serving love, a couple discovers each other’s needs and meets them.
Serving love is about others-centered and is done out of gladness and not guilt.
Marriage is not 50-50 (I’ll meet your need if you meet mine).
Marriage is 100-100 (husband and wife strive to outdo each other in serving).
This servanthood is done to please God, more than just pleasing spouse.
In God’s design, it is always a marriage of three: Jesus, husband and wife.
Without meeting each other’s needs, marriage will lead to deterioration.
A couple should also learn to communicate their needs to each other since husband and wife are not mind readers.
5 top love needs of a husband: Unconditional love and acceptance, sexual intimacy, companionship, encouragement and affirmation, spiritual intimacy.
5 top love needs of a wife: Unconditional love and acceptance, emotional intimacy and companion, spiritual intimacy, encouragement and affirmation, companionship.

Persevering Love
Life is not a bed of roses. Any marriage will experience difficult times.
With persevering love, a couple stays strong in tough times and feel bonded-best friends for life.
It’s the kind of love which triumphs over trials and grows stronger when the couple is most vulnerable.
In the midst of pressure, a couple should close in and find refuge in God and each other.
Persevering love is built through friendship before the difficult period strikes.
When the couple faces problem, they should realize the problem isn’t the spouse; the problem is outside of them.
They should also seek help from God and other Christian friends. While trial isn’t fun, God uses it to forge a lasting love and faith.

Guarding Love
A threat to marriage can come from outside as well as inside of the marriage.
Guarding love protects spouses from threats and help them feel secure.
We need to always guard our heart from ungodly thought, desires and choices in order to protect marriage.
Some typical attacks on men: Career pressure, wordly distraction, relationship pressures, sexual temptation, the search for significance, passivity, control and competition.
Some typical attacks on women: Relationship with other men, preoccupation with children, failing to meet personal needs, worry, critical, attitude, comparison and control.
7 keys a wife can guard her husband’s heart: Honor him and his world, avoid sabotage, love him unconditionally, understand male-female differences, honor his friendships, clarify family roles, commit herself to him and to God.
Seven ways a husband can guard his wife’s heart: To listen, offer practical help, make time just for her wife, give her time to be herself, to love her unconditionally, to demonstrate spiritual leadership, to pray for and with her wife.

Celebrating Love
The initial spark of love in marriage needs not die down regardless for how long the couple is married.
Through celebrating love, a couple can maintain a satisfactory emotional, physical and spiritual connection.
Five keys to celebrating love: To put each other at the top of list of activities, to confess to each other of all the hurt, to get to know each other again, to rethink our thinking, to rekindle romance and physical intimacy.
For women, intimacy means talk. A wife starved for emotional intimacy and non-sexual affection may withdraw from her husband physically.
For men, intimacy means sex. Through sex, a wife should delight in the fact that her husband has such a deep hunger for her.
Spiritual intimacy is one essential aspect in marriage which occurs when husband and wife surrender their lives and relationship to the Lord. Emotional and physical intimacy is what drew them together but spiritual connection is what keeps them together.
No matter how busy they are, a couple should pray together and have constant fellowship with other believers.

Renewing Love
Renewing love is what the couple together permanently as the relationship stays afresh and flourishes for the long haul.
Marriage which lasts is God’s idea. In fact, He hates divorce.
How to nurture a renewing love?
The couple should commit themselves to Christ, should enter into each other’s world and should encourage each other.
What are the four signs that marriage is going downhill? Complaining defensiveness, contempt and withdrawal.

What should a spouse do when he/she wants to restore the marriage but the other spouse isn’t interested?
He/she should keep trying and praying that God will restore the marriage.

When our marriage reflects a love that forgives, serves, perseveres, guards, celebrates and renews, we reflect God’s character.
When our marriages are filled with conflict and disrespect, discord and pain, we obscure and tarnish His reflection.
We all need God’s help to build a lasting marriage.
We need help from family and friends too who will hold us accountable.

Let us do our best to pursue that dream marriage.

You can purchase the book here: