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Book Review - The Sacred Search (2013)

By Edited May 31, 2016 0 0
Walking in the Woods
Credit: Steve Slater

Sometimes the search for a potential partner feels like a lonely walk in the woods.

Gary Thomas wrote The Sacred Search to cause Christian couples to think twice about marrying each other. The writer serves at a Baptist church in Texas and speaks his opinions to the world. This book for dating couples follows Thomas’s original bestseller, Sacred Marriage.

My boyfriend and I have discussed marriage as a possible future, but since we wanted to make a wise decision in this monumental choice, we decided to check out premarital counseling books. The Sacred Search was a terrible book to choose, and I’ve described why below.

Summary of The Sacred Search

Happy Couple in Love
Credit: Brenda Calara

Thomas indicated that a couple in love can become infatuated with each other, being unable to see each other clearly and affectionate to an excessive degree.

Contrary to what the recognized reviewers said in the book front, the content was forgettable. Looking at the chapter titles reveals little about what the book would focus on. However, the book made some recurring points, and I’ve listed the more memorable ones below:

  • Sole Mate – Unlike the romantics, Thomas believes multiple people could serve as a potential marriage partner. It’s all about one man and one woman committing to each other.
  • Infatuation – Two people who love each other are often infatuated. This means they cannot view each other realistically for up to two years, and they are excessive in their affection.
  • Mother/Father Figure – Would the partner serve as a good parent? Thomas also encourages people to think if they really want to mother or father children with their partner.
  • Personal Flaws – The book encourages its readers to judge their partners on a personal level. They are to decide if they should marry the other’s bad habits and character weaknesses.

Thomas also discusses mercy marriages, how opposites attract, problem people, personality types, and more. The main theme in the book is for readers to judge their boyfriends and girlfriends. If the partner fails the book’s standards, then the couple should break up. Every chapter ended on this negative note.

My Reaction to the Book's Content

Attitude - Problem People
Credit: Antoine K

Thomas would recommend breaking up with a woman who expressed attitude.

The Sacred Search stirred both awe and hatred. Considering the author served a church in a familiar denomination, the theme for couples to judge and leave each other disgusted me. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to hate sin and love people. Doesn’t the same apply to our potential spouses?

Thomas described various problems that people struggle with, such as premarital sex, substance abuse, and arrogance, and told us to judge these people on these problems. Based on the wide span of problems discussed, every man and woman on Earth would be disqualified for a “sacred” marriage.

Taking into consideration the relationship standards in this book, I should have dumped my boyfriend. I deemed the book unworthy of such an order. My boyfriend and I work through our problems, for we recognize each other’s flaws. Working through problems is an action the book should have discussed.

1/5 Stars for The Sacred Search

The Sacred Search Mary Tilden 2016-03-14 1.0 0 5

Save Time and Read another Premarital Book

I cannot personally recommend The Sacred Search as a book for dating couples to read. While the psychology is somewhat interesting, the judging theme is disgraceful for any instructional guide by a Christian author. Love is an action, and I choose to let it rule.

Christian couples who want a guide to marriage need look no further than the Bible. God’s Word tells believers search for a partner of equal spiritual maturity, not a perfect personality match. Psychology is a modern-day phenomenon after all. If in wish for premarital counselling, please seek advice from another professional.



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  1. Gary Thomas The Sacred Search. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2013.

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