I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.
I don’t know if you have watched Jeff Bethke’s My Wedding Toast – How Marriage Is Just a Shadow on YouTube. Go watch if you have not. Anyways, I remember when I did a few years ago, I had a hard time stopping myself from crying. Perhaps I was just a girl too prone to tears. But I was so moved by how excited he was, for not just his wedding with Alyssa, but for the one that is to come. Not that I have been to many weddings, but I indeed have never heard a man in his early 20s speak about marriage so truthfully and beautifully.
And fast forward, we now have this book, Love That Lasts: How We Discovered God’s Better Way for Love, Dating, Marriage, and Sex, from the Bethkes. This book feels like an expansion of that video message based on the journey of Jeff and Alyssa have had over the past years. This book did not make me cry like the video did, yet with its humour, Jeff and Alyssa successfully paints the glorious picture of marriage that is so often missed in our culture marked by loneliness, anxiety, pornography, and hook-ups.
Just as Jeff writes, “We can’t miss the truth found in that beautiful divine and mysterious and glorious moment. That when He created us and all the uniqueness of male and female bodies, He was choosing to communicate something about Himself.” (pg. 27) From Adam and Eve to Christ and the Church, our earthly marriage serves in the end an expression of Him and His love for us. Just as Alyssa writes as well, Jeff, as his husband, while complimenting her, does not complete her, for it is the Lord Jesus who ultimately fills her (pg. 74). As an individual, our true satisfaction comes from the Lord, not our spouse. Or else, it will turn into idolatry.
Perhaps you are someone who is not into reading. Perhaps you have come across many books that give you burdensome rules on dating. Love That Lasts, however, is different. It is an engaging read filled with grace that shows you don’t have to become more spiritual by being less human (borrowing Eugene Peterson here). I’d especially recommend it to high school students and people in their 20s-30s.