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Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace Paperback – April 7, 2006

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Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace + When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (April 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581347820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581347821
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Love That Lasts is thoroughly biblical, very practical, and quite convicting. The Ricuccis do not write from an ivory-tower mind-set but from the experience of working through to a successful marriage in their own lives. Every Christian couple should benefit from this book."
Jerry Bridges, author, The Pursuit of Holiness

"If you knew Gary and Betsy like I do, if you could see them together and feel the warmth, respect, and deep romantic love that they have for one another, you would snatch up this book and read it just to learn all you could from them. I recommend that you do so! They live what they write about, and that's what makes their book so compelling."
Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep

About the Author

Gary and Betsy Ricucci are members of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Kentucky, where Gary serves as a pastor. They have 35 years of experience serving engaged and married couples through small groups, counseling, seminars, and conferences. Gary is also director of student care for the Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

Carolyn Mahaney is a wife, mother, and homemaker. Having spent over thirty years as a pastor's wife, Carolyn has spoken to women in many churches and conferences. She is the author of Feminine Appeal, Girl Talk, Shopping for Time and True Beauty. She blogs with her daughters at, a blog focused on biblical womanhood. Carolyn and her husband, C. J., are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I highly recommend this book for all Christian married couples.
Connie Scheller
Having read this book I can truly say that never has marriage seemed so important, so worth the investment, and so great a means of sanctification.
Tim Challies
Practical, biblical wisdom, some theology thrown in, but overall, a very practically written book.
C. DeSantis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
"A potter begins by centering his clay on the wheel. When the wheel starts turning, he can't just grab the clay. He must carefully but firmly keep the clay in the center of the wheel. He has to work it gently but deliberately, applying just enough pressure to shape it while constantly adding moisture. If he lets the clay get cold, it becomes stiff, resistant, and unworkable. If he neglects the clay and fails to add water, it will dry out and crack. If he stops the process and then starts again, he may force the clay off center, or he may mar it by putting his hands on it too quickly or aggressively. It takes time, but if the potter is patient, creative, and firm but gentle, there's no limit to what he can create."

This brief excerpt is drawn from Love That Lasts, written by Gary and Betsy Ricucci. Gary, who wrote these words, applies this metaphor to a husband learning to practice romance as an art. "I am to pursue my wife consistently, warmly, and affectionately, lavishing her with encouragement and affirmation." What caught my attention as I read this section of the book was the lesson he seeks to teach through these words. While the lesson is meant primarily for husbands as they relate to their wives, there is such a strong parallel between the marriage relationship and the relationship of Christ to His people that I could not help but see a lesson for my relationship with the Savior. "Every wife is different, and so is every season of life." We could as easily affirm that "every person is different, as is every season of life." And here is the lesson: "But like the potter, we are committed to the process as well as to the outcome." That little sentence stopped me in my tracks.

"Like the potter, we are committed to the process as well as to the outcome.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on December 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
LOVE THAT LASTS: WHEN MARRIAGE MEETS GRACE is a revised edition of a 1992 book by the same couple and with similar name. This is a magnificent volume for limited reading audiences. I say that for this reason; if you are a devoted Christian couple or seeking God's guidance in your marriage, this is a must read and you will cherish every page. If you are somewhat lackadaisical in your personal devotion to Christian living and believe you can build a strong marriage without God's grace and guidance, you probably won't finish the book, but then, if you fall in the latter category, you probably wouldn't buy it to begin with.

The book can be a bit tedious at times, but the style in which it is written prompts the reader to stop and think about what has been said. What I guess I'm trying to say is, this is not a book that you can breeze through in an afternoon, though it is limited to fewer than 200 pages. You have to really contemplate the messages and absorb the content to gain the book's full measure of benefit. This is a book that should be read with an attitude of dedication and resolve. Do that, and you will gain insightful knowledge.

One of the many things I have gleaned from its pages comes very early on in the opening pages of the first chapter where Gary likens marriage to a family vacation. That analogy set me to thinking on the subject and I worked out a counseling method that I have found most effective. When I am giving pre-marriage counseling to a young couple, they are often quite reserved at first, so I break the ice with asking about movies and the movie "Vacation" where virtually everything that could go wrong, does go wrong.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Blake White on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
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.

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 their books 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
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