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When Sinners Say "I Do" [Kindle Edition]

Dave Harvey
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Marriage is the union of two people who arrive at the altar toting some surprisingly large luggage. Often it gets opened right there on the honeymoon, sometimes it waits for the week after. The Bible calls it sin and understanding its influence can make all the difference for a man and woman who are building a life together. When Sinners Say "I Do" is about encountering the life-transforming power of the gospel in the unpredictable journey of marriage.

Dave's writing style embraces the reader as he speaks honestly, and sometimes humorously, about sin and the power of the gospel to overcome it. He opens the delightful truth of God s word and encourages the reader to see more clearly the glorious picture of what God does when sinners say "I do."

Editorial Reviews


This is a wonderful book. It is honest, refreshing, practical, and above all biblical. These carefully written pages spill over with truth and grace. This book is liberating, Christ-centered and hope-filled, pointing the way to God-empowered marriage. --Randy Alcorn // Dave Harvey not only offers a biblical diagnosis of marital strife, but prescribes the cure as well - the gospel. When Sinners Say "I Do" provides clarity in conflict, hope in despair, and points the way to a joy-filled, God glorifying marriage. --C.J. Mahaney

About the Author

Dave Harvey is senior pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA), part of a family of churches called Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Product Details

  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Shepherd Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,461 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Potentially the Best Marriage Book I've Read July 27, 2007
A person does not have to be married for long to realize that marriage is a lot more difficult than it may seem. Certainly it is a lot more difficult than God intended for it to be. With the fall into sin came the rise of the self, with the loss of perfection came the dominance of sin. Even the best marriages are now tainted by sin, by selfishness, by a distinct lack of love. Every marriage represents the joining of two sinners. Though they love each other, they fight constantly to love each other as much as they know they should.

While the shelves at bookstores, both Christian and mainstream, are groaning under the weight of books dealing with marriage, few of these books offer assistance with the root of all of the problems we encounter in our relationships. Few of them get to the heart of the matter, looking deep into the human heart and prescribing the biblical cure. Into this void steps Dave Harvey with his book When Sinners Say "I Do,", a book that is justly garnering much positive attention. C.J. Mahaney says it "provides clarity in conflict, hope in despair, and points the way to a joy-filled, God glorifying marriage." Jerry Bridges says it "will be helpful for any married couple whether they've been married five weeks or fifty years." And Randy Alcorn calls it "a wonderful book" that is "honest, refreshing, practical, and above all biblical." What has inspired these glowing endorsements is the book's focus on the harsh reality of sin and the beautiful reality of grace.

When Sinners Say "I Do" is a book that focuses a lot of attention on sin. In fact, the first half of the book focuses predominantly on this topic. This may seem unnecessary to some and even depressing to others, but to ignore sin is to ignore one of the greatest human realities.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hope-Filled and Gospel-Centered Book July 5, 2007
As Dave writes: "If you are married, or soon to be married, you are discovering that your marriage is not a romance novel. Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And that luggage always contains sin."

Sin, sin, sin. Does this sound like it would be a dreary book? Well, the good news is that it is not! Dave brings a humorous and light touch to a heavy subject, creating a winsome and appealing approach to an important topic. Dave spends the first four chapters addressing the doctrine of sin and why we need to have a healthy suspicion of our own hearts and motives before seeking to address the hearts and motives of others. But some of the greatest "gold," in my opinion, is found in chapters five and six, when Dave addresses mercy and forgiveness. The last two chapters will be a surprise to most people. The second to last is titled "Concerning Sex." But it's not a chapter that unmarried people have to skip. It simply addresses how sex in marriage should be a grand adventure, and then examines the selfish, sinful reasons that hinder the joy of married sex. The final chapter is poignantly sweet. It is titled "When Sinners Say Goodbye," and it is subtitled "Time, Aging, and Our Glorious Hope." Referring to the truth of our daily outward decline but inward spiritual renewal (2 Corinthians 4:16), Dave writes:

"A maturing marriage is one that sees all the way to the finish line and beyond. As married Christians, God bestows upon us the extraordinary honor of nurturing and celebrating the inner renewal while also caring for the outer decay. It's an adventure in irony, made possible by the gospel, the only real treasure in our brittle jars of clay. Not every married Christian sees this clearly. But joy awaits those who do."

Highly recommended!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Marriage I Have Ever Read! April 8, 2011
As a licensed counselor, I have read more than my share of books on managing emotions and relationships. Unfortunately they are all the same. Sure they each have a slightly different take. Some even include their own unique Venn diagrams of emotional issues and how they relate to physical boundaries. Even the Christian books simply take what everyone else has already done and add a dash of Scripture, especially the latter part of Ephesians for flavor.

So when a friend told me that she had read a fantastic book on marriage, I have to admit I had a generous level of skepticism. I trust her judgment so thought to myself, "What's the harm?" Perceiving my reservation, she sat me down and read a few pages from the first chapter. My curiosity sparked, I graciously borrowed her copy.


In his book When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage, Dave Harvey essentially redefines marriage for Christians. It has often been said that there is so much planning that goes into the wedding itself, that new couples often forget about everything after the honeymoon. Even the most diligent of Christian couples who want to follow every piece of advice do their premarital counseling, get to know each others' parents, and may even ask their blessing.

Captivated by the vision they are starring at, it is easy for the bride and groom to completely miss when the minister says, "What God had joined together, let no man separate."

Wait, what God had joined together? Did they not decide to get married?

The Bible is very clear, that the sanctity of marriage is the way that marriage draws us to Him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I wholeheartedly recommend it and we want to re-read this every year
This book has made such a huge impact on my fiance and me as we prepare for our journey of marriage together. I wholeheartedly recommend it and we want to re-read this every year.
Published 4 days ago by Esther L. Ogg
1.0 out of 5 stars "I don't!"
My fiancée and I read the kindle version of this book in preparation for pre-marital counseling. This book is not helpbul. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Justin T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book is amazing. It will transform the way you see your marriage.
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Beginning with the Honeymoon and ending with "death do us part," Harvey does a beautiful job of bringing us back to grace and the cross, over and over, and setting our eyes to see... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Mrs W
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights for healthy personal relationships from a biblical...
So much more than a marriage book. Great insights for healthy personal relationships from a biblical perspective.
Published 9 days ago by Amanda C Kolts
5.0 out of 5 stars The good the great and the gospel.
Wonderful book! Really point out that there is no way we can rely on self in marriage.
Published 11 days ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
The author did an amazing job of showing what marriage is biblically. If as Christians we look at marriage from GOD's perspective, we would have far less divorce among Christians. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!
Powerful book, I loved it!
Published 23 days ago by Ngina Otiende
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome explanation of Marriage
An awesome explanation of marriage in the eyes of God and a Biblical standpoint. The author made me laugh, cry, and opened my eyes to what God says about a marriage. Read more
Published 29 days ago by V Guerra
5.0 out of 5 stars Divorce free marriage
This book is for men and women who truly desire building a warm loving safe haven for themselves and their family to live; while living on the storms tossed sea of life in a fallen... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bob & Joan H.
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More About the Author

Dave Harvey is responsible for church care, church planting, and international expansion for Sovereign Grace Ministries. He has served as a member of the Sovereign Grace Ministries leadership team since 1995.

Dave has been in pastoral ministry at Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA) since 1986, was ordained in 1988, and served as senior pastor from 1990 to 2008. He has served on the board of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation since 2006. Dave received a Master of Arts in Missiology from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1989, worked toward a Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1993 to 1995, and in 2001 became a graduate in Westminster's D.Min. program. The subject of his doctoral thesis was the identification and equipping of church planters.

Dave is the author of Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2012), Rescuing Ambition (Crossway, 2010), and When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage (Shepherd, 2007). He contributed a chapter to Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Crossway, 2008) and wrote a chapter for Why Small Groups?, a book from Sovereign Grace's Pursuit of Godliness series. He continues to work on other writing projects.

Dave lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Kimm. They have four children and, despite his many protests, one stray cat.


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