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Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know Hardcover – June 17, 2004
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"As practical as it is profound, Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God may well be the best book on marriage I've ever read. I was motivated to love my wife more and broadened in my understanding of how loving my wife brings glory to God . . . this book is truly a treasure."
—Gary Thomas, Author, Sacred Marriage; The Beautiful Fight
"Men, if you are looking for a book that will give you a few easy tips for spicing up your sex life, look somewhere else. This book invites you instead to completely revolutionize your romantic relationship with your wife. It calls all of us to a more profound and deeply satisfying kind of countercultural sex than most of us have ever experienced."
—Bob Lepine, Co-Host, FamilyLife Today
"There's not a husband I know that won't benefit from this book. This is more than a book for the bedroom. It will train you to romance your wife and set you on a lifelong pursuit of winning her heart. Wives, do yourselves a favor and buy this book for your husbands!"
—Joshua Harris, Former Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep
About the Author
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 GirlTalkHome.com, a blog focused on biblical womanhood. Carolyn and her husband, C. J., have four children and twelve grandchildren.
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I credit Mahaney for giving helpful and practical tips on romance that men need to read. They are almost insultingly basic. But, before the reader takes offense he should ask whether he is practicing what he claims to know very well.
Now, for some criticism. Something about the cutesy 120-page book that looks like a tiny chocolate box never fails to irk me. It's probably unfair to knock a book for doing what it intended to do, but I won't let that stop me. The idea is to get some NFL Sunday Ticket addict to pick up his first book in years and actually read it. I realize that. But, something is lost here. Important themes are brushed up against, but not developed. How can the mind become convinced with such a cursory treatment? And if the mind isn't convinced, will all those helpful tips be implemented?
So, that's my main gripe. I'll add something petty. The expression "making love" appears over and over. Fingernails on the chalkboard! For so many reasons, that phrase doesn't and can't work for us. I, for one, have trouble taking the author seriously when he's up on the stage jamming with Paul Rodgers and Bad Company. Go ahead and roll your eyes.
The final chapter of the book was written by Mahaney's wife, Carolyn. It is addressed to wives and is maybe the best and most informative chapter. While I'm not blown away, I would recommend this book to young husbands and those who need to get back to some basic principles of marriage.
This book is written for men. Men need to step up and lead in romancing the marriage. Therefore Mahaney asks that men don't read this book with their wives. Great intimacy, including sex is something that every marriage should be full of. If that is missing, it is primarily the husband's issue that he needs to fix. Then in chapter 2 he moves on to give the biblical God-given purpose for marriage from Ephesians 5: "A profound mystery, revealed to all to see."
My favorite chapters then follow (3-6) in which Mahaney lets the readers draw from his life experiences, his successes and his failures, to help us with romancing our wives, touching their hearts and minds so that then touching their bodies is so much more intimate, frequent, and amazing. These chapters have been so useful to me. I'm not going to ruin it for you by giving you any of the advice here. But let me tell you that just taking advantage of the advice that he gives and the motivation that comes knowing that greater intimacy better glorifies God has already had a very noticeable impact in the two weeks since I finished my first reading of the book...so much so that my wife has told me whatever I read has changed me for the better.
Finally he ends in chapter 7 with a mild exposition of Song of Solomon 8:5-7, "Strong as Death, The Enduring Power of Covenant Love." Marital love goes beyond just sex, but sex is truly only as amazing as God designed it to be in the context of marriage. Marital love is forever, it isn't dependent on sexual ability; it isn't dependent on perfection; it isn't dependent on emotions. Marital love comes for God and is a reflection of God's love for the church.
Carolyn Mahaney, C.J.'s wife wrote the an appendix, "A Word to Wives" which I haven't read but have been told by my wife is very good. I too have noticed a difference in her since she has read that chapter and the book from which it comes "Feminine Appeal."
I strongly recommend you read this book. I am in the middle of reading it a second time and plan on reading it and putting to action its suggestions until the day I die.