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The Sacred Search: What If It's Not about Who You Marry, But Why?

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,031 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
What if you stopped looking for a “soul mate” and started looking for a “sole mate”—someone who will live out with you the great purpose of God?What if dating isn’t about finding “the one” but making a wise choice so you can better serve the One who loves you most?What if God didn’t design relationships to make you happy but to make you holy?In The Sacred Search, Gary Thom ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by David C. Cook
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,382)
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Apr 08, 2013 Faye rated it really liked it
I have read many relationship books in my short life, but this one was definitely different from any that I have read so far.

In The Sacred Search Mr. Thomas talks extensively about making the wise choice concerning marriage, an how contrary to popular belief it is not the who but the why. Being in love is all well and good but all to often infatuation masquerades around as love, when in fact it is not.

I found this book very interesting and I found myself agreeing with Mr. Thomas on pretty much a
Dec 28, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I think every single person should read this book.
May 15, 2016 Kara rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book started out promising. There were some interesting bits at the beginning about infatuation and intimacy and being cautious about the way you enter into a romantic relationship.

Then it all fell apart. I can't tell you how many times the author said "I'm not an expert, but..." and proceeded to give a very specific and long-winded piece of advice based on nothing but his own feelings. And a lot of the advice is rubbish. I'll just briefly list a few things I didn't like.
1. So many generali
Jan 11, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-list
I have to admit: the title got my dander up a bit. It also got me to thinking. By the time I had finished the first chapter, I had to admit that I pretty much agreed with the author.

I've been through a number of divorces, though none were in my own marriage. I've seen "bad marriages" up close and personal.

Thomas brings up a number of good points:

What if we spent time actually considering what life would be like married to Person X?

In some cases, people go against all proof and reason and marry b
Jan 29, 2013 Faith rated it really liked it
Gary Thomas has written a book that I have filled up with notes.
This quote is an excellent summary of why Sacred Search was written- "I am writing this book because I want you to cry tears of joy on your tenth wedding anniversary. I want you to be able to say, with all sincerity, 'Next to becoming a Christian, marrying ___ is the best decision I've ever made.'"
I think we all want to sincerely cry tears of joy on our wedding anniversary!
This is Gary Thomas's vision for Kingdom Marriage. "I pra
Hannah Park
Feb 08, 2016 Hannah Park rated it did not like it
I genuinely hated this book.
Mar 20, 2013 K rated it it was ok
I received this book free from the publisher, David C Cook, through Netgalley.

The first several chapters of this book are excellent and thought provoking. My first thought was that my sons need to read this book when they come of dating age. There is so much wisdom packed into these first few pages it makes the rest of the book that much more disappointing.

The author begins to fall into gender stereotypes pretty quickly. These are popular in many Christian circles but can be pretty damaging. In
Nina Singhapakdi
Apr 04, 2016 Nina Singhapakdi rated it it was amazing
This has got to be one of the wisest and most convicting Christian books I've ever read. The author's style of writing is easy-to-read, conversational, but authoritative and I definitely plan to read more of his books soon! The content was very practical and geared towards helping you live your best life for God's glory. However, this book is almost useless to those who are unwilling to make changes in their life and who only apply advice that suits them. This book, either way, gave a great pict ...more
Ann Yeong
Nov 25, 2015 Ann Yeong rated it really liked it
I wished every young person I know who is seriously pursuing Christ will read this book before they get into a serious dating relationship, and certainly before they get married. Gary Thomas writes for an audience whom he presupposes will seek the Kingdom of God first, and he writes about marriage in that context. While this book would still be very beneficial for a wider audience, it is those who are serious disciples or who are aspiring to be intentional disciples of Christ who will reap the f ...more
Sep 05, 2013 LAWonder10 rated it really liked it
Do you wonder why your marriage isn't what you thought it would be? Are you single and cannot seem to find the "right one"? Are you in a relationship that doesn't seem to be going anywhere or has you confused? How about, you are sure this must be true love and want to take it to the "next step".

If you fit into any of these scenarios, then this is the book for you. Even if you do not fit into these situations, and maybe just beginning to date, you STILL should read this book!

In 'The Sacred Search
May 24, 2013 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Wow. I feel like I took a whirlwind tour of a conference that would normally take a week to attend. The author doesn't really leave any stone un-turned in this book. If you read this book and make a horrific marriage choice, don't ever try blaming Gary Thomas.

I read this book at the request of my father who had heard an interview with the author, and truthfully (to my own shame) - I didn't expect to like it at all. I bought it for my kindle, but may be buying a couple of printed copies to loan o
Jermaine Gayle
Jan 18, 2016 Jermaine Gayle rated it it was amazing
The Sacred Search is a well written book on the subject of relationships. Since the author discusses vital principles in such an exceptional manner, I was captivated with each turn of the page. Now I look forward to reading more along these lines.
David Mullen
Aug 29, 2013 David Mullen rated it really liked it
What if finding your mate is more about WHY than it is about WHO? In his usual transparent and matter-of-fact style Thomas pulls back the curtain on marriage for unmarried readers. Face it, most people get married with a consumerist attitude...what can I get out of this...or I'll be here until this just doesn't work for me, the other person cheats, the other person____ just fill in the blank. Few people reach the level of maturity in their marriages where they ask how can we as a couple be a sin ...more
May 01, 2013 Jenelle rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad I've had the chance to read this as a single. The wisdom and insight Gary Thomas presents, along with eye-opening but legitimate facts of life and people, have helped me to examine my own heart in the matter of relationships. This book is a great preparation for relationships and marriage, and how to approach both with a renewed mindset. I love the idea of having Matthew 6:33 at the center of it all. That's really how it should be--the things of God above all else--and surely everyth ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Alexander rated it it was amazing
I was a big fan of "Sacred Marriage", so I was pretty excited when I first saw this title (and subtitle) released a while back. Having several close friends who are entering or already in serious dating relationships, my wife and I decided to read "Sacred Search" together to determine if it would be worth recommending. Within a few chapters, we knew it was.

"Sacred Search" is a tough reading. If you approach the book with an open heart, you will be forced to ask some really difficult questions of
Shaun Lee
Feb 07, 2016 Shaun Lee rated it it was amazing
I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to journey through the book with me, she said yes. But after I read the first few chapters, it was so painfully boring that I told her not to.

I COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG! I am so happy I preserved until the end. The tail end of the book cut through me like a sermon by a spirit-filled preacher. So now, I convinced my girlfriend to go chapter by chapter with me. This could prove to be one of the must-read books I would recommend to would-be couples, as long as the
Rachelle Cobb
Feb 04, 2016 Rachelle Cobb rated it it was amazing
Gary Thomas is my new favorite author of relationship books. No, all nonfiction books. I'm actually reading Sacred Marriage right now, and it is just as good as this one. I highly recommend this insightful look into the deep end of dating/courtship. Illuminated with Scripture, written in a comfortable but probing style, The Sacred Search I read in two days because I just couldn't put it down and was so fascinated by the truths I found within the pages.
Eleonora Craciun
May 25, 2016 Eleonora Craciun rated it really liked it
Deci cand am ajuns acasa, in vacanta de Pasti, m-am intalnit cu una din prietenele mele. Mi-a spus ca are doua carti de Gary Thomas - una o cumparase special pentru mine si planuise sa mi-o daruiasca, dar acum vrea neaparat sa le citeasca pe amandoua asa ca mi-a cautat un exemplar in libraria in care eram si mi-a sugerat sa mi-o cumpar, spunandu-mi ca sigur nu o sa mai am aceleasi convingeri dupa ce o sa citesc cartea asta. Pentru ca m-a provocat, am cumparat-o si m-am pus pe citit, fiind eu ins ...more
Jared Wiebelhaus
Apr 26, 2016 Jared Wiebelhaus rated it liked it
My review of this book is very conflicted. I honestly wanted to give it two stars but I didn't think that was fair. Gary has some good advice, and his foundational theory that we should marry not for the sake of marriage or happiness but as part of seeking God's kingdom first is good. Unfortunately I feel like this book was written to appeal to too many people and so it loses any real bite.

Although he says this is about why and not who his discussion of why lasts literally one page and then 250
Dec 20, 2012 Kela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Gary's "I'm just sayin'" tone in this book! It's just what is needed.
Jul 06, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing
Insightful advice on choosing your life mate; provides self-reflection and externalized reflection that should be (but are usually not!) addressed in premarital counseling. Great read for singles (dating or preparing your heart for commitment), divorcees, newly engaged, newlyweds, and even seasoned married couples. Practical perspectives from the collective view of a pastor and therapist; must read for singles - young and old, regardless of your single status or the circumstances surrounding it.
Mar 27, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
I was very frustrated for days since I had a big fight with my then-boyfriend, I was crying endlessly and I had no one to talk to because I was afraid to tell anyone about a personal matter. My patience had its own limit and I told a best-friend about everything.

Apparently, she was going through pretty much the same condition, but far worse, she was dealing with break-up and she was reading this book to cope with.
She sent me a page and that page made me reconsider everything.

I got my own copy f
Amber Fuller
Feb 10, 2016 Amber Fuller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wisdom, wisdom, wisdom. Must read for Christian singles. Gary Thomas addresses the why of marriage according to God's design while challenging single people to make the wisest possible choice in who they marry. Many facets of relational and spiritual health are explored with detailed insight in every chapter of this book. Excellent resource for single people interested in building a kingdom focused marriage, with a godly life partner, that ultimately points the world to Christ.
Feb 26, 2016 Nikki rated it did not like it
Shelves: christian
Oh, you guys. If only you knew the number of times I wanted to throw this book across the room. I know this book is beloved by many and my opinion is the minority. But I'd plead with you to read it critically. Even read my review critically, because I started disliking this book about 1/4 of the way in and so the lens I read the rest through was already tainted. But here are my thoughts:

Optimists and romantics beware. This is not the book for you. It will crush you. This is a man with one cold,
Brandon H.
There are some really good books out there regarding the subject of dating and marriage from a Christian perspective. I would place this one towards the top of the bunch. In The Sacred Search, author and pastor, Gary Thomas gives seasoned advice from someone who has witnessed the good, the bad, the ugly, and the utterly unbelievable when it comes to marriages and relationships.

I found his advice to be both authoritative yet compassionate, balanced yet precise, realistic, yet optimistic. This bo
Nov 14, 2013 Christen rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
When other Christians talk about marriage, I can't help but feel that it's a trap. This book not excepted. The fact that I couldn't find any credible credentials for Gary Thomas listed anywhere on the book as far as relationships or counseling are concerned, in conjunction with the fact that Thomas is a guest speaker on Focus on the Family, should have been a warning that my sensibilities would revolt. I decided to give it a try anyway and ended up disappointed. A large portion of the book is ma ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Dominic rated it it was ok
The Sacred Search: "What if it's not about who you marry, but why?" is disappointing because the author spends so little time expounding the 'why' before spending more than two-thirds of the book explaining the 'who' and which kind of person to marry. What is even more disappointing is that at times, the author dwells on some particularly gross stereotypes (like chapter 9: "What's your style?") that seem completely unnecessary.

Unfortunately, while I was expecting more extensive use of bible ver
Alexis Neal
Jan 10, 2013 Alexis Neal rated it really liked it
An excerpt of a review recently posted on Schaeffer's Ghost:
I’ve read a lot of marriage books. Not all of them, mind you, or even most of them. But as someone who tends to believe that there is no obstacle you can’t study your way over and no problem you can’t think your way out of, I have devoured marriage books like a chubby kid eats cookies the day before fat camp. The results of this literary quest have been middlin’ at best. There have been some winners, to be sure, but I’ve been disappoint
Aug 29, 2013 Melanie rated it liked it
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog (to be posted 8/31):

3.5 stars

The Sacred Search was an interesting and thought-provoking read. It challenges the idea of people having a "soul mate" and I don't think I've ever read a book quite like it before.

I loved the questionnaire-type chapters - those were probably my favorite. I definitely think I'll be rereading those later on. There were times The Sacred Search got a littl
Jan 21, 2013 Mathew rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
If you don’t recall I reviewed Gary Thomas’s Every Body Matters and really enjoyed it so I jumped at the opportunity to read The Sacred Search. It also happens that as many of you know I’m writing a book about family discipleship and so I’m trying to read as many books about relationships from a Christian perspective as possible. All that aside: I enjoyed The Sacred Search.

Thomas argues that most people when searching for a spouse are doing it all wrong. They are placing the search above all els
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Gary Thomas is a writer, speaker and the founder and director of the Center for Evangelical Sprirituality - a ministry that integrates Scripture, church history and the Christian classics. He's spoken in 49 states, four coutries and his books have been translated into eleven languages. His books have won and be
More about Gary L. Thomas...

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“We are told to seek first the kingdom of God, not seek first marriage.” 3 likes
“Lying about what you want out of marriage going in because you’re afraid you’ll lose the relationship if you are honest is one of the worst kinds of fraud you could ever commit.” 2 likes
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