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When Sinners Say "i Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
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When Sinners Say "i Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,145 ratings  ·  219 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Shepherd Press
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  3,145 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I generally prefer the insightful, research-laden work of Tim Keller on just about every subject, I have to say that this is probably the most practically helpful book on marriage I've ever read. (Don't get me wrong, though: I still LOVE Keller's The Meaning of Marriage. The two books just have different aims.)

During the first few chapters, my initial response was, "Heyyyy. You just took the chapter subjects of every single Reformed book written on the Gospel during the last ten years and
Randy Alcorn
My friend Dave Harvey has written a wonderful book. When Sinners Say I Do 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. I’m delighted to recommend it.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Married couples
Recommended to Matt by: Jay Hughes
This is a pretty good book where themes of humility and the need for God's grace run strong. A healthy recognition of your own failures and even the ones you don't see will obviously help you to approach conflict with humility and your necessity of the gospel on a day to day basis.
It seemed to me that even though the book is for both men and women, it seemed more appropriate for men. The book is very much influenced by Harvey's own experiences in his marriage as a man. He deals with the
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
Another fantastic marriage book. Surprisingly theological, in a good way -- Dave Harvey's down-to-earth, funny, pastoral approach applies theology to the real life issues of marriage very helpfully. (The final chapter about preparing for the death of a spouse, and living for Jesus afterwards, is a fantastic stand alone section.)

Read again in 2018. Struck this time by the honest focus on self-examination, sin, humility and confession in marriage, and also by the three stage examination of mercy
Stephen Scholtz
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-balanced, pastoral look at marriage.
Sarah June Eustache
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book was absolutely fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone who is married, is engaged or is thinking about getting married.

This is the book that my fiance and I read through for our pre-marital counseling classes with our pastor.

It's awesome, read it.

Sarah June
David West
A great book. Not lengthy but neither is it short on wisdom. Harvey takes theology and makes practical application to marriages.
Courtney Ruley
Dec 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Not very practical. Would be good for new believers.
Stephanie Danza
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
For any Christian marriage who needs a reminder of what their marriage is intended for. I can’t recommend this book enough & I’m sure I’ll be turning back to it again and again. Biblical principles and a lot of scripture to back up his statements.
James Ruley
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This short book by Harvey provides Biblical counsel for Christians on marriage. Much of this book is spent rehearsing necessary, albeit often sounded, biblical regents for a healthy marriage: mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Although some of the chapters had some helpful application suggestions, the book, taken as a whole, seemed much heavier on knowledge than application.

Two criticisms. First, Harvey’s sense of humor didn’t click with me at all. He, like many male writers, often defaults to
Ryan Watkins
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marriage, theology
Very helpful book about living in a Godly marriage.
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would highly recommend this book to any married couple, newlywed or 50 years in as well as anyone even thinking about getting married. This is the best book I have read so far on; 1) what it means to have a Gospel-Centered marriage and 2) how to move in that direction no matter where you are starting from. It's not just biblically based, as many Christian marriage books are, but wholly centered on what the Gospel of Jesus Christ means for married people and how applying that Gospel to every ...more
Peter Krol
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was eager to read this book, as numerous friends all highly recommended it. I certainly wasn't let down.

How challenging it is to keep the Gospel central in marriage (or in any other part of life for that matter)! However, Dave Harvey does an excellent job taking a look at the marriage relationship through the lens of the Gospel.

I thought the best chapter was, "The Surgeon, the Scalpel, and the Spouse in Sin," which was all about when and how to confront your spouse on sin. I thought Harvey's
Jeff Short
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marriage
Wow. Outstanding. Five stars doesn't mean perfection without any weakness, but a great book. Of the writing and printing of books on marriage there is no end, and much reading of them is weariness to the flesh. So many of them are naught more than manipulation manuals and "how does that make you feel?" therapy sessions. The problem is that those kind of books never get to the root of the problems and end up only trying to control the symptoms. A good way to be miserable.

Dave Harvey understands
Maria Connor
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book provides great reminders that my marriage is all about, all for, and all because of Christ. Two of my favorite quotes:

"True humility is living confident in Christ's righteousness, and suspicious of our own." (p. 63, ch. 4)

"...we adopt the posture of being willing to experience sin against us as part of building a God-glorifying marriage in a fallen world. Kindness says to our spouse, 'I know you are a sinner like me and you will sin against me, just like I sin against you. But I refuse
Courtney Wooten-Burkey
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to any married couples who believe in the gospel of Christ. It's so easy to get lost in cultural norms and expectations regarding relationships, and Mr. Harvey lays out clear, gentle correction and points us back to God's grace and the cross. I'm so very grateful that this book was recommended to me by a dear friend. I'm looking forward to rereading this when I have my own copy.
Peter LeDuc
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! "When sin becomes bitter, marriage becomes sweet." Harvey challenges us to recognize the obvious: marriage is a hotbed for sin because it involves 2 sinners living together. But he shows that by seeing yourself as the chief of sinners will help you see that sin comes from your heart and not from your spouse and circumstances. When our sin becomes real to us, the Gospel becomes vital and marriage becomes sweet. Such a practical book on how to keep your marriage Gospel-centered.
Paul Mackey
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first book I've read on marriage. I'm not married yet, but Harvey provides a challenging, but beautiful grace-centered view of marriage. It was a big blessing to my fiance' Kiki and I as it challenged us to both face our own sinful natures, while also reminding us the necessity and beauty of living by God's grace. I look forward to reading it again once married.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Unlike any other marriage book I have ever read, this book lays the foundation for a rewarding Christ-centered marriage. My husband and I read this to each other and found ourselves deeply convicted over the sin in our lives and lack of understanding for the Gospel in our marriage. Dave Harvey does an excellent job of exposing the powerful effects of the Gospel in marriage!
Erin Moore
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marriage-family
Really good treatment of how the gospel impacts every aspect of marriage. I especially enjoyed his treatment of sin and forgiveness. The chapter on intimacy was also excellent. I left off a star because his light-hearted writing style wasn't my favorite...just a personal preference. I'll definitely revisit this one often!
Guillaume Bourin
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book on marriage, with a lot of puritan quotes :)
Joey Roper
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: marriage
pretty good - check it out!
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just as helpful the second time through. Solid biblical help for living life God's way.
Charity Rishel
Straight on. Convicting.
Ruthanne Lauhoff
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For several years, I've given this book as a wedding gift at the recommendation of a couple I respect. Why read it myself? Marriage isn't my present reality--or even in the near future.
Well, I finally changed that. And am I glad. No book has brought Biblical truth down into the reality where I live more clearly.
This book is about marriage because marriage is about two sinners seeking God, helping each other find Him, and preparing to meet Him. Isn't that what each of us is about with whoever
Isaac Butterworth
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marriage
"What we believe about God determines the quality of our marriage." This statement by Dave Harvey encapsulates the core message of his book, When Sinners Say "I Do". As couples grow in their understanding of God--as their theology matures--their marriages become healthier, sturdier, and more satisfying. Harvey's book will prove helpful to anyone with an interest in building better marriages: engaged couples, husbands, wives, pastors, and counselors. In addition, the principles outlined by the ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Oh boy.

So, for one, this says it's for couples, but this is definitely mostly directed at men. Or at least that's what it seems like from my perspective. Harvey is writing from a man's point of view to other men. The few places he does speak to women, it's basically to tell them that they can't leave their abusive marriage and need to stay with their husbands, even when that husband is being genuinely harmful and abusive to them and their children.

This is the kind of toxic theology that drives
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books for pre-marital and married couples to read as either a primer for marriage or a reminder of the Gospel throughout. I recommend it for counselors as well as those who need to be counseled. It should be in every church library and bookshelf and required reading for pastors, pastor wives, leaders, deacons, and pretty much everyone else. I can't recommend this more highly.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid book for married couples to help navigate the different aspects of the covenant together. It could be used for any stage of a persons life. I hope that Dave Harvey will consider writing a book for singles (if he hasn't already) that has a similar tone as this one! Really enjoyed his writing style!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Dave Harvey is senior pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA), part of a family of churches called Sovereign Grace Ministries. He received his Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care from Westminster Theological Seminary. Dave lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Kimm, and their four
“Mercy sweetens marriage. Where it is absent, two people flog one another over everything from failure to fix the faucet to phone bills. But where it is present, marriage grows sweeter and more delightful, even in the face of challenges, setbacks, and the persistent effects of our remaining sin.” 4 likes
“Today matters because tomorrow can’t be assumed” 3 likes
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