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

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,767 ratings  ·  296 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 T ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by David C Cook
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 ·  2,767 ratings  ·  296 reviews

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May 13, 2016 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.
Mar 19, 2013 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.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think every single person should read this book.
Nov 19, 2015 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 wit
Sarah Mosconi
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, wow. I didn’t know what to expect but this was so well-written with practical advice and questions. The theme of basing a relationship off of Matthew 6:33 (“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”) was repeated throughout each chapter. The stories that Gary Thomas shared were relatable and insightful. I was gut-punched a time or two and I think my favorite aspect of this book was Thomas constantly pointing back to Jesus. Aski ...more
Mar 19, 2013 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
Hannah Needham
Nov 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
I genuinely hated this book.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of hated this book.

Gary Thomas thinks that too many people base who they marry on romantic feelings or waiting for God's will, leading to marriages that are doomed to fail. Instead one should marry someone who has the qualities that are most desirable in a spouse. He begins the book by outlining the difference between infatuation and love. I actually really liked this bit. I felt like he went a bit far but it was still a good reminder.

He then addresses singleness. According t
Jan 07, 2013 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, pe
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, wish-list
I enjoyed this book so much! It is targeted at singles, in or before entering a relationship. I would say it's a must read.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, there was so much wisdom in this book! Where do I even begin?

What I Liked: In a world that keeps pushing the idea of following your heart and being led by your emotions, this book was so refreshing because it promoted the Biblical belief that you need to be guided by God's Word and the Holy Spirit in decisions such as who you marry. It supports the Scripture in Jeremiah where it says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?

Bryce Van Vleet
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, dnf, religion
I work in a research lab that studies cognition and autism, in the hopes of developing better behavioral interventions. So when Thomas, probably just out of ignorance or misinformation, implied vaccines cause autism, I was so shocked I immediately dropped my kindle. Even though this is a book about marriage, it feels unethical and revolting for me to even continue to read this. DNF @ 47%

I enjoyed a little of the bits I read but I just can't, in good professional conscience, continue.

Christin Panjaitan
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
This book reminds me that life is once, so choose the appropriate person to live this life.
Also, it is better to choose someone who may hurt people than satisfying people but dishonor Almigthy God.
As the author said, before you get married, please read this book. It is recommended :)
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one hit me repeatedly in the gut. The Sacred Search prompted to me ask some hard questions about whether the man I'm engaged to is the one for me, and whether we are prepared to enter into the marriage relationship. We have a lot to talk about (in a positive way! no second thoughts here) and I am encouraged that I came upon a book that takes a sober look at what it takes to determine whether a match is one that will last the rest of our lifetime.
Baillie Johnson
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
There was a lot of parts of this book that I 100% agreed with, a lot of parts where I was slightly uncomfortable but didn't neccesarily disagree with it, and there were parts where I definitely disagreed. It was a rollercoaster for sure, but I definitely am glad I read it! I enjoy books like these that challenge my thinking about various topics within relationships and theology and how they intertwine.
Brandon H.
The second time through and my reflections from my first reading remain. One of the best books a Christian can read on the subject of dating and the search for a spouse.

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 utter
Finally, I finished it. My family read the beginning of this together, and then I finished it on my own.
The first few chapters were my favorites, though it really wasn't anything new. After that, I found myself kind of lost, because this book is meant for dating people, and I'm a far cry from that.
Once I got past the beginning of the book, I found snatches of useful things for me, but that was about it. I'll be honest, I skipped a couple chapters because the mature discussions were something I
Careese Mukulu
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent. It was a great read for anyone considering marriage. I think it's best for dating couples, but it could also be useful for those not currently dating.
In the book Gary Thomas presents a number of topics and things to consider as you evaluate a potential mate. Gary Thomas presented the sobering reality that a poor choice of a spouse would have lifelong consequences. He brought several issues to my attention that I'd never thought about. It spurred several discussions fo
Rachelle Cobb
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-read
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.
April Jones
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m among the first to roll my eyes at marriage advice books written for single Christians. BUT. I found this book full of wisdom, sensibility, and guidance. It’s a quick read that gets to each point succinctly, and carries a common theme throughout— if you seek the Kingdom of God FIRST, and keep that mission in mind when considering a potential boyfriend, fiancé, or spouse, you will honor both them and God with your relationship for eternity. All in all, very realistic and down-to-earth, as wel ...more
Megan Wilcox
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book was super amazing. There are so many eye-opening things Mr. Thomas has written about what to look for in a spouse. This book inspires, but also doesn't shy away from being honest about the seriousness of marriage. 5 stars! Highly recommend this to ANYONE who plans or hopes to get married one day.
Whether you're single, dating, (or courting), or engaged.
This book gives you the means of saving your marriage. Before it even starts.
(It wouldn't hurt for married couples to read
Hope Miller
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I can honestly say that it’s completely challenged my views and thinking on the subject of marriage. It’s very easy to understand and the author does a great job explaining everything that he has to say. I really do believe that every Christian single or person who is currently in a dating relationship needs to read this to better understand the things that are at stake when you are considering making the choice of a marital partner.
Sarah Madden
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely makes a lot of excellent points that I had never considered. I think this book is unique because it explores some seemingly obvious but crucial facets of a Christian relationship that need to be discussed and defined before making a marital commitment. I found myself convicted yet hopeful while reading this book. However, giving 4 stars because it uses a lot of extreme language like "Your marriage will NEVER work if..." as well as some non-biblical sexist examples. Overall, highly rec ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall pretty good advice, although there was far more emphasis on finding the right person to marry vs. becoming the right person. I don't think there was anything in this book I hadn't heard before, but it may have been more helpful to read as a young college student.
Josh Sponring
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super practical and thought provoking read
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful
Ashleigh O'Hara
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A much needed book of truth, sound advice and humor for singles!!! Gives insight into questions to ask prior to engagement and shift some of culture wrongs of marriage!

Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely an interesting read. I don't agree with everything mentioned in the book, but i respect the author's opinion. I particularly liked the study questions at the end of the chapters. They are a great way to get your thoughts on paper and help you consider ideas that you may not have had before.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
This book is not a difficult read in diction or grammar, but in the heaviness of the content. I've always referred to myself as a hopeless romantic, and while this book certainly does not kill romance, Gary Thomas showed me a new way of thinking in regards to finding a future husband. The essential premise of this book is that Christians are to seek first the kingdom of God, but Gary goes into detail on the biology of attraction, questions to think about, and tips for healthy dating relationship ...more
Ann Yeong
Nov 24, 2015 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
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Gary Thomas’ writing and speaking focuses on bringing people closer to Christ and closer to others. He is the author of 18 books that have been translated into over a dozen languages. These books include Cherish, Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?. The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, but Why?, Sacred Pathways, and the Gol ...more
“The truth is, we want to be known; we truly do. But we’re afraid. If you see the real me, will you run away? Am I even worth being known? Will the real me bore you? Scare you? Repulse you? And so we hide.” 8 likes
“In case you’ve never thought about it, a woman’s body changes much more rapidly than her character does.” 3 likes
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