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New book shows the gospel of grace as the key to a marriage that lasts

May 3, 2006

Besides making new the hearts of the Christian man and woman who have united in wedlock, what does the gospel have to do with a healthy marriage? Everything, say Gary and Betsy Ricucci in their new book, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace.

            Besides making new the hearts of the Christian man and woman who have united in wedlock, what does the Gospel of Jesus Christ have to do with a healthy marriage?

            Everything, Gary and Betsy Ricucci assert in a new book from Crossway, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace.

The book–written for married or engaged couples or those in anticipation of marriage–is a biblical exposition of how to make the truth and principles of a godly marriage not just come alive, but last. Together, husband and wife discuss what the Bible has to say about marital roles, the why and how of communication, conflict resolution, romance, intimacy, and more.

The Ricuccis are members of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., where CBMW council member Joshua Harris serves as pastor. They have more than 25 years of experience in presenting marriage seminars and counseling couples. Gary teaches students pastoral care in the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. C. J. Mahaney, vice-chairman of  CBMW, serves as president of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

In an interview with Sovereign Grace Ministries’ “Family News,” Gary Ricucci said the goal of the book is to see married and engaged couples to build their marriage upon the immovable foundation of the gospel. One critical aspect of a “love that lasts” is a couple’s commitment to the local church, he says.

“Our desire is to offer a biblical, gospel-centered and grace-motivated approach to marriage that brings genuine hope (which will never come from pursuing marriage for our own happiness). We also want to point readers toward the local church as a means of grace for marriage. Marriage must find its purpose in God, its hope in the gospel, and its home in the local church.

“Quite simply, we really do want our readers to find hope for change…hope for a “love that lasts.” But the right question is not “how do I do this?” The right question is “who is this about?” And the answer is God himself.”

The book begins with two foundational questions that the authors consider the defining questions of a biblical marriage:

  • Does your marriage find its purpose primarily in God?
  • Does your marriage find its hope in the gospel of grace?

The authors unpack the centrality of the gospel of grace from there, applying it to comprehensively to areas such as the roles of the husband and wife, communication, romance, and sexual intimacy. In every area, they seek to show how a grace-centered marriage is a healthy marriage.

            “We are intent (because God is intent) on having your heart and marriage filled with the hope and grace of God’s love, faithfulness, and power displayed in the gospel—the person and finished work of Christ,” the authors write.

            “And God’s grace is every bit as present and effective on our best days as it is on our worst. God is constant in his commitment to love, bless, and transform, not because of our performance, but because of the perfection of his Son. That is the gospel of grace. And it is grace that gives us hope.

            “When we grasp the depth of God’s love for us revealed in the gospel, when we rest in the joy of God’s forgiveness toward us in the gospel, when we experience God’s transforming power in us through the gospel, and when we begin to emulate the pattern of humility and obedience we see in the gospel, what a wonderful difference this will make in our lives and marriages! Nothing is more essential to a marriage, and nothing brings more hope than applying the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

            The book also includes a forward by C. J. and Carolyn Mahaney. Love That Lasts is available in the CBMW webstore here.




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