Book review: When sinners say I do

This is the best book on marriage I have read. Fact.

I’ll be honest, I love this books and will use it personally and in counseling.

10 reasons why I love this book:

  • It is easy to read

A key to a book on marriage is the fact that it is readable. Time is precious, most men don’t like to read, and so it is vital that a book is easy to read. Dave Harvey has a logical structure, good illustrations and cracking applications.

  • It is realistic

The title gives it away. This guy knows what we are really like, deep down. I found the fact that early on he talks about ‘walking up with the worst of sinners’. It is so freeing.

So, it is just a depressing, lets-give-up book?

  • It is gospel focused

One of his key thoughts is from a Puritan who said ‘until sin is bitter, Christ will not be sweet.’ That is his answer to marriage: Until we see what we are really like, we will not look to Christ….the gospel. I loved the fact that as I read about marriage, I was all the more amazed with the gospel. Hence the full title of the book ‘When sinner say “I do”: Discovering the power of the gospel for marriage’.

Thus, the book isnt so much a collection of handy tips for you to work on, rather…

  • It looks at the heart of the issue: the heart

This is the vital aspect to the book. All our marital problems come from our sinful heart. Thus, we need to be honest about our heart and go to the only one who can fix our heart…Jesus.

This is so refreshing. You see, it would be so easy to say ‘have a date night’, but if your heart doesn’t want a date night because you don’t love your other half with the love of Christ, it is a useless exercise.

But, before you think it is a book that makes you feel bad:

  • It is full of grace

Because the focus of the book is Christ and making Him sweet – there is bucket loads of grace. There is grace for you,and grace for you to show your loved one. It really does warm your heart. Indeed, this grace is transforming.

So, is this just theology?

  • It is practical

The book has real theology, and is therefore really practical. There are lots of practical examples and processes that will help.

  • It speaks to both the man and the woman

Even though it is written by a man, he tries to be balanced in his applications to the husband and the wife.

  • It covers sex

This is very important, and Dave is very honest and challenging on this issue. I was so thankful for that chapter, and wonder if it should be required reading for engaged couples!

  • It covers death

I found this hard to read,  but it was worth reading. I pray that I won’t need that for along time. I guess this shows that the book is applicable to all ages.

  • It makes you trust in God

This is the ultimate strength of the book. Because it is realistic and gospel focused, it makes you trust in God. I am so glad that it is grace that  makes marriages last. I hope you know that. If not, buy the book!


This is how the author explains the book.

Who should read this book?

  • Those who are struggling in their marriage
  • Those who have a great marriage, but want to love better
  • Those who think their other half should change…by the way, the ‘sinner’ is you 😉

There is a youtube playlist of the author explaining each chapter here.

A huge thank you to Dan Gaweda for giving us the book…I owe you;)


2 thoughts on “Book review: When sinners say I do

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