MLove That Lasts by Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke review.

Book Title: Love That Lasts: How we discovered God’s better way for love, dating, marriage, and sex.

Authors: Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke.

Publication Date: October 10th 2017.

I was blessed enough to be chosen to be apart of the launch team for the Bethke’s new book Love That Lasts. I received advanced readers copy and I have just completed my reading. I was excited from the day I was picked to be apart of this launch team and when I finally received my book I was ready to dive in with a lot of expectations. I have already read both of Jeff’s other books (Jesus > Religion and It’s Not What You Think) which were inspirational for this generation of Christians. When I found out Jeff and his wife Alyssa were writing a book together about a more God centered way to pursue marriage, sex, dating, and love, I was ready to learn their perspective because they appear to be the perfect example of what it means to allow God into your relationship but I was wrong. Jeff and Alyssa are not perfect. How do I know that? Because Jeff and Alyssa took the next step and brought teaching to another level by being completely transparent and open with their readers so that the person on the other side of the pages could reap the benefits of not only their accomplishments in marriage but also their failures.

Alyssa tells her tales of longing for a relationship all through high school and college. She goes into depth about her eating disorder and struggling to love herself. She shares about how much of a gift Jeff is to her but how she struggles with giving Jeff some of the reigns in their marriage. She takes us on her journey of waiting and trusting in the Lord through her season of singleness all the way to discussing her fears and expectations with sex within her marriage with Jeff. She covers topics most of us are curious about but is either too scared to share or too afraid to ask. Alyssa is genuine, honest, and sweet but also is truthful, bold, and courageous in her ability to share with us her struggles and success in following the Lord’s way for a happier and healthier (and more intimate) relationship with her spouse. I give her chapters in the book a complete 10/10. She is relatable in every possible way and she gives us hope by pointing us in the right direction which is to God.

Jeff dives deep into his messy and impure past with girls. He talks about struggling with sex, porn, and how he viewed women in his teenage years. He also goes in depth about how those problems from his past can seep into his marriage and can be a weight on his shoulders. He continues in following chapters to tell us about how he pursued Alyssa in a purer way and how that positively affects their relationship. Jeff guides us on how to treat our significant other with respect, love, and kindness but to also to remember to not make our s/o our everything. He reminds us that our relationships on earth should make us look more like Jesus. They should remind us of Jesus’s love for us. Jeff shares the details of his past relationships with women so that we can see how not to treat women or how to not let guys treat us. You can see Jeff grow from the first chapter about him losing his virginity at 16 all the way through marrying Alyssa and actively pursuing her in a different way than he was pursuing women in his teens. Jeff provides us a lens to see how we can be different and not get stuck in the “sex is recreational” culture but also not get stuck in the “sex is dirty” culture either. He gives us the option to see the in between. Jeff’s story is proof that God loves us regardless of what our pasts look like and that we have the power to tell Satan that we are now clean and free from those things we may have done.

My thoughts? Buy it. Do not hesitate on it either because it is for everyone. It is for the single, the dating, the married, the divorced, and everything in between. Even if you never plan on dating this book will still teach you how to pursue relationship better even at the friendship level. You will learn and grow in your relationship if you are in that season or you will learn to trust in the Lord through the example of the authors if you are in the season of singleness. Their transparency and ability to open their hearts and let their genuine thoughts and feelings flow out onto paper is incredible and the way they write sounds like you are having a one on one conversation with them. It’s personal. It’s intimate. It’s real. They don’t just tell you the good parts but share the messy parts too. They don’t pretend to be cookie cutter and all perfect but show us that they are completely one hundred percent human and that they mess up just like the rest of us. This book is unconventional because rather than listing the top ten things to never do in a relationship, they come down to our level, they address the most common issues in a relationship (or singleness) and give us ways to work through them better or what we can do to make it even more special and God centered. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking advice in whatever stage of life you may be in. Jeff and Alyssa are truly gems and God truly used them to help us find a better way for dating, marriage, sex, and love. Thank you.

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Love is. . .

Love is something most people can’t give a definition to. It’s complex and multi-dimensional. It is something that is perceived differently by every single person on this planet but God tells us exactly what Love is. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 it states. . .

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away”

I think is is so amazing that God gives us a break down of what love really is. I really want to go deep with a few of the main points in this scripture. Love is so amazing and wonderful and something that needs to be understood in depth.

  1. Love is patient: Being patient with your significant other and with God. Trying to be patient as to when God wants to give you a person to love. Being patient to your significant other no matter how difficult that can be. Showing them your full attention and support no matter the place or time. Patience is a virtue especially when it comes to Love.
  2. Love is kind: Being kind when it comes to your partner and God. Remembering to not get angry with God when relationships do not work out or when they are just are not happening at all. Being kind is something we should practice every day but especially within relationships. Being kind is something that goes a long way especially when you least expect it to.
  3. It keeps no record of wrong: This is such an important thing, I can not emphasize it enough. Forgive and Forget is such a significant part of relationships. Bringing up faults from weeks ago does not benefit anyone. It’s about realizing your wrongs, fixing them, and moving on. Forgive like Jesus did and Forget like Jesus did. Remembering to focus on the greatness of your significant other or anyone for that matter, and just forgive them unconditionally.
  4. It always trusts: A generation plagued by social media trust becomes such a weak part of a relationship. You have to trust that God will allow that person to be honest and you need to be able to trust that person wholeheartedly. Trust is something that starts at one hundred percent and somehow gets damaged but a relationship that is pure and centered on God can stay at one hundred for the entirety of it.
  5. Love never fails: Living in a country where the divorce rate is 50% , this is a hard concept to wrap our brain around. True love does not fail. Imagine an infallible love.It looks like Jesus on the cross. That’s the kind of love we should be investing into everyone. Love perseveres and is everlasting. It stays true forever.

 

This scripture could be broken down so many times and into so many pieces but I think it so important to learn about love, especially the way Jesus loved. I encourage all of you to pray on this scripture and ask God to help open your eyes to a new way of loving. This is not just limited to committed relationships either. This applies to family, friends, and even just random people you meet at the mall. There are so many ways to express love and I pray you all really read into this scripture. Go on and spread the love. – Lex.