“There lies within the heart of most human beings a deep longing for close companionship with another–one who like us, yet mysteriously and sometimes maddeningly different from us. That heartfelt urge has been there from the beginning, and most of us feel it long before we’re aware of our sexuality.” (pp. 9)

Those are the beautiful words that begin Adam Hamilton’s new book, Love to Stay: Sex, Grace and Commitment.

Though we long for this deep companionship, we aren’t always sure how to attain it, and when we do, it isn’t long before conflict arises and the person who once felt the most close to us, begins to feel pretty distant.

Keeping that in mind, there are several things that Adam does in the book that I really appreciate and that make it really accessible for anyone to read or use in their marriage or a small group. Therefore, I want to talk about these things that make the book a great read, and hopefully they will inspire you to read the book as well.

First, what I like about Adam’s book in particular is that he approaches the topic of marriage from a variety of resources. He writes:

“In sharing my thoughts on the subject, I’ll be drawing on several sources: the wisdom of Scriptures; the knowledge of experts in the field of relationships; a survey of 5,184 people affiliated with the church I pastor; the stories of hundreds of couples who have talked with me over the years about their marriages; and the experience of LaVon and me during thirty years of seeking to love one another.” (pp. 11).

Second, Adam keeps his reader in mind, and provides a very short, and easy to read book. Easy to read, but not easy to practice in our marriages. I know that very often when I recommend a book to a couple in therapy it is rare that they will actually read it. People often get very busy and if a marriage is in crisis, reading often is the last thing many couples want to do. Adam provides great insight for couples to begin to implement in their own marriage. That’s where the real work begins. I mentioned it was short…154 pages, six chapters…with some appendixes at the end. Here is a glimpse of the six chapters:

  1. More Than a Piece of Paper
  2. What She Wants, What He Wants
  3. The Significance of Sexual Intimacy
  4. Habits That Hurt, Habits That Heal
  5. Clothe, Bear With, Forgive
  6.  A Love That Lasts

Third, Adam provides at the end of each chapter a section that he calls “Reflect and Engage.” A lot of people have insight, and a lot of people reflect on things. But very few often put what they have gained in their reflection into direct action, especially in marriages where there is ongoing conflict and distance from one another. This book provides couples with the ability to do both…to both gain awareness about these issues in their marriage, but then to also take it a step further and engage one another around them.

Fourth, it’s written from a pastor’s heart. And by that, I mean someone who really cares not only about people, but about their marriages. Sometimes books on marriage come across as clinical or judging (your left feeling that you are being lectured to), but Adam’s heart for marriage comes across throughout the entire book.

If you are looking for a book for your marriage or to reflect on and engage in your small group, I recommend you check out Love to Stay: Sex, Grace and Commitment.