Review: When Sinners Say I Do by Dave HarveyDave Harvey begins When Sinners Say I Do by making sure that you understand the doctrine of sin...the root of which is that you recognize that you are a sinner. Recognizing that both members of any marriage are sinners, have always been sinners, and forever will be sinners is a key place to start. Far too often we recognize that proposition (both spouses are sinners) to be a true theoretically true statement, but practically we act as if the other is the greater sinner. Harvey flips this on its head: I must go into marriage (indeed, into all relationships, recognizing that I am the worst sinner that I know).
Then, after recognizing sin, we can see the solution to sin: The gospel of the free grace of God, a gospel that saves from sin, but also a gospel that provides the power for ongoing forgiveness of sin and power over sin.
The bulk of the bulk is really just a primer on how to apply the gospel to various aspects of marriage. The book is far less a book on sin in marriage than it is on the grace of the gospel applied to marriage.
For this reason, ever since I first recommended this book, it is the first recommendation that I give to anybody looking for "marriage help". It is the first book I give to couples before they are married who are looking for a book to read together to prepare them for marriage. It would be the first book I give to a couple in a super healthy marriage. And it would be a book I would recommend to a single without even a potential mate who is trying to think rightly about dating and marriage.
Until we see the ravaging effects of sin on marriage - until I see the ravaging affects of MY sin on MY marriage - I won't recognize God's grace as the solution; I will be tempted to settle for the cheap fixes peddled in most other marriage books out there. My greatest problem isn't compatibility, lack of intimacy, or dulled romance; it is sin. And the solution is therefore first and foremost the gospel. Read this book to see how that fleshes itself out.
When you've finished this book, then I recommend you move onto the other best books on marriage I've read:
1. Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace
2. Feminine Appeal For women; Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know For men.