When I was in college I started going to this church service for young adults on Friday nights called “The Way.” This service was located in an old warehouse-turned-church called called Solid Rock just outside of Portland. Each Friday night a group of us from my school would carpool to The Way, sip the complimentary coffee (a necessity for churches in Portland,) and spend an hour and a half in fellowship.
Initially I was drawn to the music at The Way… it was seriously good. Some weeks the band Above the Golden State played, and occasionally Phil Wickham would show up and do an acoustic concert. But then as the pastor, John Mark Comer started speaking, I was moved each week by the message given.
It was here, at The Way, I was shaped as a young adult. Each week I took detailed notes and struggled through what it meant to be a Jesus follower. John Mark’s messages always had a way of speaking straight to my heart… it was like God was giving him the message just for me. I looked forward to Friday nights each week and was deeply impacted by the time I spent there.
Ironically enough, the first time I ever met Zack was in a carpool to The Way. :)
That being said, I was so excited to read John Mark Comer’s new book, Loveology.
“In the beginning, God created Adam. Then he made Eve. And we’ve been picking up the pieces ever since. Loveology is just that—a theology of love.”
I ended up reading the book out loud to Zack in the car, each trip we took I would read a section… and overall, we both really enjoyed the book and learned a lot from it. I think it was a good book to read as a couple and discuss, which makes sense seeing as the subject matter is of love and relationships. :)
The first half of the book was really captivating and I found myself marking numerous pages with things I wanted to write down and remember.
Basically, the idea of Loveology is that marriage is a gift from God…it’s in our nature, but it has been so skewed and distorted by society over the years, we have lost sense of what it was created to be. We really enjoyed that John Mark went back to the roots of marriage and just wrote about what the Bible says, disarming the myths and legends that marriage has accumulated over the years through various sources.
I think one part of marriage that is often neglected is the fact that it is the union of two imperfect people—which makes it difficult sometimes. We get those “what if” feelings and can start longing for something more to fulfill us… but John Mark makes a valid point,
“Nothing in this world can fill the gaping void left in our heart by our departure from Eden. Not the best marriage, the best sex, the best romance—nothing. All that stuff is incredible, but it’s not God.” (pg. 241).
Nothing can fulfill us completely like Jesus…and I think in society today people put that pressure on their spouse to “complete them.” But that just sets yourself up for failure.
“If you put your faith in your spouse to make you happy, it’s only a matter of time until they let you down. Our whole mind-set on happiness is deeply flawed. ‘I deserve to be happy.’ Really? I’m not sure that’s right. All of life is a gift from the Creator God… But contrary to what the American propaganda machine says, happiness is not a right. It’s a gift. God doesn’t owe you anything. And neither does your spouse. It’s all a gift.” (pg. 76).
John Mark’s book reads just like his sermons, filled with personal anecdotes and stories from his life… but at the same time packed with thorough research and Biblical history. Naturally, both Zack and I enjoyed his writing style, just like we do with his church messages…very personal and easy to connect with.
And although I just wrote about most of the first half of the book and marriage—I would almost recommend this book more to the single folks out there. There is a lot of the book dedicated to being content in singleness, dating, and finding a spouse that I think would have really helped me out while I was in that stage of life.
*In a nutshell* In case you skipped through this whole post, here’s the just of it… Overall, I loved the book as an individual, and we both liked the book as a couple. So just go read it, ok? :)