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When Sinners Say I Do

Dave Harvey offers a humble, Christ-exalting approach to life in marriage in his book, When Sinners Say I Do [1]. He begins by setting an overview of what really matters in marriage: the gospel, glorifying God, reliance upon God’s word, etc. Over and over again in this book, Harvey gives the reader Scripture to back up the themes he delivers.

Mercy is the theme that stuck with me the most from When Sinners Say I Do. Harvey writes: “God doesn’t just dispense mercy. He is merciful…kindness does not have its origins in you, but in God. It isn’t a personality trait, it’s a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:12).” Harvey describes how a sinner can only respond in mercy after he has received the mercy of God. A heart that loves the Lord and recognizes God’s mercy and grace is a heart that will extend forgiveness and grace in marriage. Using real life examples, Harvey shows how the act of mercy makes marriage sweeter and the cross shine brighter.

Even as a single woman, I have found When Sinners Say I Do to be a book that has challenged my relationship with those who are closest to me. Dave Harvey makes you examine whether or not you are operating out of Christ’s mercy and grace or your own self-righteousness. When confronted with sin, he reminds you that “the gospel is an endless fountain of God’s grace” in your life and marriage.

Dave Harvey’s writing is an encouragement and admonishment to walk closer with Jesus in life and marriage. This book is for husbands and wives to be sure, but also extends to any and all Christians for their sanctification.

Helpful Quotes

  1. “We must not ignore our sin, because it is the very context where the gospel shines brightest.”
  2. “What we believe about God determines the quality of our marriage.”
  3. “The focus of a thriving marriage is the glory of God.”
  4. “A great awareness of one’s sinfulness often stands side by side with great joy and confidence in God.”
  5. “Each day is a day of new mercy and power to confess, love, forgive, and restore.”
  6. “Mercy sweetens marriage.”
  7. “Weakness is the arena in which God can most effectively manifest his power.”
  8. “Forgiven sinners forgive sin.”
  9. “Sanctifying grace is good news. It’s the news that God gives persistent grace to run the race.”
  10. “Your spouse must be pointed not to grace, but to the one from whom all grace flows.”