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The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love

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This updated and expanded edition gives a fresh informative edge to an already definitive book. New sections discuss "sex after sixty" and five reasons why God created sex, all supported by the very latest findings in the fields of medicine and sociology. For engaged couples and newlyweds who want to make lovemaking a joy from the start . . . For couples who have been marr This updated and expanded edition gives a fresh informative edge to an already definitive book. New sections discuss "sex after sixty" and five reasons why God created sex, all supported by the very latest findings in the fields of medicine and sociology. For engaged couples and newlyweds who want to make lovemaking a joy from the start . . . For couples who have been married for years and want to maintain the flame or rekindle the embers . . . for every husband or wife who wants to be a better lover -- here are the insights into each other's bodies, psychosexual makeup, and need for tender, unselfish affection that can help you achieve your goal. With over 2.5 million copies in print, The Act of Marriage has helped thousands of Christian couples maximize their joy in sexual union and saved countless marriages. Pastors, doctors, and psychologists alike have endorsed the frank, practical insights.


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This updated and expanded edition gives a fresh informative edge to an already definitive book. New sections discuss "sex after sixty" and five reasons why God created sex, all supported by the very latest findings in the fields of medicine and sociology. For engaged couples and newlyweds who want to make lovemaking a joy from the start . . . For couples who have been marr This updated and expanded edition gives a fresh informative edge to an already definitive book. New sections discuss "sex after sixty" and five reasons why God created sex, all supported by the very latest findings in the fields of medicine and sociology. For engaged couples and newlyweds who want to make lovemaking a joy from the start . . . For couples who have been married for years and want to maintain the flame or rekindle the embers . . . for every husband or wife who wants to be a better lover -- here are the insights into each other's bodies, psychosexual makeup, and need for tender, unselfish affection that can help you achieve your goal. With over 2.5 million copies in print, The Act of Marriage has helped thousands of Christian couples maximize their joy in sexual union and saved countless marriages. Pastors, doctors, and psychologists alike have endorsed the frank, practical insights.

30 review for The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is the best book I have ever read (or browsed, or seen) on sex in marriage. It is very tastefully done with the emphasis on family and our relationship with God. The author is a Catholic and I find his views to be almost entirely in line with my own, as an Latter Day Saint. As a scientist I was pleased with a solid biological explanation of the anatomy and physiology of male and female genitalia as well as the emotional impacts of both orgasm and sexual relationships. He takes time to answe This is the best book I have ever read (or browsed, or seen) on sex in marriage. It is very tastefully done with the emphasis on family and our relationship with God. The author is a Catholic and I find his views to be almost entirely in line with my own, as an Latter Day Saint. As a scientist I was pleased with a solid biological explanation of the anatomy and physiology of male and female genitalia as well as the emotional impacts of both orgasm and sexual relationships. He takes time to answer dozens of questions in the back that probably apply to more of the general public than we would admit. He also takes several chapters and explains techniques, as well as why God would want both the man and the woman to be happy and fulfilled by partaking in sex. For a while I gave this book to roommates who were getting married and to a few relatives... but surprisingly it never stopped feeling awkward. Though I still believe it's the best advice on the subject any bride or groom could get... and that it should wait until after they are married or perhaps just a day before - and won't see each other much until they are married. It's too specific to not be a temptation prior to marriage. (I've read this book a number of times, and recommended it to a few friends who express difficulty in their marriage.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike Thayer

    A book about sex written by an evangelical minister made famous for writing a series on apocalyptic fiction. What’s there not to like? Probably would have liked it better if it had been a book about a fictional minister that had evangelically famous apocalyptic sex, but we can’t have everything in life can we?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I love this book! I wish I got this book before I got married. I was sexually abused as a child and even though but the time I got this book things were going well in my marriage. This book helped open my eyes to a whole lot more. This book explains a lot about God's view and purpose of sex. A must read for any couple. What I love about the book is has sections for couples before they get married, the honeymoon night, early years of marriage, the middle years of marriage and the later years of a I love this book! I wish I got this book before I got married. I was sexually abused as a child and even though but the time I got this book things were going well in my marriage. This book helped open my eyes to a whole lot more. This book explains a lot about God's view and purpose of sex. A must read for any couple. What I love about the book is has sections for couples before they get married, the honeymoon night, early years of marriage, the middle years of marriage and the later years of a marriage. I bought this for my sister when she was engaged. I had to laugh when she told me her soon to be husband couldn't put the book down and took it home with him. ; ) I was thrilled to learn even my mom had requested to read it & she isn't a read. WONDERFUL WONDERFUL BOOK!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lori Lynn Tucker

    I am engaged to be married in 2 weeks. My mom and a recently married friend of mine suggested I read this once engaged. Having a commitment to purity and having my closest friends having that commitment as well, I didn't know more than the basics when it came to sex (which for someone not nearing marriage, I think this is healthy). I knew why it was important to save sex for marriage, and that was enough for me. This book has helped to prepare me to know a little more of what to expect, to help I am engaged to be married in 2 weeks. My mom and a recently married friend of mine suggested I read this once engaged. Having a commitment to purity and having my closest friends having that commitment as well, I didn't know more than the basics when it came to sex (which for someone not nearing marriage, I think this is healthy). I knew why it was important to save sex for marriage, and that was enough for me. This book has helped to prepare me to know a little more of what to expect, to help me and my fiancé to have reasonable expectations for this aspect of marriage. I recommend this to be read by anyone about to be married or someone who is already married. While the author handles the information in a tasteful and godly manner, he also doesn't beat around the bush and tells it like it is. I wouldn't recommend reading this till a month or two before the wedding. After marriage, I think this would be a good book for couples to revisit every so often. PS. I read the 1970's edition of the book, because that's the one that was on our shelf. I'm looking forward to reading the updated edition in the future (that's the one my fiancé bought). I know much of the info will be the same. But it will be interesting to see updated statistics the the extra chapter that's in the newer edition.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Priscilla

    There were only a handful of things in this book that my husband and I found helpful, but even then they were things we already knew. Neither one of us likes this book and we found ourselves becoming more frustrated with it more than anything. Throughout the book, the author gives examples of situations he has encountered as a pre-marriage counselor and pastor, where couples have come forward with problems involving their sex life. Every single answer the pastor gave them can be summed up in a f There were only a handful of things in this book that my husband and I found helpful, but even then they were things we already knew. Neither one of us likes this book and we found ourselves becoming more frustrated with it more than anything. Throughout the book, the author gives examples of situations he has encountered as a pre-marriage counselor and pastor, where couples have come forward with problems involving their sex life. Every single answer the pastor gave them can be summed up in a few short words, it is your wife's fault. Pretty much every problem that came up in the book, the author blamed on the wife not being there for he husband, she needed to do better at paying attention to her husband, be more supportive and if their sex life sucked it was her fault. Seriously? Oh and if you are having problems in your marriage, just have sex. There was no mention of communication that should be going on between husband and wife to have a successful, loving, and open sex life. The only thing this book did do was mention that God should be at the center of your marriage, including your sex life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    My pastor gave this book to my husband and I as part of premarital counseling. There were certainly some enlightening ideas to be had from it, but it just really wasn't for us. It's pretty outdated, especially in regards to women, so much that it made it hard to read. It's definitely a book for a couple that is going into marriage as virgins. Then it's a must-read. I'm astounded to see that there is nothing about oral sex, and in the back of the book the authors say "we don't recommend it". Seri My pastor gave this book to my husband and I as part of premarital counseling. There were certainly some enlightening ideas to be had from it, but it just really wasn't for us. It's pretty outdated, especially in regards to women, so much that it made it hard to read. It's definitely a book for a couple that is going into marriage as virgins. Then it's a must-read. I'm astounded to see that there is nothing about oral sex, and in the back of the book the authors say "we don't recommend it". Seriously? I'm telling you as a married Christian woman, oral sex is absolutely okay and you should definitely explore it! Don't ignore that part of your sexuality!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Not at all helpful to a modern and informed Christian wanting to know more, very rigid and obviously primarily written from a male perspective (despite the co-authoring). It also skipped huge factual areas - for example, only mentioning the rhythm method but not mentioning the much more accurate Natural Family Planning. If you aren't already married, don't know anything about the biological aspects and are from a more sheltered or withdrawn Christian community you might find it useful, otherwise Not at all helpful to a modern and informed Christian wanting to know more, very rigid and obviously primarily written from a male perspective (despite the co-authoring). It also skipped huge factual areas - for example, only mentioning the rhythm method but not mentioning the much more accurate Natural Family Planning. If you aren't already married, don't know anything about the biological aspects and are from a more sheltered or withdrawn Christian community you might find it useful, otherwise give this one a miss.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Parvin Ngala

    Perfect pre wedding gift

  9. 4 out of 5

    OLASEMO OLADIPO A.

    Good Book Every couple should read it. It is not just for christian folk, although Christians may reap more from its benefits.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    Never thought I'd read (let alone recommend) a book by LaHaye, but this one is actually rather good. Never thought I'd read (let alone recommend) a book by LaHaye, but this one is actually rather good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This is an incredibly informative read. I learned a lot, and I think it's a great place for Christians to go to learn without having to wade through any smut. This books is very graphic but not at all crass. A divorced girl friend strongly recommended it to me. It stresses the importance of (and the reasons for importance) of remaining virtuous before marriage, and completely faithful after you're married. It also explains the tremendous blessings that you receive when you choose to live this wa This is an incredibly informative read. I learned a lot, and I think it's a great place for Christians to go to learn without having to wade through any smut. This books is very graphic but not at all crass. A divorced girl friend strongly recommended it to me. It stresses the importance of (and the reasons for importance) of remaining virtuous before marriage, and completely faithful after you're married. It also explains the tremendous blessings that you receive when you choose to live this way - spiritual, physical, and mental blessings. It's not something I'd recommend to anyone not already married or very close to marriage, because the entire thing is about sex. I'd skip The Missing Dimension chapter, just because I didn't learn anything from it. I think it's very important for people who don't have any concept of spirituality, but I've never had the notion that there was any more important aspect of oneself. There were a few things I disagreed with, but only one part I strongly disagreed with, which was this: In the Q&A chapter, it is asked if the adulterer should tell his/her spouse even if the offender has confessed to God, fully repented, etc. I was stunned when their recommendation was not to tell the faithful spouse if they've confessed to God, forsaken the sin, cut off all ties with the person you cheated with, and have daily devotional time. What about confessing to the person you've wronged? Isn't that part of repentance? I can't imagine a truly repentant spouse not telling the faithful spouse...and not feeling tremendously guilty for not being honest about how grievously they'd wronged the faithful spouse! Other than that, I thought it a great book in its approach and information.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    A good book and lots of good information, but also fairly sexist and outdated. The beginning of the book had some good ideas and perspective, but I liked the author less and less as I read, and by the end I really didn't care for his opinions, attitudes, or advice. His writing seemed to deteriorate into blaming everything on sin, and that everything could be cured by repentance. I suppose that was par for the course for the religious establishment in his time, but in this day and age we know a l A good book and lots of good information, but also fairly sexist and outdated. The beginning of the book had some good ideas and perspective, but I liked the author less and less as I read, and by the end I really didn't care for his opinions, attitudes, or advice. His writing seemed to deteriorate into blaming everything on sin, and that everything could be cured by repentance. I suppose that was par for the course for the religious establishment in his time, but in this day and age we know a lot more about mental illness, sexual dysfunction, and sexual "deviancy." He also interpreted statistics in whatever way supported his opinions about what is "normal" and "right." This book could use another update. Read the beginning, take it with a grain of salt, but put it down when you start to get offended because it's all downhill from there!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Well despite his deranged views about women basically needing to be kept in the house it was a worthwhile read. Interesting read though still would recommend Tim Keller way before this one. It is straight forward and helpful. Would say that a chapter on kegel was a little much. He is terrible at understanding the bias inherent in his survey and also thinks of himself as a god of counseling whereby his words has fixed every known marital issue in 4 weeks or less.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jj Burch

    If you love traditional/backwards gender roles and antiquated (and wrong) views on contraception this book is for you! While I praise the authors for focusing on the fact that women can and should orgasm, I really REALLY couldn't get past the submission that is only required of women, and the contradictory views on facts/science. If you love traditional/backwards gender roles and antiquated (and wrong) views on contraception this book is for you! While I praise the authors for focusing on the fact that women can and should orgasm, I really REALLY couldn't get past the submission that is only required of women, and the contradictory views on facts/science.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Dialogue in marriage is important In the bedroom, it is the most important act of Intimacy. The act of growth that two people become one. The very act that we become one instead of two. Marriage a pure love ❤️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    Best unfiltered book I've read about sex, marriage, and relationships! Highly recommended for newly weds and or just-to-be wedded couples. Best unfiltered book I've read about sex, marriage, and relationships! Highly recommended for newly weds and or just-to-be wedded couples.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Crestani

    Great for those getting ready for married who haven't had sex before. It is a very thorough book that also explains the place that sexual relations have in a marriage. I found it generally wholesome and uplifting. I would recommend reading before and after the honeymoon because some concepts will go over your head if you've never been sexually active before. Great for those getting ready for married who haven't had sex before. It is a very thorough book that also explains the place that sexual relations have in a marriage. I found it generally wholesome and uplifting. I would recommend reading before and after the honeymoon because some concepts will go over your head if you've never been sexually active before.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I decided to read this because it's a classic, and I figured it must have some worthwhile things to say. Indeed, I have to admire how groundbreaking and progressive it must've been for the time when it was written--especially in the area of female sexuality. In that regard, it still has plenty of practical relevance for married or engaged Christian couples. There were a couple of things that troubled me, though. For one, the LaHayes place so much emphasis on the importance of sexual satisfaction I decided to read this because it's a classic, and I figured it must have some worthwhile things to say. Indeed, I have to admire how groundbreaking and progressive it must've been for the time when it was written--especially in the area of female sexuality. In that regard, it still has plenty of practical relevance for married or engaged Christian couples. There were a couple of things that troubled me, though. For one, the LaHayes place so much emphasis on the importance of sexual satisfaction that they almost seem to focus on sexuality in isolation from the larger context of marriage. I know they were countering lots of unnecessary (and unbiblical), pent-up repression, but sometimes they ventured too far in the direction of "your sex life is only fulfilling its God-ordained purpose if it's physically mindblowing"...which I also think is very wrong. Also, the chapter on birth control bugged me slightly. They emphatically repudiate the rhythm method, but it made me a little sad that they didn't say a word about other "natural" methods (FAM, NFP) that are widely embraced as effective today (especially in Christian circles). I didn't think there was much excuse for the 1998 revised edition to ignore these methods. Instead, they (somewhat uncritically, I thought) advocate use of the pill as if it's the only liberating option for women and couples. That rant aside, I would recommend the book as a whole to engaged couples, but would suggest that it not be their only resource.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    I thought the information was very well done. I liked some of the things talked about or covered that you know no one else would ever tell you or write about, the LaHaye's do. I did, however, think the language of the book was kind of out dated and comical. We just don't use a lot of the terms talked about in the book. I would have related to it better, if it hadn't used such stiff language when describing something very personal. I also thought the way that Tim LaHaye writes is very confident. I thought the information was very well done. I liked some of the things talked about or covered that you know no one else would ever tell you or write about, the LaHaye's do. I did, however, think the language of the book was kind of out dated and comical. We just don't use a lot of the terms talked about in the book. I would have related to it better, if it hadn't used such stiff language when describing something very personal. I also thought the way that Tim LaHaye writes is very confident. But I somehow think that in terms of sex, specifically first time sex, its very much instinct and not "you must follow my directions especially for your first time, if you are to enjoy it at all". I found it kind of scary that the author had that much confidence in his idea of sex. Although I like the message. And that sex isn't about ourselves, but about the person we married. Its a selfless thing, that just happens to be fun. So the information about our bodies was very helpful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Farrah Pope

    Finding love Painstakingly organized and cleverly thorough. This book reached me on so many levels. Not only does it explain the importance of sex in marriage, but it explains in detail how to be ultimately satisfied in love-making, both man and woman. If this book were the standard for sex education, I think we would have an almost zero divorce rate as well as overwhelming reduction of crime in our world (as love loss sometimes drives people to do things they wouldn't normally do). As a divorcee Finding love Painstakingly organized and cleverly thorough. This book reached me on so many levels. Not only does it explain the importance of sex in marriage, but it explains in detail how to be ultimately satisfied in love-making, both man and woman. If this book were the standard for sex education, I think we would have an almost zero divorce rate as well as overwhelming reduction of crime in our world (as love loss sometimes drives people to do things they wouldn't normally do). As a divorcee, I find that, with prayer, it has completely freed me from the guilt and negative mind-set that comes with the sin of previous divorce. I have married couples in mind to whom I would like to recommend this book. I would jump at the chance to recommend it to couples who are getting married. I wish I knew about this book 20 years ago! I think it would have helped me see clearly to the right life partner.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debby

    Excellent book for a couple in preparation (the last week or so before the wedding) for marriage.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I was hesitant to add this book, because it is about, well, sex . . . But I loved it. And I found it helpful and useful. Because at the heart of it, it's not just about sex. It's about how a man and a woman relate to one another in the marriage relationship. It's about why women do what they do and want what they want; about why men do what they do and want what they want. It's about meeting one another - woman meeting man in his essence, and man meeting woman the same way, and how they can make I was hesitant to add this book, because it is about, well, sex . . . But I loved it. And I found it helpful and useful. Because at the heart of it, it's not just about sex. It's about how a man and a woman relate to one another in the marriage relationship. It's about why women do what they do and want what they want; about why men do what they do and want what they want. It's about meeting one another - woman meeting man in his essence, and man meeting woman the same way, and how they can make it work. It opened my eyes to so many things. It helped me understand my husband as a man and relate to him in that way. It really is an amazing book. I found it more helpful than any other book on relationships I've ever read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    This review is geared purely toward others preparing for upcoming marriage. It was first recommended to me by leaders of my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The author, however, is a pastor of some other Christian church and wrote it with his wifes help. 4 stars cuz it was very informative and stuck to good Christian values dealing with the subject, not biased or supportive of a 'free-love' mindset. I suppose it also has much to do with my general comparison of it with ot This review is geared purely toward others preparing for upcoming marriage. It was first recommended to me by leaders of my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The author, however, is a pastor of some other Christian church and wrote it with his wifes help. 4 stars cuz it was very informative and stuck to good Christian values dealing with the subject, not biased or supportive of a 'free-love' mindset. I suppose it also has much to do with my general comparison of it with other books I only perused on the subject.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    As a Mormon, I don't think we talk about sex enough, so I'm reviewing this book in case I have any fellow naive Mormon friends out there prepping for the big Act of Marriage. This is a worthwhile read for those who haven't explored the sexual realm yet. It's fairly explicit without being crude and gives some good tips on how to ease into being comfortable with one another. Three stars because even though ol' Tim says it was written in conjunction with his wife, it's very obviously written from a As a Mormon, I don't think we talk about sex enough, so I'm reviewing this book in case I have any fellow naive Mormon friends out there prepping for the big Act of Marriage. This is a worthwhile read for those who haven't explored the sexual realm yet. It's fairly explicit without being crude and gives some good tips on how to ease into being comfortable with one another. Three stars because even though ol' Tim says it was written in conjunction with his wife, it's very obviously written from a male and patriarchal perspective.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Letitia

    Wow...Tim LaHaye writing advice on marriage. It ought to be enough to give one the shivers. In actuality, this book is full of really good, practical married sex information. Skip the first few chapters. They're entirely about how women really just want to keep house and have babies. But once you get past the Lahaye's manifesto, there is some wonderfully researched practical and scientific information. Wow...Tim LaHaye writing advice on marriage. It ought to be enough to give one the shivers. In actuality, this book is full of really good, practical married sex information. Skip the first few chapters. They're entirely about how women really just want to keep house and have babies. But once you get past the Lahaye's manifesto, there is some wonderfully researched practical and scientific information.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Keenan

    Ok - I know this is weird to put on my list but this is truly a great book. It is written by a Christian author who tells things the way they are. I am "Miss Nieve" in a big way and this opened my eyes to what was to come. I read it about a week before getting married and have had a couple friends read it after 10 or 20 years of marriage and still learn something. We have given this to many of our engaged, newlywed and long-time married friends. A good book all the way around. Ok - I know this is weird to put on my list but this is truly a great book. It is written by a Christian author who tells things the way they are. I am "Miss Nieve" in a big way and this opened my eyes to what was to come. I read it about a week before getting married and have had a couple friends read it after 10 or 20 years of marriage and still learn something. We have given this to many of our engaged, newlywed and long-time married friends. A good book all the way around.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Ibrahim ♥

    This is the worst book I have ever read on marriage! Tim LaHaye says, “Women must cultivate the problem of visual lust, whereas men almost universally must cope with the problem just because they are men.” In other words, just because you are a man keep on living like a beast! This is definitely far from the teachings of Christ who says, “ Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I would definitely suggest this book for any married couple. I think there's too much information for engaged couples, but nevertheless, it has information on anything you can think of, I think, when it comes to being newly married. But word of caution, it doesn't beat around the bush - it tells it like it is. And for those naive souls like me who haven't heard much, it's a lot to soak in and understand. I would definitely suggest this book for any married couple. I think there's too much information for engaged couples, but nevertheless, it has information on anything you can think of, I think, when it comes to being newly married. But word of caution, it doesn't beat around the bush - it tells it like it is. And for those naive souls like me who haven't heard much, it's a lot to soak in and understand.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rada

    I liked it. I liked it because of the way the authors authoritative voice wove back and forth between scripture and medical jargon. There were some gaps for me that this book cleared up. It was written in 1976 and although sex hasn't changed since then what we know about it does. Some parts I found "preachy" mostly from having been written so long ago. Over all a good read as I study about marriage. I liked it. I liked it because of the way the authors authoritative voice wove back and forth between scripture and medical jargon. There were some gaps for me that this book cleared up. It was written in 1976 and although sex hasn't changed since then what we know about it does. Some parts I found "preachy" mostly from having been written so long ago. Over all a good read as I study about marriage.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Thompson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed this book because it made me laugh. You can definitely tell this was published in 1976. The diagrams are sensational and informative; I don't know how I would have continued living my life without the knowledge I gleaned from the diagrams of a finger in a vajayjay. I also learned that I need to be beautiful for my husband when he returns home from work, because naturally I don't have a job. I enjoyed this book because it made me laugh. You can definitely tell this was published in 1976. The diagrams are sensational and informative; I don't know how I would have continued living my life without the knowledge I gleaned from the diagrams of a finger in a vajayjay. I also learned that I need to be beautiful for my husband when he returns home from work, because naturally I don't have a job.

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