I had the pleasure of reading Jeff and Alyssa Bekthe’s new book Love that Lasts ahead of its release date, October 10th 2017. I’ll start off by saying that this book was incredible and once I got it I could hardly put it down, despite my busy schedule. Literally, only a few chapters into the book, I was already telling everyone I could get a hold of that they NEED to read this book. There’s a reason for this. Sit back, relax and let me tell you why.
1. Think about the typical relationship book. Now throw that thought out the window because this book is completely opposite.
It really isn’t and that’s why I loved it so much. When I first started reading it, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I wondered if this would be one of those books that talk all about marriage and finding the right spouse and cultivating the right relationship and being the right person and doing all the right things and being perfect and never making a mistake… but hear me, It ISN’T.
The first line of the book starts off like this: I lost my virginity when I was sixteen. In the back of a car. In a church parking lot. Jeff starts right off addressing the real issues at hand instead of sugar coating and beating around the bush. Love that Lasts is for all of us real people. It doesn’t matter where you are in life right now or where you’ve been before. It’s for those dating, in a serious relationship, engaged, married… and even absolutely and totally single. It’s for teens, young adults, middle aged and mature adults. When I say it’s for everyone, I mean it’s literally for everyone.
2. They help us realize that if we haven’t self examined (our hearts and intentions) lately, we really need to.
Many of us have unhealthy views about love that start off with unhealthy views about ourselves and about our God. There are so many lies out there about love and taking in all of those lies every day can be very damaging. Its enough to make us incredible sick. Yet, some of us don’t even know it.
And a question that haunts me is, if we are all sick, do we realize how sick we truly are?
That’s the real question. This isn’t about the other person. This is about us individually. We need to find our own sickness. You know, that thing that separates us from God. The god other than Jehovah that we give all our time and energy to. We all have some sort of sickness that we’ve been born bent towards. And so, before we can talk about any relationship goal, we have to examine ourselves. What is my weakness? What separates me from God? What is clouding my view about love God’s way?
3. They remind us that we need God’s love before any other love.
Surprisingly, this book about human relationships is more about having a relationship with God than anything else. I guess it’s not so surprising though, because every other relationship stems from the quality of our relationship with God. And the truth is, before anyone could ever love you: God loved you. How can I ever have a good relationship with another human being if I don’t have a good relationship with the One who created me? He knows my heart, the good and the bad, and yet He still loves me. How beautiful is that? Broken relationships with other people, friendships or romantic relationships and even our own relationship with ourselves, stem from a flawed understanding of God. Truth about the love of God is woven all throughout this book. It provides a beginning to self healing and then of course, it leads to relational healing.
So many of us have been in relationships where that other person is everything to us. But here’s a thought provoking question from the authors:
If you were to break up right now, would it feel like you’re losing a boyfriend or girlfriend or would it feel like you’re losing your god?
I don’t know about you but that hit me. And please remember, you can replace the words boyfriend or girlfriend with anything. Your career. Your friends. Your insta-fame. Your wealth. That’s the reason so many of us are so broken right now. We love things more than God. In Psalm 119:37, David begs God to turn his eyes away from worthless things. The truth is that anything we put before God is automatically worthless. Nothing in this life serves any meaning or purpose unless God is first in the equation.
4. They address some really important societal misconceptions that we hold (even in our churches).
Jeff addresses the problem of objectifying the opposite sex and how dangerous that is in relationships. Listen up, men… she’s not an object for your satisfaction or pleasure. She’s a woman, created and loved by God.
For example, when combating porn or trafficking or lust, some of the most common things I’ve heard people [in the church] say are, Don’t look at that, don’t you realize that’s someone’s daughter? That’s someone’s wife? That’s someone’s sister? The problem is, that’s tethering a woman’s identity and worth and value to her relationship to a man. It’s saying she only means something because of who she’s related to. But the truth is, a woman isn’t valued because she’s someone’s daughter, she’s valued because she’s someone.
Alyssa talks about the real danger of eating disorders. Not just the eating disorder we think the other person has. The one we have that we can’t admit. Our unhealthy obsession with being or staying thin.
But the truth is that God loves me, that He gave me a body to live in – not to starve. Or to diet to death. And now more than ever, I realize that how I view food and my body affects others… I won’t tell you to just get over it, because I know it’s not something you “just get over.” I get it. I’m right there with you. I’m clinging to God’s grace and power, and that’s all I have. But it’s sufficient.
And I could keep going… but I won’t because I want you to read it and experience it for yourself. I hope my few words have left an impression on your heart. When I say this book is a must read, it’s no joke. It really is.
How you can purchase the book
So, here’s how you can get the book. You can follow this link to pre order on their website: https://shop.jeffandalyssa.com/ Or you can pre order on Barnes and Noble or Amazon (It’s currently $10, a great deal by itself!). Or anywhere books are sold. They have also graciously decided to give a free copy of the book to anyone who chooses to pre order. So, purchase your book and keep the receipt or invoice. Take a picture, upload it to this website, fill out the form and enter my personal code, sgrossett, in the slot that says promo code. jeffandalyssa.com/freebook
Note: quotes by Jeff and Alyssa are italicized, bolded and highlighted in blue and some additional quotes are below: