The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love Info

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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 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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Reviews for The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love:

2

January 11, 2003

Some Good Advice, but Flawed Theology
I borrowed a copy from a friend in preparation for my upcoming marriage, and I was pleasantly surprised at how the LaHayes are frank and left no stone unturned. Good diagrams on the male and female anatomy. Also, their advice on enjoying your spouse to the fullest, throwing modesty out the bedroom door is to be lauded. But what kept me from recommending this book is how their Neo-Evangelical/Arminian theology affected their view on certain sexual techniques.
First of all, oral sex is viewed not as an long-practiced supplement to genital sex but an recent innovation that "good spirit-filled Christians" should avoid or cut out. Second, they confused the Rhythm Method with Natural Family Planning that is effective. (At least they recommended use of a condom and spermicide, though I have reservations about their advice to the bride to use the Pill early.) Third: their usual "four temperaments"...you just cannot place people in a box.
And finally, the biggest drawback: They tacked on this evangelical pitch willy-nilly at the end of this book. ....
If only a Lutheran have written this book...but it had to be an Pre-Millenialist Evangelical...*sigh*
1

September 11, 2017

I've been married and Christian for 20 years and do not recommend this book
I never give bad reviews. This is my first. My husband and I are Christian and are heading towards our 20 year anniversary. We are looking for a book to help us rejuvenate our relationship. This book had great reviews so we purchased it. We barely made it past chapter 3. I felt that it was very demeaning of women. My husband agreed (as we were reading it together) It also put the husbands needs above the wife's, making several suggestions that the wife need to encourage her husband thru sex when her husband is unemployed, unsuccessful in the workplace, after he pays the bills, etc. A wise wife will know that her man's unexplained irritations are due to an unsatisfied sex drive. One of my problems with this book is that no matter the problem it always fell on the wife to fix it. A husband cheats then his wife needs to give him more sex so he isn't tempted to look elsewhere. Husband wants to divorce, his wife didn't do a good job of showing him appreciation and satisfying him sexually. I could go on and on with these different examples that didn't sit well with me or my husband. This book was written a long time ago and says it has been updated. I don't think it's been updated enough. If you and your spouse want to work on your marriage there are plenty of books out there that don't demean your wife.
2

August 16, 2001

too technical and sterile!
The Act of Marriage, did have its good points- but also alot of bad points. For those going into sex blindly, it may be a good read, however, I found it very manual like. The authors presented sex in a step by step form and did not leave much room for experimentation. Tey made it sound like sex had to be done in a certain orderly and ordered way or it would not be right. (...gently massage the area around the vulva for 5 minutes then proceed to massage the clitoris for ten minutes, making sure finger nails are cut and clean) Sex needs to be spontaneous and fun sometimes! The good part of the book was the mentioning of the Kegel exercises. I was happy to read about them, seeing that you can read about the wonders they do in magazines like Cosmo, I am glad that the Christian women can get in on the info!
2

August 17, 2012

out of date and out of touch
I was recommended this book by my pastor during premarital counseling. My fiance and I are both waiting for marriage, but are not out of touch with our own sexuality or God's intent for sex. I was disappointed with this book.

The author referred to women as "beautiful creatures" on several occasions. I am a beautiful woman. I am a person, not a creature. I am different than a man, but am just as valuable as a man. The author also states that all women actually want to stay home and be homemakers deep down inside. This is not fact in a modern society where some women make the decision to balance a career and child rearing. What about men who are primary caregivers? The book also suggests that women reach their peak sexual years the same time as men. This is not the case, as shown in more recent medical and psychological studies. Women enjoy sex most in middle age. These are examples of the kind of content in this book.

I love Christ and his word and appreciate the author's effort to include them and offer a biblical perspective on sexuality in marriage. However, this book needs to be updated to reflect current medical findings about sexuality. It also needs to update its commentary on gender roles to reflect the lifestyles of current married couples. I'm pretty sure God is okay with women choosing to work. Our friend in Proverbs 31 did!
3

November 17, 2018

Too much pressure on wedding night performance.
To the modest virgin brides who may read this book: please know that IF you don't feel like doing everything this book instructs you to do--on your wedding night--THAT IS OK. You want your wedding night to be relaxed, spontaneous, and fun! Right? If it becomes serious and tense, consider whether you are pushing yourself into something you're not quite ready for, or are too goal-oriented. This book leaves little room for spontaneity IMO. The wedding night is solemnly spelled out in detail, as the only way to do it right. (Talk about spoiling the fun!) Many virgin brides would rather get comfortable with the various aspects and sensations of intimacy before they try for orgasm, for example. This book assumes you will want it immediately, (and if you do, great!) But the authors see it as unquestionably vital to the first sexual encounter. The implication is that if you don't achieve it, you or your husband have failed somehow, and botched your wedding night! This kind of pressure is a sure kill-joy, as well as libido thief. What's the big hurry? You have the rest of your life together to work on a beautiful and intimate relationship that is so much more than merely physical.
This book gave my dear husband unrealistic expectations of me, and it took me nearly two years and a different book (The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex, by Sheila Gregoire) to reconcile myself with the way I felt on my wedding night and after. I was too inexperienced to freely challenge the ideas of the Lahayes, and thought something was wrong with me/our marriage. During that time I would even have given their book about five stars, I was that naive.
Also, to the husbands of virgins--know that the less pressure she feels, the better she will respond. If you assure her that she can take all the time she needs, she will be able to relax and to feel secure in your love. These two things are a big turn-on for women!
There is much wisdom and practical advice in this book. It is not demeaning to women as some claim. There is much emphasis on female satisfaction. For that I give it three stars. I just wish they would rewrite the chapter on the wedding night--
-- and that they wouldn't tell people who cheated on their spouse that they don't have to confess to their spouse as long as they've repented! (Yes, really!)
1

August 26, 2014

Did way more damage than good.
I was given this book by a well-meaning friend a few weeks before my wife and I were married. I remember very little about the details of the book because it has been over ten years since then but I do remember the damage it did to our relationship by giving me skewed ideas about what sex was "supposed" to be like (my quotes not the authors'). The expectations and misunderstandings that this book seeded took us years (literally YEARS) to overcome. I wish I had never tried to educate myself with this drivel and had just approached sex with the same love, patience and selflessness that makes every other part of our relationship satisfying. If you are considering this book because you think it speaks for women and will clue you into how your wife thinks and feels, read some of the other reviews from women, it won't. If you are considering it because you think it can speak with authority about the physicality and anatomy of sex, remember the author has no medical or professsional qualifications (unless you count authoring end times novels) and it can't. If you are considering this book because you hope God will speak to you through it, well, that's what I hoped too.
5

Aug 11, 2011

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 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.) ...more
5

July 26, 2010

Great Information for the Christian Marriage
I came across this book when I was looking for something to help with my "lukewarm" attitude about sex. My husband and I had been married for 17 years at the time. I borrowed "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask" from my friend but found some things to be offensive and vulgar. I began praying about the situation because I loved my husband and knew this was a need of his. I found the Act of Marriage at a Christian bookstore and as I thumbed through the pages, it really opened my eyes about some things. I can honestly say it changed our sex life in amazing ways. We have now been married 32 years and our sex life is very satisfying. I have given this book as a wedding gift to many couples. I don't want them to have to wait 17 years to get this information!

My husband is a pastor and we often counsel other couples. The "Act of Marriage" is one of the two books we often recommend. The other book is "His Needs, Her Needs" by Willard Harley.

One word of caution. In the older versions of this book, the LaHayes expressed that there were cases when they felt abortion was permissible. I strongly disagreed with them. They have since changed their perspective on that.
4

Mar 31, 2011

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?
5

January 29, 2015

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.
1

January 25, 2016

Outdated and peculiar view of marital sex.
This book is outdated and, at different points in the book, has a very odd view of marital sex. I would not recommend this book as the information contained in it is not only outdated but there is so much more information available than this book can offer.
1

January 22, 2015

Outdated and Misguided at Best
This book was written from an extremely conservative perspective, instructing women to submit to their husbands at every level in order to enjoy full human growth and sexual fulfillment, in the "men are natural aggressors and women are made to surrender to them" vein. They place the burden for husbands' faithfulness, spiritual development, happiness, work ethic and productiveness, and self-confidence on their wives' "cooperation" in bed. Much of the information the book provides has been thoroughly disproved by scientific research both before and after "The Act of Marriage" was written, such as the notion that men who are satisfied in their marriages will not initiate affairs (research shows that men's infidelity usually has nothing to do with the quality of their marriages, in contrast to women, who are more likely to cheat if their marriages are unfulfilling) or that when women stop taking initiative and making decisions for themselves and their families, their sex lives improve (see chapter 13 of "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan for a thorough discussion of the incidence of orgasm among high-dominance vs. low-dominance women). In addition, it's written assuming that all husbands will work outside the home, and that all wives have a strong intrinsic need and desire to be housewives, which is no longer a generally accepted fact.

I'm only about halfway through the book, but so far the word "frigid" has been used 36 times, despite its outdated and damaging qualities, vaginal bleeding after sex is waved away with a tissue and a warm bath, ("There is no bleeding that cannot be stopped by this method." p.58 in my book) and child abuse (including molestation) has been condoned twice.

As relationship or sex counselors, both Tim and Beverly LaHaye are woefully unqualified. They may have extensive experience counseling couples, but one pastoral degree between the two of them doesn't mean they're providing accurate information about the complex nature of human relationships. As a pastor's wife (the same qualification Beverly LaHaye has!), I know that the vast majority of the classes my husband took concerned the intricacies of theology, Hebrew, and Greek. He was only offered one class in pastoral counseling, only part of which concerned couples. As a counseling student, I know that any woman who's told that she must submit to her husband even in her heart, automatically forgive the father who molested her and the husband who is beating their children without intervening, and that any problems in bed are the direct result of her sinning in one way or another will have serious problems (if she believes and tries to follow it). I suspect that many women who were taught to believe all this gave up after a while and told their husbands that they were sexually fulfilled in order to escape the accusations that they were sinning by failing to forgive, wanting sex too little, wanting sex too much, wanting different things in bed than their husbands did, failing to orgasm, or wanting to make any decisions for themselves.
2

February 13, 2006

Not 'terrible', but not that great, either...
Overall, an 'OK' read, but teaches human sexuality as though his audience was a grade-six sex education class as rather than mature-minded adults. This book is extremely simplistic and vague, and tends to lean towards a more dellusional depiction of human sexuality, often confining it to the contexts of outmodded biblical principles and male-dominated patriarchy. Lacking modern approach and intimate sensuality, I would sincerely hope that this book is not a reflection of poor Tim's seemingly mechanical sex life!! I would not recommend this book unless you are totally ignorant and clueless about what sex is all about. I would suggest looking elsewhere for a more relevant guide to sexual intimacy.
1

October 26, 2015

I had this book recommended to me
I had this book recommended to me, if I would have read this as a virgin it would have scared me. There are better books out there to give a couple that has waited until they were married to have sex.
5

February 12, 2017

Excellent book for a sensitive subject for Christian families
Excellent book for a sensitive subject for Christian families. Includes chapters just for men and chapters just for women. Great illustrations that portray the information in an appropriate manner and not in a crude or suggestive way. Helpful information is provided for seasoned married couples, newlyweds, and everything in between.
5

Jan 31, 2008

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! ...more
4

March 9, 2016

Great resource for anybody
This book is very useful for couples going into marriage as virgins. As Christians abstaining till marriage, it would be a shame to have a bum honeymoon because of inexperience and lack of knowledge. This book helps. It treats sex on the levels of physical, mental, spiritual -- speaks of things that affect (for better or worse) a sexual relationship. However, this book goes beyond "newbie" level, and speaks of things that anybody may be missing from their relationship, keeping it from running smoothly. This book is written from a Christian perspective, and by BOTH a man and his wife, so you get both perspectives.
1

May 1, 2017

Ridiculous
First, this book assumes the reader is utterly ignorant in every way. It's almost funny.

Secondly, this book makes sex all about the husband. That's not funny.
3

March 30, 2015

Ok, but...
Not bad. Some good insights. But I prefer to recommend another book which quotes from this one extensively. It is And They Were Not Ashamed, a more up-to-date and uplifting book.
5

May 04, 2012

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. ...more
1

January 3, 2017

Skip this book.
Garbage. Actually suggests that women practice Kegel exercises up to ten times a day. As if a woman's every waking moment should be spent tightening her vaginal walls to please her man during intercourse. The book is very one sided, and outdated in its depiction of gender roles. Sex can be fun and pleasurable to both partners.

(Like many other reviewers, this book was recommended to me by a pastor during premarital counseling.)
4

Jan 20, 2017

Never thought I'd read (let alone recommend) a book by LaHaye, but this one is actually rather good.
5

Nov 16, 2014

Good Book

Every couple should read it.

It is not just for christian folk, although Christians may reap more from its benefits.
1

August 20, 2017

This is the worst book I've ever read
This is the worst book I've ever read. It's teachings and thought processes like this that made me such a mess today. I was brainwashed in Christian school and in church to believe the garbage in this book. Do not read it, or teach your kids to idolize ANY principle in this book. Terrible. One star.
4

Jul 29, 2015

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 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. ...more

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