W Publishing Group
One thing is clear from reading Ravi Zacharias's book, I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah: marriage is hard work. Using the biblical story of Isaac and Rebekah, Zacharias attempts to reveal God's will for marriage.
Zachariasís background as a professional speaker is obvious from reading his book. He ties in stories and examples effortlessly with a conversational tone, letting the reader know that itís safe to go on. His views on marriage are at the same time agreeable and challenging to anyone reared on biblical values. Itís all been said before in other marriage books, but perhaps not in such a sober way. Zachariasís passion is to show people that marriage is a serious business. He doesnít pull any punches in this regard; everyone takes responsibility, from pastors to parents to society. In particular, Zacharias does not go easy on men, saying: ďThere is little doubt that men have led the way in the dereliction of duty to the familyĒ (p. 145).
But his confidence as a speaker works against him to a large degree. He makes the assumption that people will want to listen to him. He takes his time how life ought to be--rather than presenting them as they are. Therefore, people who are looking for answers to their problems in a clear, straightforward way may decide to look elsewhere.
This is not a self-help book. Instead it reads more like a 156-page sermon and, like a sermon, tends to go off topic quite easily. The chapter titles are clever and informative, but the material in between doesn't always fit; it's not at all unusual to finish a chapter and wonder what it was about. The problem is that Isaac and Rebekah's story was intended to be a framework for how the book is structured. Unfortunately, it is used as a springboard instead, launching off into lengthy discussions only loosely tied into the subject of marriage.
While there is no doubt that parenting, church life, and personal devotions all relate to marriage, Zacharias could have done a better job of tightly joining them into the main idea. As it is, they fit more like oversized pants, requiring the reader to do the work of holding up the point: marriage God's way.
Another part of the problem is that Zacharias doesn't seem to know to what audience he's writing. Is it to those who are single and thinking of marriage? Or is it to those who are already married? Or is it to parents or pastors? A specific focus would have been beneficial. The fact is, the story of Isaac and Rebekah would make a much better Prayer of Jabez-size book: repackage it as many times as you want for different audiences.
I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah has some rich insights, but they must be gleaned with patience and a meditative approach in order to benefit from them. -- Charlie Gormely, Christian Book Previews.com
In the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis a beautiful young woman offers assistance to a weary traveler and his camels, and out of that simple action, a marriage results--a marriage that offers profound lessons to couples today. Bible scholar and renowned speaker Ravi Zacharias draws five points critical to the long-lasting success of every marriage from the biblical story of the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah.
"Real love folds together both the emotions and the will," writes Zacharias. "Without the emotions, marriage is a drudgery; without the will, it is a mockery." Building upon that foundational truth, Zacharias goes on to explain the principles of seeking the counsel of others when finding a mate, cherishing your partner, remaining pure, becoming a man or woman of prayer, and, finally, risking everything in a relationship in order to experience God's ideal for love.
Couples everywhere, from those about to be married, to those who have been married for decades, will draw strength and wisdom for the journey of marriage as they learn from Ravi what it means to move from romance to lasting love.