Book Review: You and Me Forever



For the past several years, I have really enjoyed Francis Chan as both a speaker and a writer.  The main reason is that he doesn’t make a big deal about himself…he makes a big deal about Jesus.  Everything he says and writes is with the goal of sharing the gospel and loving Jesus more.  I was so excited when I heard that Francis and his wife Lisa were writing a book about marriage and I ordered it right away.  I was even more excited when Clint picked the book up and read it before I did!  My engineer husband is not normally a big reader, but he dove into this and read it right away.  I read the book on my mission trip to Guatemala a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the opportunity to look at marriage in light of eternity.  As always, Chan uses a ton of Scripture and makes the point that we have to be grounded in God’s Word.  He and his wife also use this text to pose some great questions.  This book could easily be structured into a marriage retreat or even just a series of date nights to dream together with your spouse.  I enjoyed this book and feel confident that I will reread this one on a regular basis just to process through the questions the Chans ask.  I’d recommend this to a friend and anticipate giving away several copies.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted my notes below…

  • May people will tell you to focus on your marriage, to focus on each other; but we discovered that focusing on God’s mission made our marriage amazing.
  • We have better things to pursue than our interests.
  • If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  John 15:22
  • But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  James 1:22
  • What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  James 2:14
  • Why not default to action until you hear a voice from heaven telling you to wait?
  • When two people are right with Him, they will be right with each other.
  • We can’t cure our narcissism by trying to ignore ourselves.  The solution is to stare at God.  When we actually stare at Him, everything else fades to its proper place.
  • Sincere and concentrated prayer will do infinitely more than any human strategy for a happy marriage.  “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”  James 5:16
  • Consider your heart now.  What is your first love? What do you pray for?  What do you meditate on?
  • Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:14-15
  • I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  Isaiah 61:10
  • There’s no sense in improving your marriage until you are secure with God.
  • If the Spirit of God is really inside of us, then His power will be obvious in our marriages.
  • God created marriage to be a picture that displays Christ to the world.  My point in all of this is to insist that there’s more at stake in your marriage than just your marriage.  The beauty of the gospel is at stake.
  • For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Hebrews 4:15
  • What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  James 4:14
  • So how will you spend your vapor of a life?
  • We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  2 Corinthians 5:20
  • Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  1 Peter 5:5
  • Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.  Proverbs 4:23
  • One’s pride will bring you low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.  Proverbs 29:23
  • For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.  Psalm 138:6
  • For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.  Mark 8:35
  • By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  1 John 3:16-18
  • Unity is the natural result of two people following one Spirit in a life devoted to the mission.
  • For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10
  • The beauty of deciding to live on purpose, with the mission in mind, is that it will become more and more familiar as you go along.
  • Picture yourself standing before God at the moment of your death, looking back at your time on earth.  At that moment, what will you regret?  What will you cherish?  Now, what would your life be like if you made your decisions on that basis?
  • Stare at the unseen.  The eternal.  Don’t become blinded by the transient.
  • Don’t allow the lies of the past to kill your joy over God’s promises for the future.
  • Test yourself right now.  On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you about heaven today?  How much did the promise of heaven affect your attitude and actions last week?
  • If we want our marriages to be healthy, we have to first believe God’s promises and look to Him before we look to our spouses.
  • At any moment, you are going to be taken into a new existence.  You will not care at all about some of the things you currently obsess with.  We should have the attitude of the shrewd manager mentioned in Luke 16.  He knew his time was limited in his current position, so he wisely set himself up for the future.  My prayer is that God’s promises about the future would shape our marriages in the present.
  • Here’s a question every parent should be asking: What will break my heart more?  If my kids don’t end up loving me?  Or if they don’t end up loving Jesus?  Seriously contemplate that question.
  • The goal is to transition our children from total dependence on us to total dependence on Him.  Our job is to teach them how to follow their true Father, their true Master.  Then we let go because we have returned them to their rightful Owner.  Entrusting our children to God’s care shows our trust in God; continually clinging to our control over them shows the opposite.
  • Good parenting means showing your children that the mission is bigger than any of us.
  • “You saw that there was nothing mom and dad were not willing in got sacrifice for the gospel, not even our lives.  Now go and do the same.”
  • God has entrusted you with your children so that you would make them into disciples who will go into every part of the world and make disciples.  This mission is too important to squander because of our insecurities, our longing for comfort, or our fears.

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