I am a big fan of the book Sacred Marriage. My wife and I read it six or seven years ago and thought it was a big help to our marriage at the time. Since then I have recommend it to many and given away several copies.
What I like about Sacred Marriage is that it takes the focus away from what can I get from marriage to put it to what can I give to my spouse (and at the same time learn spiritually from marriage.)
Even before reading this book I frequently told people that nothing had taught me more about my spiritual life more than marriage. I do not think that everyone need to be married in order to grow spiritually. But being with a person that intimately reveals things about yourself that make a difference to your spiritual life if you choose to pay attention to them.
So I was looking forward to doing the DVD study with our small group. Being who I am I want to read the book. But I know that book studies take more time, and people don’t necessarily have a lot of extra time. So DVD studies are natural as a way to summarize content and start a discussion.
And we did have some really good discussion. The DVD presentation was OK. Gary Thomas is alright as a presenter, but not great. And there were several unintentionally awkward moments during his speaking that could have been planned and presented better. Overall there was a lack of production values that distracted from the message (speaking by the lake when a motor boat went by, placing him so that there was sun in his eyes, etc.)
The participant guide was pretty weak. The kindle version especially because you cannot write in a kindle version, but the blank space and lines were still there. The discussion questions alternated between Sunday School questions (every answer is Jesus or marriage) and paragraph questions that were too long and with too many parts to easily use in a small group.
And there is the problem that I spent more on the participant guide than I did on the last version of the full book. Admittedly I purchased the full book when it was on sale, but a short booklet in kindle format should not be more than $6. It should have been added for free at the end of the Kindle version of the full book and offered for free as a download on their website.
So read the full length book. If you have a small group go ahead and use the DVD. But if you can get away with it, skip the participant guide.