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Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance [Hardcover]

By Craig Groeschel (Author)
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Item description for Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance by Craig Groeschel...

Filled with no-holds-barred discussions about sex, integrity, forgiveness, and communication, this valuable resource explores the choices and commitments made before marriage that lead to a strong, healthy, and lasting relationship.

Publishers Description
“Going all the way” used to mean getting what you want from the opposite sex now…and paying for it later.

It's time to redefine.

Smart advice for a new generation about love, sex, and happily ever after.

You've seen marriages fail time and again. Even relationships you thought were bullet proof don't last. Once promising couples dissolve in the acid of selfishness, conflict, or unfaithfulness… or fade away to a cold, gray lovelessness. No wonder that for our generation, “getting what you want” is often a substitute for love, and disillusionment about marriage is the new normal.

So what do you do if you want a marriage that doesn't just survive, but thrives? That doesn't just begin romantically but ends magnificently? Answer: You do something different.

Whether you're thinking ahead to marriage, are about to be wed, or have been married for a while and want to make changes, this book can help. Going All the Way will guide you through the choices and commitments you need to make now in order to build a strong and vibrant relationship that will go the distance. In a world where going all the way means putting yourself first, author Craig Groeschel will show you how, by putting God first, you can build a soul-enriching, lifelong relationship.

With practical, candid discussions about sex, first dates, integrity, forgiveness, and communication, Craig will help you prepare for and experience a relationship that gives fresh, hope-filled meaning to “going all the way” with the one you love.
“Craig Groeschel's practical book should be a mandatory read for anyone who wants to be happily married someday.  It is a rare author who can lead you into some very challenging places and have you laughing out loud while he does it.” 
Shaunti Feldhahn, nationally syndicated columnist and best-selling author of For Women Only

Going All the Way clearly illustrates how Jesus Christ is truly the center of every enduring and endearing marriage. I am excited to see this book get published.”
Pastor Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill Church, Seattle

“Whether you are married or single, Going All the Way promises to show you what it takes to succeed in the most important human relationship you can ever be a part of. This book has the potential to not only change the way you view marriage, but also the way our culture treats it.”
Ed Young, Senior Pastor, Fellowship Church, and author of The Creative Marriage

“If you're looking for ‘The One,' this book will launch you in the right direction. With wit and wisdom, Craig Groeschel will guide you into a gold mine of relational riches.”
Shannon Ethridge, best-selling author of the Every Woman's Battle series and Completely His

“Craig shares real life advice that is practical and biblically based, preparing you for a marriage that will not just survive, but thrive. This book should make it on your reading list.”
Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life

“Craig Groeschel says it like it is. You'll be challenged and encouraged by his honesty and humor.”  
Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church, and author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

“Craig Groeschel is a visionary who is always scanning the horizon to meet needs that most of us have not even begun to envision.  His leadership capacity has barely been tapped.”
Dr. Samuel R. Chand, author of Failure: The Womb of Success and Futuring: Leading Your Church Into Tomorrow

“Craig Groeschel truly goes all the way in this entertaining yet poignantly insightful book on preparing for marriage. He digs deep, posing the questions we all have but are afraid to ask, and then answers them–with profound wisdom.”
Bishop Eddie L. Long, Senior Pastor, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and author of It's Your Time

“In Going All the Way, Craig boldly dives into our culture's many illusions of love and discovers what real love is.”
 Dave Gibbons, Lead Pastor of NewSong

“Craig Groeschel is a man that practices what he preaches. I am always excited to pick up his latest book.”
Craig Gross, founder of

“Craig fully understands our generation's struggles and fears about making love last and provides practical, hope-filled guidance for imperfect people.”
John Burke, pastor and author of No Perfect People Allowed
Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of, one of America's first multi-campus churches. Since its inception in 1996, has grown to one of the nation's largest congregations, with more than 20,000 attending one of its forty-five weekly worship experiences at ten locations. Craig is the author of two previous books, Chazown and Confessions of a Pastor, and he has appeared on such programs as The Today Show, Weekend Today, and NBC Nightly News. He and his wife, Amy, live near Edmond, Oklahoma, with their six children. Craig and Amy's passion is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Designed to Go All the Way

Is she the one? Four words that shaped my hope. My wish. My prayer.

Her name was Kelli. She was more beautiful than words could describe. Her tan was perfectly golden. Her blond hair could've starred in any shampoo commercial. Her smile stopped me in my tracks. And her legs… I'll just say, praise God for legs!

Kelli was wildly popular, completely feminine, yet also athletic. Confident, yet humble. Exciting, yet pure. Every guy I knew liked her.

I loved her.

Kelli dominated my thought life. Will she go out with me? Go with me? MARRY ME? Have my children? Live with me in a house with a white picket fence? You know, for our dog. Not a chick dog, like a Shih Tzu. A real dog. Maybe a black Lab. Or a German shepherd. Named Joe…

In my daydreams I was always the hero, rescuing Kelli from attackers using my finely honed nun-chucks skills. I protected her while stranded on a desert island. I kept her warm during a dangerous blizzard. All my fantasies ended the same: Kelli fell in love with me, then kissed me until I couldn't breathe. It was our destiny to be together. Forever. (Can you hear a Luther Vandross love song playing softly?)

Maybe my imagination was getting ahead of me. After all, she'd never spoken to me. She didn't even know my name. And, well, we were both in seventh grade. But trifling details couldn't weaken her magnetic pull. My life orbited around her. The mounting pressure seemed too much for my heart to bear.

Could she be “the one”?

You're probably not in the seventh grade (and glad you never have to return to junior high hell again). But that longing for the one is virtually universal. You've yearned for the one to be part of your life–your soul mate, bound by passionate affection and a forever vow.

Does a fulfilling, lifelong commitment exist in your future? You hope so, but maybe you're not sure. When someone cute moves to your school or starts a new job at your office, you wonder, Could this be the one?

Or maybe you're already in love with someone. At this moment all the love songs on the radio make sense. You spend hours in the Hallmark store choosing the perfect card for your honey-pie-love-bunches. (You leave with eleven cards and a stuffed walrus.) For you the question isn't in the back of your mind; it's front and center, and you believe you know the answer. I think there's a one for me after all!

But perhaps you're on the other side of the relationship divide, and you're not so optimistic at the moment. You're recovering from a painful breakup. Disillusioned. You were sure you'd met the one. But that was before the lying. Before the drifting apart. Before the restraining order. Before the dude like Jim Carrey's character in The Cable Guy.

Maybe you were married. With all your heart, you believed it was forever, but it simply wasn't true. Whether it was divorce or a breakup, you feel alone. You ache, wondering when the pain will ease, if you'll ever love again. Were you even meant to find the one? Does wanting it to be true make it true?

I don't blame you. I've felt the same way. Slightly optimistic one moment, devastatingly depressed and hopeless the next. I always hated the person with all the answers. You know, the married friend who preaches, “You just have to not care. Then you'll find the one.” Or “If you just surrender, the perfect person will show up.”


You might be thinking that I'm the annoying know-it-all right now. What does some married pastor-guy know? What could I gain from reading another stupid book about preparing for marriage?

Good questions. I'll admit, I don't have surefire formulas for “how to find the love of your life in thirty days or less.” I won't try to sell you on “five steps to living happily ever after.” My goal is twofold. First, I'll offer a different perspective on a marriage that lasts a lifetime. And second, I plan to offer you…


It's hard to be hopeful these days, to be confident you'll find your soul mate and enjoy a long and fulfilling life together. Many twenty- and thirty-somethings today see marriage as a risky venture. They're not cynical, just observant. They see plenty of unhappy couples, dismal divorce statistics, and heartbreak in families, often their own.

No wonder people are getting married later in life, with more reservations and less success. Many are hiding from their fears by building their careers, postponing marriage indefinitely.

Others keep searching. That's what I did. Though I wanted to do what was right, the Bible seemed like a distant, out-oftouch rule book. You might relate. People say: “Sleep around. Focus on externals. Splurge on your toys. Don't worry about consequences. The future's uncertain. Live for today. Why risk missing out? Don't let religion hold you back. You deserve to get what you want now…”

This approach to relationships has become the new normal. Problem is, the new normal doesn't work. (Have you noticed?) In fact, it leads to a lot of needless suffering, injury, and disillusionment.

I wrote this book because people in my generation are making decisions way before marriage that actually sabotage what they really want for their futures. We don't make these decisions in a vacuum, or because we're the biggest losers ever to walk the planet.

We make them in large part because our culture constantly bombards us with deeply flawed ideas about what it means to be in love, to be happy, to be sexual, to have a meaningful relationship with a person of the opposite sex…and we buy the lies. Many people I meet–sadly, even many Christians–have little or no idea that a better way exists. Frankly, I'm tired of waiting for premarital counseling to lay out a biblical plan for finding lasting intimacy in marriage. By then, for many, it's just too late. Too late to prevent a lot of hurt. Too late to prevent the death of a dream.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

If God has a marriage planned for you, think about this: you have already been created to “go all the way.”

When I say “go all the way,” I'm not talking about the “I Wanna Sex You Up,” people-disposable games many settle for. I'm not talking about taking what you want sexually (or giving away sexually what someone else demands) in a relationship before marriage. Instead, I'm affirming God's plan for a marriage that goes all the way in sexual, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment. And that goes all the way through the years and decades of your life.

Most people, Christ followers or not, deeply desire exactly this. But a closer look at how many of us pursue this goal before and after marriage shows that, while our desires are normal, our methods are routinely misguided. Turns out, how we set about to go all the way in our most important human relationship takes us only partway.

So what do you do when you want a marriage that soars in a world where most crash before takeoff? What do you do when you have a dream for intimacy, but most married couples you know are strangers to each other? What do you do when you desire a marriage that goes all the way?

I propose that you do something different.

In this book, I'm going to show you that your desire for lifelong intimacy is a God-given desire. And I'm going to help you prepare for that relationship. But we're not going to travel the typical path. Ours will be delightfully different. Oddly godly. I won't try to fool you–a good marriage is never easy. But it is absolutely possible.

If you haven't traveled the sinful road, laced with land mines, I hope to help you stay off that path. And if you've already taken some hits, we'll be able to relate and then begin to identify a God-blessed way forward. Together we'll plan for your relational success, examining how to conduct your relationships in a positive, fulfilling way. I'll offer ideas about what to do and what not to do. You'll learn to prepare for a marriage that goes all the way to God's best. A marriage that doesn't just survive, but thrives.

Let me warn you: this book may require a radical shift in your thinking. If small changes would do the trick, everyone would be making them. Minor adjustments produce marginal results. Most of us need to overhaul our thought processes. To experience the kind of relationships we long for, we must, with God's help, prepare to be genuinely different.

We have to redefine and choose to aim for a new kind of “normal.” Because the current one doesn't deliver. Of course, not everyone wants to get married. And not every one who wants to marry will marry. I also know that some people do nearly everything wrong yet end up in wonderful marriages. And that some others do everything possible to find their spouses while honoring biblical guidelines and still end up in miserable relationships.

Hey, it's a crazy world. What can I say?

So I can't make guarantees. But I will present some powerful, time-tested principles based on God's Word. His Word is true and constant, like the law of gravity is true and constant. We ignore either at our own risk. Consider what the law of gravity suggests about how to get off your roof: you may not break a leg (or worse) every time you choose to jump, but the law of gravity definitely argues for using a ladder. Similarly, my starting point for Going All the Way is the Bible. Because we have been created by a loving, intentional God, we're wise to consider the relational laws He has put in place. When we don't follow the path He lays out in Scripture, we're inviting injury to ourselves and others. But thankfully, the opposite is also true: when we do follow the path of truth, we're far more likely to discover and enjoy the marriage we hope for and that God desires for us.

In case you're wondering, my seventh-grade dream girl, Kelli, wasn't the one. (I told myself it was her loss.) After a bunch of wasted years, several misfires, some relational train wrecks, and a couple of broken hearts, I was ready to write off all hope for a great marriage. No one is faithful, I thought. Almost all marriages I know stink. Why bother?

Then I met a girl named Amy, and God blessed our friendship. It took time for my battered heart to fully trust her–or even trust myself. But with God's help and encouragement from friends, Amy and I grew together. We didn't “go all the way” by the world's definition. We wanted something more. We wanted to go all the way in truth and love. We wanted God's normal.

Seventeen years and six children later, I'm honored to tell you that you can have hope for a great marriage. (Yes, you read that right. We have six kids. What can I say? Amy can't keep her hands off me. What? You don't buy that?)

No matter what you've seen, how badly you've been hurt, or how afraid you are, with God, a lasting and intimate marriage is possible. Even in a world where happy marriages are often considered just another fairy tale, it can be real for you. If you want something few have–genuine closeness, trust, respect, and lasting commitment–you'll have to do what few do.

Go all the way, God's way.

In the pages ahead, we'll find out what that really means.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Multnomah Books
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.84" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   0.87 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 2, 2007
Publisher   Multnomah Books
ISBN  1590529383  
ISBN13  9781590529386  

Availability  0 units.

More About Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel Craig Groeschel (born December 2, 1967) is the founder and senior pastor of which is considered the largest church in the United States and has fifteen locations in five states. He is married with six children and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, where is based.

Groeschel was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in southern Oklahoma, attending Ardmore High School. After high school, he attended Oklahoma City University on an athletic scholarship and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing. Shortly thereafter, he met his wife Amy and the two married in 1991. That same year, Groeschel entered the ministry as an associate pastor in the United Methodist Church. He attended Phillips Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and earned a Master of Divinity degree. He was an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City during the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.

In 1996, Groeschel and a handful of people started Life Covenant Church in a two-car garage. He later told Business Week that he started the process by performing market research of non-churchgoers and designed his church in response to what he learned. Groeschel’s non-traditional style was successful and attendance of Life Covenant grew rapidly, eventually evolving to become (as of April 2013) the second largest church in the United States with fifteen campuses. Groeschel began using video to deliver some of sermons, when his fourth child was born in 2001 and he was unavailable for the Sunday service, discovering that the videos were popular with his churchgoers. In 2006 he set up a website called as a place for people to confess anonymously on the Internet. Groeschel also began delivering his services to the Second Life virtual world on Easter Sunday 2007. was named America’s Most Innovative Church by Outreach Magazine in 2007 and 2008. innovations include its free resource library with sermons, transcripts, videos, artwork, and a digerati team that develops free software like and YouVersion the Bible app, which has been downloaded over 100 million times.

He is the author of several books including Soul Detox, Weird, The Christian Atheist and It. Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, Oklahoma.

SPANISH BIO: Craig Groeschel es pastor fundador y pastor principal de es una de las principales iglesias del pais ubicada en varias localidades con mas de ocho cultos de adoracion semanales congregados en doce localidades, incluyendo un campus en linea. reunio a mas de 2.000 iglesias para participar por espacio de un mes en una serie denominada Una Oracion.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance?

A wedding gift that really counts  Jun 29, 2008
I gave this book to my best friend at his wedding. I can't think of a better gift for someone you care about on the advent of their wedding than a book that helps them remember to make Christ a member of the family. A marriage is a lifelong experience that can only be made better with the recognition of the proper influence of God during the day to day decision making processes of a marriage. At least that is my opinion.
Amazing Book For All Relationship Statuses  Apr 5, 2008
This book is amazing. I am single, and it totally spoke to me all the way through. I've read books in the past that did not do so well on that. When they got to dating relationship and marriage, it kind of left those of us who are single out. But Craig's book helps keeps every relationship status involved throughout the book. I found that after reading it, I put it next to my bed and keep it as a quick reference.

I encourage you to buy this book. But beware...when you read it, you'll want to purchase one for all your friends!
Going all the way is fun  Mar 17, 2008
This past month, Going All The Way: preparing for a marriage that goes the distance, finally made it off the shelf and into the "read me" pile. Stefani and I got this book as a gift and agreed to blog about it - then life went a little crazy. But, it made it off and was worth the read.If you are looking to date, are dating, are thinking about marriage, or are in the midst of making wedding plans - I recommend you read this book. Also, if you work in pre-marital counseling or with young married couples - read this book.

Craig Groeschel, founder and pastor of, doesn't share research data or psychological principles for building strong marriages. Instead, his approach for fostering committed, long-lasting marriages come through his real life experiences - full of messy relationships, and a journey that led him to meet his "One" - entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Through self study he learned the importance of developing a relationship with his "One" first, then working to find his "Two".

This August, Stefani and I will be married 13 years. Some of you are probably thinking, "this isn't exactly the time to be reading a book preparing you for marriage." Truthfully, it was refreshing to read this book - seeing in print many of the "habits" (chp.14), we have put into practice throughout our relationship. It was also a great reminder that passion and pursuit doesn't stop once you get married - passion and pursuit are a vital part of the marriage covenant that "goes all the way."

Thanks to Craig Groeschel for writing this book from his life story - challenging us to live differently than what society calls "normal"
Where was this book before I got married?  Feb 16, 2008
Groeschel hits the target! This book is a staple and a must read for ALL that are considering or have respect for the institution of marriage! Teens, Young Adults, Adults, Divorced, Married... all need to have this prize in their hands. Each page is filled with straight forward truth about how to find and keep that special fluff and flutter! So where was this book 11 years ago before I was married? This book truly is a great gem for those that are already married like myself as well. So pick one up! I rate this book as one we will be passing down for generations to come! A must read!
Going All The Way is all that you hoped for  Feb 5, 2008
At our last youth event on of my 8th graders broke his nose while we were playing in a youth touch football tournament away from home. After a few minutes the bleeding stopped and he seemed a bit confused so we called the parimedics just in case there was a concussion and to make sure his nose wasn't broken to badly. We'll the ambulance arrived and I hopped in (leaving the rest of our football team in the care of our great volunteers) and was asked to sit up front. I got in the driver asked if I wanted to put on the head set so we could talk and he asked the usual questions. What happened? What were you guys doing? Who are you with? As I explained who we are, what we were doing and what happened he told me his youth group never did anything like that but just went to summer camp. Now just a few days before I had sat in on a workshop about conversational evangelism and I decided to ask the question, "so do you attend church now?" and he said yes then said that we were on the main channel and everyone could hear our conversation. So thinking it was over and not wanted to push it I dropped the conversation and waited for a minute to see what we could talk about next when he brought it back up again. He began to tell me about the way the church he grew up in treated his mom after she divorced his father and how they continued to attend on and off for a while. Eventually his mom started attending a big church in the area and he and his wife started to go but but for awhile they were sporadic in attendance. And right after that he said the most profound statement a non committed Christian can say about God and marriage. He told me that for a while his marriage had been on the rocks and how since they have been attending regularly his marriage has been getting better and I could tell that meant a lot to him.

All of us want better marriages and stronger marriages but most people have a hard time figuring out what it takes to get there. Craig Groechels's book brings the answer back into focus by realigning our number 1 and our number 2 and then pieces begin to fall into place behind them. With the business of life we allow all kinds of things to become our number 1, sometimes its our spouse, or our jobs, a lot of people put that focus on the children and a good number of us put it in places it totally doesn't belong (ie. hobbies, friends, affairs) never realizing that for the relationship of marriage to work our number 1 has to be God, completely focused on Him and making sure that our relationship with Him is strong (by daily connecting with Him prayer and listening to Him through His word, commitment to His church and living our life every minute relying on Him to direct us) and then rightfully place our spouse as number 2 and make sure that we are strong in that relationship as well (taking time to talk, dating your spouse, praying together) and these practices build a strong marriage and it cannot happen any other way.

Going All The Way is great book that is easy to read, full of life stories that make it real, and Craig is funny and honest never ducking from tell us how he has messed up and how he has worked to make his marriage strong. I've already given a copy as a wedding gift (to my sister) and know of at least two more friends that I want to send it to as well. As a guy who has made mistakes in his marriage and at times placed the focus of my number 1 on other things than God and my wife I have been really encouraged and after reading this book we are working to realign our focus as a couple on God first and then each other.

As I we kept driving to the hospital that afternoon and the Fireman/ EMT told me that, I responded by saying that I wish more couple realized that God is the answer to our marriage problems. Focusing on God is the only way to have and maintain a health marriage.

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