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Astounded by His Love - A Discipleship Guide for Jesus' Bride by Mary Somerville

Astounded by His Love - A Discipleship Guide for Jesus' Bride by Mary Somerville

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You will be astounded by the love of Jesus Christ in this discipleship guide! It covers topics from your initial marriage to your Bridegroom, to finding your identity in Him, to worshiping Him, to living your life in the light of His grace, and to sharing the Good News with others. All is presented against the backdrop of the author's over 50-year marriage to her husband, Bob. These truths are the product of their teaching ministry over a lifetime. You will be greatly edified and find real joy as you dig deeply into the Scriptures in this study and hopefully, your life will more and more reflect your Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.


Mary Somerville not only loves Jesus Christ, but also she’s in love with him. It’s why she is passionate about stirring the hearts of other women to delight and adore their glorious Savior. Simply put, my friend longs for Christian women to be ravished by the excellencies and beauty of Jesus Christ. And so her new book is fittingly titled, Astounded by His Love: A Discipleship Guide for Jesus’ Bride. With her seasoned skills in training and discipling women, Mary Somerville is exceptionally suited to take Christ-seekers by the hand and gently lead them deep into the Word of God. I love her unique method of inductive Bible study, which instructs women how to mine out rich insights for themselves, creating in their hearts a thirst to know, obey, and rejoice in their Lord. Mary complements her chapters with brilliant stories, as well as experiences from her own journey of developing loving relationships. Finally, I applaud Mary Somerville for helping us see how an ardent love of our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, is the very heart and soul of the Gospel. I have no doubt this remarkable book will be a favorite in-home study, in small groups, and in churches, far and wide. I strongly recommend the work you hold in your hands as a wise and wonderful tool for women’s ministries, and I predict it will become a classic for future generations.

—Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO of Joni
and Friends International Disability Center

Jesus Christ, the Great Bridegroom, expresses His love for His bride, the Church, by redeeming her from destruction and by showering His grace and blessings upon her. In Astounded by His Love, Mary Somerville excellently shines the spotlight on various aspects of this lavish love against the backdrop of her own blessed and happy fifty-year marriage to her husband, Bob. Mary also draws from her experience of teaching young women in the church at The Master’s University and for Young Life, though men can also benefit greatly from this in-depth Bible study. Mary takes the believer from our initial marriage to Jesus Christ, to finding our identity in Him, to worshiping Him, to living our lives in the light of His glory and grace, and to evangelizing others so they can share this joy and finally live with Him forever in glory. You will be greatly edified by digging deeply into Scripture, as you drink in your Savior’s love for you and share its overflowing bounty with others.

—Mary Beeke, wife of Dr. Joel Beeke, President,
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

What a privilege it was to read this book! It is bursting with the joy of the gospel and the love of Christ for you, His precious Bride. This refreshing relationship-based study can melt our hearts and help us fall in love with the Lord all over again. Mary Somerville draws from her wealth of experience and weaves together scripture, hymns, and excerpts from Christian books to inspire love and gratitude in our hearts. She pours out her heart to inspire us to pour out our own hearts to the Lord. My relationship with the Lord is the richer for having read this book. Here is hope, reassurance, and inspiration for every believer.

—Bethan Reeves, wife of Dr. Michael Reeves, president and professor
of theology at Union School of Theology, United Kingdom


Astounded by His Love is the result of a life spent pursuing Christ, the Bridegroom, it is a magnum opus, a work to be embraced with fervent adoration of Christ, the eternal Savior-King. This is a complete, masterful offering of a humble and grateful love story, lived out and chronicled by a bride of Christ who knows well the Bridegroom’s voice, His persevering love, His compassionate care, and His merciful grace. The reader will be astounded by Christ’s timeless love for His bride as she is invited into an inductive study of His Word, opportunities to renew her mind, and invitations to pray in response to His sacrificial love on the cross. The old hymns that have ministered to the bride’s heart for centuries have been thoughtfully included. Mary’s life has been a testimony to the compelling power of Christ’s love as she has passed on the gospel story to countless others. Within these pages is a treasure-trove of solid, encouraging, Christ-centered, gospel-saturated truths that will certainly bless all, men, and women alike, who dare to pick it up and learn from every page. No stone unturned here...every aspect of discipleship has been well developed with Scripture-based directives, precepts, and commands. This work has been given to the Bride of Christ so that she may learn about her Bridegroom’s eternal, faithful, and relentless love for her, preparing her for the glorious homecoming on that day when she will, at last, see Him as He is face- to-face, without shame.

—Karen Avinelis MABC, ACBC certified Biblical
counselor, Director of Biblical Counseling and Ministry to
Women, Emmanuel Bible Church, Salem, Oregon

There are many books written for women, but Mary Somerville adds to this
conversation in a remarkable way with her discipleship guide, Astounded by His Love. She very warmly tells the love story of Christ and His bride with a practical look into her own marital life story. Every page brings the reader into contact with the true and living Savior and the need to believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. There are many ways to use this resource: as a refresher course for a mature believer, as a discipleship study guide in a mentoring relationship, or even as a selected Sunday School discipleship hour resource. One cannot go wrong in picking up this book, diving into each chapter, memorizing pertinent scriptures, and meditating on the worshipful hymns at the end of the chapters all for the purpose of knowing and loving Christ more. I believe it will be a great asset to the Christian community.

—Vanessa Ellen, MABC, MACE, PhD, President of Real Life
Women’s Ministries, Vice President of Expository Counseling Training
Center, Adjunct Professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary


There are three things I look for in a book. First, will it enhance the reader’s spiritual growth? Then does it have plenty of content and not just fluff? Third, is God’s Word the authority, or is the content grounded only in illustrations? Nothing should be above Scripture, though great illustrations bring content to life—and this book certainly has them. Mary Somerville’s Astounded by His Love: A Discipleship Guide for Jesus’ Bride superbly meets all three! From Mary’s loving heart and pen, the individual reader will be nurtured, but her book is also uniquely suited to groups and will enhance deep conversations. After going through this discipleship guide, individuals and groups will have a greater love for Jesus, their Bridegroom.

—Donna Morley MA, Author, Choices That Lead to Godliness. Forthcoming:
Evidence for the Bible and the Book of Mormon Compared (three volumes)


Mary Somerville has written a Scripture-saturated book that will help Christians develop their walk with the Lord. The love she has for her husband forms a framework to better understand Christ’s love for His bride the church. The format is easy to follow and clear. I especially enjoyed the prayers written at the end of each chapter and the lyrics of each hymn that applies to that topic. There are application questions and suggestions for further study, which carefully apply the concepts. This book is a helpful discipleship tool that will also speak into your own life as it did mine. Read it if you want to hear good biblical advice from a wise friend.

—Caroline Newheiser MABC, MACC, ACBC certified
counselor, Assistant Coordinator of Women’s Counseling at
RTS-Charlotte, Author of When Words Matter Most.

I’m delighting in Christ as my Bridegroom as I go through this very thorough and biblical study by Mary Somerville. Her personal illustrations of her marriage caused me to reflect on both the joys of my marriage and the areas in which I still need to improve. Most of all, I’m reflecting on my eternal Bridegroom who laid down His life so that I might have life eternal. This is a study that I can heartily recommend to every believer. It is theologically sound and rich in practical application. Mary’s heart as a biblical counselor is coming through in a grand but humble fashion. She has lived what she is teaching, and that is what our Lord calls us all to do—to win and teach others and make disciples who will in turn make other disciples! I plan to use this study with the women I counsel! I pray you will personally be blessed by this study, and then you will use it to encourage others in their own growth and maturity.

—Sherry L. Allchin, MABC, ACBC Certified counselor,
Biblical Counseling Center, Winfield, Illinois

Astounded by His Love: A Discipleship Guide for Jesus’ Bride is a comprehensive discipleship guide that every church needs. Beautifully written by a true Titus 2 Woman, Mary Somerville, blends her marital romance story with the romance between the believer and Jesus. This gospel-soaked, scripture-saturated book offers hope and help to novice and seasoned saints wanting to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. This book is uniquely formatted as an inductive method of studying the Bible. Each chapter has discussion questions, quotes by Christian authors, faith-saturated prayers, opportunities for application in the “Responses of Your Love” section, “Hymns for Worship,” and many resources to explore. Mary is practical in her approach as she mentors, guides, teaches, counsels, and advises on how to grow in the grace of God and to “grasp the unfathomable nature of Christ’s love for you through the power of the Holy Spirit” that is only found in God’s Word.

As a single woman, this book is encouraging from my perspective. It gives a more hopeful picture of marriage and God’s sovereignty in it. It dulls the voices of what the world says about marriage and even some well-meaning Christians. I can rest in God’s picture of this biblical romance in Him, which reinforces my satisfaction in Him! Astounded by His Love is highly instructive, thoroughly comprehensive, and ingeniously practical. It is for pastors, church leaders, biblical counselors, and men and women Christian mentors who need biblically rich guidance in making disciples. I highly recommend this resource to be a part of the believer’s arsenal for Christian living.

—Shannon Kay McCoy MA, ACBC Certified Biblical Counselor, Biblical
Counseling Director, Valley Center Community Church, Council Member,
Biblical Counseling Coalition, Author of Help! I’m A Slave to Food


We live in an information-saturated society, inundated by social media, blogs, podcasts, television, magazines, and books. I routinely search diligently to find scripturally-based material to feed the women in my church, but often I must develop my own material. Astounded by His Love fills this void. The material, refined over many years of use in a university setting, is well-organized and useful for counseling, mentoring, and discipling. Each chapter can stand alone. A prayer and hymn round out each chapter. The material can and should be reviewed periodically throughout a believer’s life. As a teacher, my favorite part is the strong and consistent scriptural basis. Each lesson is clearly written and includes insights from classic and contemporary authors, adding scholarly depth. As a believer, my favorite part is Mary’s testimony of God’s astounding love for her in both trials and triumphs. Mary’s insightful questions encourage me to think deeply about familiar passages and to apply them to my life by putting off sin, renewing the mind, and putting on godly habits. I am reminded to revel in God’s astounding love for me, the undergirding for my obedience to, service to, and worship of Christ.

—Eryn Ujita Lee, PhD, ACBC Certified Biblical counselor and women’s
discipleship group leader at First Church in Ripon, California


Jesus Christ reveals His intimate relationship to us through the analogy of marriage when He calls the church His bride. That is something that can be easily overlooked, though. And as a result, many women may not recognize how their every need is met in Christ. Mary Somerville offers a genuine jewel of a resource for helping women remember or see for the first time the intimate relationship He has with those who put their trust in Him and how that intimate relationship makes a difference in their life here and for eternity.

—Andrew Rogers, PhD, associate pastor at Kindred
Community Church, Anaheim Hills, California and executive
director at Overseas Instruction in Counseling

Astounded by His Love is a wonderful reminder of the nature of the church being the bride of Christ and its implications in the life of the individual believer. Mary Somerville has taken the truths of the Bible and unpacked them in practical ways to stir wonder about our great Savior, Jesus Christ. You will find it to be a book that is deep, vivid, and practical. It will equip you for every good work as you apply the Scriptures out of your enraptured heart. Enjoy!

—Greg E. Gifford, PhD, chair, The School of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University

Mary Somerville has done an excellent job communicating the magnificence, glory, joy, and comfort of being the Lord’s bride. It is obvious that she has a heart for Jesus and a deep desire to share her understanding with other women so they can know Jesus this way too. She is a student of Scripture, and although the book is rich in doctrine, it is practical. It oozes with comfort like a back porch conversation with a wise, lifelong friend. Thank you, Mary, for your labor of love in writing this book, and I know many women will profit spiritually by learning from your experience.

—Ernie Baker, DMin, pastor of counseling supervision and equip-
ping, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, chair of the online BA in biblical counseling, The Master’s University


Mary Somerville has many years of experience as a pastor’s wife and a discipler of women in the church, parachurch, and college classroom. She spearheaded and directed a ministry of evangelism and discipleship to teen moms with Young Life. Mary authored the book, One with a Shepherd: The Tears and Triumphs of a Ministry Marriage, which is published in six languages. She holds an MA in counseling and is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Master’s University in Santa Clarita,

Mary and Bob take delight in their children, grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. The pictures in this book are all of their weddings except one—Daniel and Tiffany Somerville, Michelle and Tim Cantrell, and their children Evan and Tarryn Cantrell, Titus and Stephanie Cantrell, and Jana Marie and Michael Alves. Also pictured are Bob and Mary’s adopted kids whom they also take delight in—Matt and Taylor Jones, “children in the faith.” Not pictured are grandchildren Ruthie and Zeke Cantrell, Liam, Everett Somerville, and Taryn Herselman, and great-grand-
daughter Heather.


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