“Within this Christian vision of marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, ‘I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!’”
Title: The Meaning of Marriage
Author: Timothy Keller (and his wife, Kathy Keller)
Brief summary: This book reminds us what marriage is all about. The author (and his wife) discuss God’s beautiful design that makes marriage both wonderful and powerful — starting with the fact that the marriage relationship points to the gospel, it sanctifies our souls, and it brings sweet delight to our lives. Throughout the book, practical insights are given to maximize all of these great benefits of marriage.
The Kellers also discuss current trends related to marriage and the way in which these trends impact both Christian spouses and Christian singles. In fact, there is a great unexpected chapter on singleness towards the end of the book. There are also chapters specifically dedicated to gender differences, a woman’s role in marriage, and sex in marriage.
What I liked about it: I found this to be a very insightful read. The authors speak with much experience stemming from not only decades of marriage, but years of pastoral ministry. There were several topics they not only covered well, but did so from a fresh angle. The first of which was the idea that friendship in marriage is crucial. I left that portion thankful for the friend I have in my husband, and desiring to cultivate that companionship more.
Their thoughts on gender differences were insightful and interesting as well. It’s always helpful to be reminded that it’s not only okay, but it’s good that a husband and wife think differently and respond to life differently — it’s part of God’s good design in creating male and female.
One of the most unique aspects of this book, was the discussion about loving your spouse not simply for who they are, but for who they can become through sanctification and maturity. Meaning, as spouses, we should greatly desire to be a part of each other’s growth, longing to see the other transform into who God wants them to be (see quote above). If we could all make strides in this area alone, what a huge difference that would make.
And finally, I appreciated the reminder of the great influence a spouse has. Many people can come and go in our lives and say a variety of things that may initially encourage (or discourage), but spouses have massive power to deeply encourage (or hurt) each other. In marriage we know each other well, we see each other’s strengths and weaknesses without filter — so to then be loved or verbally encouraged on those terms has a far-reaching impact that we often underestimate.
All in all, a very helpful read. I know my marriage will be better for it, and I’m sure yours will to. I recommend it!
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