The recently published The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller is a book I would highly recommend for any married couple, no matter what stage of life they may be in. My 15-yr old daughter saw me reading this book & wondered if it might not be a little late for me to be reading such a book. I’ve been married almost 25 years, have a great marriage, but realize there is always room for growth and improvement.
Keller wrote this book from a series of sermons he preached at his church in Brooklyn, NY; a church made up mostly of ‘singles’. So if you’re single, don’t write this off as a book that would not pertain to you or be of interest. There is even a whole chapter just for you.
Keller sees our culture’s view of marriage as slightly off. He says people are looking too hard for that ‘perfect’ mate & not willing to realize that God is working in us. Of course, it’s important as believers to seek a mate who is also a believer, but once we’re married, we need to see our spouse as someone that God is working on. Part of marriage is helping our mate, and letting them help us, become the person He created us to be. In his chapter, “The Mission of Marriage”, Keller states: “What, then is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us.”
About Ephesians 5:31-32 and that mysterious statement, ‘the two shall become one flesh’: “Jesus’s sacrificial service to us has brought us into a deep union with Him and He with us. And that, Paul says, is the key to not only understanding marriage but to living it.”
From the chapter “The Power of Marriage,” Keller reminds us that it is not our spouses who give us the power to live the Christian life, nor are they able to meet all our needs. Depending on our spouses for what only the Holy Spirit can give us will prove disastrous. “After trying all kinds of other things, Christians have learned that the worship of God with the whole heart in the assurance of His love through the work of Jesus Christ is the thing their souls were meant to ‘run on’. That is what gets all the heart’s cylinders to fire. If this not understood, then we will not have the resources to be good spouses. If we look to our spouses to fill up our tanks in a way that only God can do, we are demanding an impossibility.”
If you, like myself and Timothy Keller, believe that “there’s no relationship between human beings that is greater or more important than marriage” and if you want to learn more about what God really meant for us when He created this relationship, you will want to read and reread this book.