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The Meaning of Marriage
By Timothy Keller
Our church offered an 8 week sunday school class based on this book. It was so AMAZING! I know that I often read lots of books on raising children and child training, but I don’t spend enough time reading, studying and working on my marriage. All of this ‘family stuff’ started with my husband and to keep it all together we need to stay together.
I met him FIRST and then came family… We were a family before kids started arriving and I need to remember to meet his needs and care for him and strengthen our relationship and not lose sight of that as Ig et focused on caring for our children.
This book is amazing! I can’t say enough about it. It is definitely my new favorite book on marriage… in fact… I’d love to be able to buy a copy for all the singles I know. I really think all singles should read it before even getting into a relationship. It talks about the cultural view of marriage, historical view of marriage and the Christian view of marriage. All these views differ greatly and therefore change significantly how marriages work and how long they last and how mutually edifying they can be.
Keller spends a lot of time at the start of the book discussing what our culture looks like now and how that has changed over the years and how it compares to the Biblical view of marriage. We are so influenced by this world that often our views and assumptions of marriage, although are good, are greatly affected by the culture we live in, even if we are Christians and desire godly marriages.
I know in the process of going through this book I was encouraged that our marriage seems pretty healthy and isn’t on the rocks or taking a tumble, but there are GREAT ways that I was convicted to do a better job. I want an amazing marriage, not just a marriage that survives. Brian is my best friend… Don’t I want to give good gifts to my friends? How much more so for my husband….
The greatest gift I can give my husband is to grow my relationship with the Lord and then in turn grow my relationship with him.
One of the quotes that most struck me was on page 99:
“It is a mistake to think that you must feel love to give it. If, for example, I have a child, and I give up my day off to take him to a ballgame to his great joy, at a time when I don’t particularly like him, I am in some ways being more loving to him than if my heart were filled with affection. When you feel great delight in someone, meeting their needs and getting their gratitude and affection in return is extremely rewarding to your ego. At those times you may be acting more out of the desire to get that love and satisfaction yourself, rather than out of a desire to seek the good of the other person.”
How true. I know there have been times in the past when I’ve done something to bless my husband even though I don’t feel like doing it and it ends up serving me and growing my love and care towards him. Oftentimes, I have to act first and the feelings will follow.
More than anything this book has encouraged me to focus once again on my marriage and to never stop working on it. It may be good now, but it can always get better!
Do you have a favorite marriage book? Or have you read this one? Let me know!