I avoid most books on parenting.  They make me feel guilty.  They remind me of all the things I don’t do right. And as a parent of adult children, I still don’t read them.

I also never read any marriage books until our union showed signs of unraveling  at year 20.  Then I hungrily sought them out.  Christian girlfriends guided me toward Biblical books which protected me from the “You deserve better” pabulum.  Dipping into new paradigms for Christian marriage was eye-opening and gave me hope that I could perhaps help to heal our relationship. I learned to be gentler, to seek to please Mike and pray for him more effectively.

God’s grace, not any book or counseling brought Mike and me back together to grow stronger as ‘one flesh’ and we have enjoyed 12 sweet years since that painful upheaval.

Recently I started reading Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage.  We are fans of Keller’s clear exposition of biblical teachings both in sermon and other books.  So I knew I would enjoy reading what he & his wife Kathy had to say.   But I didn’t expect anything new or different than the other biblically-based treatments of Christian marriage.

*****Get ready for some über-gushing******

This is THE best book on marriage I have EVER read!!

What is startling is that TK throws on its head both the Western and Eastern views of marriage.

Western – romantic, physical, sexual optimization in a partner

Eastern – communal, economic and social optimization through the marriage

Instead he presents marriage as a signing on to a life-long journey with this other person toward Christ- likeness, via God’s sanctifying work.

From page 121 –

Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love.  It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person 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 & 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!’”  Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel.  Each spouse then should give him-or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.


Now THAT’s an institution worth celebrating and promoting. Buy the book and enjoy the adventure.  It’s perfect for us already-marrieds, the newly-weds and those who are engaged.
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-\h/+0eal our marriage.  For the first time I learned what kind of wife God desired me to be. I learned about respect, gentleness and fitting in with my husband.  I also learned to pray for him. (and in case you’re wondering, God healed our relationship and has blessed us beyond anything we could have imagined – isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father???)

But it wasn’t until I started reading Tim Keller’s book on marriage that I felt excited about how great marriage can be.  My husband and I are long-time Keller fans and have read most of his books.  So when The Meaning of Marriage came out last year I bought it.  I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it until now.   Warming!  Get ready for some über-gushing:  this is THE best book on marriage.

Although I haven’t finished reading it, I am writing now, this first weekend in December, in case you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping and are looking around for a gift to give seasoned couples, newlyweds or the engaged.  This book provides a hope-filled vision of what Christian marriage is meant to be.  I am finding my joy and gladness in being married to Mike topped off and refreshed.  And what I sensed all along about the blessing of Christian marriage is being reinforced.

What makes Keller’s book different is that he turns on its head both

– the ‘old-world’/ Middle Eastern/ African view of 8/

nstead he describes the ideal mate/best friend as the one whose spiritual end-product you glimpse and are excited to be part of.  A kind of “ I see what God is doing in your life to sanctify you and I want to be part of that spiritual adventure.”

Both partners are looking to Jesus and being transformed into His every-increasing likeness.  Partners are NOT looking at each other to fulfill them.

Buy the book, read and discuss it together and be excited about the journey.