The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller, collects no dust in our home. Even though I read this book three years ago, you’ll see it over ON MY NIGHTSTAND, just to the right of this post. I don’t ever really put away because I need the constant reminders Keller provides in this book.
I keep this book handy as a counterbalance to the daily marriage messages from our culture, which swing from “marriage is about making ME happy,” to “marriage is a sure way to end happiness.”
Keller, presents a different view of marriage altogether. His book is a detailed description of Biblical truths, research and personal wisdom that celebrates and elevates marriage. He repeatedly makes the point that marriage is supposed to bring out the best in both partners and each spouse has the opportunity to help the other become all God has created them to be. It is truly a paradigm shift from the way our culture approaches (and then retreats from) marriage.
Keller’s message about marriage seems so new and progressive – even revolutionary – until we realize it’s actually as old as marriage itself. He does an outstanding job of approaching marriage from the outside (for singles) and from the inside (for couples).
The book covers the meaning and purpose of marriage, single life, finding a spouse, gender roles, conflict resolution and sex.
I have the honor and privilege of speaking to newly married women from our church and I encourage them to read this book. Then read it again. And then pick it up and read it all over. It’s that good and I’m convinced that if more people read this book, the divorce rate in our country would take a nosedive.
I even read page 123 out loud to the women in my class. On this page, Keller clearly explains the goal for marriage – holiness – and paints a beautiful word picture of standing before the Lord with your spouse. It’s absolutely one of the most beautiful pieces of prose I’ve ever read.
There is no shortage of marriage books out there – all full of formulas, tips and tricks to fix ailing marriages. Keller’s book offers something different, something unique. The book is completely centered on the gospel, and even as it invites you to love sacrificially, somehow you are excited and invigorated to receive and accept the invitation.
This book makes a great wedding or anniversary gift. I recommend reading this book whether you are married, divorced or single.