Of all the things I’m passionate about, seeing couples have healthy marriages is one of the top! If you’re on the struggle bus, or maybe you’re doing fine and just want to keep things that way, you should definitely consider reading The Meaning of Marriage. Outside of the Bible, I think it’s the best marriage book out there today. Keep reading to see why.
The Meaning of Marriage: Tim Keller
The Meaning of Marriage Summary
“Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul-mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that marriage does not mean ’til death do us part, but merely for as long as my needs are being met; and that when serious differences arise, divorce is the best solution.
According to the bible, all of these modern-day assumptions miss what marriage is all about. In The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy Keller, along with Kathy, his wife of thirty-six years, draws a profound portrait of marriage from the pages of Scripture that neither idealizes nor rejects the institution but points us back to the relationship between God and man. The result is a vision for marriage that is refreshingly frank and unsentimental, yet hopeful and beautiful. This book is for anyone from singles, to couples considering marriage, to those who have been married recently or for a long time.”
The Meaning of Marriage Quotes
Plenty of people who do not acknowledge God or the Bible, yet who are experiencing happy marriages, are largely abiding by God’s intentions, whether they realize it or not. But it is far better if we are conscious of those intentions. (p. 6)
The work of the Spirit makes Christ’s saving work real to our hearts, giving us supernatural help against the main enemy of marriage: sinful self-centeredness. We need the fullness of the Spirit if we are to serve one another as we should. (p. 8)
Longitudinal studies demonstrate that two-thirds of those unhappy marriages out there will become happy within five years if people stay married and do not get divorced. (p. 19)
Marriage used to be a public institution for the common good, and now it is a private arrangement for the satisfaction of the individuals. Marriage used to be about us, but now it is about me. (p. 22)
This is one of God’s great purposes in marriage: to picture the relationship between Christ and His redeemed people forever! (p. 42)
The Bible says that human beings were made in God’s image. That means, among other things, that we were created to worship and live for God’s glory, not our own… That means paradoxically that if we try to put our own happiness ahead of obedience to God, we violate our own nature and become, ultimately, miserable. (p. 58)
Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love… [I]n a wedding you stand up before God, your family, and all the main institutions of society, and you promise to be loving, faithful, and true to the other person in the future, regardless of undulating internal feelings of external circumstances. (p. 91)
[I]f we want to be happy in marriage, we will accept that marriage is designed to make us holy. (p. 146)
If you have trouble forgiving someone, it is at least partly because deep in your heart you are thinking, “I would never do anything like that!” As long as you feel superior to someone, feel like you are a much better kind of person, you will find it very hard if not impossible to forgive. (p. 184)
The Meaning of Marriage Review
I have read probably a dozen books on marriage, and The Meaning of Marriage is by far my favorite.
First, it’s written very clearly, concisely, and grace-filled.
Have you ever read a book that’s full of truth but is presented in a way that makes you feel exhausted? Not so with Tim Keller. Truth, even truth that can be hard to swollow (like gender roles) is spoken of in such a way that you’ll find yourself saying, “I can get behind that.”
One of my favorite things he says, and I’m paraphrasing here, is that gender roles in marriage aren’t meant for one to be an authority and the other a subordinate. Both spouses are meant to serve and serve like Jesus. If we can focus on that, then gender roles become beautiful, not distorted and confining.
Secondly, it takes concepts found in dozens of books + brings them all under one roof.
You’ll find the ideas presented in The Five Love Languages, Sacred Marriage, Love and Respect, Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, and more all in this one jam-packed book.
The Meaning of Marriage should be required reading for every married couple, engaged couple, and single person who has a desire for marriage. It’s just that good!
Because there’s a better way,
If you’d like to check out this book on Amazon, click here: The Meaning of Marriage
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