Tuesday, December 20, 2011

more on marriage

Recently published: The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Tim Keller, with his wife Kathy.


I'm looking forward to reading this.  I listened to part of the sermon series this was based upon, but I plan to put this book in the queue soon.  Here are some popular Kindle highlights, and a quote at the end that Trevin Wax posted.  Great insights to think about...




Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love.
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.  
According to the Bible, God devised marriage to reflect his saving love for us in Christ, to refine our character, to create stable human community for the birth and nurture of children, and to accomplish all this by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union.
It is the illusion that if we find our one true soul mate, everything wrong with us will be healed; but that makes the lover into God, and no human being can live up to that.  
The Christian teaching does not offer a choice between fulfillment and sacrifice but rather mutual fulfillment through mutual sacrifice. 
Whether we are husband or wife, we are not to live for ourselves but for the other. And that is the hardest yet single most important function of being a husband or a wife in marriage.
If two spouses each say, “I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,” you have the prospect of a truly great marriage.
The Christian principle that needs to be at work is Spirit-generated selflessness—not thinking less of yourself or more of yourself but thinking of yourself less. It means taking your mind off yourself and realizing that in Christ your needs are going to be met and are, in fact, being met so that you don’t look at your spouse as your savior.  
The primary problem is . . . learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married. 
The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.
As a pastor I have spoken to thousands of couples, some working on marriage-seeking, some working on marriage-sustaining, and some working on marriage-saving. I’ve heard them say over and over, “Love shouldn’t be this hard; it should come naturally.” In response, I always say something like, “Why believe that? Would someone who wants to play professional baseball say, ‘It shouldn’t be so hard to hit a fastball?’ Would someone who wants to write the greatest American novel of her generation say, ‘It shouldn’t be hard to create believable characters and compelling narrative?’”

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