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Tim Keller – The Secret to Marriage

24 Apr

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In Ephesians 5, Paul shows us that even on earth Jesus did not use his power to oppress us but sacrificed everything to bring us into union with him. And this takes us beyond the philosophical to the personal and the practical. If God had the gospel of Jesus’s salvation in mind when he established marriage, then marriage only “works” to the degree that approximates the pattern of God’s self-giving love in Christ. What Paul is saying not only answers the objection that marriage is oppressive and restrictive, but it also addresses the sense that the demands of marriage are overwhelming. There is so much to do that we don’t know where to start. Start here, Paul says. Do for your spouse what God did for you in Jesus, and the rest will follow.

This is the secret—that the gospel of Jesus and marriage explain one another. That when God invented marriage, he already had the saving work of Jesus in mind.

~Tim Keller~


The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (New York, NY; Dutton; 2011) p. 38-39.

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Timothy Witmer – Your Primary Human Relationship

9 Apr

Witmer

Marriage is designed by God to be your primary human relationship. In fact, it is the most important relationship you have in this world…

This doesn’t mean that you no longer respect your parents. It means that when you marry, a new household is established and that this now becomes your priority relationship. It means that the opinion that you value the most is that of your spouse. It means that the counsel that you yield to is that of your spouse. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you no longer seek the counsel of your parents. That would be foolish. It does mean that it is clear to your spouse that her wishes and happiness take priority over that of your parents.

~Timothy Witmer~




The Shepherd Leader at Home (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2012) p. 23-24.

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Tim Keller – How Marriage Has Changed

5 Apr

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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.

But ironically, this newer view of marriage actually puts a crushing burden of expectation on marriage and on spouses in a way that more traditional understandings never did. And it leaves us desperately trapped between both unrealistic longings for and terrible fears about marriage.

~Tim Keller~


The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (New York, NY; Dutton; 2011) p. 29.

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Tim Keller – What Are You Looking For in a Spouse?

18 Mar

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Both men and women today want a marriage in which they can receive emotional and sexual satisfaction from someone who will simply let them “be themselves.” They want a spouse who is fun, intellectually stimulating, sexually attractive, with many common interests, and who, on top of it all, is supportive of their personal goals and of the way they are living now.

And if your desire is for a spouse who will not demand a lot of change from you, then you are also looking for a spouse who is almost completely pulled together, someone very “low maintenance” without much in the way of personal problems. You are looking for someone who will not require or demand significant change. You are searching, therefore, for an ideal person— happy, healthy, interesting, content with life. Never before in history has there been a society filled with people so idealistic in what they are seeking in a spouse.

~Tim Keller~


The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (New York, NY; Dutton; 2011) p. 23-24.

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Tim Keller – Marriage is Different

23 Feb

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There’s nothing in the Bible about how schools should be run, even though they are crucial to a flourishing society. There’s nothing there about business corporations or museums or hospitals. In fact, there are all sorts of great institutions and human enterprises that the Bible doesn’t address or regulate. And so we are free to invent them and operate them in line with the general principles for human life that the Bible gives us.

But marriage is different. As the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship says, God “established marriage for the welfare and happiness of humankind.” Marriage did not evolve in the late Bronze Age as a way to determine property rights. At the climax of the Genesis account of creation we see God bringing a woman and a man together to unite them in marriage. The Bible begins with a wedding (of Adam and Eve) and ends in the book of Revelation with a wedding (of Christ and the church). Marriage is God’s idea. It is certainly also a human institution, and it reflects the character of the particular human culture in which it is embedded. But the concept and roots of human marriage are in God’s own action, and therefore what the Bible says about God’s design for marriage is crucial.

~Tim Keller~


The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (New York, NY; Dutton; 2011) p. 13.

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Tim Keller – Marriage, Sentimentality, and God-Centered Reality

31 Jan

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I’m tired of listening to sentimental talks on marriage. At weddings, in church, and in Sunday school, much of what I’ve heard on the subject has as much depth as a Hallmark card. While marriage is many things, it is anything but sentimental. Marriage is glorious but hard. It’s a burning joy and strength, and yet it is also blood, sweat, and tears, humbling defeats and exhausting victories. No marriage I know more than a few weeks old could be described as a fairy tale come true. Therefore, it is not surprising that the only phrase in Paul’s famous discourse on marriage in Ephesians 5 that many couples can relate to is verse 32, printed above. Sometimes you fall into bed, after a long, hard day of trying to understand each other, and you can only sigh: “This is all a profound mystery!” At times, your marriage seems to be an unsolvable puzzle, a maze in which you feel lost.

I believe all this, and yet there’s no relationship between human beings that is greater or more important than marriage. In the Bible’s account, God himself officiates at the first wedding (Genesis 2: 22– 25). And when the man sees the woman, he breaks into poetry and exclaims, “At last!” 1 Everything in the text proclaims that marriage, next to our relationship to God, is the most profound relationship there is. And that is why, like knowing God himself, coming to know and love your spouse is difficult and painful yet rewarding and wondrous.

~Tim Keller~




The Meaning of Marriage (New York, NY; Dutton; 2011) Ch.1: The Secret of Marriage.

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James Hamilton – How Should Husbands Love Their Wives?

10 May

If anyone deserves to be treated hatefully, sinful rebels against almighty God do. But rather than give them what they deserve, much less treat them hatefully, Christ has cleansed them with his word and sanctified them by his death, uniting them to himself, making them members of his own body. He then treats them as he would treat his own body, nourishing, caring, sacrificing, loving. This calls any man who deems his wife unworthy of tender care, unworthy of special attention, unworthy of extraordinary sacrifice to look at the way that Christ has loved wretches, rebels, and revolutionaries.

Christ cleansed. Christ died. Christ made his bride spotless and then presented her to himself. In this way husbands are to love their wives.

~James Hamilton~


For the Fame of God’s Name (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2010) p. 268

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