Tim and Kathy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage is the most complete book on marriage I have ever read.  Somehow, they are able to dissect the theological while display the practical.  It is thorough and robust.

Favorite Quotes

  1. In a few years, however, marriage manuals look dated.  In the Bible you have teaching that has been tested by millions of people over centuries and in multiple cultures (8).
  2. Marriage is glorious but hard (13).
  3. The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once (44).
  4. Until God has the proper place in my life, I will always be complaining that my spouse is not loving me well enough, not respecting me enough, not supporting me enough (73).
  5. But the Bible sees God as the supreme good – not the individual or the family – and that gives us a view of marriage that intimately unites feeling and duty, passion and promise.  That is because at the heart of the Biblical idea of marriage is the covenant (83-84).
  6. When God brought the first man his spouse, he brought him not just a lover but the friend his heart had been seeking (127).
  7. The merged life of marriage brings you into the closest, most inescapable contact with another person possible.  And that means not only that you see each other close up, but that you are forced to deal with the flaws and sins of one another (151).
  8. Both women and men get to “play the Jesus role” in marriage – Jesus in his sacrificial authority, Jesus in his sacrificial submission (201).
  9. Single adult Christians were bearing testimony that God, not family, was their hope (224).
  10. The Christian sex ethic can be summarized like this: Sex is for use within marriage between a man and woman (253).

Book Overview

“Incredibly rich with wisdom and insight that will leave the reader, whether single or married, feeling uplifted.” —The Washington Times

Based on the acclaimed sermon series by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller, this book shows everyone—Christians, skeptics, singles, longtime married couples, and those about to be engaged—the vision of what marriage should be according to the Bible.

Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that your spouse is there to help you realize your potential; that marriage does not mean forever, but merely for now; and that starting over after a divorce is the best solution to seemingly intractable marriage issues. But these modern-day assumptions are wrong. Timothy Keller, with insights from Kathy, his wife of thirty-seven years, shows marriage to be a glorious relationship that is also misunderstood and mysterious. The Meaning of Marriage offers instruction on how to have a successful marriage, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life.

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.