You see 5 editors, on the cover. You turn the pages to the contributors’ page and find that 38 experts contributed to the 16 chapters which were divided into four sections. You take a deep sigh, close the cover, and turn to the back cover.
“What we believe about marriage reflects what we believe about God.”
Interesting perspective. I had never thought about marriage in this way.
I am so glad that I opened the book again and began to read. This book explores the depth, the intimacy, and the beauty of marriage from God’s perspective.
Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World is a much-needed book that digs deeply into the soil of today’s marriages, pulls up the weeds, turns them over and upside down, and asks “Why?”
The contributors ask the “Why?” of marriage, beginning with the first section, the foundation of marriage in the Garden of Eden. Our Creator is a union of three Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and He created and gave life to Adam and Eve – life in His image. Adam and Eve became one flesh and gave life, a kind of trinity that continues from one generation to the next.
“Personal union is the ground of all human being” (p. 29).
The second section describes marriage in terms of differences, beauty and design, gender, and holy sexuality from both neurological and scriptural perspectives. Beth Felker Jones continues the discussion in Chapter 5, “Presenting our bodies to God is at the heart of our spiritual lives” (p. 136), a reminder of Romans 12:1.
The third section discusses the challenges of shame, brokenness, failure, and divorce and remarriage. These challenges are real, and they point out the differences between God’s love and our love.
“Mature, agape love is both self-generated and other-focused” (p. 274).
The final section discusses the mission of marriage. Have you considered that your marriage has a mission? As image bearers of God, we represent Him, “so that He can be known and worshiped throughout all the earth” (p. 361). The writers indicate that Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 tell us that we have four roles as rulers over creation. I am not sure why they did not include being fruitful and multiplying as one of the roles.
- Subdue the earth.
- Rule the earth.
- Work the garden.
- Keep the garden.
“He is calling those who are married to focus on eternity and to live a life of distinction as a married couple dedicated to glorifying God, intent on service in His kingdom” (p. 374).
What if couples adjusted their focus from themselves and onto our Eternal God, our Creator, the One who gave it all to have a relationship with His image bearers?
The book isn’t like so many marriage helps books today that give you “1 + 2 + 3 = 6 Ways to Get an Ideal Marriage.”
The theologians, pastors, professors, and counselors address the foundational principles of marriage, sometimes in a textbook-like manner. This book is one that I will refer to many times.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Father, thank You for the editors and contributors of this book. Bless them with marriages that honor You and point others to You and the Good News. Oh God, what a gift You have given the world, a reflection of Your love as we experience the beauty and holiness of marriage. Heal Your image bearers’ marriages, Father, and show them Your way to love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.