The Mentoring Manifesto, Vol. 72: The Meaning of Marriage
As many people mourn the death of Tim Keller, I wanted to share five of the most challenging and meaningful insights I took from his book, The Meaning of Marriage, co-written with his wife, Kathy. Together they modeled Godly marriage for 48 years.
- “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.”
- “If we look to our spouses to fill up our tanks in a way that only God can do, we are demanding an impossibility.”
- “Sex in a marriage, done to give joy rather than to impress, can change your mood on the spot. The best sex makes you want to weep tears of joy, not bask in the glow of a good performance.”
- “Truth without love ruins the oneness, and love without truth gives the illusion of unity but stops the journey and the growth. The solution is grace. The experience of Jesus’s grace makes it possible to practice the two most important skills in marriage: forgiveness and repentance. Only if we are very good at forgiving and very good at repenting can truth and love be kept together.”
- “God says, ‘I didn’t put a parent and a child in the Garden, I put a husband and a wife. When you marry your spouse, that must supersede all other relationships, even the parental relationship. Your spouse and your marriage must be the number one priority in your life.’”
Mentors, marriage is one of the earliest and most important conversations your mentoring group will have; it’s also one of the most consistent as you discuss relational assignments each month.
Choose a marriage book you connect with and have learned from. And be honest about your marriage journey. What did you do right? Where’d you screw up, and what did you learn? The story you tell them and the discussions you lead will tremendously impact the trajectory of their marriages and the way they love their wives. I’ve seen it countless times.
The resources below will help you and your mentees work on your marriages and finish strong, together.
P.S. If you’ve read the book, what were some of your favorite takeaways? If you haven’t, what’s your favorite marriage book? Comment here.
BIBLEPROJECT: RETHINKING LOVE AND ROMANCE
This plan reflects on the biblical concept of love, looking at Hebrew and Greek words for love, unpacking biblical love stories, and applying their wisdom to modern romantic love. And helps look to Jesus as the ultimate example of loyal, unending love.
20 INSIGHTS ON MAKING IT TO 30 YEARS IN MARRIAGE
Author Carey Nieuwhof has been married for 30+ years. In this article, he reminds us that there are good seasons and hard ones, and there’s no one key to making it work. But he offers twenty honest insights from his experience, like “love is a decision, not an emotion.”
STUCK IN THE ROUNDABOUT
In the blog post, RM founder Regi Campbell explains why marriage can sometimes feel like driving circles in a roundabout. Often we expect our spouses to love us in the way we want to be loved, which might not be the way they naturally show love. So we must choose to accept and appreciate the way they give love.
THE MARRIAGE MYTH
This sermon from pastor John Mark Comer asks if is marriage a contract, or a covenant? Is the love that lasts a lifetime a fiery passion of desire, or something else? Is divorce a necessary evil or a rupture of a deep union? Jesus’ vision of marriage is as radical today as it was nearly two thousand years ago.
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