Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marriage: Preparing For The Mystery

Image Copyright: The Sage
   While I'm doing research for my next post in the study of Paul's letter to the Romans (which I began with "A Letter To Rome: Thinking Through The Gospel"), I thought I'd fill in the gap of time with something else that is also fast becoming of interest to me. I anticipate that there will occasionally be gaps of time in between posts on my journey through Romans, and it seems worthwhile to use those occasions to write about what I'm learning about marriage from Timothy Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage", which I ordered recently.

   While I'm not married, I do hope to be happily married one day, serving and glorifying God with my future wife. Thus, I want to do what I can now to prepare for that. Curiously enough, it was the movie "Courageous" that inspired me to buy this book, although marriage is not the central theme of the movie. As a quick side note, I highly encourage you to watch Courageous if you haven't seen it. I especially say this to young Christian men who respond better to visual depictions of what it looks like to take up God's call to manhood in various roles, and young Christian women who want to understand what solid men look like, and the challenges that they face in their pursuit to be faithful to God's call.  Courageous made such an impact on me that I expressed some of those impressions in my post titled "Wanted: Courage To Be Courageous". Please read it and then rent/buy the movie, watch it for yourself and think carefully through its message!

   But let me get back to "The Meaning of Marriage". I'm reading this book because I want to be a courageous husband and father one day, when God ordains for those events to happen. I don't want to be a flaccid, spineless husband to my future wife or a deadbeat father to my children, unable to lead either and sinking the small familial ship that I hope God will entrust me with. For that matter, I doubt that any man goes into marriage intending to be a failure, but it seems that few men ever make it through to victory at the finish line. Most seem to fall by the wayside.

I don't want to be one of those men.

   When the call comes, I want to run hard for Christ in married life with everything I have, like Eric Liddell in "Chariots of Fire" (another great movie to watch)! I've heard it said and written that no one is ever ready for marriage. While that might be the case, I do know the following as I take a good hard look at myself right now:
  • Christ must increase, and I must decrease; too often I find Him relegated to second place
  • The foundation for a solid marriage is laid with a solid understanding of the Gospel
  • A solid understanding of the Gospel comes from the Word of God - The Bible
  • I thirst for a better, deeper understanding of the Gospel in my life
  • Thus, I need to immerse myself ever more in His Word
  • I need grace in my life, because I'm often ungracious to those around me
  • Pride rages in my flesh; I need to mortify it and exalt humility
  • I see a need to grow in terms of faithfulness and discipline
  • Fear and anxiety often paralyze me; oh Great Faith, I need thee!

    The list could go on, but that's not my end goal. I see only one solution: to throw myself at the foot of the Cross, and cry out to God for the power of His Spirit to transform me through His Word. Without this, I will not be ready to answer His call when it comes.

   So I'm hoping to post my thoughts of what I learn from this book, in between the posts of my study through Romans. I look forward to having you join me on this journey as well, and hearing from those who would be willing to share their thoughts and experiences. I'm going to get a snack and get ready for bed; it's going to be a long day tomorrow. See you soon, in the next post!

Grace and peace to you,
- The Wisdom Seeker