Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Meaning of Marriage

As I looked ahead at my year in January, I was also looking at my bookcase and my "to read" list. Both held titles that I have wanted to or needed to sit with, to think through, books that required more mental or emotional energy than I found when the quiet moments of my day allowed for pages to be turned.

This year, I decided to tackle one "meaty" book a month...just one. I wrote about January's, and February's books here. In the past four weeks, I have read the beautifully poignant Lila by Marilynne Robinson and the useful and delightfully penned manual Family Dog by Richard Wolters. I have bookmarks in half a dozen titles just as diverse as those two are from each other.

But the book that I mulled in March was The Meaning of Marriage written by Timothy and Kathy Keller. Alex read this aloud to me over the early spring weeks, and it was such a gift to be the one just... listening. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God was written for married and unmarried folks alike, and that perspective made it especially refreshing.

The Kellers point always to Scripture:
"...when the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone."

They draw on other wise teachers, my favorite being C.S. Lewis:
"The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the greatest secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him."

For a culture attempting to define and understand marriage, this book is an excellent read... and I did not take for granted that it was read to me by the man who loves me so patiently and faithfully.


susan said...

Yay! We are reading it too. It is good stuff. Thanks for the recommendation.

Anonymous said...

You two are just...something.
So grateful for you!
jeanne & umbob

Anonymous said...

Thanks for always when I hear about a book..names of people pop into my mind...I am up to 4 so far! It will also be a gift to us as we celebrate our upcoming anniversary. Bless you, Riann!
Sue G.