I have read a few books on marriage through the years and hands down Tim & Kathy Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage is the best book I have read on the subject. I like to underline and write notes in the margins of books when a thought or idea strikes me, and this book is a mess after reading it. I think I have written or underlined on almost every page of the book.
The Meaning of Marriage covers various subjects including: the single life, finding a spouse, gender roles, conflict resolution, sex, and the meaning & purpose of marriage. What is so powerful about the book is how the authors expound scripture so well as their foundation for all of the books content. The best way to understand what marriage is all about, is to understand the heart of its Creator. At the end of the book I literally felt like I had just finished a college course on marriage.
For me one of the most powerful subjects they address is the meaning of the covenant of marriage, the vows and promises that are spoken on the wedding day. In a culture where the covenant is seen as almost nothing more than a formality, it was refreshing to have a reminder of how rich and secure and how binding that covenant is supposed to be.
One of the other points of the book that really stood out to me was that ‘we always marry the wrong person’. We never really know who we’re marrying. We don’t know what a married version of our fiance is going to be like. We don’t know what they are like with the addition of children or a career change. We don’t know what they are like 15 years older than they are now. We don’t know what they are like when their passions and interests change. We don’t know what they are like when their health may deteriorate. All of this points back to the importance of the covenant. If the covenant of marriage is honored by both people, these changes can not just be navigated, but a marriage can become even stronger and more beautiful through the years.
Without question I would highly recommend any and everyone to read this. Whether you are single, engaged, newly married, or have been married for years, this book is well worth the time invested to read it. If you are facilitating pre-marital counseling or are looking to build and shape your theological understanding of marriage, this is absolutely the book you need to read.