An Excerpt From The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

For the last few weeks, I've been recommending the two books on marriage and one novel about the powerful effects of gracious love in a marriage listed below. The chief book I've recommended is The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller. Below is a provocative excerpt from the book and a link to a longer excerpt. Check it out, and see if it won't challenge you like it challenged me, to in the famous words of the Rolling Stones, "Love the one you're with." 

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Redeeming Love (A Novel) by Francine Rivers

"In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner." Timothy Keller in The Meaning of Marriage

Read a longer excerpt HERE.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – September 11-18

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.


Questions to Guide You:

This week, we will turn from the gift of marriage to the gift of singleness. Christianity honors both single and married people as fully human and holy, but our society often stigmatizes or at least fails to celebrate singleness as a beautiful gift from God.

  • How might you define “eunuchs”? Who are people “born eunuchs”? “those made eunuchs by others”? and those “who chose to live as eunuchs”?
  • What might these 3 groups of people teach us about being single and joyfully so?
  • Why do you think the disciples conclude, “it’s better not to marry?” Are they right or wrong? (I don’t know yet).
  • 1 Cor 7 is the longest teaching on singleness and its blessedness in the Bible, but it is a bit confusing. Why is Paul so passionate about people choosing to be single? What does he love about his singleness?
  • What unique gifts, opportunities, benefits, and blessings do single people have that married people forfeit in a marriage? How is a single person’s schedule, budget, habits, hobbies, failures, and decisions different from a married person’s?
  • What challenges do single folk face that married folks avoid to a degree? How does singleness affect friendships, intimacy, goals, and maturity?
  • 1 Sam and 2 Sam describe David and Jonathan’s friendship. How might this inform the levels of intimacy still available to unmarried people’s friendships? How does David and Jonathan’s relationship differ from marriage?
  • Isaiah 56 is a blessing on Eunuchs (all 3 classes). How does it comfort single folk, and what does it promise? Are these consolation prizes or legit gifts?
  • Acts 8 describes one of the earliest and most influential converts to Christ. How might his status as a eunuch explain the historical fact that the Ethiopian Church is the oldest continuously active church in the world?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.