I found this book on marriage to be better than others I have read. It’s a nice balance between practical and philosophical and provides a variety of sources (both Biblical and research based) to support points. Keller, unsurprisingly, takes a Gospel approach to marriage. I particularly enjoyed his point about loving our spouses for the person God wants to transform him/her into. Though I had never thought of this before, this is one of my greatest joys in my marriage. We’ve both grown and changed a lot in 13 years together. Keller points out that this is marriage. Who we are married to today is not the same person we married on our wedding days, regardless of when we were married.
Marriage changes us. Having children changes us. A career switch changes us. Age changes us. On top of everything else, marriage brings out and reveals traits in you that were there all along but were hidden from everyone including you, but now they are all seen by your spouse.
I have changed a lot since I met Husband at 17. He’s changed a lot as well. As we both strive to be more like Christ, we continue to change and grow into the people we were created to be. Loving one another through those changes is both the struggle and gift of marriage. No one sees your character flaws quite as clearly as your spouse.
I think this book would also be good for singles. Keller pastors a church with a large population of singles, and this book is based off of a sermon series he provided on marriage. I often think about how when Husband and I first started dating, he is not who I would have picked for myself. I had this silly list of things I was looking for in a spouse. Thankfully, God pruned me of that list to things that mattered. I often think of the poorer choices I considered.
While I do think there are some inconsistencies in the chapter on gender roles, if the Kellers and I sat down to talk, I think we would probably generally agree with one another. My husband is my spiritual leader, and I chose to follow him. However, he leads out of love and service to me. We submit to one another as we both submit to Christ’s authority in our lives.
All in all, a good read. It’s also relatively short and quick to get through.