Marriage is a big deal. I think we would all agree with this statement but when you find yourself with a pretty diamond ring on your finger, months away from pledging your life to one man forever and ever amen, it becomes a lot more serious. When Ben and I got engaged we wanted to maximize on the time we had before our wedding to prepare as best we could for the marriage we were entering into. The wedding needs to be planned for as well of course, but we wanted to make sure we were giving equal attention to our marriage. That is what the whole wedding is about anyways right? So to start learning and preparing we bought several books.
I love to read, it has always been an enjoyable hobby for me. However, my husband does not love to read like I do. He enjoys it but does not LOVE it like I do. With that being said I do think he would recommend all of these books, or at least the ones he has read. These books have been so influential in our marriage and helped us TREMENDOUSLY during engagement.
1. This Momentary Marriage 2. Sacred Marriage 3. When Sinners Say I Do 4. The Meaning of Marriage 5. The Act of Marriage
Each of these books can be found for very reasonable prices on Amazon, and are so worth getting and reading over and over. I wanted to include a few of my favorite quotes from each book below.
"God gives you Christ as the foundation of your marriage. 'Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.' (Romans 15:7)...Don't insist on your rights, don't blame each other, don't judge and condemn each other, don't find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Meaning of Marriage)
"The key question is this: Will we approach marriage from a God-centered view or a men-centered view? In a man-centered view, we will maintain our marriage as long as our earthly comforts, desires and expectations are met. In a God-centered view, we preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and points a sinful world to a reconciling Creator." -Gary Thomas (Sacred Marriage)
"Do you know God as a God of mercy? Do you see your spouse as God sees him or her--through eyes of mercy? If the answer to either question is no, it is unlikely that your marriage is sweet. Mercy sweetens marriage. Where it is absent, two people flog one other over everything from failure to fix the faucet to phone bills. But where is is present, marriage grows sweeter and more delightful, even in the face of challenges, setbacks, and persistent effects of our remaining sin." -Dave Harvey (When Sinners say I Do)
"Whether we are husband or wife, we are not to live for ourselves but for the other. And that is the hardest yet single most important function of being a husband or wife in marriage." Timothy Keller (The Meaning of Marriage)
These are powerful books that will equip you for marriage. Will you be ready for everything? Will you suddenly become perfect and no longer a selfish sinner? Absolutely not. However, you will understand what the Bible says about marriage and how to love and serve your spouse well. You will learn how to strive to be a better picture to a sinful world of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Marriage shows the world relentless love.
So while weddings are so much fun. Remember to take time to invest in your future or current marriage.
Did you know that even everything that goes into a wedding is about Jesus also? Think about it. The excitement of the bride for her special day...this is a picture to the whole world of our anticipation for our Bridegrooms return. We are to eagerly await the coming back of Christ, just as a bride is eager to walk down the aisle on her wedding day.
The entire wedding day celebration is to picture the marriage feast with the lamb once Christ returns...our weddings are just a little taste of the joyous occasion of that day that is coming. Pretty cool? Revelation 19 talks about how exciting that day will be when the bride has made herself ready for her bridegroom. So while the world tells us our weddings, engagements, and marriage are all about us, and our decision and happiness, remember that is not entirely true. Engagement, the wedding, and most importantly marriage point beyond itself to something far greater. It points to Jesus, the Gospel and his return.
May we not forget these things and strive to be lights of Jesus in this world through our marriages!
P.S. Speaking of great reads, my precious friend Amy over at Lovely Does It is having a book giveaway! Hop over and enter for your chance to win a free book!!