You Never Marry the Right Person (A)
Though I haven’t read it, Tim and Kathy Keller have apparently written a superb work on marriage (due to remarks I have heard about the book . . . if it’s like anything else Keller has written, I am sure it is an excellent read). The book is called The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God.
Keller sets it up this way:
“. . . 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.”
He then proceeds to show how the Bible reveals why the quest for compatibility seems impossible. This makes me wonder how many Christians believe the Bible exhorts to look for the ‘perfect mate’?
“The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the Gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The Gospel is—we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, and at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.”
What do you think? Is Keller right? Is his understanding of the Bible correct? Or, can two sinners automatically become compatible when they fall in love?