Marriage Matters

Marriage Matters


Miriam and I have been studying this book together. usually we read a chapter together and then discuss it on Friday mornings over breakfast. I say usually, it doesn’t always happen. I don’t want to make us sound like some super spiritual all American cheese loving couple. But we have been studying it. we have arrived at Chapter 6 entitled: ‘Person or Object, Honor (sic) or Manipulation?’ and I have to say that this should be required reading for all Christian couples, no matter how long they have been married and no matter how brilliant they think their relationship is (or not). Consider this:

For our marriages to grow in love, they must be built on a foundation of honoring our spouses as people who have value regardless of whether we’re getting what we want. If we show them favour only to get what we want, even if the things we want are good things, we become manipulators who suck the love out of our marriages.’ (p80)

Ouch!How many of us are secret manipulators? If this book shows one thing, it shows us just how deep-seated sin truly is. Am I really considering my spouse before I consider myself? Are their interests truly above mine? On the other hand we must be careful not to idolise our spouses. We are called to love them and worship the Living God. Smith also helpfully deals with the issue of conflict – it comes into all relationships. One set of desires clashes with another set of desires and sprinkle a bit of sin into the mixer and, Hey Presto! A recipe for disaster. As I counsel couples in my church, ‘Our jobs are not to change one another’s behaviour, our jobs are to focus on changing our own hearts with the help of God’s Holy Word through the power of His Holy Spirit.’ We must look to our own faults and sins before we seek to ‘fix’ our spouses.

I would recommend this as a study book for all couples serious about the Lord and serious about their relationships.