Well, here it is. Two plus months, I finally finished This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. Although it took me twice as long as I’d planned, I’m so grateful that I read this book!! I periodically try to read books on marriage because I think that having God’s truth refresh, strengthen, and encourage my mind proves extremely beneficial to my personal growth and attitude towards marriage.
This book has been especially helpful to read over the past few months as Matt and I have been moving into the transition of balancing parenting and marriage. I know that this will be a lifelong process. Our goal is that from day one, we will always hold our relationship with each other as husband and wife above all other human relationships.
In the last three chapters of this book, Piper dives into some pretty debatable topics. He even says that very few people, even among his conservative pastor friends, agree with him. The main topic he expounds on is divorce and remarriage. Now, I could try to succinctly tell you Piper’s views, but I feel to give them justice, I would need to expound on them in detail. Rather than doing that, I will encourage you to pick up or download the book to read for yourself. He has given me a lot to chew on, so I don’t want to fully comment on whether or not I agree with his take on this subject. Maybe one of these days I’ll do a blog series on it, but until then, check out the book.
One thing I do know for certain is that Piper’s desire to show that marriage is a picture of Christ and His church has embedded itself in my mind. I find myself looking at my marriage in a different light because of it. The Bible talks about how life is but a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. Marriage is the same way. This temporal life is so short; my marriage will be here today then gone tomorrow. While I need to be completely devoted, loyal to, and in love with my husband, how much more do I need to have that mindset with my relationship with Christ? HE is the one I will live with forever – devoted to, serving, and loving. I leave you with a few closing quotes from John Piper. My prayer is that my marriage, along with yours, can be an example to the world around us of Christ and His love for His bride and in return, her devotion to Him.
“I pray that we will all recognize the deepest and highest meaning of marriage – not sexual intimacy, as good as that is, not friendship, or mutual helpfulness, or childbearing, or child-rearing, but the flesh-and-blood display on the world of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. That is what I pray you will pursue, in your marriage or in your singleness.”
“[Marriage] is a momentary gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrow we must face. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an obstical to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the coevenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.
“Very soon the shadow will give way to Reality. The partial will pass into the Perfect. The foretaste will lead to the Banquet. The troubled path will end in Paradise. A hundred candle-lit evening will come to their consummation in the marriage supper of the Lamb. And this momentary marriage will be swallowed up by Life. Christ will be all and in all. And the purpose of marriage will be complete.”Read More
Tuesday I shared some truths I have learned by reading This Momentary Marriage. As mentioned there, one of the areas God has been faithful to give me many opportunities to work on is that of submission to my husband. Remember that submission does NOT equal being a doormat, having no voice in decisions, or stuffed down into the “barefoot & pregnant role.” (For the record, I do love being barefoot… and pregnancy has many rewards too!)
When my darling husband proposed to me many years ago, only a few areas of slight concern arose which we needed to work through and discuss. One of these was family finances. I considered myself pretty financially savvy. My parents never gave me allowance, I had to work for every penny; I had attended many financial seminars and had numerous hours of teaching through church and school about budgeting, frugality, and God’s plan for money.
Matt, on the other hand, did not have the same background as I did in this area. Although he was making some positive changes, he wasn’t quite a new man yet. But, he firmly believed that he wanted to be in charge of the family finances. Being the controlling person I am, I assumed that I should just take leadership in this area. After all, if I was better at it, shouldn’t I just be in charge??
**For the record, I don’t believe that it is more/less godly for the man to be in charge of family finances. The responsibility needs to be discussed and prayed about by both parties and a collective decision made. While both husband and wife play an important role in where and how money is used, I have not found a biblical mandate saying that only the husband can pay bills, make a budget, etc.**Read More