Reviewed by Daphne Kabeberi:
When we were given this book to read, I all but refused to go through it, for fear that it would “arouse love before it so desires” in this single girl’s heart and mind. You can imagine my surprise when it did the exact opposite! It taught me that “marriage” has relatively little to do with the sort of mushy thoughts that I’ve come to associate with the word. In the face of a society where the marriage institution is struggling for definition and acclamation, Christopher Ash seeks to give a straightforward account of what the Bible teaches about marriage.
After explaining that honoring God ought to be the primary concern of a married couple, Ash reminds us that we still have hope despite the fact that we’ve evidently missed that mark. It’s a great comfort to know that the Bible was written to people with damaged sexual histories, offered forgiveness and restoration in Christ. “Sex in the service of God” is the phrase that Ash uses to summarize the idea that marriage. Sex, with the involved aspects of intimacy and family, is mainly meant to help us steward God’s creation. Marriage in the Bible is seen to be for the sake of the following:
- children rather than barrenness
- faithfulness rather than selfishness
- sexual order rather than chaos.
This book absolutely revolutionized my thinking about relationships and marriage! It was mind-blowing to learn that marriage is not primarily intended as the cure to loneliness. Much as marriage should be a place of friendship and joyful fellowship, we’re to primarily find fellowship with God and with one another in Christ! It was also very challenging to read that the heart of marriage isn’t romantic love, but faithfulness: steadfast love. And what a comfort it was to be reminded that the wedding with our Bridegroom, Christ, is my ultimate hope for delight and fulfillment, whether or not I ever get married!
I was very refreshed by how faithfully the author interpreted Scripture, pointing constantly to God – unlike many books on similar topics that are man-centered and unrealistic. I’ve ordered multiple copies of this book as wedding gifts for my many friends getting married soon. I wish I could afford to get one for every single friend and colleague, whether married or not, young or elderly. It’s such a brilliant read!