Gospel-Centered Marriage: Becoming the Couple God Wants You to be Perfect Paperback – 9 Nov 2015
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Some of the features of this book that are highlighted in each chapter are the following sections:
Consider this - "A scenario--often based on a real-life--situation which raises some kind of dilemma or frustration in marriage."
Biblical background - "A relevant Bible passage together with some questions to help you think it through."
Read all about it - "A discussion of the principle, both in terms of its theological underpinning and its contemporary application."
Questions for reflection - "Questions that can be used for group discussion or personal reflection."
Ideas for action - "Some ideas or an exercise to help people think through the application of the principle to their own situation."
What I have done below to give you a taste of the book is to give the principle elaborated on in each chapter and the key Scriptures covered in each chapter.
Part One: Gospel-Centered Marriage - The Five Chapters in this section are on:
Chapter One - "Marriage and the passion of God" illuminates the principle: "Your marriage is an illustration of the relationship of Christ to His people." The key passage in this chapter is a study of Hosea 1-3.
Chapter Two - "Marriage and the purposes of God" states the principle: "The purpose of your marriage is companionship and partnership in mission." The biblical background for this principle is found in Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:18-24.
Chapter Three - "Marriage and the kingdom of God" contends the principle: "Your marriage is to demonstrate that it's good to live under God's reign." The biblical basis for the thesis of this chapter is from Ephesians 5:22-33.
Chapter Four - "Marriage and the Submission of God's people" states the principle: "As the church submits to Christ, so wives put their husband's will before their own." The background for the principle discussed in this chapter is from 1 Peter 3:1-7.
Chapter Five - "Marriage and the Loving authority of Christ" discusses the principle: "As Christ loves the church, husbands put their wife's interests before their own." The basis for discussion in this chapter is from Mark 10:40-45.
Part Two: Gospel-Centered Relationships - The Five Chapters in this section cover:
Chapter Six - "Grace" - The principle on grace is that "grace means we can always begin again." The key passages are Titus 3:3-8; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 2:11-14; and Ephesians 4:26-27.
Chapter Seven - "Love" - Enumerates the principle: "daily thoughtfulness matters more than grand gestures." The biblical content for this chapter is based on John 13:1-17.
Chapter Eight - "Conflict" - States the principle: "Conflict begins when my selfish desires are denied by my spouse." The passage dealing with conflict is from James 3:13-18.
Chapter Nine - "Reconciliation" - Focuses on the principle: "Reconciliation begins when my selfish desires are denied by me." The biblical basis of discussion for this chapter comes from James 4:1-12.
Chapter Ten - "Forgiveness" - Highlights the principle: "Trust must be earned and forgiveness must be given." The key text on forgiveness is from Matthew 18:21-35.
Part Three: Gospel-Centered Sex - The five chapters in this section are on:
Chapter 11: "Enjoying sex" on the principle: "it's our duty to enjoy marital sex." The featured passage in this chapter is Song of Songs 4:12-5:1.
Chapter 12: "Loving sex" elaborates on the principle: "Good sex begins long before you take your clothes off." The primary passage for this chapter is Song of Songs 4:1-16.
Chapter 13: "Transforming sex" develops the principle: "We get sex wrong because we get God wrong." The key biblical passage developed is Romans 1:18-25.
Chapter 14: "Gospel-centered beauty" hones in on the principle: "Love finds us beautiful and love makes beautiful." The numerous passages developed are Song of Songs 1:5-6, 8-10; Romans 12:2; Proverbs 5:18-19; 1 Peter 3:3.
Chapter 15: The conclusion of the book "Marriage is not forever" solidifies the principle: "Find your identity and joy in God rather than in marriage." The main biblical passages developed are John 4:4-26; Mark 12:18-25; Revelation 21:3-4.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will be using it in the context of counseling and coaching couples who desire marriage; those who are already married; and be using it in the context of small groups in the church. I highly recommend this book because it is indeed gospel centered; it covers the major bases of a Christian marriage; and is not overwhelming for those who are not readers. I especially recommend it for guys (and gals) who don't enjoy reading, or simply don't have a lot of time on their hands. Each chapter is only a few pages long, and you can get a lot of substance and help in a short amount of time if you just want to read on a specific topic in the book. It gives excellent food for thought and discussion and will be very beneficial to any couple no matter how long they have been married.