Friends and Lovers, Joel Beeke (CruciformPress, 2012)
First thing: The whole time I was reading this short little book, I had the ‘80’s song ringing through my head. These are the dorky distractions that plague my mind on a regular basis. Most of this book is extremely practical. It is almost like spending some time with a wise experienced Christian, who wants to share some advice on how to be a better friend and lover to your spouse. When I was done reading, I got to thinking about how most people don’t read books on marriage until after they are married. Does that really make much sense? Wouldn’t it behoove us to learn as much as we can about marriage before we covenantally commit the rest of our lives to loving another person before God and every other witness celebrating? This is why I wanted to reflect on my favorite paragraph in the book:
As different as male and female are, they are united in marriage on the basis of their common humanity. “Marriage is honorable in all” (Hebrews 13:4), but it is not marriage per se: there is added dimension to Christian marriage, for Christians are to marry only in the Lord. The partnership of two becoming one actually includes the Lord as a third party. Any definition of such marital friendship must then include the words in Christ; true marital friendship is the personal bond of shared life in Christ. Moreover, where husband and wife love and serve the same Lord, we see an early tri-unity that reflects the Trinity in heaven. The bond I feel with my wife, by which we are two are one in the Lord, has helped me to know God better. It has helped me understand just a bit more how God can be three persons in one essence (15).
Christian marriage is a true blessing from the Lord. When I think of how young and naïve I was when I did tie the knot, I am overwhelmingly thankful to have a husband who truly loves the Lord. God does teach us so much about himself in our marital union. I can only imagine how having Christ as the true head of the body helps a man in his heavy responsibility to lead. And seeing how God the Father exalts Christ, who lovingly submits to his will, is a comfort for women. What a privilege it is to share in this mysterious unity! I want to appeal to all my single readers today to not settle for anything less than a fellow believer who is eager to glorify Christ with you. It truly is a treasure, in the good times and the bad—and there will be both! So, if you are single and reading this post, I double dare you to leave a comment to make you accountable for what you’ve just read. You know, something like, “Okay, Aimee, I get it,” so I know you are listening…