When Zoe & I were engaged we read through John Piper’s book, This Momentary Marriage (TMM). I don’t have years of experience of being married, but I feel that, looking back, this book has shown us something of what it looks like to have the gospel at the heart of our marriage, and so has massively helped us to begin to battle for that. At the heart of what Piper expounds from Scripture is that marriage is ‘the display of God’. Marriage tells you something about who God is and his relationship with his people. And so who God is and his relationship with his people tells us something about the shape and priorities of our married life. 

Here’s a moving video that’s well worth watching, telling the story of Ian & Larissa’s marriage and how TMM has helped them model their marriage on the gospel:

As I watch it and am reminded of how marriage should display the absolutely glorious gracious love of Christ, it makes me realise how crucial it is that we prioritise understanding and displaying this love in our marriages. Having read a few reviews (including this thorough contribution) of the recently released Real Marriage (RM), by Mark & Grace Driscoll, there seems to be a striking contrast with Piper in this regard. RM seems to have an imbalanced focus on sex and needs, and without the framework of the gospel. This reinforces for me the priority of the message of TMM as a rock-solid foundation. As Challies has concluded in his review, for all the positives of RM ‘this [absence] is near-fatal because it leads to a book that is not firmly rooted in what matters most.’ He explains this is the reason ultimately why he’s decided not to read it with his wife, nor recommend it to his church.

Knowing the dark depths of my own heart, surely it is only fixing our eyes on the beautiful grace that God has shown us in Jesus that will move us to seek to live marriages like Ian & Larissa’s.

HT: Justin Taylor

You can pick up a copy of the book here.

What do you think? Read either of the books? Do comment.