I would like to continue and complete the book summary that I had begun on my last blog. The book that we are working on is ‘Married for God’ by Christopher Ash. I came across many things in this book that were really helpful in my own life, and I hope that it would be helpful in yours too.
In the book the author openly acknowledges that we all have a tainted past. The Bible speaks to such people to offer forgiveness in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Once forgiven, we are renewed to live a changed life empowered by God.
Foundations for Marriage
Reading this book also helped me to understand the foundations that God has laid down for our marriage; it is important that we know them and understand them so that our marriages would be what God intended it to be. These foundations are basic truths found in the Bible. What are those foundations? The Bible teaches that we are all created in God’s image and bear his likeness, and this grants us inherent dignity. Further on, we understand from the pages of scripture that we have been given a unique privilege by God: to fill the earth with men and women who will care for it. The Bible also teaches that, God created us male and female in order to use our uniqueness to care for the world that He has put us in. Lastly, we read in God’s word that we are called to rejoice in our Creator, that is, we need to live in thankful dependence upon God and cheerful obedience to His commands.
Casting Out Assumptions
There is an assumption that we all have concerning marriage and that is: Marriage is the Answer to Our Loneliness. But in God’s grand design, marriage is not fundamentally His remedy for loneliness.
God created us to to care for the world that He has made. Adam had an enormous responsibility on his shoulders to be the gardener or groundskeeper of God’s beautiful garden. This job also carried with it an enormous dignity. God saw that it was not good that Adam was alone in fulfilling this grand responsibility, and so God gave him a ‘helper’ (Eve) not to serve him, but to serve God, alongside Adam. Eve was not given to Adam as a ‘companion’ to remedy his loneliness (he may or may not have been lonely).
A woman was given and not another man because one was not enough to tend the garden neither two, but a whole family of gardeners were needed. But that’s not the only only reason why God created a woman, God also intended that as husband and wife, man and woman should enjoy marital intimacy. But again this is intimacy with a purpose, rather intimacy is not the be all and the end all of marriage. This is intimacy with a common goal, companionship in a task that stretches beyond the boundaries of the couple themselves. The garden needs gardening. God’s world needs watchful care and careful work. Now those who are single should not think that they don’t have any role to play in the world that God has created. Those who are single will serve in many fruitful ways possible only for the unattached. But for those who are married, this work will be done together as a couple.
The Bible acknowledges that we all have longings of the heart, these longings are not necessarily meant to be fulfilled in marriage. but rather they are to be satisfied through fellowship with one another.
We all married or single are created for joyful fellowship with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us. The solution that the Bible offers for loneliness is fellowship, marriages are one way that we can have fellowship with another person but it is not the only way. Thus marriage is not the remedy for loneliness. Not all of us are able to marry, but all are invited into fellowship with God and with one another in Jesus Christ.
God’s purpose for marriage is that those who are married serve Him in and through their marriages. The man and woman go out into the garden to work together. It is wrong to expect our marriages to fulfill our own needs, that kind of an approach would only sow seeds of destruction in our marriage.
There is so much more that I have learned from this book, I am just skimming to the surface here. I hope that this would be an encouragement for you all to go and buy this book and read it for yourselves.
You would be able to buy the book on (Amazon).