Why do we place so much emphasis on a wedding and so little on a marriage? Perhaps it’s because every bride dreams of the “perfect” wedding. She walks down the aisle in a white gown as the crowd rises to attention while the cute little flower girl drops rose petals in her path. It’s the perfect setting as Cinderella weds Prince Charming.
But what about tomorrow? And all the tomorrows thereafter? No one plans for that. Yet here is a fact each bride and groom must grasp: After every wedding, there comes a marriage! Carriages will turn into pumpkins, wedding gowns go into a box destined for the attic, and Cinderella wakes up as Florence while Prince Charming turns into Fred. And that’s when the real work begins.
My wife waited in line to offer congratulations and best-wishes to the lovely couple. She hugged the bride and heard her say, “I’m just glad the hard part is over.” Julie smiled and said, “Honey, I hate to break it to you, but… the hard part is just beginning.”
It’s true. Too many enter into a relationship with rose-colored glasses only to discover that it takes a tremendous amount of work and selfless sacrifice to succeed in marriage. Maybe that’s why only 50% survive. And out of the remaining half, how many do you think are genuinely happy?
With these challenges in mind, Adams has written 12 “Marriage Matters” chapters.
- Before You Say “I Do” – introduces the principles of severance and permanence
- Building Blocks for Successful Relationships – explores the importance of acceptance, intimacy, communication, honor, and response
- “Holy” Matrimony – encourages the question, “Am I a God-centered spouse or a spouse-centered spouse?”
- Fanning the Flames of Romance – five Biblical truths about romantic intimacy
- Prayer: Taking Intimacy to It’s Highest Level – emphasizes that a great marriage begins, not with knowing each other, but with knowing God
- Pests That Will Wreck Your Marriage – a call to guard against five “foxes” (Song 2:15) that can wreak havoc on the marriage garden
- ‘Til Debt Do We Part – explores seven Biblical truths about money management
- I Did It My Way – practical ways we inject problems into our marriages by replacing God’s will with our own wills
- Conflict Resolution – keys to pulling together instead of being pulled apart
- Divorce: Before You Throw in the Towel – encourages recognition of the deceptions and consequences of divorce, as well as the need to establish “firewalls” of protection
- Extreme Home Makeover – textual notes from Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 for husbands and wives
- Committed to the Covenant – emphasizes the nature of real commitment and selfless love, grounded in our “first love” for Christ (Rev 2:5-6)
God doesn’t want you to have a mediocre marriage. He wants you to find out what words like “love” and “commitment” and “covenant” and “forgiveness” are all about. He enables you to make choices and he enables you to keep your promises. Our God can move mountains and save marriages! And… he can make good ones even better.
Each chapter includes several “Digging Deeper” discussion questions and all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible.
Marriage Matters is a great new resource for individual insight, a small-scale couples study, or an adult Bible class. It tackles real-life issues and encourages the asking of some difficult modern questions, but does so in a respectful and Biblical way. We’re planning to use it next quarter in one of our adult classes at Laurel Canyon and I’m anticipating an encouraging and profitable study.