The meaning of marriage


People say:

“Marriage is just a piece of Paper, I don’t need a piece of paper to say I love you”.

Tim Keller says there are Two types of relationship. Covenant and consumer. You can walk away from a consumer relationship any time you want. Shop around. If something else meets your needs better then go there. A covenant relationship can lead to more intimacy not less.

He illustrates covenant relationship by pointing out that Ulasees tied himself to a mast because he knew he would go crazy for a while, but he also knew he would get over it and get to somewhere better. “He didn’t want to wreck the ship when he wasn’t thinking straight.”

“that’s what a marriage covenant does. It ties you to the mast. In most cases if you are able to stick with it it gets you into something richer, it creates something of stability”.



A marriage covenant creates freedom.


“If you do not know the discipline of making a promise and sticking to it you are not a free person. You are enslaved to your feelings”.Kierkegaard


“Only a human being can make a promises and when you do you are most free” Lewis Smeed


Keller talks about the mission of marriage. He asks what it is for. What is it for? and suggests that many want someone who will accept them as they are and won’t want to change them. He says, “but we all come into marriage flawed. And there are no perfectly compatible people”. Marriage will bring out the worst in you. Show the problems that are there, the incompatibilities.

One of the purposes of marriage is to help each other grow.

“When you look for a marriage partner do not look for a finished statue but a good block of marble.”


“The Christian view is that you fall in love with what the person is becoming.”


“You should be looking for someone who could be your best friend and most trusted councillor.”


“The secret of marriage is to be able to love your wife during seasons when you are getting very little love back. When they are sick. When they are discouraging. When they are absorbed in their own problems. They are not really serving you or noticing you or attending you. It it extremely important during those times to keep giving love even though you are not getting it back. That takes a source of love from outside….if you pull back as they pull back over the years there is no love left at all….we need to give when we are not getting back. I call it love philanthropy….to do that we need a source of love from somewhere else. The only love you can get it from somewhere else without being unfaithful is from God. …if your spouse is the main source of love income then you will freak out when they are not loving you. But if God is your main source of love income you can get through it. It all comes from Ephesians Chapter 5. Jesus loved us by staying on the cross…Jesus didn’t love us because we where lovely but he loved us to make us lovely.” Keller


What is the criteria for finding a good [marriage partner].

1) Someone who understands you.

2)  Someone you have already solved problems or conflicts with. And both of you think it was a good solution.

3) Marry someone of the same faith. If your faith is important you to you then someone would have to share your faith in order to understand you.

The mission of marriage is to make the other your best friend.


Sex says I belong exclusively to you. Every time you have sex you are re-marrying.




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