The Marriage Project 2014

When I got married 20 years ago (it will be 20 years in February of this year), I had great intentions. My marriage was going to be a marriage that would be what God designed it to be. I would not go through the troubles that I saw in other couples.
So I thought.
But somewhere between my intentions and practices something went wrong. The truth was I didn’t know what I was doing. We seemed to run into brick wall after brick wall. (Looking back those brick walls were our stubborn hearts. Yes, we both are pretty stubborn.) In fact, there was a time early in our marriage when Jennifer and I sat down, looked at each other, and said, ‘This is hard. Is it really supposed to be this hard?’
But over the years, people came to me for marriage counseling and I learned I wasn’t alone. Most people I know are trying to figure out how to make marriage better. And most of them don’t know exactly how to do that.
And after 20 years, my wife and I are still learning what it means to have a marriage God designed for us.
But, I wish someone would have come along early in my marriage and said, ‘This is tricky, but here is what to look for.’ Not that everything would have been smooth, but I might have figured out some things much faster.
This year is about examining marriage. Why? Because the most rewarding earthly relationship we can have is a good marriage. But it is also the most difficult. A great marriage does not just “happen” because two people are “in love.”
Unfortunately, I’ve found that most people enter marriage thinking that the “magic” of “love” will win out and all the problems other couples encounter will never harm their marriage. What happens when those magical feelings are punched over and over again by the reality of selfishness, stubbornness, and hurt? What then?
I’ve found that most people do not know what to do. I’ve found most Christians don’t know what to do.
In fact, though most Christians can tell me who built the ark, who killed Goliath, and who baptized Jesus, they cannot tell me what the Bible has to say about what it means to have the kind of marriage God intended.

In past years, my projects have centered on people: C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Augustine, Willard. For 2014, I have decided to take another approach. I decided to tackle a topic rather than a person. I want to spend a year exploring the issue of marriage.
The Marriage Project will consist of 4 books:

The Meaning of Marriage Timothy Keller
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work John Gottman & Nan Silver
Sacred Marriage Gary Thomas
Fight For Your Marriage Markman, Stanley, Blumberg

This project is meant to explore the principles and practices that help Christian marriage be what God designed it to be. Feel free to join me on this journey. Read the books. Interact with their ideas. And ultimately, let’s apply them to our married life.

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One Response to “The Marriage Project 2014”

  1. Rachael says:

    Always a timely topic — looking forward to hearing your thoughts. We read Thomas’ book a couple of years in and wished we’d just been handed a copy of that instead of going through the laughable pre-marital counseling our pastor at the time ran us through. (We got as much information from that as we would have from a women’s magazine relationship quiz.)

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