Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Some jottings on Marriage I might use with wedding couples

Christian Marriage
some notes and extracts from the Common Worship Marriage Service

Invented by God – “The Bible teaches us that marriage is a gift of God in creation”

“a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh” – united together in a new relationship

Purposes of marriage:

(1) CHARITY / PARTNERSHIP – love, friendship, companionship - “Marriage is given, that husband and wife may comfort and help each other, living faithfully together in need and in plenty, in sorrow and in joy.”

(2) CHASTITY / PURITY – sex - “It is given, that with delight and tenderness they may know each other in love, and, through the joy of their bodily union, may strengthen the union of their hearts and lives.”

(3) CHILDREN / PROCREATION – family - “It is given as the foundation of family life in which children may be born and nurtured in accordance with God's will, to his praise and glory.”

A covenant – vows – promises – commitment – solemn binding agreement

“N, will you take N to be your wife?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her,
and, forsaking all others,
be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”

A life-long exclusive relationship – “forsaking all others, be faithful as long as you both shall live”

“I, N , take you, N ,
to be my husband,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love, cherish, [and obey],
till death us do part,
according to God's holy law.
In the presence of God I make this vow.”

Unconditional promises: for worse, poorer and in sickness – given great security – makes working at making your marriage the best it can be in your own interests!

“N, I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

“Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.”

The full text of the marriage service is available at:

Some key Biblical passages:
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25
The Song of Songs (a love poem in the Bible, a picture of the relationship between God and his people)
Proverbs 5
Matthew 19:1-9
Ephesians 5:22-33

Some books on marriage from a Christian perspective:

Christopher Ash, Married for God: Making your marriage the best it can be (Nottingham, IVP, 2007)

David Harvey, When Sinners Say “I do”: Discovering the power of the Gospel for marriage (Shepherd Press, 2009)

Pete Jackson, Preparing for Marriage: God’s Plan for your Life Together Study Guide (New Malden, Good Book Company, 2007)

Timothy & Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 2011)

Nicky & Sila Lee, The Marriage Book: How To Build A Lasting Relationship (London, Alpha International Publications, 2000)*

Rob Parsons, The Sixty Minute Marriage: Transforming Your Relationship in One Hour (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1997)*

Michael & Hilary Perrott, The Highway Code for Marriage (Farnham, CWR, 2005)*

John Piper, This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence (Nottingham, IVP, 2009)

Winston T. Smith, Marriage Matters: Extraordinary change through ordinary moments (Greensboro, New Growth Press, 2010)

Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the realities of marriage (Nottingham, IVP, 2010)

Simon Vibert, The Diamond Marriage: Have Ultimate Purpose in your Marriage (Fearn, Christian Focus, 2005)

Douglas Wilson, Reforming Marriage (Moscow, Canon Press, 1995)

* - less full-on Christian content

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