A Marriage Book That Isn't About Marriage - Radical

A Marriage Book That Isn’t About Marriage

Francis and Lisa Chan wrote a marriage book that isn’t about marriage. Contrary to what the title might lead you to believe, You and Me Forever does not tell you how you can get married and live happily ever after. In fact, the book is clear that, according to Jesus, no one will be married forever in heaven.

So what is You and Me Forever actually about? More the forever than you and me. It challenges your perspective on marriage, prodding you to see it as a means to an eternal end rather than an eternal end in itself.

In some ways, its aim is higher than the practical. However, such a lofty vision actually makes for innumerable rubber-meets-the-road implications. For example, rather than giving you clinical instructions on how to navigate specific conflicts with your spouse, Francis and Lisa might close a chapter asking you to write out ways that Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf should affect the way you relate to your spouse. Such application fosters honest discussion between couples in which they rely on the Holy Spirit to speak through God’s Word. This heavenly focus leads to practical life changes because it shifts baseline paradigms and allows gospel truth to tangibly address a wide range of specific issues.

Not Your Typical Marriage Book

As can be expected, they talk a lot about love, humility, prayer, and perseverance. But they also talk about missions, children, and your individual walk with God. It’s not your typical marriage book. But while it’s not strictly about marriage, it’s precisely what a marriage needs. Here are a few samples:

It’s not that we should love Him a little more than we love our families; our love for Him should be in a different category. He is far beyond us, so our love for Him should be far beyond our love for others. The gap between our love for God and our love for our spouses should be massive. The two are not worthy of being compared. (p. 33)

Make disciples. Our lives should revolve around these two words. Whether as individuals or as couples, our mission is to make as many disciples as we can during our time on earth. This takes priority over everything else. So assuming you haven’t done so already, you should sit down with your spouse tonight and figure out how to structure your lives around the command to make disciples. This command should dictate everything about your life: where you live, where you work, where you spend your money, how you spend your time – everything! You should not make a single decision without the words “make disciples” factoring in. (p. 98)

It’s time to stop looking to your marriage and your spouse to do the things that God promises to do for us. True strength, true joy, true fulfillment – these are all promised to us by God, and they can only come from Him. (p. 146)

Wherever you are on the journey, picture how you want this life to end. We make our best decisions in hindsight, so imagine yourself standing before God. How would your ideal life have looked? (p. 188)

You can find out more about You and Me Forever and how you can get a copy by visiting the book website.

Jonathan Lenning is the General Manager of Sales at Cottage Supply Company in Birmingham, Alabama. He previously worked on staff at Radical.


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