The Meaning of Marriage

A Common Mission


What is the meaning of marriage? What essential components can help a marriage thrive? Lauren Hansen sits down with Tim and Kathy Keller about their latest book on marriage. Tim Keller is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of numerous books, including The Reason for God and Counterfeit Gods. His wife, Kathy, is author of Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles: A Case for Gender Roles in Ministry



Tim and Kathy said that one of the things that brought them together was having similar interests: fiction books, movies, places in the world they’ve visited. What blessing or benefit do you see in having similar interests with your spouse or someone you’re dating?
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What common interests do you and your spouse or significant other have?
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What are some other things you believe bring spouses together?
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Tim and Kathy talked about having a common vision, or mission, in life and marriage. What common vision or mission do you and your spouse have? If you don’t have one, consider praying for one now and then committing to pray for it daily.
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Tim and Kathy said that the culture of marriage in our world today seems to promote two extremes: either marriage is the best thing in the world, and it’s worth everything, or it is full of doom and gloom. In reality, marriage is a little bit of both.  

What has your experience been with marriage? If you’re not married, what joy, but also “gloom” or difficulty can you imagine?
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Tim and Kathy said that the purpose of Christian marriage is very radical. Both the husband and wife are called to play the Jesus role. Marriage is meant to be about mutual service and sacrifice.  

In what ways do you currently serve and sacrifice for your spouse? Do you thank them often for how he or she serves and sacrifices for you?
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Tim and Kathy talked about being intentional about their spouse’s holiness. Praying for each other, for example, isn’t something they’ve always done together, but they’ve realized over time how important it is to make time for it.

What might “investing in holiness” look like in your marriage? Write down some examples and pray and talk about which ones you think God wants you to pursue.
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People can come together in marriage for fairly simple reasons: mutual interests, things in common, friendship, attraction. Keeping a marriage together, however, requires mutual service to one another and a common vision and mission for life. As you navigate your own marriage, have courage and be prayerful. Most of all, make time for each other, pray for each other, and do all you can to invest in your spouse's holiness.  


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