This month’s selection is John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. Under 200 pages and covering 15 areas of marriage in as many chapters, this book is an easy and enjoyable read. Piper is known for his candid and enthusiastic approach to Bible teaching and counseling. This book does not disappoint.
Areas of discussion include covenant keeping, forgiveness, the husband’s headship and the wife’s submission, a section for those not married, and children in marriage. Piper uses the word covenant throughout the entire book, and with good reason. Marriage is a covenant, a promise that we make with another person to love them and care for them even at personal cost to us. This is likened to the relationship between Christ and the church. This mystery is revealed to us in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Scripture reveals to us that God made several covenants. These individuals include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the New Covenant in the book of Jeremiah. When the gift of faith is bestowed on an individual and they are sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit, they are “married” to Christ. The church, made up of believers, is referred to as the bride of Christ. Piper explains that marriage is a living parable of this relationship that Christ has to his people.
However, Piper argues quite persuasively that death is the only legitimate end to a marriage covenant. Of particular interest is chapter 15. Many in the Protestant faith believe that adultery and abandonment are legitimate grounds for divorce. However, Piper argues quite persuasively that death is the only legitimate end to a marriage covenant. Pastor Ben preached a sermon series on the topic of marriage 3 years ago. This was the focus of one of those sermons. The “exception clause” of Matthew 19 is given special attention. It is well worth the time to read just this chapter.
This month consider John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage.