The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller is a thoughtful look at marriage through the lens of Scripture. The Keller’s pull no punches. This book is honest and transparent. They reveal some of the struggles they have overcome in their marriage and point readers to biblical solutions. The Meaning of Marriage definitely has a “Keller-like” feel to it. Much of the book is deep and serious (one of the many reasons why Keller’s popularity continues to escalate), but it is filled with practical help for newlyweds and marriage veterans alike.
The thesis of the book is that “through marriage, the mystery of the gospel is unveiled … marriage is a major vehicle for the gospel’s remaking of your heart from the inside out and your life from the ground up.”
The major strength of the book is the continual return to the gospel: “The only way to avoid sacrificing your partner’s joy and freedom on the altar of your need is to turn to the ultimate lover of your soul. He voluntarily sacrificed himself on the cross, taking what you deserved for your sins against God and others.”
The Meaning of Marriage affirms complementarianism and rejects the growing tide of egalitarianism. The apologetic for complementarianism is offered in a gracious manner and emerges in what may be the best chapter of the book (chapter six) which is authored by Kathy Keller.
My only complaint is Keller’s argument that remarriage may be an option even when a previous spouse is still living. While he does not develop his argument at length, the popularity of the Erasmian view is alarming. Readers should refer to John Piper’s work, This Momentary Marriage for the opposing view.
Overall, The Meaning of Marriage is a valuable book that should be devoured and utilized for years to come.