Rick and I are reading through “When Sinners Say “I do,” by Dave Harvey and I decided to begin blogging about it, starting last Monday with a summary of the Epilogue. This week, I’ll summarize Chapter 1. I know it will benefit me to dig deeper by writing about what we’relearning and I pray others will find blessing in Harvey’s godly wisdom as well!
First, the main points of chapter 1
3 components of a solid, biblical theology in marriage:
- The foundation for your marriage = the bible
- The fountain of your marriage = the gospel
- The focus of your marriage = the Glory of God
Looking Deeper & Reflecting
I love that, as I saw in the Epilogue of this book, at the heart of everything Harvey writes is the reminder we need to see we are sinners in our marriages-two sinners joined together for life. Harvey continually reminds us that this realization is key to seeing God, ourselves and our marriages for what they really are. This is the only way to bring grace and humility into our marriages.
“To be a good theologian and therefore a good spouse, we must study God as He really is.”
As Harvey explains why the bible should be the foundation of a marriage, he begins by stating that if we are going to understand God as He really is and thus be good, accurate theologians, we must delve deep into the bible. This book is not only His word to us, but it is our guide book in life and should be our ultimate authority in every thing. As we live in a society where people are walking blindly through marriage, without a guide book or blue print-save the influence of celebrities, Oprah or other empty cultural manifestations of influence-we obviously desperately need something better. The truth of God’s word fills marriage with eternal significance and gives us a final authority. It also relieves us from the pressure that marriage is ultimately based on our commitment to our spouse (though of course this is important), showing that the ultimate foundation should be a reliance on God’s truth.
“The gospel is the heart of the bible. Everything in Scripture is either preparation for the gospel, presentation of the gospel, or participation in the gospel.” I was really impacted by the fact that when Harvey begins explaining how the gospel should be the fountain of a marriage, he first shows how the bible begins with the breaking of relationship with God through Adam and Eve but ends in Revelations with the hope of a perfect restoration once again! How beautiful! But of course, God does not leave us with just a beginning and end. In the middle of the broken and the restored, He gives us an ultimate solution! Though the bible tells us we are born as inherently sinful beings, at war with God and…just lost to this sinful nature, inherited through Adam, we can have forgiveness, redemption and hope through the death on the cross and resurrection of God’s son, Jesus. We can have unconditional forgiveness for the past, present and future and be in a true relationship with God! This is the gospel. If we see our need for it, then we see God’s grace and if we see God’s grace in our lives than we can begin to also actively live this grace out in every aspect of our lives, including in our marriages.
“God is the most important person in a marriage. Marriage is for our good, but it is first for God’s Glory.” In his last point, the Glory of God should be the focus of a marriage, Harvey continually reminds the reader that marriage is not ultimately for our good or for our happiness or for our children, etc…it is for God. It should be all about Him and a living testimony in this world to His glory. Pointing to Paul’s words regarding marriage in Ephesians, he shows that every exhortation Paul gives married people ultimately points them to God. “Just as Christ loved the church” is the sounding board for a couple’s actions towards each other as husband and wife.