Saturday, January 19, 2008

On Marriage

I'm reading this hot-off-the-press new book. I grabbed it from the freebie box that came for our academic buyer because the title astonished me, and he told me I could have it. It's called Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help It Happen.

I was appalled. I still haven't quite recovered. And I am not alone in feeling so. Every girl who has seen this book lying on our desk at home has been like "What in the world is THAT book?". Now that I am halfway through the book, I see that this was the author's intention. Shock us into curiosity. She is not stupid.

At this point, I am withholding my final judgment on its contents, but I am quite provoked in my thoughts about marriage. I am seeing how I have viewed marriage incorrectly, and in my encouragement to my single girlfriends, I have held up a somewhat distorted or incomplete view of marriage. If nothing else, this book is causing me to take a step back and think about what I say to my single friends, how I talk about my marriage and how I talk about their singleness!

In the garden, Adam was in perfect harmony in his relationship with the Creator, yet God said it was not good for him to be alone. Wow. That means statements like "Marriage won't fulfill your loneliness, only God can do that" are sort of stupid. No kidding. No relationship is as fulfilling as your relationship with God -- but does that mean we chuck them?? Obviously not! We don't need friends, parents, siblings, churches, pastors because we have God? NO! God gives those good relationships to us. And he gives spouses to us, too.

I know this is not for everybody. I do believe I have met people who truly have been called to be single. But that can be a sort of cop-out for people who don't want to admit they want to get married, in case they fail (ooooh, I'm treading on rocky ground here, I know!). I know this because I was one of those people! I pretty much put up a wall and said "I'll be single, I don't want to be married" when what I wanted was a guy who liked ME and wasn't scared of ME.

I'll be back with a conclusion of the matter after I polish this book off. In the mean time, I want to really open my mind to biblical thinking on marriage. I am so thankful for my marriage! In a world where jokes about sex, divorce, stupid husbands, etc., abound, I want to say, in all sincerity, that my husband has been the largest gift of grace to me after my salvation. God gave me someone who wasn't intimidated by my strong personality, but didn't want to stamp it out, either. Josh has been my spiritual guidance in many areas, and my teammate in many others. I am so glad God matched me with him!

Here's a little Shakespeare to conclude with:

"God, the best maker of all marriages,
combine your hearts in one".
~Henry V


Rebecca said...

I admire you desire to get a biblical, godly view of marriage. We all could use a fresh glimpse. Everything in this world conspires against people being happily married. I love how you referred to Josh a God's gift of grace to you. I never thought of it that way!!

Molly Carlisle said...

Great post, Gret. I want to read that book, I think. I guess I'll add it to my list. You've inspired me so much in the reading area. I know I tell you that a lot, but I definitely owe it to you! :) I just have a small goal of reading a book a month. Right now I'm almost finished with Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller.

Elise said...

I really want to read this one now! I just finished Doing Things Right so I'm still hungry for instruction in this area of life... I see it on Amazon - you said it's hot off the press so do you think amazon is my best bet? If you the book let me know b/c I am now a bookmoocher thanks to you! :) It was heartwarming to read about your affections for your husband.

Anonymous said...

In my dating days, I remember saying something like, "I'm trying to convince my 'now-hubby' to marry me." We did eventually settle on a date (based on when our apartment leases were up) and decided to get married. There wasn't a romantic proposal or anything, but we're still married 15 years later. Sounds like an interesting book!

Name: Karen said...

OHhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I am SO interested! Can't wait to hear your "book review" (hint, hint) when you are done.

:) Hugs Gretchen!

Lisa said...


Thanks for giving this book a fair read. I'm the book's publicist as well as a friend of the author AND a single girl who desires marriage.

This message (also supported and taught by the likes of Al Mohler, Mark Dever, etc.) is countercultural, but entirely biblical. About a year and a half ago I dropped my attitudinal mix of apathy and feminazism to consider it. It's changing the way I view singleness, marriage, name it. I can honestly say I'm a different girl, and am now praying boldly and doing my part in shaping my future marriage story.

A shout out to all you women who are single...hang in there! Don't give up, and don't be ashamed to desire marriage. It's a worthwhile and honorable pursuit.

For more info on the book and my friend Candice (the author), go to


Sarah: said...

I think this is an area in our Christian circles that has definitely been misconstrued (sp?). I think earnest Christian young women believe that marriage will solve all of their problems--or---they take the "could care less" road that you did and try to deceive themselves. And in some ways, they have been told both things. Marriage is wonderful--in God's time and plan!
Please do let us know what you think about the book as a whole when you are done....I would love to add it to my "counseling library". :-)

Gretchen said...

Thanks so much for your input. I am here at Southern with my husband, so when I saw Dr. Mohler wrote the preface, it ignited my interest. I appreciate your chiming in with this perspective. I work with a single's small group and I brought up the topic during my girl's time and laid out on the table the idea that it is honorable for them to adore God supremely, and esteem and desire marriage at the same time! You are right when you say it is countercultural. The girl's faces just lit up, though, and I hope I can be an encouragement to them with this new perspective and insight. I am chewing through the book, and thinking about how I can incorporate this into my relationships with single girls and still encourage them toward contentment in this season of life. Do you go to Capitol Hill? I have a million friends from there at my church here! How about you plan a little visit to young-man central station here in Louisville! :) -- that goes for you, too, Elise! :)

Everyone else, I will be back with more on this topic, I'm sure.

Steve said...

Josh sounds like a great guy. It also sounds like we both have strong and talented wives. Thanks for taking the time to esteem Josh on your blog. Those kinds of words are good vitamins for husbands.

All the best,
Steve Watters (Candice's husband)

Molly Carlisle said...

p.s. I still remember sitting at a table with Josh in the student center... and you were on the other side of the room, and he told me that he wanted to ask you out. awwwww. such memories!