Category Archives: marriage

gospel-impacted relationships


I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and books on marriage recently as I’ve been growing in my own marriage and encouraging the many newly married couples Jon and I interface with regularly.

A friend recently posted this excerpt from Justin Taylor’s blog and I found it very powerful, for the married and unmarried, I like how it applies to all relationships ..


How the Gospel Can Transform a Marriage

Gary and Betsy Ricuchi, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace (Crossway, 2006), pp. 22-23:

  • Because of the gospel, Christians have become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, in our marriage, our past does not define us, confine us, or determine our future.
  • Because of the gospel, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Therefore we can live free of all guilt and condemnation for every sin, and we can trust that God, in his mercy, will be gracious to us.
  • Because of the gospel, we can forgive, just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Nothing done against us compares to our sin against God. Therefore all offenses, hostility, and bitterness between Christians can be completely forgiven and removed.
  • Because of the gospel, we are accepted by God (Romans 15:7). Therefore we are not dependent on a spouse for who we are or what we need.
  • Because of the gospel, sin’s ruling power over us is broken (Romans 6:614). Therefore we can truly obey all that God calls us to do in our marriage, regardless of any circumstance or situation.
  • Because of the gospel, we have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). Therefore we can at any time take any need in our marriage to the One who can do all things.
  • Because of the gospel, we have hope (Romans 5:1-4). Therefore we can endure any marital difficulty, hardship, or suffering, with the assurance that God is working all to our greatest good (Romans 8:28).
  • Because of the gospel, Christ dwells in us by his Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14). Therefore we are confident that God is always with us and is always at work in our marriage, even when progress is imperceptible (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
  • Because of the gospel, we have power to fight and overcome remaining sin, which continues to dwell and war within us (Romans 7:19-2124-25Galatians 5:16-17). This indwelling enemy represents the essence of what is called the doctrine of sin.

These are just a few of the ways the gospel can transform a marriage. Sometimes it’s not easy to live in the reality of these truths. But it is always possible—and not because of our strength or determination, but because of God’s empowering and enabling grace.


a good word


a great, brief discussion on marriage by three highly respected ( and highly respectable) pastors and teachers.  It’s worth five minutes of time for those married and not …


Piper, Carson, and Keller on Sustaining the Covenant of Marital Love

“What sustains the marital bond and affections over the long haul? Three men with a combined 116 years of marriage reflect on what they’ve learned from God’s Word and others along with their experience.

“Don Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper offer insight on falling in love again and again and the ground of covenant in which the flower of love grows. In marriage, man and woman change but their promise does not, sustained by the God who enacted his covenant between Christ and the church.”

Keller’s marriage series can be purchased here.

Piper’s book is This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence.

another wedding


just over 48 hours after the Royal Wedding, I had the privilege of attending another wedding, live, here in Chicago.  It was loosely a family wedding, the brother of my brother-in-law.

With Jon being a pastor and in college ministry before that, I cannot even begin to count the number of weddings I have attended.  Most weddings share the basic components and are similar in nature.  This particular wedding would have appeared quite ‘standard’ at a glance of the program … the welcome, the giving of the bride, the message, rings, vows, pronouncement, etc.

However, what made this wedding different from any other wedding I have attended in the past is how gospel centered it was.  I confess that I actually took notes into my iphone from the message.  Whether it’s that I am hearing with new ears, or that God just used these words on this day to minister powerfully to me.

The processional was to the hymn, “Thine is the Glory”, bolted out majestically by a professional brass ensemble.

The message began with, ended with and focussed on GRACE.  The pastor defined grace as:  the unexpected and wildly undeserved favor of God when we least expect it and need it most.  What a beautiful definition and picture.  The passages were Genesis 2:18-24 and Ephesians 5:22-33.  He talked of marriage as an orchestra re-enacting God’s grace.  Marriage shows two people who are weak and needy, yet strong and vibrant because of and through the work on the cross.  Beautiful.    As I understand the gospel more fully, how I am accepted in Jesus, the grace God has shown me, I’m more compelled to show that same grace and acceptance to my spouse.

Then, the groom wrote a hymn which was sung by the guests.

Holy Father

Holy Father we come before you; we offer you our praise.

At your throne, take us and renew us, this is our anthem raised.

You are might strong to triump! We are free from Satan’s hold.

In our weakness You find us, revive us, make us bold!

Holy Father we come before You we offer up our praise.

At Your throne, take us and renew us, this is our anthem raised.

Precious Jesus I give my all to You.  Your mercy rescued me.

Take my heart, make me whole, and help me to surrender all my being.

Born to suffer, born to save me, born a child and yet a king!

I will love you forever and lift my voice to sing:

“Halelujah Oh what a Savior, His beauty rests on me!”

Full of grace, Jesus life my weary eyes and give me victory!

As we run may You go before us, stay near to us we pray.

Hold our hands, guide our feet and keep us strong along the narrow way.

Giv’n to stray Lord, hold us closer.

Giv’n to stray Lord, we resign to Your blessings unending and boundless love divine!

Lead us on through these worldly races Lord, keep us in the stride.

In Your strength we will show our paces, Your emblem be our guide!

-Stephen Lynderd

I was truly blessed to be there.

the royal wedding


at 3:35 my alarm went off this morning .. in my pj’s and glasses, along with my mother-in-law, daughter Elizabeth and scones in hand, we hurried off to my friend Karen’s house for the viewing LIVE of the Royal Wedding of William and Catherine!

It’s not that I’m all that committed to English Royalty .. but when I first got to know Karen, and attended an event or two at her house, I vowed that to the best of my ability, I would never miss an event she hosted.  In addition to being a dear friend, she’s a great hostess and knows how to Celebrate!  The Royal Wedding was no exception.  She greeted us with her feathered hair piece and English Breakfast tea, hot and ready to serve from her English Teapot!

It was all quite lovely!

What most struck me about the wedding though, was the amount of scripture used.  For the most part, the invocations, readings, anthems were all taken directly from scripture.  John 3:16 was even quoted.  God promises that His word does not return void … I cannot help but think and hope that the millions who watched, LIVE and around the world, that some heard these words for the first time ever and they will be seeds sown, watered and some day harvested.

happily ever after


one of the blogs I follow, girltalk, is starting a new series ..  here’s the introduction by Carolyn Mahaney.

Happily Ever After

2011 at 4:02 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney
Filed under Marriage

“The story about the gift of the bride (Genesis 2:18-23) represents marriage ideally before the Fall, providing… a type of Christ’s relationship to his church (Eph. 5:22-32). This latter represents their relationship by the metaphor of the gospel. As Christ dies for his church, the husband dies for his wife; as the church obeys her Lord in everything, the wife obeys her husband. After the Fall the man and the woman become divided and struggle in their relationship (Gen. 3:16), but God works in the faithful to restore them to their ‘gospel’ relationship.” (Bruce Waltke, Genesis, pp.104-105, emphasis mine)

The story of marriage in the Bible has a happy ending. We, the faithful, are in the middle of it right now. God, whose ideal for marriage was rejected by sinful human beings, sent His only Son to die for us. He bore our sins, died in our place, absorbed God’s wrath, redeemed our lives, and will one day present us faultless before the throne of grace. And He is at work turning sin-shot marriages into gospel relationships.

He works. He restores. He takes divided, struggling, selfish, proud husbands and wives and patiently forges gospel relationships: for His glory and for our good. No matter our difficulty, we have hope because of what God has done and what he is doing. He is even more committed to an ideal marriage than we are.

He works, but we cooperate. We have a part to play. We must “toil” as Paul says, “struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col. 1:29). By the grace of God we must strive for a gospel relationship. We must seek to become “gospel wives.”

“Being A Gospel Wife” is our new series here at girltalk. Hope you’ll join us!