This week, Ask Anne will be a review of a great marriage book entitled, "Intimate Allies" by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman. If you are interested in purchasing the book, click here.
Intimate Allies is a fantastic book on the theology of marriage. Allender and Longman tackle the issue of what marriage is all about: Glorifying God. This book is not a how to in your marriage or a ten step process, but rather it is a book to help you think about your marriage differently. This book looks at the Biblical roles of husbands and wives and what we can do to work together in our marriage. When two people come together, the authors point out, they are coming together as two sinners in an imperfect union. We must learn how to live together in this imperfect union and how we can best achieve the deepest level of intimacy possible as Christian spouses.
What do you find the most helpful about this book:
This book is all about giving you, as a Christian spouse, a different perspective on your marriage. They define marriage as, "requiring a radical commitment to love our spouses as they are, while longing for them to become what they are not yet. Every marriage moves either toward enhancing one another's glory or toward degrading each other." They point out the sole purpose of marriage is to glorify God. In our marriages, we are either bringing glory to God or we are not. That is a profound statement that is rather sobering to think about.
After defining marriage and how two sinners come together to bring glory to God, the authors move on to what it means to become intimate allies in this crazy world. Allender and Logman write, "Human beings are glorious creatures of God as well as ugly sinners. Both truths need to be fully grasped as a man and a woman enter into the marriage relationship. These two truths give a husband and a wife the basis for expectation and hope as they act in the present, deal with the past and look forward to their future together." It is through this idea of expectations the authors set the tone for how we must accept one another and offer grace in our marriage relationships.
What do clients find most helpful about the book:
One facet of the book that clients find very helpful is the thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter. I often encourage my clients to read this book together as a couple, especially if they are looking for ways to reconnect or deepen their relationship. By reading the text together and engaging in meaningful conversations, I have seen many couples begin to feel that sense of intimacy the book talks about.
I also think that most of my clients have found the idea of seeing their spouse the way the Lord sees them is incredibly helpful. So the next time their spouse acts selfishly or thoughtlessly, they try to see that as their sinful nature instead of taking it personally. This allows them to be more gracious, because the hope is they quickly remember they are just as selfish or thoughtless because they are equally sinful.
"A successful marriage is one in which two broken and forgiving people stay committed to one another in a sacrificial relationship in the face of life's chaos."
"Jesus is the one who gives us the grace that allows us to acknowledge our own sins and also forgive the sins of ours spouses."