One of the best books on marriage that I have read over the years is The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller. Ever since it was released in 2011, Lisa and I have used it in all of our pre-marital counseling, hoping to help young couples prepare for a healthy, lifelong marriage.
Here are a few notable quotes from his book…
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” (Tim Keller– Page 95)
“We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it awhile and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary problem is . . . learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” (Stanley Hauerwas– Page 134)
“When I married my wife, I had hardly a smidgen of sense for what I was getting into with her. How could I know how much she would change over 25 years? How could I know how much I would change? My wife has lived with a least five different men since we were wed – and each of the five has been me.” (Lewis Smedes– Page 92)
“Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before), you will, nine times out of ten, become original without having noticed it. The principle runs through life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. . . . Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. . . ” (C.S. Lewis– from Mere Christianity– page 190)