Friday, October 17, 2008

When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage - by Dave Harvey

"...What we believe about God determines the quality of our marriage." (pg. 20)

"...marriage is most amazing not because it brings people joy, or allows for a nurturing environment for children, or because it stabilizes society (even though it does all those things). Marriage is awesome because God designed it to display his glory." (pg. 28)

"It is very important in our Christian lives to be suspicious of any claims to righteousness we bring to our relationship with God. It is in Christ alone, and in his merit alone, that we trust. True humility is living confident in Christ's righteousness, and suspicious of our own." (pg. 63)

"Scripture does not give me permission to make the sins of my spouse my first priority. I need to slow down, exercise the humility of self-suspicion, and inspect my own heart first." (pg. 66)

"It's not wrong to desire appropriate things like respect or affection from our spouses. But it is very tempting to justify demands by thinking of them as needs and then to punish one another if those needs are not satisfied. A needs-based marriage does not testify to God's glory; it is focused on personal demands competing for supremacy." (pg. 74)

"There is fresh grace for each failure for both the sinner and the one sinned against. And kindness is a posture of heart that flows out in actions - daily-life stuff that reprograms behavior in marriage away from self-focus to the redemptive purposes of God." (pg. 85)

"Self-righteousness is a sense of moral superiority that appoints us as prosecutor of other people's sinfulness. We relate to other as if we are incapable of the sins they commit. Self-righteousness wages war against mercy." (pg. 91)

"The gospel, let us remember, has created something astounding - relationships among sinners where the King's rule is experienced and expressed! Do you see your marriage that way? Do you see it as two sinners experiencing and expressing the rule of Christ in the most significant human relationship he has created? When sinners say "I do," they acknowledge the Son of God's presence and Lordship in the endeavor of marriage." (pg. 111)

"If we sow loving honesty and courageous care, we will reap growth in godliness. If we avoid confrontation, we'll just get confrontation anyway, because sin unaddressed is sin unconfined. In an attempt to preserve peace, we sow war." (pg. 127)

"In marriage, to be meek is not to be weak or vulnerable, but to be so committed to your spouse that you will sacrifice for his or her good. A meek person sees the futility of responding to sin with sin." (pg. 130)

"So when life comes at you in ways you don't expect, remember this: Regeneration is the initial burst of spiritual life in our souls. Renewal is that same power working itself out in every facet of who we are, fitting us, as it were, for eternal life with Jesus." (pg. 172)

Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage (Wapwallopen, PA: Shepherd Press, 2007)