Read With Us: The Meaning of Marriage Introduction

Welcome, everyone!  Today is the day we embark on an epic journey to learn more about “The Meaning of Marriage”.   (We know that the words ‘epic journey’ may sound a bit, too Lord of the Rings-ish…but we just couldn’t help ourselves.  We really are that excited.)

Anyway, if you are reading this and have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about, then go read this post, and then come back.  Everyone else, thanks for joining us on our first ever “Read With Us” campaign!  At the time of this writing, we have 28 couples in our home congregation joining in on this study as well. We’re not exactly sure how many of you are joining us, so for those of you who are, please take the opportunity to comment below and let us know what you’re most looking forward to over the next 8 weeks.

As we prepare to dive into the book and the study material, I just want to ask you to think through one question.  It’s a question you’ll have to discuss with your spouse as well.  Are you ready for it?  OK, great…here it is.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you currently rate your marriage?

Now, if you answer 7, and your spouse answers 3, then it’s great that you’ve decided to read with us.  But here’s the reason we ask the question: whatever number you and your spouse agree upon, this study is intended to get you go up 1-2 notches on the scale.  So if you’re currently hovering around a 3-4, then participating in this study may help you go up to a 5-6 on that question.  If you agreed that you’re somewhere around a 6-7, then this may get you go up to a 7-8, or even a 9.

As this is our official launch date, you’re now free to begin reading through Timothy Keller’s book, “The Meaning of Marriage.”

Your assignment for Week #1, should you choose to accept it is this:

Read “The Meaning of Marriage” Introduction & Chapter 1: The Secret of Marriage (40 pages)
Listen to Audio Message 1: Taking Out the Trash by Mark Driscoll (55 minutes)

Next Friday we’ll post again to begin our discussion of the Week #1 material.  Until then, we would like to recommend a few things:

1. Don’t read ahead.  We designed the study material in such a way that participant’s should reflect on the reading, message, and questions for the entire week.  Additionally, we included an “On Your Own” and “Prayer” section each week.  If you find that you’re able to easily get through all of the material, our suggestions would be to re-read the chapter.  If you really want to go “all in” then we would recommend downloading and/or purchasing some additional messages on the subject of marriage.  Some suggestions include:

a. Staying in Love (Andy Stanley)

b. New Rules For Sex, Love and Dating (Andy Stanley)

c. Marriage (Timothy Keller)

d. Real Marriage (Mark Driscoll)

2. Discuss the study questions with your spouse.  Again, the purpose of the study is to help your marriage grow.  And having conversations with your spouse about something other than the kids’ soccer schedule is a needed aspect of marriage.

3. Enjoy the material.  If you find you get behind, don’t get stressed out.  We want you to enjoy the book, the study material, the messages, and your marriage.  It’s hard to enjoy marriage if you’re feeling stressed, so don’t be discouraged if you fall a little behind.  And we admit, it IS a lot of material to go through over an 8 week period of time.  But we believe the fruit your marriage will yield as you go through this study is well worth the effort.

That’s all we have for now.  Don’t forget to leave a comment below just so we have an idea of how many people are reading along with us.  And if you have any additional suggestions for some great marriage message series’, feel free to let us know.  Thanks again for joining us!

Read With Us: The Meaning of Marriage Week #1:

“The Meaning of Marrige”: Read With Us & Study Materials

Timothy Keller’s book, “The Meaning of Marriage” is probably the best articulated book on the subject of marriage we’ve read.  And we’ve read a lot of books on the subject.  A lot.

Due to this, we’ve decided to offer an 8-week small group study at our home church this fall to give married couples the opportunity to read and discuss the book themselves.  We’re also giving each participant an audio message to supplement the reading for each week.  It’s a lot of material, but we believe that each person who chooses to go through the information and discuss it openly with their spouse and small group will greatly benefit by doing so.

Why are we telling you this?  Because you may want to join in yourself.  That’s right, we’re going to be providing a “Read With Us” series of posts where we’ll discuss the main content of each chapter as we go through the study.  However, we’re also willing to share the material we’re coming up with as well.  If you would like to lead a group of married friends through the study, or perhaps you would just like to go through the material with your spouse, we’ll be sure to make our participant guide questions as well as a leader’s guide available to you.

Our current plans are to begin the study on September 14, with our Week #1 “Read With Us” discussion post being published September 21.  We’ll continue with a new post each Friday until we finish the book and study on November 9.  We’re hoping that all who participate with us will comment/email questions on marriage and sex that we can write about toward the end of the study.

While these dates are pretty set in stone for us, you’re free to join in or begin the study in your own time and in your own way.  Just leave a comment below or send us an email, and we’ll be sure to get additional information into your hands as the summer comes to a close.

If you haven’t read Timothy Keller’s book “The Meaning of Marriage”, it really is a fantastic read.  And we’re confident that the “unofficial” study guide materials we have created with it will greatly aid marriage discussion.  We hope you’ll not only read with us, but encourage others to read with us as well.