This summer, our family will be traveling back to Alberta for a wedding. I’m excited for my friend. A wedding is a lovely time to celebrate the couple getting married but also to reminisce about my own wedding and the months we put into preparing for it.
In our world of million-dollar celebrity weddings, it often seems so much effort is put into the wedding and very little is put into the relationship. Most churches require couples to do a marriage preparation course before getting married . While that course is an excellent requirement, it can also feel like one more thing on the pre-wedding to-do list: booked caterer, ordered favours, finished pre-marriage course.
Rob Green is a pastor who has worked with thousands of couples, both before and after marriage. His new book, Tying the Knot: A Premarital Guide to a Strong & Lasting Marriage, encourages couples to make the most of this time of preparation. While the book can be used just by the couple planning their wedding, Rob encourages them to find a mentor (or mentor couple) to work through it with them.
In the introduction, Rob addresses two extremes about how we view marriage. The first is that marriage is hard and difficult. The second is that “marriage will be wonderful without any effort,” which is probably closer to how most of us view it. The reality is somewhere in the middle:
God has given us marriage to enjoy. He created it for our pleasure, and he created it to give us a glimpse of his covenant love for us. But marriage also takes a commitment—a commitment to sacrifice for the benefit of someone else for the glory of God.
In eight chapters, Tying the Knot walks couples through the big issues of marriage while keeping Christ at the centre. The first chapter explains this idea of having Christ as the centre of your life and how that looks in a marriage. The second chapter is an in-depth look at the famous 1 Corinthians 13 chapter, with examples from couples who have lived that love—or not. Rob then discusses problem solving, roles and expectations, communication, finances, community, and intimacy.
Tying the Knot presents a beautiful, faith-filled vision of marriage. Grounded in Scripture and in what God intends for marriage, yet also full of practical examples from real-life couples, this is an excellent resource for any couple preparing for marriage. Each chapter ends with homework discussion questions to go over with your fiance and your mentor. The end of the book includes an appendix with extra advice for mentors.
When we sin, we are still tempted to minimize it or pretend that it does not exist. When we are sinned against, we are tempted to make a big deal about it. That is why marriages all across our world are in disarray. Each person minimizes his own sin and maximizes the sin of others.
Whether you are preparing for your own marriage, or helping other couples through the marriage prep program at your church, I encourage you to check out Tying the Knot. Rob writes with a conversational tone, encouraging and uplifting. While his book presents big ideas about marriage, it is also very accessible and down-to-earth, offering a solid foundation for a Christ-centered marriage.
Rob Green, MDiv, PhD, is the Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN), as well as an instructor and counselor at Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries, Biblical Counseling Coalition Board member, and author of counseling minibooks. He and his wife Stephanie have three children. To buy Tying the Knot or find out more about it, drop by the New Growth Press website.