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Alistair Begg on Marriage

Dear Friend,

I’ve been thinking about a couple that Susan and I met on the California coast. They were throwing a Frisbee and clearly enjoying themselves immensely. There is nothing unusual about such a scene, but what surprised us as we stopped to talk with them was their age: they were both in their 80s, and very much in love.

Not everyone enjoys such a long run on the road to “till death do us part.” Marriage has the potential for both great joy and deep sadness. I watched my father deal with the loss of my mother when she was just 46. Others live in the aftermath of desertion and divorce.

These matters have been on my mind as Susan and I have just celebrated our 43rd anniversary. An elderly Irish friend once remarked, “Every pastor needs a wife, if for no other reason than to keep him humble.” It is not for me to determine how effective Susan has been in that regard, but I do know that her selfless, prayerful encouragement is key to all that God has given us to do.

I have often thought that marriage is a bit like swinging a golf club in that it is not easy, but it is straightforward. The husband must sacrificially love his wife, and she is to submissively support her husband. Paul explains in Ephesians 5 that Spirit-enabled harmony in marriage points beyond itself to the ultimate marriage between Christ and the Church. When a Christian couple, as two forgiven sinners, live in the way God intends, they provide a vivid picture of God’s plan for reconciliation in a fractured and broken world.

In this crucial area, the Bible directs our steps and is to be trusted. Our book offer this month, 7 Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible by Erwin Lutzer, gives a clear presentation of the evidence validating the Bible’s trustworthiness. Dr. Lutzer works through the historical, prophetic, and scientific aspects of Scripture in a way you may find helpful as you look to articulate the certainty you have in God’s Word.

Our children learn by example, which is why this month we’re also excited to offer the brand-new third book in the Every Child Should Know children’s book series. What Every Child Should Know about Prayer is written by Nancy Guthrie and is a wonderful resource for teaching children how to pray. I recommend it highly. You may even consider several copies, as the book will make for a great gift.

Abigail Adams referred to her husband as MDF (My Dearest Friend). Young men and women should never assume that a friendship is more than a friendship when it begins and if it leads to marriage they must ensure that the friendship deepens with time.

I have more to say but need to head to Target. I am going to buy a Frisbee!

With my love in the Lord Jesus,



Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.