In a culture fraught with confusion about the biblical principles of marriage, preparing biblically for marriage is vital in order to begin marriage in a way that honors the Lord. The patterns and thought processes that a couple develops leading up to marriage will go a long way toward helping or hurting their marriage. Rob Green’s Tying the Knot: A Premarital Guide to a Strong and Lasting Marriage is an excellent resource for couples that want to prepare biblically for marriage.
The main premise of the book is that Jesus needs to be at the center of everything. This includes but is not limited to marriage. Green establishes the importance of Christ as the center of each person’s life and then walks through seven components of life within marriage. For each of these components, Green shows how Jesus should anchor these aspects of a couple’s life and marriage. These include love, problem solving, roles, communication, finances, community, and intimacy.
There are many helpful aspects of the book but two stood out while reading the book. First, Green provides a helpful balance of laying a biblical foundation and then suggesting practical steps couples can take to put these biblical principles into practice. For instance, in the chapter on finances, Green provides biblical principles for money management and then describes a practical system for budgeting that couples could think through as they prepare their budget. This balance guides couples through the steps of implementing the biblical principles laid out in the book.
Another helpful characteristic of this book is the emphasis it places on couples walking through the pre-marriage stage with mentors. Green helps couples to see that one of the best ways to walk through these issues is with an older couple who can support them and help them grow in Christlikeness as they prepare for marriage.
If you are preparing for marriage or walking through preparing for marriage with another person, this book will be a helpful resource. If you would like more information about romantic relationships and preparing biblically for marriage, join us for the ACBC Annual Pre-Conference, Crafting a Covenant, where Rob Green will be speaking on the topic of counseling those preparing for marriage.
- “You see, your love for your fiancé (e) will be directly related to your love for Jesus. When Jesus is the center of your life, he will be your rock, your fortress, and your strong deliverer” (18).
- “Putting Christ at the center of your life is not primarily a focus on your marriage. It is first a commitment to live as a biblical Christian” (21).
- “Biblical love is open and accepting. This does not mean that love is gullible or foolishly blind. However, spouses exercising biblical love are willing to risk being hurt again because of the love they have received from Christ (34-35).
- “If you both commit to the roles God has assigned, you will experience joy in honoring the Lord in your marriage” (71).
- “Imagine that the vast majority of the communication you had with your fiancé (e) was characterized by “building up” or “edifying “ speech. Imagine that you spent so much time telling each other about the good things that you only had a little time to talk about problems. That would be a relationship characterized by joy” (90).
- “[Financial] planning always reveals the value we place on our personal relationship with Christ. When Jesus is at the center, wise plans are made and there is a willingness to say ‘no’ in the present to prepare for something in the future. Yet the attitude in planning is ‘as the Lord wills’” (102).
- “There is one kind of community that you cannot live without, namely, the body of Christ” (113).
- “God designed the church to be the place where you would be encouraged to love and good deeds. He also designed it to be a place where you would be equipped so that you would experience the joys of maturity” (119).
- “Sex is not about performance; sex is about relationship” (127).
- “The great secret of a successful marriage is this: It is more about your love for Christ than it is about your compatibility as a couple” (143).