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What were you thinking when you chose to marry this person? If honest, those are the thoughts most pastors have had when counseling a couple in crisis. We may never actually say it aloud. But we think it.

The thought is moot, of course. By that point ...

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Hugh Wetmore

February 23, 2013  8:47am

Yes, Susan, our views do change - the key is to start on the same basis and sustain compatibility of views as we change and mature. 51 years ago when we married, we believed we both had found The Right Person to marry, the One-and-Only whom God had predestined us to marry. It has been a fulfilling and complementary partnership. But we don't believe that one-and-only story any more. Because it doesn't stand closer examination (by Reformed or Arminian standards). If just one person in human history made a mistake and married the 'wrong' person, the 'wrong' children would have been born and God's 'plan' for human history would have been messed up. Thomas is right - we must know WHY, and the Type of Person we marry. God is always sovereignly in control and works through the Choices of our human wills. He is redemptive, and any bad-choice marriage can be saved. I'm glad Thomas has written a book I can agree with so enthusiastically!

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Steve Skeete

February 19, 2013  8:38am

I agree that in marriage things and people do change. Good marriage counselling (which I believe all persons entering marriage should be encourage to acquire), will prepare, or at least alert persons, not only to this fact, but that all relationships go through difficult periods. For me, some vital marriage ingredients include commitment for the long haul and the willingness to work through tough times when you 'feel' like you want to give up or you can't go on. 'Til death do us part' and 'for better or worse' are still sensible prerequisites that call for far more resilience and strength of character than 'compatibility' or 'views' on difficult socio/politcal matters. Do we need another book on marriage? Sure! What about one that rises to its defense? Or one that defines it in a way that is true to the Bible, yet is designed to help those who struggle understand it? Certainly we need one that explains why this human institution has had universal acclaim and esteem, until recently.

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Susan Gillespie

February 18, 2013  2:06pm

I'm surprised by the admonition to consider 'secondary characteristics' such as views on gender, parenting and general lifestyle. I've been married 34 years, and we have changed a lot on all of those things. I'd worry about making a strict decision on rigid 'agreements' like that - you're likely to be disappointed in many ways if you think such things will remain static during a lifetime. Better your intended should be intent on following Jesus (and yes, sadly, I realize that sometimes changes, too).

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