Making Your Marriage Work

Five books on marriage and the family are reviewed by C. E. Cerling, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Tawas City, Michigan.

The quality of Christian books on marriage is finally starting to improve. A good example is Geoffrey Bromiley’s God and Marriage (Eerdmans). When the Continental Congress on the Family met in 1974, there was a call for a theology of marriage. Instead, we got an avalanche of popular books, most of which disappeared from the market almost as quickly as they appeared. At last one has come along that is grounded firmly in theology and church history.

Bromiley integrates many areas of theology with his understanding of marriage. Take sin, for example: What are the implications for marriage of our involvement in sin? For one thing, it means marriage is a place where we have to learn to forgive as a regular part of life with another person. It also means we can expect our partner to fall short of our expectations. It further means we will have to work to implement God’s plans for marriage in our own relationship. While the implications could have been explored in greater detail, the suggestions are valuable.

Increasingly, both husband and wife are working, causing G. Wade Rowatt and Mary Jo Rowatt to look at The Two-Career Marriage (Westminster). These two write well, and both worked while researching the problems of working couples. Though no one could call this work inspiring, it is a good, solid presentation of a special aspect of family life in America. The book is part of the Christian Care Series under the editorship of Wayne Oates, and if I have one criticism, it is that as such, there is scant material on Christian care. It shows little or no evidence of the authors’ own Christian ...

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