This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence

This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence
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Piper, John; Piper, Noel

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Publisher's Description

Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons.

Even in the days when people commonly stayed married "til death do us part," there has never been a generation whose view of marriage was high enough, says Pastor John Piper. That is all the more true in our casual times.

Though personal selfishness and cultural bondage obstruct the wonder of God's purpose, it is found in God's Word, where his design can awaken a glorious vision capable of freeing every person from small, Christ-ignoring, romance-intoxicated views. As Piper explains in reflecting on forty years of matrimony: "Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ's covenant-keeping love on display."

This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.

192 Pages
Published April 2009

About the Author

ECPA Gold Medallion winner John Piper is senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the head of Desiring God. He has written numerous books on topics that include personal holiness, missions and historical figures.

Noël Piper and her husband, John, have ministered since 1980 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have five sons and a daughter. Noël grew up in Georgia and is a graduate of Wheaton College.

Book Details

192 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: April 2009
ISBN 10: 1433507129
ISBN 13: 9781433507120

"John Piper is best known for his keen theological insights, passionate preaching and pastoral sensitivity. This Momentary Marriage combines the best of these things and provides a welcome exposition of marriage — what he calls a “parable of permanence.” Piper writes with the conviction that the chief end of marriage is the glory of God in and through his son Jesus Christ. I am delighted to have such a theologically rich and profoundly practical book to recommend to both married and soon-to-be married couples alike. This Momentary Marriage was hands down the most challenging and beneficial book that my wife and I read in the months leading up to our wedding and marriage.

This Momentary Marriage is unique in a number of ways. Rather than focusing exclusively on the interpersonal issues (communication, decision-making, etc.) involved in marital relationships, Piper draws out the theological implications of the marriage covenant in his typically insightful and engaging style. Firmly grounding the ‘doctrine of marriage’ in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ, he writes that “the most foundational thing you can say about marriage is that it is the doing of God, and the ultimate thing you can say about the marriage is that it is for the display of God" (pg 41).

Marriage is shown to be a deeply rooted covenant commitment between one man and one woman. As such, it is patterned after the covenant relationship between Christ and his church and displays to the world the fidelity, commitment, and sacrificial love involved in this relationship. Piper writes, “Marriage is not mainly about being or staying in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. It’s about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way he relates to his people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel” (pg 26).

This Momentary Marriage is a welcome and much-needed addition to the multitude of books already available on this infinitely important topic. This is the book my wife and I give to our friends and family on their wedding days. I anticipate returning again and again to the robust portrait of marriage set forth in these pages. Outstandingly gospel-centered, remarkably challenging, and thoroughly biblical — I cannot recommend this book enough! I wish every couple — married and unmarried — would read this book and devour its insights. "
- Benjamin Thocher, Westminster Bookstore Staff

“Theologically, this book exalts human marriage as a metaphor for the ultimate love story in Christ. Practically, it applies that glorious vision of grace to our daily experiences in marriage, singleness, parenthood, and the most universal of human realities—sin. This book opens our eyes and guides our feet with the grace of Christ.”
- Ray Ortlund, Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville

“This book is a treasure in an era when the common perspective on marriage has been more shaped by sitcoms and self-help books than by Scripture. Dr. Piper lifts our hearts and minds to God’s vision for marriage. Embracing God’s design and purposes for marriage can make our homes tastes of heaven.”
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and Revive Our Hearts radio host

“This is not a ‘how to’ book on marriage. Instead, this is a ‘why to’ book. And that’s what this culture desperately needs.”
- Dennis Rainey, President, FamilyLife

“Miss the radical message of this book and you’ll miss the joyful point of marriage. Heed the surprising call of this book and you’ll appreciate the sacred privilege of marriage that our culture fails to see.”
- Larry Crabb, author

“A highly original contribution to Christian teaching on marriage. A copy should be put into the hands of every couple preparing for lasting and loving wedlock.”
- Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship

“This book grew out of John Piper’s forty years of experience in marriage and many years of parenting, pastoring, and studying Scripture. It is filled with rich, practical wisdom about the nature of marriage as a wonderful but temporary gift from God. I have taught about marriage for over thirty years, and I still found much that I could learn from this book.”
- Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary

“The reason this book is so delightful is that it sets marriage within the matrix of the Bible’s fundamental themes: the glory of God, the outworking of justification, the relationship between this life and the life to come, how husbands and wives are to interact with each other this side of the cross, and much more of the same. This is not another little ‘how to’ book—yet if its God-centered and gospel-centered theology is genuinely absorbed, so many of the ‘how to’ questions will be robustly answered.”
- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“John Piper’s new book on marriage is an instant classic. It is at once biblical and devotional, the fruit of seasoned theological reflection and four decades of ‘momentary’ marriage.”
- Andreas Köstenberger, author, God, Marriage & Family