Marriage as Commitment and Priority – Gospel in Life

Marriage as Commitment and Priority

Tim Keller |  September 1, 1991

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • Marriage
Ephesians 5:22-33
FM 1-3


The purpose of marriage is friendship, companionship. Your spouse has to be your best friend, or you don’t have a marriage. I know that’s not traditional, but it’s biblical.

We’re in a series looking at marriage: at its power, its definition, its priority, its purpose, its structure, and its mystery. So far, we’ve looked at the power of marriage and the definition of marriage. Now we’ll look more into the definition of marriage and then at the priority marriage.

We’ll look now at 1) three critical aspects without which a marriage will not run, 2) the definition of marriage, and 3) the priority of marriage.

Understanding Marriage from Ephesians 5:21–33

Ephesians 5 gives us a deep look into what marriage is supposed to be. It talks about how husbands and wives should relate to each other, and compares marriage with the bond between Jesus Christ and His Church. This gives us a clearer understanding about what makes a good marriage, like its most important aspects, its purpose, its structure, and its mysterious side, with a special focus on its importance.

1. The power of marriage

A good marriage needs the influence of the Holy Spirit. This helps us to be selfless, respectful, and willing to help each other. It’s like oil in a car engine – it prevents arguments from turning into fights, encourages open conversation without feeling attacked, and makes forgiveness easier. Instead of looking for approval from others, we find our worthiness and validation from the love of Jesus Christ.

2. The definition of marriage

Marriage is a promise to fully commit to another person, no matter who performed the ceremony. It’s about always being there for one another, contrary to today’s idea of avoiding commitments. Love isn’t just a feeling that comes and goes, it’s a decision to always put the other person’s needs first. A strong marriage is when both partners decide to work on their relationship, even when things get tough, which leads to genuine love and affection.

3. The priority of marriage

Marriage is very important, so we shouldn’t put it aside for work, kids, or other relationships. It’s a way for us to grow and improve as individuals because it shows us our weaknesses and selfish tendencies. The deep mystery of marriage is related to our salvation, reminding us to understand the power of the Spirit and to practice love and selflessness in our relationships.



The Girl Nobody Wanted

By Tim Keller

Marriage as Commitment and Priority

By Tim Keller

Marriage as Ministry Power

By Tim Keller

June Book Offer

Deepen and Strengthen Your Marriage!

Marriage is one of the most profound human relationships — but it can also be one of the most challenging. So Tim and Kathy Keller designed a devotional book for married couples to use together.