Marriage as Friendship – Gospel in Life

Marriage as Friendship

Tim Keller |  September 15, 1991

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  • Marriage
Ephesians 5:22-33
FM 1-5


Marriage is a cosmic friendship, a spiritual friendship, a friendship with eternal dimensions. Marriage is not romance garnished with friendship. Rather, biblically, marriage is friendship garnished with romance.

If you’re going to marry somebody, you should marry someone who is now or has the potential to be your very best friend. But friendship is not just a feeling of affection. Friendship is a particular form of love, and it has a structure.

The structure of friendship is a deep oneness that comes from two people journeying together toward a common horizon. Let’s look now at 1) the common horizon, 2) how you get to that horizon, and 3) the implications of journeying together toward that horizon.

Ephesians 5:21–33

When we think about death, we understand how important our current lives are, especially in light of eternity. This is what Dwight Moody realized when he compared life on earth to life after death. In contrast, people who don’t believe in God often focus only on the present. The main point, marriage, isn’t just about being in love. It’s about being deeply connected and working together towards the same goal, much like how our body parts work together in unity and purity.

1. The horizon

Christian friendships should be based on seeing the best in each other, the “glory self.” It’s like catching a glimpse of a mountain’s beauty through the clouds. This means helping each other grow to become better, without any sin or faults. This idea is not just for marriage, but for all Christian friendships, highlighting a bond that lasts forever, beyond just the here and now.

2. The implications

In a Christian marriage, mistakes are seen as opportunities to grow. The goal is to become the perfect partner for each other. It emphasizes the importance of personality and compatibility over looks. It also stresses the need for deep emotional bonds and mutual respect. The strength of a marriage comes from friendship, understanding, support, and communication. The power of kind words, addressing each other’s faults, and appreciating each other, all reflect the love and commitment Jesus showed us.



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