I'm 25, not yet married, and still embarking of the journey of relationships. This was the first book on marriage I have read, and though my opinion holds minimal weight due to my inexperience, I thought this a well balanced starting point for how to view, and eventually conduct a Christ-centred marriage.
12 years of being a Christian has over time helped me come to know vaguely some of the points Keller made, and know the different way Christians should view the purpose of relationships, the Right Person Myth and so on, but The Meaning of Marriage helped put them into words, in a coherent, logical, structured way.
I think Keller does a good job at regularly defending marriage throughout the book from the many different cultural opinions and shift over the years that has impacted how it is viewed in society, and defines it well in biblical terms. I appreciated the inclusion of the section on including singles in marriage, as well as the viability of singleness as a perfectly alright lifestyle.
While I realise marriage may be somewhat hard to define as it is quite dynamic, I think it would have been useful for Keller to hone in on his definition of the meaning of marriage. I felt he often tried to put somewhat the same idea into different words each time, making it slightly harder to follow the flow of his overarching point. By the same token, the different definitions do provide more ways to comprehend the main point.
I personally found the book to be slightly harder to follow in total than other writers who I've read (namely, Andy Stanley), but I seldom needed to stop and backtrack to try find his train of thought again, as I do with other authors. Maybe my attention span is lacking.
On top of the above, minor gripes I had with the book, the only reason I didn't give The Meaning of Marriage a 5 star rating is, I thought Keller began to omit the Holy Spirit toward the end of the book, particularly when describing the parallels between marital love and love within the Trinity. The Bible more regularly speaks of the love between the Father and Son, but for the number of times 'Trinity' is mentioned, there was a significant lack of discussion regarding the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the impact of the Holy Spirit in enabling us to live out the principles described throughout the book was rather much missing as well.
Otherwise, from the eyes of a beginner, and someone who was until recently single, this is a fantastic book to help understand the purpose, power, meaning and joy of the covenant of biblical marriage.
"This is a book Christians need to read." --The Christian Post "The rare marriage book I would heartily recommend to any single, no matter his or her age, whether dating, courting, engaged, or disinterested . . . Rich and practical." --The Gospel Coalition "A brilliant new book that explains why marriage is in such dire straits, and how to rescue it." --BreakPoint
The latest book from the New York Times bestselling author of THE REASON FOR GOD