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This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence Paperback – 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979952654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979952654
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,187,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
John Piper waited forty years to write a book on marriage. It is only after forty years of marriage that he felt like he would have something valuable to say (or something valuable to add to a very crowded genre of book). "Romance, sex, and childbearing are temporary gifts of God. They are not part of the next life. And they are not guaranteed even for this life. They are one possible path through the narrow way to Paradise. Marriage passes through breathtaking heights and through swamps with choking vapors. It makes many things sweeter, and with it come bitter providences." Four decades of sweetness and bitter providences stand behind this book.

Though I am tempted to say that no generation needs to be reminded of a biblical theology of marriage more than our own, I suspect that hundreds of generations past would disagree, saying that their generation is as desperately in need of God's wisdom. In the book's opening pages, Piper writes of the cultural distortion of marriage, a distortion that sees marriage as little more than temporary convenience that lasts only as long as the romantic feelings remain. He does so "in the hopes that it might wake you up to consider a vision of marriage higher and deeper and stronger and more glorious than anything this culture--or perhaps you yourself--ever imagined. The greatness and glory of marriage is beyond our ability to think or feel without divine revelation and without the illumining and awakening work of the Holy Spirit." The book is built upon this foundation: that marriage is God's doing. It is the doing of God and it is the display of God.

"The aim of this book is to enlarge your vision of what marriage is. As Bonhoeffer says, it is more than your love for each other. Vastly more. Its meaning is infinitely great.
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Format: Paperback
This book got off to a slow and slightly laborious start for me. It seemed redundant. Maybe I needed another coffee, but I was bored with the style. It appeared to lack coherence. Chapter two was doused with conjecture. At that I was nearly ready to toss in the towel. I'm glad I stuck it out. The book quickly got better. Much better, in fact.

If there's anything at which Piper excels, it is his constant mindfulness of the brevity of this earthly run. He never gives the impression that five minutes have elapsed since his last thought on the meaning of life. If everything in the believer's short life is to honor Christ and bring glory to God, how much more should marriage! Marriage, as Piper explains, is the doing of God and the display of God. This book explains how to make the very most of it.

Read with a highlighter. "This Momentary Marriage" is a field of treasures. There's an appeal to humility for both partners. There's practical advice for the woman who desires her reluctant husband to lead, but feels the paralyzing irony of demanding his leadership. Along with an uncompromising call for men to lead, there's specific instruction. There are profound thoughts on the contentment produced by faith and its implications for the marriage bed. Piper even delivers some profound thoughts on topics like singleness and parenting.

We're all rebels at heart. So here's my warning: if your particular rebellion against God happens to manifest itself in a futile attachment to modern feminism with respect to gender roles, you will be offended. As we should expect from anyone who reveres the Word of God, Piper eschews political correctness. Keep in mind that if no one ever offends you, you are friendless and hopeless.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great biblical book and encouraging read for premarital study and also for married couples. Piper outlines a less common theme in marriage that it really isn't all about you. It's about God and His glory in your marriage. And that shapes how you love one another and proceed in marriage.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It could be just my personal opinion but the book is very boring. It is very wordy and repetitive. It seems like the book could be cut in half by condensing chapters. Maybe someone else will get benefit from it but we did not.
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Format: Paperback
Brief Summary

This book is not about being a husband or a wife. Rather, it is about marriage, which transcends the roles of two individuals, and, properly understood, catapults us to gaze upon the glories of heaven. By God’s design, marriage is the best representation of the gospel. In this book, Piper labors to have us see it.

His thesis best summarizes the book’s intent: “I pray that this book might be used by God to help set you free from small, worldly, culturally contaminated, self-centered, Christ-ignoring, God-neglecting, romance-intoxicated, unbiblical views of marriage. The most foundational thing to see from the Bible about marriage is that it is God’s doing. And the ultimate thing to see from the Bible about marriage is that it is for God’s glory” (Pg. 21).

Priority

I have not read many marriage books, and I am not married. So, on the surface, my evaluation of this book is uneducated and uninformed at best. I don’t resent that judgment. However, I have seen how God loves marriage in His Word, and I have seen the devastating belittlement of it in the world – even in the church. In light of that contrast, Piper’s book is crucial, and on point throughout every chapter. His goal is to unveil the glory of marriage in light of the glory of the gospel, and he does a good job of it.

So then, why not a 5? I haven’t read enough on the topic, or lived it, to know. Lord-willing, both will change before I die and go to glory, and then I’ll be able to more accurately prioritize this book.

Strengths

Across all times and cultures, marriage is the most universal institution. Have you stopped to ask, “Why?” Of all the people in the world, only Christians have the answer: marriage points to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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