Listen to this from Allender and Longman’s Intimate Allies (another of those books which has been kicking around my lounge half-read for some months!):
What is the basis of the war between the sexes? It is ultimately, of course, the war between God and his adversary…We ought never to be naive. The deepest struggles of life will occur in the most primary relationship affected by the Fall: marriage.
Now here comes the best bit…
No one on earth will have more potential to do harm or to do good than your spouse. Consequently, no relationship will be imbued with more desire and danger than your marriage…Marriage is the battleground of sin and the place where the Cross is revealed as the only hope for life and joy…Marriage is the ground for growing glory in each heart as the Curse paradoxically breaks us and draws us to seek God. The Curse is a friend that drives us to the hope of redemption….Our only option as sinners living together is to survive with pretence or to surrender to the gospel.
Wow. There’s nothing I can add to that, I think. What a beautiful, complicated and sanctifying thing marriage is. (Just think how sanctified Peter is becoming as a result of living with me. 😉 It was our seven year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago but he has actually been putting up with me for nearly twelve years – since our Downing days! Surely that has to be worth a lot of brownie sanctification points?!)
This Intimate Allies book is a good one by the way. Not quite as amazing as Mike Mason’s The Mystery of Marriage, but not so far off. (If you haven’t read Mason’s book though, go get a copy. I can’t lend mine as I’ve recently lent it to an engaged friend who is simultaneously loving it and learning from it! But get a copy and get reading it…)