This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence

by John Piper

Other authorsNoel Piper (Foreword)
Paperback, 2012



Call number



Crossway (2012), Edition: Reprint, 192 pages


Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons. Even in the days when people commonly stayed married "'til death do us part," there has never been a generation whose view of marriage was high enough, says Pastor John Piper. That is all the more true in our casual times. Though personal selfishness and cultural bondage obstruct the wonder of God's purpose, it is found in God's Word, where his design can awaken a glorious vision capable of freeing every person from small, Christ-ignoring, romance-intoxicated views. As Piper explains in reflecting on forty years of matrimony: "Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ's covenant-keeping love on display." This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member wiseasgandalf
Don’t Waste Your Marriage…

That’s what the title of this book could have been, because that’s what John Piper is trying to communicate to his readers in his latest offering. There are marriage books aplenty, Christian and secular, that talk about how to fix your marriage or enrich your
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marriage or have a happy, fulfilled, & mutually satisfying marriage.

But this book is different: it starts at its very outset to lay a different foundation, that the standard concept of marriage is horribly deficient in God’s eyes. In fact, just as we cannot see Christ for who He truly is until God opens our eyes, Piper states that we cannot see marriage for what it truly is without God’s help:

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 world cannot know what marriage is without learning it from God. The natural man does not have the capacities to see or receive or feel the wonder of what God has designed for marriage to be. 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.

So what is this greatness & glory of marriage that God wants us to see? Piper develops two main Biblical points:

1. Foundationally, marriage is the doing of God.

2. Ultimately, marriage is the display of God.

These statements form a foundation that build a picture of marriage that ends up being very different than business-as-usual. As an example, it means that two people do not get married; rather, God marries two people, and they have no right to undo this bond. It also means that marriage is not primarily about being in love or staying in love at all; it is about displaying the covenant love of Christ for all to see.

Beyond laying this foundation, the book also addresses love, forgiveness, sanctification, the roles of husband & wife, singleness & divorce, sex, children, & more.

This Momentary Marriage is a marriage book unlike any other you have likely read. It will challenge your concept of marriage as well as your practice of it. Don’t expect “five easy ways to make your mate more like you want them to be”— expect to think deeply about what it means to be joined to another by God and for God.
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LibraryThing member justindtapp
"Marriage exists to display the covenant-keeping love of Christ and His church."
Once you understand that statement, you can understand why marriage doesn't exist in heaven-- when Christ and His church are together. You can understand why husbands and wives have different roles (Eph. 5), the husband
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representing Christ, and the wife representing His church, so it's important not to get the roles confused. You can understand why divorce is sin-- Christ would never abandon His church. And you can understand why the purpose of marriage isn't to make children.

Every chapter is introduced with a quote from Bonhoeffer, this sets a great tone on the un-permanence of marriage. It also deals with singleness and childless marriages-- both are perfectly fine-- so it's useful to read no matter your status.

My wife and I decided to read through this book together as a study, and that's been good. Piper gives a great biblical defense of everything he writes. His books are always God-exalting, and this is no different. He gives you a great appreciation for God's plan for marriage from Genesis to Revelation.

It's a pretty quick read, too. I give it 4 stars out of 5.
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LibraryThing member HGButchWalker
This is clearly the best book on marriage I've ever read, hands-down. John Piper states so profoundly what I've been convicted is the real purpose of marriage, raising our thoughts to something much higher, and in the process giving us the power to live out a Christ-exalting marriage. This is a
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must-read for everyone who's married or knows someone who's married.
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LibraryThing member broreb
Excellent discussion of marriage being an earthly representation of Christ's relationship with the church. Very strong on marriage discussion. The chapters that discuss divorce, however, are weaker, as only a very narrow view of divorce is discussed. The length of the chapters (and the book in
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general) limit the depth of the study, but his arguments against any remarriage (barring the death of a spouse or divorced spouse) are much weaker. Even with the limitations, still a good book by Piper.
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Original language


Physical description

192 p.; 5.25 inches


1433531119 / 9781433531118
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