2.11.2016

Very Married: Field Notes on Love & Fidelity

Sarah Bessey tweeted this yesterday:
The response to her tweet has been resounding.

There are, as it turns out, a great many people who are thirsty for thoughtful and faithful wisdom about marriage. But there's a dearth of resources that aren't rooted in complementarian theology. I know that in my work as a pastor, when I'm looking for good books to share with parishioners, I usually have to decide between secular options - like John Gottman's Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work - or Christian options that require a major filter in my context - like Timothy Keller's The Meaning of Marriage. Nine times out of ten, in a progressive mainline context, the secular book wins out. I would lose people if I recommended a book that admonishes men and women to adhere to traditional gender roles and rejects the relationships of same sex couples. These convictions do not align with how progressive Christians prayerfully interpret scripture.

I lament what is lost when we can only talk about marriage from a psychological or social perspective, and not ponder the spiritual dimensions.

I want to talk about commitment - but I also want to talk about covenant.

I want to talk about kindness - but I also want to talk about mutual submission.

I want to talk about family - but you can be darn sure I want to talk about families in all their variety and color and difference today.

I want to have frank conversations about love and fidelity in marriage, and as a person of faith, there's just no way I can contemplate these things without keeping Christ at the center of the whole enterprise. 

I'm writing the book I haven't been able to find, the book I've wanted for myself, for my friends, for my parishioners. I'm writing it at the invitation of Herald Press; they contacted me after my essay about marriage for the Christian Century went viral last year. At first I declined; who am I to write about marriage? I'm no expert. But as it turns out, I have a lot to say about marriage - and I know when to turn to writers and pastors far wiser than me on the subject.

Here's the description:
Katherine Willis Pershey has never slept with the mailman or kissed an ex-boyfriend. Good thing, since she’s married. But simply not committing adultery does not give you the keys to “happily ever after,” as Pershey has come to find out in her own marriage and in her work as a pastor. What is this sacred covenant that binds one person to another, and what elements of faith and fidelity sustain it? In Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity, Pershey opens the book on all things marital. With equal parts humor and intelligence, Pershey speaks frankly about the challenges and consolations of modern marriage. As she shares her own tales of bliss and blunder, temptation and deliverance, Pershey invites readers to commit once again to the joyful and difficult work of cherishing another person. For better or worse. For life.



Maybe this is the book you've been hoping to read. You can pre-order it directly from Herald Press or from Amazon. It will be available everywhere in September 2016, so just hold tight a little longer.


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