“God is in the longest-lived, worst marriage in the history of the world.”

That’s from Tim and Kathy Keller in their short new book, On Marriage, part of the How to Find God series with Penguin Books. They continue: “God is the lover and spouse of his people. But we have given him the marriage from hell.” And yet, God has been faithful even when we were not. He sealed this union with us through Jesus Christ in his cross and resurrection. Tim and Kathy write, “Your marriage to him is the surest possible foundation for your marriage to anyone else.”

The gospel grounds what Tim and Kathy write not only in this new book but also in their previous works The Meaning of Marriage and The Meaning of Marriage: A Couple’s Devotional. I counsel many young couples preparing for marriage, and their work is the first resource I hand them. You want to know the secret of a great marriage? Then you need to understand the mystery of Christ in the church, in Ephesians 5:32.

Any great marriage on earth points toward that marriage in heaven. If you’re looking for The One, you’ll only find him in Jesus. The gospel saves us from expecting too much from marriage, which makes us more likely to get divorced, and from expecting too little, which makes us less likely to ever get married in the first place.

Tim and Kathy joined me on Gospelbound to discuss the link between decreasing marriage and decreasing religiosity, how to know you’re ready to get married, how to raise children to prepare them for marriage, and more.

This episode of Gospelbound is brought to you by Southeastern Seminary. In a changing ministry landscape, Southeastern’s four-year master of divinity and master of business administration (MDiv–MBA) program was built on a foundation of rigorous theological training and practical vocational training. Learn more at sebts.edu.