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Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline

January 31st, 2008 | 5 min read

By Tex

Despite roundly panning Gary Thomas’ book Sacred Marriage last week for it’s fundamentally questionable premise, I have to admit that he has a lot of good things to say in response to the historic trend among Christians to look down their noses on marriage—preferring to view it as something that is necessary because of the incontinence of humans, rather than as a means through which people come to know God in deep and profound ways.

As far back as I can remember, I was fully aware of the long-standing tradition of celibacy—monks and nuns who lived out their dedication to God by pledging to abstain from marriage and sex…Most of the Christian classics [on spirituality] were written by monks and nuns for monks and nuns. The married could at best feebly try to simulate a single pursuit of God; the thought of pursuing God through marriage wasn’t really given serious consideration; instead, the emphasis was largely on pursuing God in spite of marriage.”

It is in light of this historical fact, and against the comments of respected theologians like Augustine, who wrote,”Marital intercourse makes something good out of the evil of lust” that Gary Thomas takes up his pen and forges the way forward towards meaningful ways to unite the spiritually devout life with the marriage covenant; two notable forays below the fold.

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