"Two are better than one, because there is a good reward for their labor together. For if they fall, then one will help up his companion" (Eccl. 4:9-10a).
Author Chip Ingram wholeheartedly subscribes to these words of wisdom. His new book, Marriage Works, offers insights into the biblical model for marriage in an age where almost anything goes.
Ingram discussed the book with Dr. Steve Greene on a recent edition of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network.
The subhead of Marriage Works says it all: "God's way of becoming spiritual soulmates, best friends and passionate lovers."
Ingram and his wife, Teresa, married for 40 years, both grew up in non-Christian homes with alcoholic father. And that atmosphere showed Ingram exactly what not to expect and execute in his marriage.
"Both of us had a lot of baggage to unpack," Ingram says. "What people will find in this book [are] some very honest things about what most people struggle with. ... We're very far from being perfect, but it has been rich, and I can say that we really are best friends and passionate lovers.
Though some couples struggle with God's guidelines for marriage in Ephesians 5, Ingram says they simply don't understand the proper biblical meaning of the passages.
"I think there have been a lot of mis-teachings and mis-assumptions of those verses," Ingram says. "But what's very interesting is the command, the context of God's view of marriage, is that, one, you can't do it. He says don't be unwise, but wise. He says you first have to be filled with the Spirit. And He says when you are filled with the Spirit, it results in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
"He says, 'be in submission to one another.' In a marriage relationship, it's not like there's just submission in one direction. It's both man and woman saying, 'I am going to submit myself to God's plan.'"
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