pull quotes from Intimate Allies by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman


 
  • Life is a battleground.
  • The beauty of marriage is that it is God's gift of an intimate ally in the struggle.
  • We have a choice: we can either delight in diversity or destroy distinctions.
  • A marriage is made up of two equal but profoundly different beings; each reflects the character of God in ways that give a unique picture of His character.
  • A strong husband will draw forth the strong tenderness of his wife, and a tender wife will birth the tender strength of her husband.
  • As males and females we are significantly and intriguingly different. . . . The differences invite fascinating, unending exploration.
  • Ultimately we must succumb to the mystery of gender by not defining it too closely or precisely.
  • The differences that men and women bring to a relationship make the individuals more than they could ever be alone.
  • God's character cannot be captured by His human image bearer, but each gender typpically accentuates certain aspects of God's character.
  • Neither gender is closer to God than the other; their own character strengths relate to different aspects of God's nature because they are attuned to them.
  • Marriage is successful when two spouses care for one another and stay committed to each other through the intense heat of the battle.
  • As a husband I am to sacrifice my will to succeed for the sake of being my wife's companion, the one who uniquely dispels loneliness in her life.
  • As a wife, she is to sacrifice her loyalty to any other-- including parents, children, and friends-- for the sake of being my [the husband's] equal in shaping and ruling creation.
  • Physical beauty is but a mere metaphor of a greater, more compelling beauty-- a heart given to God.
  • A husband and wife either participate in the mystery of sexual union as a taste of intimacy with God, or they see it as nothing more than a momentary pleasure.
  • It is a great mystery how the flesh creates a desire for the spirit.
  • We must look at sexuality as an important window into the heart of God.
  • God's plan is for us to pursue and know Him in and through the sexual intimacy we have with our spouses.
  • Leaving means starting a whole new relationship in which the core loyalty is not to parents' priorities, traditions, or influence but to an entirely new family that must set its own course, form, and purpose.
  • The failure to shift loyalty from parents to spouse is a central issue in almost all marital conflict.
  • Making stories is being transformed by the moment together.
  • The weaving of lives is really the interpenetrating of stories that not only give us a glimpse of each other and ourselves but also offer a taste of the mystery of God's work in human relationships.
  • Sexual intimacy is the culmination of the leaving and weaving process.
  • The oneness that married couples experience in the act of sexual intercourse becomes a biblical symbol for the oneness we experience in our deeply intimate relationship with God.
  • Sexual dissatisfaction is a sensitive indicator that God's plan for marriage is off track.
  • But the good news of the Bible is that within marriage, husbands and wives are free to struggle and grow in enjoying each other's bodies.
  • This transference of basic loyalty from the childhood family to the nucleus of a new family is utterly crucial to a healthy marriage.
  • It is damaging to the extreme to allow the important theological teaching of the song to obscure the equally important message of erotic love.
  • The route to intimacy is a paradox: we must care less about ourselves than we do about our spouse.
  • Love will lead us to care more about our spouses' needs than about our own needs.
  • Married love needs to be a bold love right from the beginning.
  • We are to reclaim the pleasure of our bodies as much as we are to reclaim the purity of our souls.
  • The woman in the song [Songs of Solomon] is a reminder to Christian women that an aggressive sexuality goes hand in hand with a healthy marital relationship.
  • Married sexual expression is a paradigm of God's intimacy with His people.
  • Marriages are the crucible not only for sin to be exposed but also for forgiveness to restore relationship and intensify our hope of heaven.
  • They can choose either to live by pretense and self-righteousness or to be broken by their sin and surrender to the Gospel.
  • Man was meant to be a bold, creative artist who plunges into the unformed mystery of life and shapes it to a greater vision of beauty.
  • They fled from each other rather than embracing one another. (referring to Adam and Eve no longer able to be naked without feeling shame)
  • The account of the Fall reminds us that we will never experience the kind of intimacy, passion, and union that God intended for husbands and wives.
  • The curse implies that her unique calling as the ruler of relationship will be fraught with pain, therefore with loneliness.
  • If her heart is instructed by the curse, she will continue to offer relationship in freedom and joy, tempered by compassionate sorrow and strength.
  • The curse implies that his unique calling as the ruler of the earth will be fraught with frustration, therefore with futility.
  • If his heart is instructed by the curse, he will continue to shape relationship in freedom and joy, tempered by compassionate sorrow and tenderness.
  • Marriage is the battleground of sin and the place where the cross is revealed as the only hope for life and joy.
  • Sin involves not only what we do but also what we think and feel.
  • The first sin occurred within the context of marriage.
  • Sin is the refusal to trust God.
  • We do not see the weight of our own sin as the fundamental issue that must be dealt with in all relational problems.
  • But God did not create us to be sinners: He created us to be His glorious creatures.
  • Oddly, it will be the wounds of marriage that may propel each partner to look to God in the midst of their heartache.
  • Marriage can be a wonderful avenue for intimate relationship when we no longer demand that our marriages restore us to the bliss of Eden.
  • Sin can eat away all the beauty that God intended for a sexual relationship.
  • Sex is a physical reflection of what takes place on the level of the human soul.
  • Adultery is not merely sex with the wrong person; it is union with someone who will never require us to face our sinfulness or draw forth our glory so that we are more and more in awe of God.
  • In marital sexuality we gift our spouses with our bodies' power to bring pleasure to them.
  • Sex is at the center of a growing and vibrant love.
  • No woman can flower into glory if her husband sees sex as nothing more than his divine right and prerogative to feel good about himself.
  • Marriage is a covenant, and divorce is a breaking of this covenant.
  • Marriages are not going to be easy. They involve labor and struggle.
  • Marital unfaithfulness betrays the relationship by taking this special act, intercourse, and sharing it with others. (It breaks the commitment by rebellion and betrayal.)
  • It is important, even before marriage crises arise, to be in Christian community where the wisdom and encouragement of fellow believers are available to help.
  • Hope comes in brokenness.
  • Jesus Christ is the only firm foundation for a successful marriage.
  • The only source for hope and joy in marriage is in the Gospel.
  • I must know that my sin is greater than my wife's sin.
  • Jesus is the one who gives us the grace that allows us to acknowledge our own sins and also to forgive the sins of our spouses.
  • Married people confront life as a battle, as intimate allies, they push back the chaos.
  • A successful marriage is one in which two broken and forgiving people stay committed to one another in a sacrificial relationship in the face of life's chaos.
  • Our relationship with God is so intimate that it can be understood only in light of the passion that is to be shared within a marriage union.
  • Although we cannot fathom the depths of the mystery, God desires relationship.
  • We do know that God created Adam and Eve as human beings who were capable of making a choice either for Him or against Him.
  • To cheat on a spouse is like cheating on God.
  • As Christians, we are married to God. He is our spouse.
  • When we neglect God or turn our backs on Him, we are spitting in the eye of our lover.
  • Heaven will not be dull; it will be a place of the most intense and fulfilled passions.
  • Each moment of marriage is an anticipation of that moment when we will walk down the aisle to the Lamb's waiting embrace.