- Gebundene Ausgabe: 192 Seiten
- Verlag: Claire Love Pub (26. August 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0990351416
- ISBN-13: 978-0990351412
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,5 x 1,8 x 21,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 157.674 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 26. August 2014
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Francis Chan is the best-selling author of Crazy Love and the host of the BASIC.series. Francis is the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California and the founder of Eternity Bible College. He also sits on the board of directors of Children s Hunger Fund and World Impact. Francis now lives in Northern California with his wife, Lisa, and their four daughters and one son.
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I estimate only about 25% of this book directly addresses marriage and marriage issues. I’m reluctant to let that cat out of the bag, because the best-case scenario would be someone beginning this book with their guard down, expecting some “tried-and-true marriage tips,” and getting creamed unawares by the Chans’ amazing vision of living a life focused on God and His mission.
This book rocked me like none I’ve read in a long time. It’s unquestionably the best book I’ve read all year, and the best marriage book I’ve ever read—if it indeed qualifies as a marriage book. This book is a manifesto of daily discipleship, in light of eternity. It was simultaneously water for my parched soul, and painful, jolting stab of conviction to my heart.
This is a book for married people, single people, people with kids, and people without them. The American church desperately needs the message of this book.
Francis and Lisa Chan do an excellent job of narrating the book. At first I found the narration a little dry. However, as the book goes on, both of them speak with deep conviction and seriousness, practically pleading with the listener to repent of their small view of God and His mission. It’s prophetic stuff, and I’m so glad they narrated it themselves.
Highly, highly recommended.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at christianaudio.com.
• Understand how God has intended them to be (with some sort of discussion of Genesis 2);
• Have frequent sex;
• See how their relationship represents the gospel (as per Ephesians 5); and
• Have frequent sex. Frequently.
And then Francis Chan went and wrote a marriage book. Or did he?
Chan and his wife, Lisa, give readers a decidedly different take, one suggests that as good as it is it try to make your marriage better, our main focus—whether in marriage or singleness—needs to be something bigger: God. This is the big idea behind You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. The Chans want readers to picture marriage as a vehicle for mission, an opportunity for Christians to carry out our mission to make disciples of all the nations.
Sounds pretty lofty, huh? So how’d they do?
“As a pastor for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that most marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are God problems,” Chan writes (20). “They can be traced back to one or both people having a poor relationship with God or a faulty understanding of Him.”
This, among all the many wonderfully helpful things you’ll read in this book, is probably the most important—and also the most contentious. While sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, certainly, many of us are too quick to call everything a cigar.
Or (to mix metaphors) we treat symptoms, but not illnesses. The problem with this is what happens when you leave an illness untreated? It only gets worse (and in some cases, eventually kills you).
So think about it in a marriage: if a husband is domineering, it’s because something is deeply dysfunctional in his relationship with God, if one exists at all. If a wife commits adultery because another man understands her and makes her feel special, it’s because something is deeply dysfunctional in her relationship with God, looking to other people for affirmation instead of the Lord.
The same can be said of virtually any problem we face. They all start with our relationship with God. And that’s what makes it so contentious. Chan’s tendency is to get to the heart of an issue right away, rather than easing his audience into that knowledge. And because of his, shall we say, abrupt style of springing such things upon us, it’s easy to be turned off. But the more you sit with what he says, the more you realize it’s true (most of the time, anyway).
This theme continues throughout the book, as both Francis and Lisa continually remind readers that marriage is a tool for the spread of the gospel:
"Beautiful people make beautiful marriages. Jesus is the most beautiful person to ever walk the earth. Your best shot at having a beautiful marriage is if both of you make it your goal to become like Jesus." (91)
"Our mission does not call us to neglect our marriages. But a marriage cannot be healthy unless we are seeking His kingdom and righteousness first (Matt. 6:33)." (97)
"Whether as individuals or as couples, our mission is to make as many disciples as we can during our time on earth… We should be constantly asking ourselves the question: How can we free up more time and resources for making disciples?" (98-99)
"There is an urgency to the period of time in which we live—after Jesus’ resurrection and before His second coming. We have callings from God, and those callings are bigger than our marriages. Seeking His kingdom must be our first priority, and if we’re not careful, marriage can get in the way." (114)
This, again, is a necessary reorientation for many of us (even if there are some cautions I want to address). We should be examining our lives from the perspective of our clearly stated purpose: to make disciples. If we are in Christ, each and every one of us is called to this in some way, shape or form. There is no denying it.
And if we have children, mission starts at home. We want our kids to know the gospel, to see the beauty of Christ, to see Christianity as something more than just going to church for a couple hours on Sunday. We want them to see that it involves sacrifice, sometimes including sacrificing time with them for the sake of the gospel…
But we also want them to see something else: sometimes the sacrifice we make is saying “no” to a good opportunity in order to be with them. Chan writes:
"I work a lot. And I definitely travel more than most. Hardly a week goes by where I’m not jumping on a plane, wishing I could just stay home with my family. Some would call this bad parenting. I would argue that. I don’t neglect my children by any stretch of the imagination, but there are many times when I know God has called me to serve Him in ways that disrupt the family routine. I genuinely believe that it’s good for my kids to observe this." (165)
I sympathize with this a great deal. There are times in our lives when our family routine is disrupted. Because of work commitments or speaking engagements, I’m away from home probably five to six weeks of the year. While that might seem light in comparison to the schedules of many authors, speakers and pastors, we take it very seriously. When I have the opportunity to speak somewhere, we consider not only the opportunity, but the cost for our kids who are all very young. And there have been many times when I’ve had to say no to really good opportunities because where I’m most needed is at home playing cars on the floor with Hudson.
(There was also the time I went to Nashville and back in 36 hours when Emily was days away from giving birth to the boy, but…)
The point here is simply this: sometimes where we will be most effective for the sake of the mission will be away from home. But this is not license to “take care of the ministry and let God take care of your family,” as so many of a previous generation advocated (with their lives if not their words). I fear for the one who neglects his family in the name of Christ, because I can’t see it going well for them. Instead, what we need to do is find the right balance (in as much as something as unbalanced as ministry is). While we might have good opportunities to be used effectively away, sometimes it’s still best to be right here.
You may have gotten to this point and thought, “Great, it sounds like Crazy Love: Marriage Edition.” As tempting as it might be to say, it’s not entirely true. Yes, it has all the emphases of “radical” Christianity that you see in Crazy Love, Radical and so many others. No, it’s not without it’s problems (personally, I do feel Chan’s explanation of disrupting the family routine could be better fleshed out). But in the end, You and Me Forever succeeds in giving us a different kind of marriage book—one that’s less about marriage and more about the gospel. And that, for me at least, is a welcome change of pace.
What I do appreciate is 1) the gospel focus, 2) the call to put marriage in perspective and realize that it has eternal purposes and 3) the emphasis on humility (modeled after Christ) being a cornerstone of a godly marriage. Many other marriage books neglect these core concepts.
That being said, I felt like the Chans were sidetracked by their oft-repeated criticism of American Christians; the chapters often veered away from the topic of marriage to once again call out Christian laziness. Furthermore, I felt like they even wavered on their opening strong point that we focus too much on marriage instead of putting God first; in the section immediately following this argument (written by Lisa), they then argue that the stakes are too high for us to ignore our marriage and we should put a lot of effort into making it a good witness for the world. Well, which is it? And the last chapter on parenting was so out of place; if you want to write about how to be a godly parent, a marriage book is not the place for it. It was in this section that I also felt they missed an opportunity to honestly grapple with the tension between following God's call on our lives without idolizing family but yet not ignoring the biblical call to disciple our own children. Francis directly states that it's more important for him to be traveling and speaking than coming to every ball game but when children resent their parents for involving themselves in ministry, it isn't because of missing an event, it's because those ministry parents missed them as people, people who also need Jesus! Not once was the very real problem of fathers neglecting the discipleship of their own kids in favor of ministry addressed. Despite the dismissal of this situation, it is a real problem with those who haven't learned to biblically hold the two callings in tension.
All in all, it isn't horrible or unbiblical. It just isn't good compared to what's out there. I suspect that anyone who loves Francis Chan will find this book to be amazing, but for me, it fell flat.
What if marriage was designed to make you holy and remind you of our personal relationship with God and transform the way we see all of our relationships?
The Chans’ are right, we spend too much time being self-absorbed on our rights, entitlements and idolatry. The only way to have a successful marriage is not by focusing on our marriage but on God the Father, satisfied by Christ Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Connie and I agree (yes we both listened to this audio and have recommended it many times already) “that Jesus was right. We have it all backwards. The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage.”
It used to be that the only resource I would recommend for couples regarding gospel-centered material was “When Sinners Say I Do” and now it appears that Connie and I have an additional resource, “You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity” by Francis & Lisa Chan.
Anything you can get your hands on by Francis Chan, you know is going to be good and to challenge you in your Christian daily walk. Because I heard the buzz before mainstream about it, I quickly purchased a copy. Connie and I had already listened to the audios by the time the solicitation came for an option to review for ChristianAudio. I had planned on writing a review and was further inspired with my email notification. This is a fantastic resource and the accompanying website is filled with valuable resources and tools that I would highly recommend to include a free .pdf version of the book.
For the rest of the review I would like to list my top 10 quotes from the book that I think will reflect how interesting, challenging, inspiring, enlightening, did it cause me to think
Eternal-mindedness keeps us from silly arguments. There’s no time to fight. We have better things to pursue than our interests. Too much is at stake! God created us for a purpose. We can’t afford to waste our lives. We can’t afford to waste our marriage by merely pursuing our own happiness...Christians in America have become experts at conviction--and failures at action...So today, do something. We all make mistakes. Err on the side of action.
When two people are right with Him, they will be right with each other. As a pastor for over 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that most marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are God problems. They can be traced back to one or both people having a poor relationship with God or a faulty understanding of Him. An accurate picture of God is vital to a healthy marriage. It’s vital to everything.
Someone can have a dynamic speaking gift, or generously give to anyone in need, or appear to know a lot of Scripture, but if they have a terrible marriage, it raises questions. How can he treat his wife that way? Why is she so disrespectful to her husband? They obviously do not believe what they claim to believe. It should burden us deeply that many of our marriages paint the gospel in a bad light....A quote I heard recently: “We are God’s plan to make it believable that He is good and loving and true.”
Part of our role as Christians is to tell people about God’s story. All of us should be regularly telling people about who Jesus is and what He has done. This is necessary, and we must never be ashamed of Jesus (Matt. 10:32–33). But it’s one thing to preach the gospel and another thing to display the gospel.
Something I learned in seminary is that with every issue, there are two sides. And there are scholars on both sides who are more intelligent than I am. So the best I could do was to study, pray, examine my heart, and make a decision. My goal is to stand before
God and be able to say, “I prayed and studied this passage. I tried to ignore my personal desires and interpreted it as best I could. I believed this is what it said, so I did my best to live by it.” I also try to hold my views with humility, allowing God to convince me of a better interpretation at any point in the future through more study, prayer, and heart-examination.
So many couples act like five-year-old soccer players when it comes to the spiritual war that we find ourselves in. God calls us to fight in an ongoing battle against darkness. In this battle, He has given us a clear mission—to make disciples. Yet Christian couples can most typically be found holding hands and skipping through life, ignoring the battle that rages around them. We have made happy families our mission. That is not the mission that Jesus gave us, but we try to justify this idolizing of marriage because it’s what we want.
Practically speaking, we have to start with the seed of prayer. When is the last time you prayed specifically and earnestly for your marriage? How about specifically and earnestly for your husband or wife? Do you realize that very few people are going to be praying faithfully for your marriage and your spouse? I don’t want to sound dramatic, but prayer changes everything! Prayer opens up that line of communication with the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to invite the sensitivity you need to even hear the voice of the Lord. Yes, we must read and know Scripture, but without talking to God in prayer, we are crippled. Jesus went away from the crowds many times to speak to His Father alone. Who are we to think we can function without it?
Your integrity in marriage will have a huge impact on your children. This does not mean that they will not see you work through conflict or have bad days here and there. But your kids need to know that you’re the real deal. It’s not enough to wake up early on Sundays, throw your kids in the car, fight all the way to
church, and then go about your own business the rest of the week. As important as a commitment to the church is, your kids need to see God’s truth shaping your lives throughout the week. If they can see you living out the gospel in the most intimate relationship
you have, they will have an authentic picture of what it means to live according to the Word rather than the world.
The ending prayer is FANTASTIC
God, help us love You deeply and fear You greatly.
Teach us how to love each other for Your sake.
May the humility of Christ be seen in the way we treat each other.
Show us how to enjoy each other without neglecting Your mission.
Remind us of the brevity of life so we share Your good news urgently.
Remind us of heaven so we will face rejection and trials joyfully.
When we settle down for too long, prod us to run.
When we are prone to fight, teach us to fight together, and to fight for You.
When we are tempted to run away, bring repentance and renewal.
May we spend our married days reminding each other of Your glory, Your gospel, Your love, Your power, Your mission, and Your promise of what is to come.
This audiobook was fantastic in that it was also ready by Francis & Lisa Chan, as I have mentioned before, nothing beats the author reading their own work. Further, although I did not quote all the scripture references, know that this work is SATURATED in scripture, in its entirety and without compromise. Connie and I zealously recommend this book to all, from all walks of life. It will change everything for those who have never heard, and revive those who have forgotten.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from ChristianAudio, as part of its Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”