If you’ve never read a book by Lauren Winner, run out and get one now! She is not only articulate, her topics are well researched, and she is honest and open about her own struggles with leading a faithful Christian life. Her first book, a memoir entitled Girl Meets God is the story of how she, a young Jewish woman, converted to Christianity.
Anyway, real sex, seemed an obvious choice for this month’s topic and exploring the theme of eros love. Subtitled “the naked truth about chastity” the book begins with Winner’s attempt to work through the difficulty she, and other people, even Christians, have in maintaining chastity. Somewhere along the line she realizes that you cannot discuss chastity without discussing marriage — chastity isn’t a virtue or discipline to practice for the sake of avoiding something bad or harmful — it’s to be practiced in order to understand what marriage and becoming one flesh is meant to be and to represent in the Christian community.
Here’s a quote from the book:
“When I see them (a married couple she knows who have their share of differences) I not only feel optimistic about the possibility of staying married, I also feel optimistic about the possibility of staying a faithful Christian, of not drifting from church when I grow bored or indifferent or angry. I remember that the Bible tells me over and over that marriage is like the relationship between God and His beloved. I am cheered.”
According to Winner, marriage is not just for the couple, it is for the community. They are a sign that:
“He (God) loves us, and is faithful to us, when we cheat on Him. He loves us and is faithful to us, when we insist our love has died on the vine. Marriages are made in part, to remind us of God’s relentless fidelity”
I have to admit, I hadn’t thought of my marriage that way before. Perhaps we would all take marriage more seriously if we did. Our love for one another is an earthly example to others of God’s heavenly love for each of us.
Read the book for more. You’ll be edified and challenged, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to read other books by this author.