Loritts, Crawford and Karen. Your Marriage Today…and Tomorrow: Making Your Relationship Matter Now and For Generations to Come. Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL. 2018. 160 pages.
What is your hope for marriage? Whether you are single, engaged, or married, chances are you have thought about marriage and what you expect it will bring. Your view of marriage will impact your hope for it. Many go into their wedding day with the vision of making a lifelong commitment to another person. In their answer to the question posed, they would exclaim, “My hope is to have a loving and lasting marriage.” In a day and age where broken homes become more of the norm, with divorce dividing and abuse devouring marriages, a lasting marriage seems like a worthy goal. The truth is such a vision is not enough. A biblical vision of marriage is about more than a lasting marriage. A biblical vision of marriage is about leaving a lasting legacy of love and commitment. This vision is captured well in a new book by Crawford and Karen Loritts, Your Marriage Today…and Tomorrow: Making Your Relationship Matter Now and For Generations to Come.
A Book About Building on Common Ground
Married for nearly four decades, Pastor Crawford and Karen openly share their stories as they point the reader to God’s story. From the struggles they faced coming from two completely different family backgrounds to learning the legacy of forgiveness in marriage, the common ground the Lorritts have built their marriage on is the cross of Jesus Christ. By sharing the mission and vision of marriage through God’s story (chapter 1) and openly sharing their stories of difference and brokenness (chapter 2), this well-seasoned married couple shows the power of the gospel for marriages. The power of the gospel is not revealed in just theory either. The bulk of the book lays out practical lessons the Loritts’s have learned and pass on to their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. They share guidelines (chapter 3), habits (chapter 4), and gifts (chapters 5–6) that contribute to a marriage that leaves a lasting legacy. The closing chapters of the book note a marriage that leaves a lasting legacy is one whether forgiveness is given and received, conflict is resolved (chapter 7), and the hope of God is passed on (chapter 8).
A Personal, Practical, and Powerful Book
Your Marriage Today…and Tomorrow is a personal, practical, and powerful book on building a marriage that doesn’t merely last but that leaves a lasting legacy. The personal touch of the book shines through the anecdotes Crawford and Karen share throughout the chapters and as they open up each chapter with an introduction into the chapter’s topic. The personal perspective of the book does not hinder its practicality. From their stories, they share practical lessons they have learned from Scripture and their marriage and pass on that wisdom to the reader. Each chapter ends with a “To Think About” section where questions are posed for the reader (or couple) to ponder and apply.
Yet, if this book were only personal and practical, it would fail to live up to its intention of pointing marriages to the hope of God. That is why this third component is the most important. This book on marriage finds its power in the gospel. The Loritts’s again and again highlight the key to a marriage that leaves a lasting legacy is one that is built on the foundation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In their own words, they may come from “completely different backgrounds, but Jesus is our common ground, starting point, and the foundation for our lives and our marriage” (Loritts & Loritts 29).
Not Quite 20/20 Vision
So much of the vision the Lorritts’s put forth for a marriage that leaves a lasting legacy is thoroughly biblical. Yet, there is one area where the vision is less than 20/20. In chapters 5 and 6, Crawford and Karen write on the gifts each bring to a marriage by focusing on what every wife needs and what every husband needs. They highlight key biblical texts like Ephesians 5 to paint a picture of what this looks like in marriage. However, just because they cite Scripture does not mean the proper emphasis is being placed on what the text is saying. This is where it appears the Loritts’s give a good, but blurred vision. The title of each chapter places the focus on what one spouse needs from the other rather than looking at what the responsibilities and role are of each spouse. This is important because while it is not necessarily wrong to speak in terms of what a spouse needs, to use a passage like Ephesians 5 means to emphasize what the biblical text emphasizes, which here is on responsibilities. The chapter that follows these tackles the topic of forgiveness with a gospel-focused approach. Chapters 5 and 6 could have benefited from that approach. Even with this blur in vision, the reader will still see clearly enough of the biblical vision to build a marriage that leaves a lasting legacy.
Looking for a Lasting Legacy
Your Marriage Today…and Tomorrow by Crawford and Karen Loritts equips married couples to build marriages that leave a lasting legacy in a culture where leaving is more common and in churches where merely lasting is the goal. For those unmarried who long for marriage, this book is meant to serve as an encouragement to view the vision and mission of marriage through a bigger and biblical lens. To that end, may this book fill you with hope in God and for your marriage, whether you are married now or not!
I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.