Many of us have been hoping for a Christian marriage book that is “egalitarian” in nature for a long time. Of course, there are some books out there that aren’t anti-egalitarian, but most of the popular marriage books out there are written from a conservative/complementarian bent. If you don’t understand those words, here’s a brief definintion of each:
Egalitarian/Mutualist: Women and men are both equally gifted and qualified for all levels of leadership in the church and for leadership within the family. These roles aren’t exclusively for men only–from a Biblical perspective.
Complementarian: Only men ought to be elders/bishops/teachers/pastors within the church and only men have the final authority within a household. Women are their complement, but never their leader–argued (wrongly, in my opinion) from the Bible.
At the end of October, The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage will be released. It is co-authored by Rob and Kristen Bell. I find myself optimistic–but, I have not read the book so I don’t want to jump the gun either (we know that that leads to, don’t we Love Wins?!). Here’s the description:
As he revolutionized traditional teaching on hell in the phenomenal New York Times bestseller Love Wins, Rob Bell now transforms how we understand and practice marriage in The Zimzum of Love, co-written with his wife, Kristen.
Despite the divorce statistics, people are still committing to each other, instinctively believing and hoping that theirs is a sacred union that will last forever. Yet when these couples encounter problems, they often lack the resources that keep them connected to this greater mystery surrounding marriage.
Rob and Kristin Bell introduce a startling new way of looking at marriage, The Zimzum of Love. Zimzum is a Hebrew term where God, in order to have a relationship with the world, contracts, creating space for the creation to exist. In marriage, zimzum is the dynamic energy field between two partners, in which each person contracts to allow the other to flourish. Mastering this field, this give and take of energy, is the secret to what makes marriage flourish.
Rob and Kristin Bell are brutally honest about their own struggles, their ups and downs, as together they pass along what matters most for couples. In this wise book, they explore the secret of what makes a happy union—probing the mystery at the heart of the extraordinary emotional connection that binds two people. With his down-to-earth charm, a dose of whimsy, and memorable stories, Rob, writing with his wife Kristen, changes how we consider marriage, providing insight that can help all of us create satisfying and sacred unions of our own.
My guess is this book will be the much-needed alternative to the Dricoll’s Real Marriage. What do you think?