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Christian Marriage: A Comprehensive Introduction

ISBN: 9781941337929
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A Vibrant Picture of Marriage

Why should we care about marriage?

There is a lot of confusion about the purpose of marriage today—outside the church as well as within it. Written by a distinguished Christian sociologist, Christian Marriage is a theologically rich, biblically robust, and sociologically informed treatise on the nature and value of marriage. Drawing on recent social science research, empirical data, and social history, David J. Ayers paints a picture of marriage as an institution meant for human flourishing.

Along the way, Ayers addresses such topics as

  • Dating and selection of a spouse
  • The importance of premarital counseling
  • Sex and procreation
  • Mentoring and supporting unmarried believers
  • Divorce and remarriage
  • And current controversies surrounding premarital sex and same-sex marriage.

Though the book is academically and theologically informed, it is written with a pastoral heart. It seeks to provide a rich resource for pastors and counselors on a topic of supreme importance to a vibrant church and society.

Praise for Christian Marriage

“David Ayers does a masterful job of weaving together biblical texts, classical Christian wisdom, his experience, and the social science. From Rieff to Bellah, it’s all there. I especially appreciate his rejection of the therapeutic character of many contemporary relationships, Ayers’ ability to discuss marriage’s connection to health, his use of the General Social Survey and National Survey of Family Growth, his appreciation of the power of generosity, and the challenging discussion of divorce.”

—W. Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology, University of Virginia; director, National Marriage Project; senior fellow, Institute for Family Studies; visiting scholar, American Enterprise Institute

“David Ayers has done the church a favor by writing this book. Hundreds of footnotes quoting and using various confessional documents, modern research, scholars in social psychology and family practice, and recognized theologians from church history are very impressive. He delves into issues the church needs to be discussing, and you will find his insights helpful and challenging. It is a fascinating book, and I highly recommend it.”

—Jerry O’Neill, president and professor of pastoral theology, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA)

“If you are interested in—or interested in living out—the evangelical Christian view of marriage, buy this book. It is a remarkable exploration of the meaning of marriage that will warm your heart, sharpen your intellect, and spark your imagination.”

—Maggie Gallagher, coauthor of The Case for Marriage; former president of the National Organization for Marriage and of the Institute for Marriage and Family Policy; nationally syndicated columnist

Top Highlights

“In the Old Testament, the records of failure seem to outnumber those of marital loyalty and love.” (Page 3)

“Fourth, all these character traits will not be present in equal amounts in anyone” (Page 121)

“marriages are to help us, ultimately, to glorify and enjoy God, and to serve him” (Page 347)

“So first, we must know how God has defined marriage” (Page 4)

“Third, acceptable prospective mates will have a good work ethic—they will be diligent” (Page 124)


  • Introduction: A Priceless Jewel in a Plain Brown Wrapper
  • Part 1: God’s Boundaries and Purposes for Marriage
    • What Is Marriage?
    • Mutual Help
    • Sexual Fulfillment
    • Procreation of Children
  • Part 2: Before Marriage: Mate Selection and Preparation for Matrimony
    • Choosing a Partner in the Lord
    • Practical Wisdom in Choosing a Marriage Partner
    • A Call to Premarital Sexual Integrity
    • Confronting the Dating Culture
    • Doing Premarital Preparation the Right Way
  • Part 3: Divorce and Remarriage
    • The Bible and Christian Doctrine on Divorce and Remarriage
    • The Modern Divorce Plague
    • Ruin and Wreckage: The Effects of Divorce
  • Part 4: Marital Happiness and Success
    • The Beautiful Order of Christian Marriage
    • Marital Satisfaction and Happiness
    • Recommendations for the Church

Product Details

  • Title: Christian Marriage: A Comprehensive Introduction
  • Author: David J. Ayers
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Pages: 473
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683592549
David J. Ayers

David J. Ayers is professor of sociology in the Alva J. Calderwood School of Arts and Letters at Grove City College, Pennsylvania. Until recently he also served as dean, and is currently interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. He holds his PhD in Sociology from New York University and has written two books, Experiencing Social Research (2001) and Investigating Social Problems (2004), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He has taught courses on marriage and family for about thirty years.

Sample Pages from Christian Marriage


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  1. Charles Sigler
    I've read a preview copy and can say it should become a standard book on the shelves (or in the computers) of pastors, Christian counselors and anyone interested in thinking through what it means to have a Christian, biblical marriage.
Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Print list price: $29.99
Regular price: $26.99
Save $6.75 (25%)