Friends and Lovers
Neither a comprehensive marriage manual, nor a complete exploration of the theological significance of marriage, Friends and Lovers focuses on two key ingredients in a vital marriage: friendship and sexual intimacy. Drawing from the wisdom of the Bible, especially the Book of Proverbs, Joel Beeke shows you how to grow closer to your spouse both emotionally and physically.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: Friends
1. Remember: The Foundation of Friendship in Marriage
2. Nourish: The Cultivation of Friendship in Marriage
3. Resist: The Temptations of Friendship in Marriage
Part 2: Lovers
4. Cherish: Sex is the Act of Cherishing Each Other as God’s Image-bearers
5. Multiply: Godly Lovers Delight in Multiplication
6. Obey: Sex in Marriage is Obedience to God’s Commandments
7. Forgive: Sexual Freedom Comes through Forgiveness of Sins
8. Believe: Faith in Christ Empowers Sexual Love
9. Reject: Sex is More loving with Self-Denial
10. Appeal: Our Father in Heaven can Heal Fear and Shame
11. Repent: Sexual Idolatry Requires Repentance
12. Appreciate: Gratitude and Contentment Sweeten Sex
Dr. Joel R. Beeke serves as President and Professor of Systematic Theology, Church History, and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has been in the ministry since 1978 and has served as a pastor of his current church since 1986. He is also editor of the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited fifty books and contributed over fifteen hundred articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. (1988) from Westminster Theological Seminary is in Reformation and Post-Reformation Theology. He is frequently called upon to lecture at Reformed seminaries and to speak at conferences around the world. He and his wife, Mary, have three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.
“A book about love, marriage, and sex from Joel Beeke that is surprisingly candid yet without a trace of smuttiness. Putting Puritans in a new light perhaps, Beeke manages, at the same time, to be theologically thorough and pointedly practical. Fresh and refreshingly straightforward, this is the best book of its kind.” — Derek W H Thomas, Minister of Preaching and Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia SC; Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Editorial Director, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
“Marriage is hard work. And wonderful. And sometimes, it’s both at the same time. Friends and Lovers is like a personal mentoring session on marriage with a man whose heart is devoted to seeing Christ honored in how we love each other as husbands and wives. It’s full of practical wisdom and grace. A delight.” — Bob Lepine, Co-Host, FamilyLife Today
Living in a Godly Marriage
The Puritans believed that godly marriages were foundational for the future life of families, churches, and nations. Therefore, they wrote prolifically on the subject of marriage, seeking to bring biblical reformation to this subject in a comprehensive way. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other previous Reformers had begun this task, but the Puritans took it much further, writing a number of detailed treatises on how to live as godly spouses. Out of the wealth of material available to us from the seventeenth century, Joel R. Beeke and James A. La Belle have gathered together insights from the past and summarized them in a contemporary form in order to encourage modern day coupled to glorify God in marriage.
Table of Contents:
Appendix: George Swinnock’s Prayers for Husbands and Wives
Deepen Your Christian Life
From the late 1500s to the early 1700s, Puritan ministers wrote thousands of Christian books that contain massive amounts of biblical, doctrinal, experiential, and practical instruction to energize your Christian life. In the early seventeenth century, nearly 20 percent of the material coming off English presses consisted of Puritan sermon material popularized in book form. Unfortunately, many believers today find it difficult to read the antiquarian Puritan language and, when they attempt to do so, find themselves more frustrated than energized.
This series, Deepen Your Christian Life, presents in contemporary language the major teachings that several Puritans wrote on subjects that are seldom addressed adequately, if at all, today. Finally, you too will be able to enjoy the Puritans and see, by the Spirit’s grace, that they really do energize your Christian life.
Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
James A. La Belle is the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“It is an established, if little known, fact that the Puritans rescued marriage from the dreary ascetic grasp of the Roman Church and returned it to its full, biblical, Christ-centered estate—overflowing with creational joys, pleasures, and duties. In this book, eminent Puritan scholars and pastors Joel Beeke and James La Belle provide us with a rich gift, as they have mined the writings of twenty-nine of the great Puritans and then arranged their wisdom into brilliantly organized user-friendly chapters and subheadings (complete with penetrating study questions)—all done with a skill that only “hands-on” pastors could have. The Puritans were Word-centered wordsmiths, and the chapters are packed full of memorably stated theology and application. What a pleasure to commend this book!” — R. Kent Hughes, senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and visiting professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary Philadelphia
“The reason for the resurgence of interest in the Puritans today is found in their extraordinary devotion to the things of God and the depth of their understanding and exposition of sacred Scripture. I welcome this series of books that make the Puritans even more accessible in our day on a variety of important but often neglected subjects.” — R. C. Sproul, founder and president of Ligonier Ministries and author of The Intimate Marriage