February 6, 2019

Ready or Knot?

Gary Thomas — 

As a pastor, Scott Kedersha has worked with more than 5,000 premarital couples to prepare them for their new life together. His book Ready or Knot? offers practical and Christ-centered guidance for engaged couples as they get ready for their special day. Scott asks some tough (but vital questions) and gives some great advice for premarital couples.

Scott and I both think Ready or Knot would serve as a great companion to my own devotional for engaged couples, Preparing Your Heart for Marriage. I was honored to write the foreword for Scott’s book, which you can find below:

 

As a boy scout, I never made it past “Tenderfoot.” The next rank up was underwhelmingly called “Second Class.” It just didn’t seem worth the effort to work toward something as humble as “second class,” so I switched my focus to baseball.

One of the things that held me back is that I’m so terrible with knots. I momentarily learned one or two in an attempt to get a merit badge, but I forgot how to retie them fifteen seconds later. Nobody in the entire troop trusted me to tie down the tent we’d be sleeping in. While I knew the names—the slip knot, the trucker’s hitch, the bowline, the double fisherman’s knot—all my fellow scouts would have chosen a Brownie over this Tenderfoot in order to secure our shelter.

God, on the other hand, excels at knots. He can take the two most diverse substances on this planet—a man and a woman—and tie them together in a ceremony so that the two become one:  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matthew 19:6).

There’s something about such “knot tying” that delights the heart of God. Remember what Jesus did with James and John? A seemingly offhand comment packs a powerful punch when you reflect on what it means. After mentioning James and John, Mark tells us that Jesus “gave them the name Boanerges, which means ‘sons of thunder’” (Mark 3:17). Jesus gave two brothers, two different people, one name. They were something together that they weren’t individually.

Such unity is so undervalued in our individualistic times that pursuing true unity as a married couple can be a prophetic act of faith. Psalm 133:1 proclaims “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity,” which Jesus emphasized with his famous prayer: “I pray …that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:20-21).

More than marriage is about sex and children, it’s about unity. Time-wise, sex takes up less than one percent of a married couple’s time, and nobody else witnesses it. Unity covers everything the couple does and says, even when they’re not together, and everyone can see it. And while you can have a marriage without children; you cannot have a marriage without unity. Christian marriage is a humble, iron-clad, surrendered commitment to a God-inspired and God-tied unity.

Scott Kedersha has written the “marital scout’s guide” to what knots need to be tied, how to tie them, and, on occasion, when to know that these two strands of rope should actually not be tied together (or at least not yet) in order to achieve such unity. He’s even thrown in the occasional illustration to teach you how to tie the knot of conflict resolution, communication, finances, friendship, extended family dynamics, sexual intimacy, and spiritual intimacy.

Don’t skip a step. I know from past experience that skipping a step can make your knot look like a tangled phone cord by the time you’re through. To get the most out of this manual, pray for God’s enlightenment, surrender to his words, pursue his agenda and design for marriage (which Scott so ably captures here), and you’ll experience the true blessing and miracle of being tied into an indissoluble knot whose craftsmen is none other than God himself.

Few experiences on earth match the beauty, wonder and fulfillment of an intimately connected marriage. Ready or Knot? will show you how such a knot is tied.

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8 responses to Ready or Knot?

  1. I have to add this book to our Re|engage resource table!

  2. Thanks Gary, I was looking for a book to get and this is perfect🙂

  3. Buying the book today. I am a Christian therapist that occasionally does premarital counseling and this book looks like a great supplement

  4. Gary, if your foreword is a foreshadow of the book, it’s bound to be excellent! My gentleman friend and I are talking about marriage and we’re in our 60s. While some things are different for older couples, I know that many things are the same as with younger couples. Does the book address issues older couples might face that could affect an excellent union?

    Thank you, again, for your God-inspired words!

    • Hi Judy! First of all, I agree with you – Gary did an outstanding job with the Foreword!

      To answer your question, all of the material would 100% apply to your situation as a couple in your 60’s. The material on communication, spiritual intimacy, money, etc… would apply to any couple. One of the editors was a single mom considering remarriage, so she made some great changes to manuscript that covered potential step/blended family questions.

      It does not, however, cover some of the issues couples in their 60’s might face – i.e., if you have adult children or grandchildren, aging/dying parents, etc…. You might read Ready or Knot? and then supplement it with another marriage book for couples in their 50’s/60’s. I hope this helps!

  5. This foreword is intriguingly written and certainly encourages me to obtain the book and use it in my marriage counseling. Thank you.