This was a great chapter! I love how Gary brought us back to the Biblical and primary purpose of marriage, which is to model God's love for and relationship to the church. Our marriages are supposed to be a picture of divine reconciliation. A reconciliation that involved commitment and sacrifice and complete selflessness. Gary says, "If I believe the primary purpose of marriage is to model God's love for his church, I will enter this relationship and maintain it with an entirely new motivation, one hinted at by Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians: "So we make it our goal to please Him" (2 Corinthians 5:9)." We have been given so much in the Salvation we received because of what Christ did on the cross, it should be our priority in marriage and in every other area of our lives to please God. It's an act of worship, a big "thank you" that we can't say enough. God is clear in the Word that committed, lasting marriages are what pleases Him. He gave the analogy of how extremely wet forests rarely have devastating forest fires, so there are some extremely old trees in those forests. I'm going to get quote happy here, but I underlined a lot in this chapter. Gary says, "Strong Christian marriages will still be struck by lightning- sexual temptation, communication problems, frustrations, unrealized expectations- but if the marriages are heavily watered with an unwavering commitment to please God above everything else, the conditions won't be ripe for a devastating fire to follow the lightning strike." The thing that really struck me while reading this chapter is how we need to guard ourselves against the world's view of what marriage should be. Gary says, "The key question is this: Will we approach marriage from a God-centered view or a man-centered view? In a man-centered view, we will maintain our marriage as long as our earthly comforts, desires, and expectations are met. In a God-centered view, we preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and points a sinful world to a reconciling Creator." And really what it all boils down to is that the world teaches us to be selfish, to always be looking out for our best interests instead of going to God for all our needs and then laying our lives down for others. My prayer as we continue in this study is that I will be constantly reminded to put my relationship with God first, to go to Him when I have need or struggle before burdening Travis with unrealistic and misplaced expectations. I praise the Lord for giving me a renewed sense of "for better or worse" after reading this chapter, a renewed commitment to making our marriage one of those oldest trees in the forest, for His glory, as we water ourselves with God's word and presence and power to "do all things through Him who gives us strength"!