Film / Book Reviews

You and Me Forever: Marriage in light of eternity by Francis Chan and Lisa Chan

Aug 2015    

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

Romans 8:5

This is more than a book on marriage; it is a book for everyone. Unlike many other books focusing on earthly issues affecting marriages, the authors make it clear from the start that their focus is on something more important and vital – our relationship with God for all eternity.

Compared to eternity, what some of us feel as “long” lives of 70 to 80 years on earth pass like the twinkling of an eye. When we focus on the things of the earth, it will cause pride, jealousy, frustration, depression, anger, and other worldly problems. But when we focus on eternity, “our over-prioritisation of our human relationships look absurd.”

How then shall we focus on eternity? Ephesians 5, Revelations 19 and many other Bible passages tell us that we are the bride of Christ NOW! Knowing that Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, we should live our lives in submission to Christ. Knowing Jesus and his love should fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit. But do we possess the Holy Spirit in us? The apostle Paul tells us that:

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

(Romans 8:5)

We are also called to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19) Our earthly lives should then be lived so that others, including our spouse and children, will enter with us through the narrow gate. Just as Jesus loves us to the point of death, we are called to love others, to consider others more important than ourselves and to be the light that shines Jesus’ light to the world. This book shows us how.

Ideal for individual, couple and group meditation, each chapter concludes with suggestions of practical steps to grow closer to God, live as true disciples of Jesus, and in so doing, live Jesus’ story instead of ours. With only seven short chapters over 173 pages, this book is very light, and easy to read and understand. It has changed my focus in marriage counselling.

When issues of the flesh are left to fester in a marriage for many years, couples attack each other rather than explore ways to mend the relationship. However, by changing our focus from temporary things of the flesh to the eternal things of the Spirit, we stop attacking one another and start loving one another. We start living our Christian lives and working on our marriage. We are convicted that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and restore our relationship with God. We know why we believe that God is real to us, what it means to us that Jesus died and rose again, and we live out the life set before us by Christ – encouraging one another, and our descendants, in a journey together.

I have seen that by focusing on eternity, married lives grow. I hope reading this book, meditating on God’s Word and living it out will transform our marriage and our lives, and help us make disciples of all nations.

During the authors’ 20th wedding anniversary, they visited a ministry in East Africa they had been supporting, and were moved to build a village there to rescue women from the sex trade. All proceeds from the sale of this book will fund this project, which requires US$5 million. Purchasing this book will not only transform your lives, but also the lives of others.

“… go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 28:19

Chiang Ming Cherng and his wife, Pauline, have been happily married for seven years now. Ming Cherng works as a professional counsellor at Barker Road Methodist Church and helms the marriage ministry there. He worships at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church where he serves as Chairperson of the Discipleship & Nurture committee.

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