What Does a Christian Philosopher Know About Marriage?


For about a decade, I was the assistant to one of the best known Christian philosophers in the world, Dr. William Lane Craig. “Bill,” as he is known by his friends, has been married for to his wife, Jan for forty-plus years. Bill and Jan have two adult children together; their daughter Chastity & their son . Bill would occasionally preach and offer practical relational advice out of his decades of attempting to sustain a Biblically-based Christian marriage.


Audio File:

http://rfmedia.org/av/audio/healthy-relationships-nflc08/healthy-relationships-nflc08.mp3


Follow along here:

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/videos/lectures/healthy-relationships-nflc-washington/


Summary of the audio by Dr. Craig;

  1. General point: Anticipating the significant stresses of ministry on marriages

  2. General point: Balancing marriage priority with realistic vocational pursuits

  3. General point: The crucial importance of deeply evaluating your potential spouse Advice for males pre-marriage: Marry someone who believes in you and who supports you in your calling

  4. Advice for females pre-marriage: Be the kind of person who can commit to being a helper and supporter

  5. Advice for males pre-marriage: Beware of the career woman who will put their career over supporting you in your calling

  6. Advice for females pre-marriage: Be careful about marrying if you think that your goals are more crucial than your husband’s goals

  7. Advice for males pre-marriage: be careful what images and movies you see with the goal of keeping your chastity

  8. Advice for females post marriage: understand that you have to work at the marriage in order to help your man finish his studies or complete certain milestone vocational goals

  9. Advice for males post marriage: do not break eye contact with your wife, and also hold her hand when communicating

  10. Advice for females post marriage: take an interest in your spouse’s work even if you don’t care about it, and ask him about it every day and try to understand it. Go to the man’s workplace and see what he does. Go to his presentations. Get involved in the man’s ministry and help him in practical ways.

  11. Advice for males: be careful what images and movies you see with the goal of keeping your chastity / developing sexual self-mastery

  12. General Advice: Don’t try to find the right person for you but instead focus on learning about marriage and preparing for marriage

  13. General Advice: Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, love and peace

  14. General Advice: God intends for sex to be within the bounds of marriage, so you need to guard yourself against unchastity

  15. General Advice: your highest responsibility after your relationship with God is your spouse, and your studies are third

  16. General Advice: it’s better to drop classes or give up your graduate studies entirely rather than destroy your marriage

  17. General Advice: set aside a period of the day for communicating and bonding with your spouse

  18. General Advice: cultivate the ability to talk with your spouse on a personal level, and maintain eye contact

  19. General Advice: do not be embarrassed to seek out a marriage counselor, but make it a good counselor

  20. General Advice: don’t just be doing activities for your mate, but also be vulnerable and transparent with your mate

  21. General Advice: Do not cultivate the habit of “papering over” the differences & difficulties – it’s sometimes good to argue, because it means that problems are being confronted and worked through

  22. General Advice: Husbands should have a good male friend with whom to dialogue, and wives should have a good female friend with whom to dialogue.



Here are the five main pieces of advice Dr. Craig gives to many married couples when pressed to be brief:


  • Resolve that there will be no divorce

  • Delay having children

  • Confront problems honestly

  • Seek marital counseling

  • Take steps to build intimacy in your relationship


Dr. William Lane Craig is one of the most respected and erudite Christians intellectuals on the planet. He is also an astounding father and husband because he takes his Christian commitment seriously and strives daily to conform his actions to Biblical instruction. As his former assistant, I can attest this excellence with regard to his walk with his wife and children.

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