Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make

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9781433573101

Author: Paul Tripp

Previously published as What Did You Expect? Updated with Discussion Questions and Two Bonus Chapters

When you say “I do,” you begin the journey of a lifetime— and you have dreams of that journey being perfect. But it won’t take long for expectations of the perfect marriage to fade away in the struggles of everyday life. A long-term, vibrant marriage needs to be grounded in something sturdier than romance—it needs the life-changing power of the gospel.

In this rebranded edition of What Did You Expect?, popular author and pastor Paul David Tripp encourages couples to make six biblical commitments to the Lord and to one another. These commitments, which include a lifestyle of confession and forgiveness, building trust, and appreciating differences, will equip couples to cultivate thriving, joy-filled marriages built on Christ. 

Table of Contents:

Preface to the 2021 Edition

Chapter 1: What Did You Expect?
Chapter 2: Reason to Continue
Chapter 3: Whose Kingdom?
Chapter 4: Day by Day

Commitment 1: We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.

Chapter 5: Coming Clean: Confession
Chapter 6: Canceling Debts

Commitment 2: We will make growth and change our daily agenda.

Chapter 7: Pulling Weeds
Chapter 8: Planting Seeds

Commitment 3: We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust.

Chapter 9: Sticking Out Your Neck
Chapter 10: Someone to Be Trusted

Commitment 4: We will commit to building a relationship of love.

Chapter 11: All You Need Is Love
Chapter 12: Ready, Willing, and Waiting

Commitment 5: We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace.

Chapter 13: Amazing Grace
Chapter 14: Before Dark

Commitment 6: We will work to protect our marriage.

Chapter 15: Eyes Wide Open
Chapter 16: On Your Knees
Chapter 17:Worship, Work, and Grace

Special to the 2021 Edition

Chapter 18: The Gospel, Your Marriage, and Sex (Bonus Chapter)
Chapter 19: Ask Paul Tripp about Your Marriage (Bonus Chapter)

Study Guide

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About the author: 

Dr. Paul David Tripp is President of Paul Tripp Ministries; author of several books; on the pastoral staff of Tenth Presbyterian Church (Philadelphia, PA); Professor of Pastoral Life and Care at Redeemer Seminary (Dallas, TX); and Director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care (Fort Worth, TX). Dr. Tripp has taught at respected institutions worldwide; founded a Christian school; served as a counselor; international conference speaker. He is married with four children; B.A., Columbia International University; M.Div., Philadelphia Theological Seminary; D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary.

His books include Broken Down House; Forever; Sex & Money; Age of Opportunity; War of Words; Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands; as well as other works.

Endorsements:

“Noel and I listened to most of this book driving in the car! Wise words. Authentic experience. Provocative application. Turned a long trip into a fruitful two-person marriage seminar.”  ~John Piper, Founder, desiringGod.org; Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary

“When Paul Tripp teaches, preaches, or writes he does so through the lens of the gospel. In What Did You Expect?, Paul faithfully and brilliantly lets the gospel bear its weight on the messiness and beauty of marriage. I, personally, found the book to be helpful, and we use it extensively at The Village.”  ~Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Explicit Gospel

“At once deeply theological and practically relevant, this is one of the top books on marriage I have ever read. Paul Tripp allows readers to examine marriage through a biblical lens so that we understand how God can graciously heal our hurting homes. As a pastor, I will implore our people to read this book as soon as it is available.”  ~Chris Brauns, Pastor, The Red Brick Church, Stillman Valley, Illinois; author, Unpacking ForgivenessBound Together, and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search

“What I’ve come to expect from Paul Tripp is consistently deep, transparent, biblical, wise, practical, gospel-driven counsel. Rather than muddying the water with self-focused strategies designed to meet our ever-multiplying needs, Paul, as the seasoned soul-physician he is, correctly diagnoses our problems and provides the cure—humble faith in Jesus Christ. I wasn’t disappointed. You won’t be either.”  ~Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, counselor; speaker; author, Found in Him

“Paul Tripp brings many years of counseling, growth as a husband, and deepening discovery of the liberating power of grace to this realistic and challenging guide to God’s engagement in redeeming marriages that are threatened by complacency, misunderstanding, and selfishness. The Bible’s message of the humbling and healing power of Christ’s mercy and the powerful presence of his Spirit in our homes comes through loud and clear. The daily practicality of gospel doctrine is made crystal clear by Tripp’s transparency about his personal missteps in becoming a Christ-reflecting husband and the many examples of couples who have discovered that they are sinners married to sinners. But that the third, divine Party in marriage gives hope and change when unrealistic expectations are shattered and when we confront our sin. But be warned: Tripp’s diagnostic questions are downright uncomfortable. Even those with strong marriages by God’s grace will find their deep tendencies toward self-coronation challenged!”  ~Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California

“Paul Tripp issues a challenge for couples to roll up their sleeves, get to work, and do what it takes to build a God-honoring relationship. He presents six commitments for couples to make, and contained within each is insightful, practical, and effective advice on how to construct a loving, growing, grace-soaked marriage.”  ~Mary A. Kassian, Professor of Women's Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild