Editor's Note: The Banner reviews books/items from various perspectives, including controversial ones, to foster conversations and does not necessarily endorse any of those views. The CRCNA's official position on homosexuality can be found here.
In this intimate, intensive window into their mixed-orientation marriage, Laurie Krieg and Matt Krieg’s goal is not to just share their story and focus on their marital struggles and attempts to remain together. Rather it is to answer the question “What is the purpose of marriage?” Their answer, spelled out against the backdrop of their gut-wrenching narrative, is that the purpose of marriage is to point to God: “When a man and a woman are united as one through marriage, we become a metaphor of ‘the way Christ and the church are one’ (Ephesians 5:32). Marriage points to both the future and the present reality that Jesus Christ wants to marry us, the church. Married people embody the gospel. Married people embody Jesus’ embodied, sacrificial, one-flesh love for one another. It is a great mystery. . . . The great mystery is that Christ wants to be one with us! Marriage simply and profoundly illustrates this incredible reality to an aching world.”
Alternating between Laurie and Matt’s voices, readers discover how their “impossible” marriage is possible because of God’s redeeming power. As a same-sex attracted woman, Laurie shares the pain she brought into their marriage: a past same-sex relationship, ongoing same-sex attraction, childhood trauma due to sexual abuse, the inability to share sexual intimacy with Matt, and the burden of debilitating guilt and shame. Similarly, Matt shares the pain he brought into their marriage: the feeling of being unwanted as a child, addiction to pornography, sexual attraction to other women, and, like Laurie, the weight of guilt and shame.
Written with compassion and tenderness, the Kriegs’ book is a valuable resource not only for mixed orientation couples but for single people, people who have experienced trauma, straight couples, divorced people, and people who might disagree with them theologically in regard to marriage. It serves as an encouragement for all Christians “to stare at The Marriage” between Christ and his bride, the church, and to let Christ’s sacrificial love shape their lives.