Prepared Spontaneity, Living in the Already & the Not Yet

I’m two chapters into reading Paul David Tripp’s book, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, and have already come across some terrific sections.

“Everything we say and do, everything we commit ourselves to, and every situation, location, and relationship we experience is experienced between the already and the not yet. You will never understand the things you face every day until you understand that you live in the middle. Everything in your life is shaped by what the middle is like…Knowing that you are already living between the already and the not yet tells you where you are located in God’s story of redemption” (p.18).

“You and I simply never know for sure what is coming next. Think about it: your life has not worked according to your plan…Your life is under the wise and sovereign plan of another (Acts 17:26; Daniel 4:34b-35). This means that, every day, you deal with the unexpected, with things you didn’t plan to have on your plate. This is surely true of your marriage…But dealing with the unexpected doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared. This book is all about the principle of prepared spontaneity…You actually can be prepared for things that you had no idea would come your way. In fact, I am persuaded that this is one of the main functions of Scripture. It enables us to be prepared to decided, think, desire, act, and speak well in a world in which we aren’t sovereign. Here’s how it works: if we have taken in what the Bible says about God, ourselves, life, sin, and the surrounding world, we are ready to deal spontaneously with things we didn’t know we would be dealing with…It’s not just the prediction of potential problems that people haven’t taken seriously, but the message of promised provision as well. Prepared spontaneity is not just about being aware of what you are going to face and therefore being ready to face it. It is also about knowing what you have been given so that you can face it with practical courage and hope. This book will lay out for you a lifestyle of readiness that takes seriously the practical and life-giving wisdom perspectives of the Word of God. These wisdom insights will cause you to live prepared, even though your hand isn’t on the joystick, and you don’t really know what is around the next corner of your marriage” (pp.19-20).

“Realism is found at the intersection of unabashed honesty and uncompromising hope. God’s Word & God’s grace make both possible in your marriage” (p. 26).


About Aaron Golby

Christian. Husband to Katherine.
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