My wife and I were deeply moved by the film, "The Notebook" that is now out on DVD. The thing about the movie that really touched me was that Noah, the husband played by James Garner, sacrificially loved his wife through the disease of dementia, to the very end. There was clearly very little in the relationship left "for him" except the pain of being a stranger to the one woman he had loved his entire adult life.
The problem with most marriage books on the market is that the primary appeal is self-fulfillment. They make the assumption that a lifetime marriage is the primary path to real self-fulfillment. So the emphasis in these books is on things like conflict resolution, good communication ideas, sexual techniques and understanding basi! c male-female differences. While these are all very important, they do not touch a man's deepest motivation. The cannot make a man into a "Noah."
Marriage is the heavenly Father's gift to allow a man to come into an increasingly deeper understanding of His Son's love for him. The challenge of learning to sacrificially love one woman for a lifetime until death separates, will cause what a man intellectually knows about God's sacrificial love for him to be absorbed into the depths of his very mind and heart. Also, as a man grows in his insight into Christ's love for him and his wife it enables him to love his wife freely from the heart. The two work together.