In The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers
, Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin declares that "reading expressions of love from the past can be a helpful way of responding to the frangibility of Christian marriage in our day." To that end, he brings together letters from one or both parties in twelve significant relationships from church history. The correspondents include such notables as Martin Luther (writing to his wife Katie), and John Calvin (expressing to friends his grief over the death of his wife Idelette). Lesser-known writers include Helmuth von Moltke, who wrote to his wife as he faced execution as the hands of the Nazis in 1945.
The contents range from courtship communications to proposals of marriage to final words before dying, but most have to do with the events of everyday life. Dr. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., provides an introduction to each set of letters and draws practical applications for today's believers based on the expressions of love made by the correspondents. In the end, The Christian Lover is a celebration of marriage, an intimate window into the thoughts of men and women in love with both God and one another.