Book Review: The Zimzum of Love by Rob and Kristen Bell

After fifteen amazing years, I didn't expect any marriage book to show me any radical new truths about my wife. We're husband and wife, but also best friends. We've read our share of marriage books, and I thought we were already masters at this whole marriage gig.

Jenny and I read The Zimzum of Love by Rob & Kristen Bell together while driving home from Miami. Jenny read, I listened, and a sudden, heightened sense of connection grew between us. Somehow, the metaphor of Zimzum and the stories Kristen and Rob share throughout the book drew us closer together. I saw our marriage from Jenny's perspective in a way I never saw before.

All of which raises one question: what is Zimzum?

In ancient Hebrew theology, tzimtzum is the way God created the Universe. Essentially, God drew back and left space for the world to exist, and creation happened where God made room for it. That all sounds a bit like the Infinite Cosmic Inflation theory of the multiverse to me, but Rob and Kristen never mentioned it.

So, the zimzum of love is the space two people create between each other. I found that image helpful. In a marriage, there's "me", there's "you", and there's "us". I've always noticed that "us" has a unique and distinct character--it's more than a sum of "me" and "you." In this "us", this "zumzim", actions and feelings are amplified dramatically.

After this mystical opener, The Zimzum of Love explores the nature of marriage and how to best maintain it. These thoughts and practices are grouped into for chapters: responsive, dynamic, exclusive, and sacred.

  • Responsive because our relationship with our spouse amplifies everything we do and feel.
  • Dynamic because our relationship is always changing as our lives change.
  • Exclusive because our relationship has to be protected and private.
  • Sacred because our relationship has an effect on the rest of the world.

There are discussion questions, too. Lots of them. We're nowhere near done with this part of the book--there are a lot and they provoke deep dialog.

The Zimzum of Love is remarkable in that it covers profound, deep insights about our most important relationship in a simple, accessible way. I think this book is best read as a couple, and the inclusion of both Rob and Kristen's voices help it accommodate masculine and feminine sensibilities.

I enjoyed reading it, and I feel closer to my wife as a result.

You can by The Zimzum of Love on Amazon.

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