My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A book of its gospel-centered time, and I think that’s mostly pretty much all good.
But not completely.
Like those dramatic, one-sentence paragraphs. I’m about to issue a Protestant fatwa against those.
And I felt it was a little fuzzy on the exegetical connection between the Creation Mandate and Buzzard’s subsequent application: that a man’s most important job in this world is to promote the flourishing of his wife. Can I be a good husband and yet wish for a little firmer Bible on that one?
All negatives done. This was a very good book. It didn’t brow-beat me, but continually reminded me what a treasure I have in Laura Elizabeth Ward and what power I have through God’s grace to treat her as well as she deserves. It saved the practical tips mostly for the end, which is good, because even I need reminding of the theology of marriage. I do think Buzzard is right to say that just being there (i.e., being present, not leaving the marriage) is not sufficient, because Adam was physically present when his wife was being presented with the worst threat she’d ever faced. And he let her be destroyed. Just being there wasn’t enough. Men need to take some planned action.
Justin is a good writer in the genre, an effective popularizer of deeper stuff. And when he comes to the practical tips he really has some good ones. We do learn by example, and I learned from his even though he’s apparently the same age as me. I was struck, too, by the truth of a little informal poll he’d done: few of those polled knew more than one or two really good marriages that they desired to emulate. I think that may be because it takes a strong, long-term, personal connection to know that another couple’s marriage is exemplary. And how many such connections do I have? I was inspired to learn from those good marriages I have seen and to be such an example to my own children.
I even managed to put the book down without a mean face when I was interrupted by my beautiful wife’s return from a shopping trip. So far, the book is working.