In matters of relationship, a teaspoonful of doing is worth more than a bushel- basket full of knowing.
We’ve all read Dobson and Chapman and Eggerichs until we’ve become so accountable before God with all our knowledge that we are clearly without excuse. So, while it’s become a tired cliché, it is no less true: love is an action verb. Darrin and Amie Patrick have given us a collection of ten more active verbs to get marriages moving in the right direction — more specifically, to get husbands (and future husbands) thinking about the skills that are needed in order to love a wife.
The Dude’s Guide to Marriage is bound to make the rounds here in the Morin compound — we have four beloved “dudes,” and one has already launched into marriage and a family. ** (You should be impressed that I have exercised restraint and not put a picture of the adorable grandboy here.) ** Marvin Olasky summarized the book well in his review for World Magazine: “Despite the silly title, [it] isn’t a silly book. The maxims it offers in 10 chapters with titles like ‘Listen,’ ‘Provide,’ ‘Serve,’ and ‘Pursue’ are sensible.”
Yes, sensible. With a light touch and a big brother’s wisdom, Darrin Patrick shares active wisdom while Amie chimes in with womanly advice (her words are italicized in the book). Their combined counsel is a call to the male of the species to get off the couch, to own some adult-level aspirations, and to stop living “beneath your masculinity.”
With tips as simple as “pick up after yourself” and as profound as “self worship gets boring,” The Dude’s Guide to Marriage has all the marks of a book that was written from the cauldron of everyday living. Darrin and Amie were high school sweethearts and have parented four children in the midst of an urban church planting ministry. They share honestly about the melting pot of their own marital conflicts. Appendices A-D are an arm around the single guy, the guy who is spooked over counseling, the spiritual light-weight, and the four people who haven’t read Chapman’s book on the love languages.
It is not for nothing that Paul’s teaching on marriage in the book of Ephesians is quickly followed by teaching on spiritual warfare. God’s design for marriage involves two sinners who enter into an agreement to deny their selfish tendencies for the good of a relationship that is intended, mysteriously, to portray the perfect unity between Christ and His bride. But, as with all things pertaining to the Christian life, we live out these huge verities in little moments through tiny deaths to self, and we find that the ability to do what needs to be done comes at the moment that we admit our helplessness and reach out in faith to the One who designed marriage in the first place.
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson through the BookLookBloggers program, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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