Thursday, July 19, 2012

Date your wife

Recent years have seen some fantastic books written about gospel-centered marriage calling men especially to rise to the occasion of imitating Christ toward the wives God's place in our care.  This Momentary Marriage by John Piper, When Sinners Say 'I Do' by Dave Harvey and CJ Mahaney's Sex, Romance and the Glory of God come to mind.

Now add to this list a new, little book by Justin Buzzard called simply Date Your Wife.  Though he doesn't dig as theologically deep as some of the titles above, he shoots straight in speaking to men like many of us who've read the books above (or understand gospel-driven theology), but still fail often in practically living out Christlike, sacrificial love toward our wives.

Buzzard moves in twelve very short chapters from the bad news that the biggest problem in our marriage is primarily us, to the good news of God's grace in Christ that not only forgives us but can transform us into the redeemed lovers God made us to be.  Unlike some books on this topic, I find Buzzard's writing style refreshingly direct and humorous at times.  No stuffiness here.  But there is challenging and thoughtful truth - a lot of it.  For instance, consider the following quote which opens chapter 6:

"Every time a boy is born, we should think of Genesis 2:15.  The moment we see the ultrasound picture, the moment we hear the cry of a boy exiting the womb and entering the world, we should recite in our minds, 'The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.'  Boys are born with a mission: to work and keep, to cultivate and guard.  God put Adam on the earth, and God pushes boys out of wombs, to be cultivators and guardians."

Well said.  But that's a challenge that takes not only parenting boys but being Christlike husbands to a new level.  Date your wife - and read this book.

3 comments:

Steve said...

Have you heard what Mahaney has admitted doing and that he has stepped down as leader of Sovereign Grace Ministries? It looks like at best Mahaney is an example of do as I say vs. how he does.

The worst thing is how Mahaney blackmailed the cofounder of their group Larry Tomczak and that Mahaney hid this sin for 13 years.
http://larrytomczak.com/responce_sgm_tomczak.pdf
A few blogs to look at are:

www.sgmsurvivors.com
www.sgmrefuge.com
www.thewartburgwatch.com

Hope this helps.

Andy Perry said...

Steve,

Mahaney's situation is more complex than you describe. He also has repented of some organizational sins he admits to having committed and has gone through a period of reflection and restoration.

Additionally, he (like many of us who teach God's Word in public) is a good example of how sometimes it is inevitable that we fail to perfectly model what we teach. That does not take away from the goodness of what is taught. At the end of the day, the centrality of the gospel and the greatness of Christ's grace are our only true rock of refuge - CJ's too.

Steve said...

I would agree that Mahaney's situation is "quite complex."

You failed to mention that at the SGM Pastors' conference Mahaney retracted a lot of what he supposedly "confessed" to. You can read a transcript of what he said here:

http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2011/11/11/transcript-of-c-j-mahaneys-remarks-at-the-sovereign-grace-ministries-2011-pastors-conference/

Also, here is Larry Tomczak's account of the blackmailing Tomczak incurred from Mahaney:

http://larrytomczak.com/Docs/departure_sgm.pdf

Sadly during Mahaney's supposed "period of reflection and restoration" Mahaney spoke at a number of times both at SGM Churches and non SGM Churches. That isn't something one would expect one to do when they were "reflecting." Of course Mahaney recanting most of his "confession" at the SGM Pastors' conference shows how little "reflection and restoration" C.J. Mahaney did.