Book Review: Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard

Justin Buzzard, a pastor in Silicon Valley, has written a highly accessible book on the Christian husband’s responsiblity in marriage.

Date Your Wife (Crossway, 2012) is written for the regular Joe Christian who probably does not read much books. At just over 130 pages, this book on biblical manhood is an easy read. It is written for men, married men, so women need simply be aware of this. Christian men everywhere, young and old, ought to get a copy of this for their “bros”.

One of the most helpful things about Date Your Wife is the emphasis on the man’s responsibility before God to care and cultivate his relationship with his wife. Considering the prevalent cultural problem of men neglecting to take responsiblity for their despicable marriage, Buzzard contends that at the core what’s wrong with the marriage is the man; “me” (ch.3). Grounding the marriage responsiblity on the man is taken straight from Genesis (ch.4).

Yet the foundation of Buzzard’s book is not of “self-help” or do-this-and-you’ll-fix-your-marriage; such is legalism and works righteousness. Buzzard is quick to proclaim that Christ and the gospel ought to be the solution and driving force of a healthy marriage (ch.7). Men everywhere ought to man up and pay attention to Buzzard.

I heartily recommend Date Your Wife to any brothers reading this. You’ll be glad to you read it; and it’s so short and simple yet important, that it’ll take time to really sink in. And when this message of biblical manhood sinks in, we shall be more quickly prone to date our wife.

Juzin Buzzard, Date Your Wife, available in paperback & Kindle ebook.

Lionhearted, Lamblike Physical Provision and Protection

I posted last month a quote on biblical womanhood from John Piper’s recent book, This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence. To balance things off, I thought it’d be appropriate to post a quote on biblical manhood.?? I couldn’t find a shorter, more succinct quote, so this will do.Piper spends two whole chapters addressing men (ch.6 and 7).?? He explains the biblical foundations in ch.6,?? practical implications in ch.7, and contends that biblical manhood first entails leadership in spiritual provision.?? However, I’d like to highlight a couple things that we might overlook:

2. Leadership in Physical Provision

The husband bears the primary responsibility to put bread on the table.?? Again the word primary is important.?? Both husbands and wives work.?? In all of history this has been the case — both the man and the woman work.?? But their normal spheres of work are man: breadwinner; wife: domestic manager, designer, nurturer.

That never has meant there are not seasons in life when a wife cannot work outside the home or that the husband cannot share the domestic burdens.?? But it does mean that a man compromises his own soul and sends the wrong message to his wife and children when he does not position himself as the one who lays down his life to put bread on the table.?? He may be disabled and unable to do what his heart longs to do.?? He may be temporarily in school while she supports the family.?? But in any case his heart — and, if possible, his body — is moving toward the use of his mind and his hands to provide physically for his wife and children. (89-90)

Piper goes on to assert leadership in spiritual protection in his third point.?? But in the fourth point, he continues:

4. Leadership in Physical Protection

This is too obvious to need illustration — I wish.?? If there is a sound downstairs during the night and it might be a burglar, you don’t say to her, “This is an egalitarian marriage, so it’s your turn to go check it out.?? I went last time.”?? And I mean that — even if your wife has a black belt in karate.?? After you’ve tried to deter him, she may finish off the burglar with one good kick to the solar plexus.?? But you’d better be unconscious on the floor, or you’re no man.?? That’s written on your soul, brother, by God Almighty.?? Big or little, strong or weak, night or day, you go up against the enemy first.?? Woe to the husbands — and woe to the nation — that send their women to fight their battles. (91-92)

This Momentary Marriage is probably the best book on courtship/marriage/singleness I have ever read.?? I highly recommend it: for men and women, married and those not.

Titus 2:3-5 as a Portratit of Biblical Womanhood

In the Epistle of Paul to Titus, the apostle Paul writes to his disciple and young pastor Titus, giving him directions that deal directly with a pastor???s work in a local congregation. Having first explained the qualifications of elders in chapter 1 and contrasted the differences between good religious leaders (1:5???9) and bad religious leaders (1:10???16), the apostle then switches to a paraenesis in Titus 2:1-15 on ethical commands and their theological foundation–namely, how the gospel demands believers to live rightly in this world.As can be clearly delineated in Titus 2:1-10, we see Paul exhorting Titus to call his church to proper Christian living by age and gender. Older men are first addressed, then older women, then younger men, and then slaves in general. In light of the recent uproar of discussions in evangelicalism about gender roles, I took some time recently to examine Titus 2:3-5 to see what the Bible says about biblical womanhood. Let’s read what the text says:

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

What the Bible does not say

What is most heart-piercing to many evangelical women today are probably the biblical commands to be “submissive to their own husbands” and “working at home”. The value and equality of women to men are often touted as the reasons why they needed to be afforded the same opportunities for educational and career advancement; after all, many argue that it would be a waste to forgo using all these gifts, talents that are useful in the workplace, add to the fact that it’d be a waste to not use all that education that they have spent their money on.But notice that Paul does not prohibit women/wives working outside of the home (cf. Proverbs 31:16, 18, 24). I know of many wives who carry jobs outside of the home, many even seminary wives, and even some being the primary money-earner while the husband is loving sacrificially by studying hard in seminary. To say that Paul does not permit wives to be in a career that earns money is to put into Paul’s mouth something he clearly does not say at all. Continue reading

The Faith of our Fathers: Passing on our Spiritual Heritage

A Christian Home

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I am blessed to have been brought up in a Christian home by my parents. Both my parents are Christians, and from a very early age, they brought me to church. While I was raised in a small Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Toronto and even being immersed upon profession of faith at that church, I was born in a Baptist hospital in Hong Kong and my parents also dedicated me to the Lord in a small Baptist church in Hong Kong. Hence, you could say that I was predestined to become a Baptist again since I was born one (LOL–jk–more could be said here, but that’s for another blog post!)!

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The interesting thing about my spiritual pilgrimage is that my dad never forced me to believe in his God.?? He never coerced to confess sins or to put my faith in Jesus; nor did he ever push his flavor of religion down my throat or punish me for not reading my Bible.?? All he did was consistently bring me to church and served the Lord in the capacity which He had gifted in for.?? I do not remember not being a Christian, but I do recall that it was a personal journey of faith to trust Christ as my own Lord and Savior when I was about 14.?? I realized that it was God who sought and found me when I turned and followed him.?? However, such would not have been possible if it were not for the dedication of my earthly father to bring me up in a God-saturated home and a gospel-centered church.?? For this, I am eternally grateful! Without my dad’s nurture and support, I would not be here at Southern Seminary pursuing my calling to be a minister of the gospel. Continue reading