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.

Should I Marry My Non-Christian Pregnant Girlfriend?

The following is??Russell Moore’s response, to the ethical question that he first posted:

Shortly after I posted this question, Candice Watters pointed me to??the counsel of Christian scholar J. Budziszewski to a man ina very similar predicament. You can read his advice??here. I agree almost entirely with his assessment.

Several factors bear on this decision. The first is that, yes, the Scriptures make it clear that Christian marriage is to be the union of a faithful man and a faithful woman. We are not to be, the Bible maintains, ???unequally yoked with unbelievers??? (2 Cor. 6:14). If you were merely dating this woman I would counsel you to immediately end the relationship. But the situation is, of course, more complicated than that.

The Apostle Paul, for instance, does not treat already existing marriages believer to unbeliever as an ongoing state of sin. Those who are already in this predicament should, Paul says, continue in it, unless the unbeliever abandons the marriage (1 Cor. 7:12-16).

Well, why? Wouldn???t it be better for one???s sanctification to be married to a godly spouse than to an unbelieving one? Sure. But divorcing one???s spouse, walking away from one???s vows and responsibilities would compound the sin, piling sin upon sin, in a way that furthers the damage already done. The Scriptures tell us not to ???yoke??? ourselves with unbelievers, true, but we are also not to abandon our responsibilities to the ???yokes??? we already have.

The question here is not whether you will be yoked unequally with an unbeliever. You are. The question is whether you can or should get out of it.

Read Dr. Moore’s response in full.

Should I Marry My Non-Christian Pregnant Girlfriend?

The following is Russell Moore’s response, to the ethical question that he first posted:

Shortly after I posted this question, Candice Watters pointed me to the counsel of Christian scholar J. Budziszewski to a man ina very similar predicament. You can read his advice here. I agree almost entirely with his assessment.

Several factors bear on this decision. The first is that, yes, the Scriptures make it clear that Christian marriage is to be the union of a faithful man and a faithful woman. We are not to be, the Bible maintains, “unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14). If you were merely dating this woman I would counsel you to immediately end the relationship. But the situation is, of course, more complicated than that.

The Apostle Paul, for instance, does not treat already existing marriages believer to unbeliever as an ongoing state of sin. Those who are already in this predicament should, Paul says, continue in it, unless the unbeliever abandons the marriage (1 Cor. 7:12-16).

Well, why? Wouldn’t it be better for one’s sanctification to be married to a godly spouse than to an unbelieving one? Sure. But divorcing one’s spouse, walking away from one’s vows and responsibilities would compound the sin, piling sin upon sin, in a way that furthers the damage already done. The Scriptures tell us not to “yoke” ourselves with unbelievers, true, but we are also not to abandon our responsibilities to the “yokes” we already have.

The question here is not whether you will be yoked unequally with an unbeliever. You are. The question is whether you can or should get out of it.

Read Dr. Moore’s response in full.

The Community Project of Mutual Discipleship

Warning: This was written in one sitting in Starbucks after a lot of caffeine.?? Editing may be needed.Back in 2005, I was not yet fully Reformed in my soteriology, I was not Baptist in my ecclesiology, I was not yet charismatic in my pneumatology, nor was I complimentarian in my understanding of gender roles.?? I knew little about what genuine church growth looked like, nor how true discipleship was done.?? And in that time between my junior and senior year of college (a.k.a. “3rd and 4th year of university” for you Canadians reading this), I had my first real dating relationship.?? I was 21 going on 22, and I knew little about how or what I should be doing in such a thing.?? Nor did my local church teach me much about biblical betrothal or what Christian courtship looked like.?? In short, I was ignorant, stupid, and young.Yes, I was young and stupid; and ignorance is no excuse.?? I should have known better.?? For the sake of the relationship, I had no mentor couple, nor did I have pastors who would encourage me to pursue biblical manhood, nor did I have church elders (same thing, imho, as “pastor”) who exhorted me to take the initiative, step up, take the lead, and pursue a girl (who was pursuing biblical womanhood).?? I soon found myself to be 22 years old, with no godly influence in my life to tell me to stop messing around, and just grow up, and get married.?? I certainly knew I was a born-again Christian, but you might as well call me one of those former “carnal” Christians who was trying to discern the post-breakup crisis moment in my life.???? I was just waiting for a Divine epiphany to wake me up from my slomber, fill me with spiritual power and an ability to maintain purity of heart.?? For the most part, this could all be attributed to my spiritual upbringing. Continue reading

The Community Project of Mutual Discipleship

Warning: This was written in one sitting in Starbucks after a lot of caffeine.  Editing may be needed.

Back in 2005, I was not yet fully Reformed in my soteriology, I was not Baptist in my ecclesiology, I was not yet charismatic in my pneumatology, nor was I complimentarian in my understanding of gender roles.  I knew little about what genuine church growth looked like, nor how true discipleship was done.  And in that time between my junior and senior year of college (a.k.a. “3rd and 4th year of university” for you Canadians reading this), I had my first real dating relationship.  I was 21 going on 22, and I knew little about how or what I should be doing in such a thing.  Nor did my local church teach me much about biblical betrothal or what Christian courtship looked like.  In short, I was ignorant, stupid, and young.

Yes, I was young and stupid; and ignorance is no excuse.  I should have known better.  For the sake of the relationship, I had no mentor couple, nor did I have pastors who would encourage me to pursue biblical manhood, nor did I have church elders (same thing, imho, as “pastor”) who exhorted me to take the initiative, step up, take the lead, and pursue a girl (who was pursuing biblical womanhood).  I soon found myself to be 22 years old, with no godly influence in my life to tell me to stop messing around, and just grow up, and get married.  I certainly knew I was a born-again Christian, but you might as well call me one of those former “carnal” Christians who was trying to discern the post-breakup crisis moment in my life.   I was just waiting for a Divine epiphany to wake me up from my slomber, fill me with spiritual power and an ability to maintain purity of heart.  For the most part, this could all be attributed to my spiritual upbringing. Continue reading

Riding a Bike: Hard to Remember, Impossible to Forget

I have often heard people say that many things in life are analogous to riding a bike. You may not have done it in a long, long time, but despite the hiatus from that activity, you should still remember how to do it–how to balance and pedal once you get back on that bike for a ride.Is it really true for all things in life? That because you have done it in the past, you will definitely remember how to do it today???? And you can just resume that activity, as if you never forgot how to, like you never even had that long hiatus?

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I am a personal testimony to the fact that it is not always possible to just get back on the bike and start riding. After four years, I still have trouble getting back on the bicycle. It???s been so long of not cycling that I have a tremendous fear of falling, of slipping and sliding, of crashing and burning.The fear is because of my last experience with cycling, where despite my supposed skill and intentions of biking successfully, I lost my balance and fell, flipped out and rolled over, breaking my leg. I was in a cast and on crushes for six months, the doctors having to put a steel rod into my leg. After my leg healed, I was able to walk again; the rod was removed, but still there were scars left from the accident and the surgery that was necessary for my healing.In the past couple years, I have wanted to start cycling again. I even bought new shoes and cycling gloves, and have been training in the Rec center with the stationary bikes. I really wanted to get back to cycling. So intent and desirous of cycling again, I consulted cycling trainers and other cyclist who have been on the bike circuit for a long time. I read books on the methods and techniques of successful bicycling, how-to???s and also how-not-to???s. Furthermore, I have even gone so far as going to various bike stores to check out what is available today in terms of bikes ??? new ones and old/used ones.I have on occasion found a bike that I wanted. Some looked really nice on the outside, but the parts and mechanics of the gear system did not fit my preferences. One looked good, but was an 18-speed while I wanted at least a 21-speed. Other times, I found a bike that had all the specs that I wanted, but the paint job did not look the way I wanted. There was another one that had the perfect gears, brakes and suspension, and even looked amazing, but it was just too expensive and out of my price range! Or, there was a similar one where the price just seemed way too good and cheap to be true. All in all, I have not ridden a bike in all these years.As I have mentioned, I have recently started training in the gym again, working out on the stationary bike and elliptical machine, getting ready to start cycling again. It has been a tiring experience so far, because I have not ridden in so long and am so out of shape. I wish there was another way to rid myself of the fear of getting back on the real bike, to build my strength and endurance, but such a training regiment pales in its effectiveness compared to just getting back on a bike and really cycling.And thus, I am seriously considering cycling again. I have found one bike that I???d like to try right now, and would like to commit to cycling with it. However, I still don???t feel like I know how to cycle; I am trying to rid myself of the fears of falling and getting hurt. Even so, I have been reminded on many occasions that the benefits outweigh the negatives.I just pray that I am ready for this, and hope that my heart can take it.(Originally published Aug.29, 2007; republished March 27, 2009)

Riding a Bike: Hard to Remember, Impossible to Forget

I have often heard people say that many things in life are analogous to riding a bike. You may not have done it in a long, long time, but despite the hiatus from that activity, you should still remember how to do it–how to balance and pedal once you get back on that bike for a ride.

Is it really true for all things in life? That because you have done it in the past, you will definitely remember how to do it today?… And you can just resume that activity, as if you never forgot how to, like you never even had that long hiatus?Bike

I am a personal testimony to the fact that it is not always possible to just get back on the bike and start riding. After four years, I still have trouble getting back on the bicycle. It’s been so long of not cycling that I have a tremendous fear of falling, of slipping and sliding, of crashing and burning.

The fear is because of my last experience with cycling, where despite my supposed skill and intentions of biking successfully, I lost my balance and fell, flipped out and rolled over, breaking my leg. I was in a cast and on crushes for six months, the doctors having to put a steel rod into my leg. After my leg healed, I was able to walk again; the rod was removed, but still there were scars left from the accident and the surgery that was necessary for my healing.

In the past couple years, I have wanted to start cycling again. I even bought new shoes and cycling gloves, and have been training in the Rec center with the stationary bikes. I really wanted to get back to cycling. So intent and desirous of cycling again, I consulted cycling trainers and other cyclist who have been on the bike circuit for a long time. I read books on the methods and techniques of successful bicycling, how-to’s and also how-not-to’s. Furthermore, I have even gone so far as going to various bike stores to check out what is available today in terms of bikes — new ones and old/used ones.

I have on occasion found a bike that I wanted. Some looked really nice on the outside, but the parts and mechanics of the gear system did not fit my preferences. One looked good, but was an 18-speed while I wanted at least a 21-speed. Other times, I found a bike that had all the specs that I wanted, but the paint job did not look the way I wanted. There was another one that had the perfect gears, brakes and suspension, and even looked amazing, but it was just too expensive and out of my price range! Or, there was a similar one where the price just seemed way too good and cheap to be true. All in all, I have not ridden a bike in all these years.

As I have mentioned, I have recently started training in the gym again, working out on the stationary bike and elliptical machine, getting ready to start cycling again. It has been a tiring experience so far, because I have not ridden in so long and am so out of shape. I wish there was another way to rid myself of the fear of getting back on the real bike, to build my strength and endurance, but such a training regiment pales in its effectiveness compared to just getting back on a bike and really cycling.

And thus, I am seriously considering cycling again. I have found one bike that I’d like to try right now, and would like to commit to cycling with it. However, I still don’t feel like I know how to cycle; I am trying to rid myself of the fears of falling and getting hurt. Even so, I have been reminded on many occasions that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

I just pray that I am ready for this, and hope that my heart can take it.

(Originally published Aug.29, 2007; republished March 27, 2009)