This book was a very short read with highly understandable language. Justin Buzzard wrote Date your Wife (Crossway 2012) for the man who just “conquered” his dream girl and has finally slipped the ring on. The premise of this book is that dating should not stop once the marriage vows have been said but as a God-given initiative, must be carried on til the last breath leaves our lungs. I must confess I needed this book, not because I’m a husband who doesn’t have any good ideas about how to woo my wife but I needed this book as a husband who needed a kick in the pants with a clarion call to guard that which God has entrusted me with and cultivate the garden of my wife’s heart in the good years to come and the bad.
“Throughout this book I’m calling you to do one thing. The action I want you to take is summed up in just three words: date your wife. This three-word action isn’t something foreign, intimidating, or new–I’m asking us to do something we’ve already done, something we’ve already built into the foundation of our marriages–to date our wives.”
This is exactly what Buzzard accomplishes with this short yet poignant text. He reminds men of the idiocy of the first Adam and the brilliancy of the second. He lays down the gospel firmly in the midst of the marriage relationship with strong scriptural emphasis. Perhaps some of the more helpful points of these chapters is not that they are filled with personal stories and laugh out loud humor but the sections which close out the chapters include steps which urge the husbands to “take action”. There are some actions that men have not thought of yet in their marriage and many I’m sure we could add but we must not let ourselves lose focus of the basics of the gospel-centeredness of our marriages. Buzzard calls us to examine what we had before the vows were uttered and before the white dresses were adorned by our brides, pulling us back from the overwhelming grip of life. I really enjoyed this book and will look forward to putting it into practice, not tomorrow but today.
A great addition to this book are the schedules Buzzard has inserted for the men who are, shall we say, less creative in their marriages. He builds these on personal experience and from what I have read they are well-tested schedules. I hope to modify one and use it in my own marriage in the future. For the men who are really struggling to come up with any worth mentioning to their wives Buzzard has inserted an appendix which lists 100 ideas for dating your wife. I’m sure I will have this list memorized in the near future, as my wife knows that I have read this book and will expect something more from me, thanks A LOT Buzzard.
If I have to be a naysayer than it must come in the form of short criticism. This book is thoroughly based on the gospel experience of Christ’ righteousness for us and his blazing passion for His bride. It only took Buzzard roughly 80 pages to get into the gospel message and it’s implications for our marriages. It came exactly when it needed to in this book but I would have liked to see it appear earlier in the text. Apart from that there isn’t really too many bad things you can say about this book. It’s not meant to be a theology of marriage or a complete rule book for how you can get your marriage to fulfill the great commission but instead it fills the role of a white-hot ember that longs to lodge itself in the foundation of marriages and see them used for Gods glory.
This short text is meant to be shared among men and it’s purpose fulfilled among groups of men who are longing to have their marriages set apart from this world. Justin Buzzard has done a great service for the church by writing this primer on gospel-impassioned marriages. It fulfills it’s purpose well and is the perfect size to gift to other men as necessary. Guys, get off your lazy behinds and get this book into your hands or those who may need it. I would recommend this to all my married friends, or those who are peering in that direction.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”