Wow! I wish this book had been written over 2 years ago before I got married. I truly believe it would have made the first two years of my marriage better. Not that being married to Stephanie has been bad! I just know I would have been a better husband. However, instead of lamenting this I want to focus on using the concepts in this book to make the next 70 (hopefully) years of marriage to Stephanie simply wonderful.
There are a lot of dating and marriage books, so do we really need to be told to read another one? This question is even addressed in the book, and the answer is a resounding yes; we, men, need this book!
I think I strongly resonated with this book for several reasons. One, I am a romantic at heart and reading part of the story of Justin and his wife did make me tear up a time or two because of the beauty of it. Two, I loved dating my now wife before we were married, but I have let the busyness of life and family get in the way of that in the past two years. So I know I have to do a better job of pursuing and dating my wife.
Throughout the book Justin interweaves his story with his wife Taylor with the Biblical story of the fall. He also intersperses stories of his parents and other couples he knows. In doing this he shows how all men are in the line of Adam and how we all screw up and fail constantly. He uses this to show how the Gospel speaks into our marriages and how beautifully it can change our marriages.
I have read a lot of books on both dating and marriage, I even started writing a dating book once that focused on the need to seek God as the center, yet I have never seen the Gospel applied to marriage in this way. I think we all need to constantly be reminded of this and to dwell with this truth and let it change how we treat and pursue our wives.
If this was the only strength of Justin’s book that would be enough for you to run out and buy it right now, but there is yet another standout feature of this book. That is Justin’s charge for us to have a plan for how we are going to date our wives. I love this, maybe it is because I am very type A and use lists and plans all the time, or maybe because I have let life get in the way of pursuing my wife, but I think this is just brilliant. If our wives mean as much to us as we say they do and as they should, then we should be willing to have a plan to date them throughout the year. Some might say this limits the spontaneity of being romantic. But I think Buzzard would say that having a plan will force you to be romantic more.
I know I will start giving away and recommending this book to all men I know, those married and those not yet. It is a book that needs to be read, but not just read it needs to be lived out!