When Terrie and I got married thirty-three years ago, one of the commitments we made was to keep growing as husband and wife. Every year, I read at least one book on marriage (usually more), and Terrie does the same. Often we read the same book and then discuss it together.
The most recent book I read, however, was just for me—The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott. Without a doubt, it is one of the best books I’ve ever read on marriage.
The topics covered in this book get right to the heart issues of marriage (although the first three chapters are pretty basic and a little slow). The author uses much Scripture throughout the book, and he provides lists with practical, bullet point applications—just what we men need.
For instance, here are his main thoughts with bulleted lists on “Ways a Husband Can Treat His Wife as His Companion”:
By being with her and involving her
- Plan time to spend with her alone.
- Develop common interests with her.
- Let her know how she can help you/work along side you.
- Call her from work.
- Tell her about what you do.
By seeking to understand her and help her
- Ask what she did today and then listen.
- Inquire as to her well-being and then pay attention.
- Plan a regular time to talk about her concerns and then pray/study/and help her find solutions.
- Ask her how you can pray for her.
- Pray with her.
- Assist her when she needs it.
By appreciating her
- Thank God for her.
- Think about and verbalize specific qualities or deeds that you are thankful for.
- Speak well of her to others.
- Leave her a note of appreciation.
By treating her special compared to others
- Open doors for her.
- Plan dates.
- Put her “needs” and desires above others.
By revealing yourself to her
- Communicate your thoughts, perspectives, and goals to her.
- Let her know how she can pray for you.
There are more lists as well—covering God’s purposes for relationships in general and marriage in particular, major pitfalls in relationships and marriage, what biblical love is and isn’t, what servant leadership looks like, and more. There is a heart-searching section on humility that all men need. The chapter on marital intimacy is one of the best I have ever read in a marriage book. I appreciated its sacred approach in handling this area in a biblical and holy manner.
At one point, the author briefly delves into somewhat of a Lordship salvation concept. It may be worth giving a disclaimer regarding this should you distribute the book to a young Christian. Nevertheless, I do appreciate Scott’s emphasis on men needing to make sure they are saved. If I were giving the book to a young Christian, I would also point out that Scott uses multiple Bible versions and quotes a few authors we would not endorse. Overall, however, it is extraordinarily helpful.
This is a book that I am keeping on hand for marriage counseling, and it is one I would recommend to any Christian husband who desires to be the spiritual leader and husband God has called him to be.