Second Reformed Church

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Review: "Marry Wisely, Marry Well"

Is there a way to know how to best marry and whom to marry?  Ernie Baker, in his Marry Wisely, Marry Well, gives a sound and provocative “Blueprint for Personal Preparation.”
Baker begins by explaining that his image will be that of building a house, based on his years of working with his father in construction (12ff).
In the first part, “The Foundation,” Baker explains that the Christian house and marriage must be built on the Wisdom of Christ as we find it in the Scripture.  If the husband and the wife are not sound, grounded Christians, the marriage cannot work optimally, if at all.
As Baker goes through each chapter, he has questions for reflection and discussion with oneself, one’s impending, and even in a group discussion.  The entirely book is set up in a very practically, but not dumbed-down way.
In the second part, “The First Floor,” Baker looks at the Scriptural wisdom (and commands) given with regards to singleness, developing into a marriable person, knowing God’s will for one’s marriage, and ways one might find one’s spouse.
Baker does a wonderful job of exegeting Scripture and showing that the answer is largely to recognize God’s Sovereignty and to wait in faith for what God will bring to pass.  Not that one is to be passive in the search for a spouse, but one ought to stand firm on the Scripture as one looks for a spouse, confident that God will either confirm a spouse through a like-minded submission to God’s Sovereignty, or one will be confirmed with the gift of singleness.
This is meant to show God for Who He is and allow Christians to cast off their anxieties about marriage – as if there was a race to find a spouse, or a life-or-death urgency about marriage.  God knows who a person needs and when it is best, so follow after Christ’s Righteousness and His Kingdom, and all these things will come as God so ordains and is pleased to give His children.
The final section, “The Roof,” emphasizes that marriage, as all things, are to be done for the glory of God.  There is an element of worship in the gift of marriage, and that is always to be directed to God, not our spouse.
The book ends with and appendix which is a study of Psalm 18 and a second which introduces the reader to Baker’s “Marriage Preparation Project.”  This is followed by notes and an extended bibliography.
This is the best book I have read on marriage preparation for the Christian, and that is due to the fact that Baker makes the Scripture and submission to it, as well as the recognition of God’s Sovereignty basic parts or a wise and well marriage.
This book could well be used in counselling prior to marriage, but I would recommend even that parents and junior high and high school students read through this and settle their hopes and dreams of marriage in God and His Will.  This would also be well-used for the same age groups in a church or small group study.  Many preteens and teens are wondering about sexuality, if not marriage, and it is important that they be instructed in the Scripture and prepared for the temptations that come.
[This review appears on and on my blog.  I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.]


Fran Rogers said...

Dr. Butler, I enjoyed and appreciate your review on this book. At the age of 77 and a caregiver for my husband for ten years, and writing for twenty-five years, I have just published four of my Christian non-fiction books about the grace and glory of our God.
The first book First Things That Last forever, an introduction to the series Little Books About the Magnitude of GOD is a free eBook on Amazon. All are an hour or less to read.
Would you be interested in reviewing any of these? I would be glad to send you a PDF of either or all of these. I would value your opinion of my work, profits designated for missions and charity.
Thank you for a response.
In His Grace ~ Fran Rogers

Rev. Dr. Peter A. Butler, Jr. said...

I would be honored to read any or all of your books and review them. Thank you. My e-mail -- to send the PDF -- is Thank you for your kind invitation.

Fran Rogers said...

Dr. Butler,
Thank you for your generous response.
I have sent two emails to the address, but get the message that it is not a valid address.
The Lord bless your ministry.