Book Review – Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre
Marriage God’s Way is a book by Scott LaPierre, a pastor from Washington who writes with a strong conviction that God, as the author of marriage, is not silent on the topic of marriage. Not only is God not silent, but as the designer of marriage, he is the ultimate authority on what marriage is and how it is to be worked out.
In the interest of full disclosure I should admit that I have had the joy of getting to know Scott over the past five months and I consider him a friend and co-laborer in the gospel. I want to assure you that I am striving to remain neutral in this review– and if anything it has caused me to be a little more careful and slow to review his book than I have been with other books. As you all know, we are often a little more critical of those whom we love because we have a vested interest in sharpening our friends as they in turn sharpen us– often pointing out things in private which we might not in public. I was impressed with Scott’s interaction during this time. Instead of getting offended when I questioned a paragraph in his book, he responded with grace and humility and we had a fruitful conversation as a result. I mention this because I want you to catch a glimpse of the man behind the book. This is not another author trying to make a name for himself- he has a sincere love of truth and this says a lot about his credibility.
With that said, Marriage God’s Way is a book that truly believe you should read. When I say this, I mean that you should really read it. Read it with the purpose of allowing God to root out the sin in your heart that resists fully giving yourself over to your spouse.
Men, as much as we love our wives there are still times when we resist loving them as we should.I know this is true because we still resist God’s law and have deep hidden chambers of our hearts in which our affections are set upon the flesh. Women, for the same reasons I know that as much as you respect your husband, there are still parts of your heart which are not fully given over to him. This is true of all people because we are all in deep need of transformation— and praise God that he has set about the work of transforming us!
Scott LaPierre gets this, and he demonstrates this by getting straight to the point about our marriage. The problems we have in marriage he says, are merely symptoms of a greater problem. The problem is sin. He sets marriage problems in the context of the fall and of redemption. LaPierre encourages us to not only embrace marital trials as opportunities for the sanctifying work of Christ to do its work in us, but also reminds us to keep Christ at the center of our marriage. As we embrace struggles in our marriage we get to see God do his work in us.
All of this is set in the context of the fall and redemption of mankind, and this leads to an unfolding of what scripture has to say about a man loving his wife and a wife respecting her husband. LaPierre then dives into the topics of biblical submission, leadership, beauty, and how a man ought to treat his wife. He wraps the book up with a biblical view of intimacy and building upon the solid foundation of Christ.
If I have any differences with Marriage God’s Way they are just personal preferences about how we speak about the means which God uses to sanctify us. After speaking with Scott about this I am confident that he and I ultimately agree that inward change is not brought about by obedience to God’s commands, but by the Spirit’s work in our heart as we hear and believe the promises of the gospel.
This is not to say that Marriage God’s Way is lacking in gospel proclamation– it isn’t! Scott is faithful to proclaim the empowering nature of the gospel and our inability to please God apart from faith. Any difference that I may have is one of very slight emphasis. In fact, I would say that on the Law/Gospel continuum, we are mere inches apart and the distance is close enough to walk hand in hand together while proclaiming the same message. Again, going back to my initial disclaimer, I have scrutinized this book more closely than my other reviews because I want to avoid the appearance of favoritism. It is entirely possible that in my attempts to read with a critical eye, I have misread a few passages and have seen a difference in emphasis where there really isn’t one.
Marriage God’s Way is a very good book with solid practical advice drawn straight from scripture. I would recommend this to anyone whether they are married or single. The reason for this is that whether we realize it or not, marriage is a shadow of the reality of God’s relationship to the church. The theological implications reach far past earthly marriage and probe the depths of God’s love for us. For singles, reading Marriage God’s Way will help to pave the way for the inevitable difficulties in marriage by preparing for marriage just as you study for a test.
Scott LaPierre’s understanding of biblical love and respect are very good and his treatment of agape in particular is very convincing. This is a book that you will likely return to from time to time as a resource for aiding your marriage and counseling others in theirs.
Where to Purchase
About the Author
Scott LaPierre is the senior pastor of Woodland Christian Church in Woodland, Washington . He and his wife, Katie, enjoy a wonderful marriage, and they have been blessed with six children and a seventh on the way.
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