Marriage God’s Way: A Biblical Recipe for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Relationships, by Scott LaPierre (Charis Family Publishing, 2016), is a well-written, practical book on Christian marriage. The author writes from a pastoral perspective. He is senior pastor of Woodland Christian Church in Woodland, Washington. With numerous illustrations, many of them from his own experience, he guides the reader through the relevant passages on marriage. He argues for marriage between a man and a woman that is built on Jesus Christ as the foundation. Taking a complementarian position concerning the relationship between the husband and the wife, he argues that the husband should be the head or leader of the relationship. He also distinguishes between the command for a husband to love his wife but for a wife to respect her husband. He backs up these positions with Scripture. It is not the purpose of the book to enter into the complementarian/egalitarian debate, so he does not deal with counter-arguments that are often made for the egalitarian position. Couples will find in this book helpful, practical advice on how to relate to each other as a team that faces the crises of life together.
While the author gives a strong defense for the position that Scripture teaches that husbands should lead in the home, there could be more balance between instructions for the husband and for the wife. For example, chapter eleven has a bullet list of “What Respect Looks Like to a Husband,” but I could not find a comparable list of “What Love Looks Like to a Wife.” The book has more advice for how a wife is to submit than for how a man is to lead, yet Ephesians 5:22–33 has more to say about husbands than wives. And while submission is not easy, for a husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church seems like the more difficult task. Either one, of course, cannot be done properly unless there is submission to Christ.
The main value of the book comes from its interaction with Scripture and from the many illustrations that give it a practical feel. Couples can learn a lot to help them deal with typical situations that will arise naturally in any marriage. The book can help Christians who seek to build a traditional Christian marriage on a solid biblical foundation.