With the high number of divorces in this country, there is a great need for marriages to be strengthened. Thankfully, there are a number of individuals and organizations that work toward that goal. Sometimes though, just a short book with a few key principles can help people have a more godly view of their marriages. For men, one text that may be worth considering is For Married Men Only by Tony Evans. Its subtitle is Three Principles for Loving Your Wife, and early on, we learn that these involve a husband being a savior, sanctifier, and satisfier to his spouse. These topics are explored over the course of three chapters, with the whole booklet being 64 pages in length. Mr. Evans’ primary text is Ephesians 5:25-31, from which he elaborates often.
Before too long, it is apparent that the author seeks to help men have a proper perspective of their responsibilities within the family. After quoting Ephesians 5:33, he goes on to say, “These two highlighted words are a concise summary of the responsibilities that husbands and wives have toward each other. Husbands are commanded to love their wives, and wives are commanded to respect their husbands” (pgs. 6-7). This is entirely true, and as the book continues, he explains how sacrifice, suffering, and substitution are connected with love.
These ideas are often related to the actions of Jesus Christ. For instance, His sacrifice on the cross, prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and being our substitute are all described (pgs. 13-14, 18). Later in the book, other events commented on include Jesus giving Himself for His church, the creation of Eve, and the Lord washing the disciples’ feet (pgs. 35, 37-38, 45). The author is effective in using many of these examples to strengthen his points. Furthermore, he doesn’t mince words; he makes some very bold statements for the men reading the book. He really lets them know where they need to step up for the sake of their wives and families.
All of these aspects are among the most challenging of the text, and also the most beneficial. Sadly, they are often dampened by other illustrations that Mr. Evans uses. Interspersed throughout the book are discussions of typical interactions between husbands and wives. A man not stopping to get gas for the car until the last minute, sitting on the couch watching a football game for hours, and wanting to cut a conversation short by just providing a solution in 5 minutes are all brought up (pgs.19-20, 45-46, 48).
I believe that many people will relate to such situations, but I am not one of them. I just found them irritating. I don’t care about sports and I tend to buy gas for the van weekly. Furthermore, the author likes to predict how his readers will respond to his words. He says things like, “Now I can almost hear the groans, because it has been my experience that far too many husbands are not fulfilling the pastoral role in their homes,” and, “We can rap all day about how we are going to be there for our lady and take care of all her needs. Now I know what you’re saying, ‘But I didn’t know my wife was that needy’ ” (pgs. 28, 44).
These instances, and others, really grated on me. The assumptions about how men respond and the superficial situations he shared were sometimes quite aggravating. Perhaps he was just trying to overcome common objections and address issues that are a part of many households. That may be true, and also helpful for some readers. However, that is not the case for myself. As such, I consider For Married Men Only by Tony Evans to be a good, short study, but also rather irritating. Thankfully, he has a lot of good teaching when he stays with the Scriptures. Some readers may be less put off by his other comments and relate to what he says more than I did too.
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Wedding Rings on a Bible by Pexels from Pixabay.