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“Doing Things Right” articulates radically countercultural view of pursuing marriage

August 8, 2007

In “Doing Things Right In Matters of the Heart” (Crossway), Ensor sets forth a view of manhood and womanhood that those who subscribe to the prevailing cultural norms will indeed find radical.

In the early pages of his new book, John Ensor admits that he is pursuing a radical agenda.

In “Doing Things Right In Matters of the Heart” (Crossway), Ensor sets forth a view of manhood and womanhood that those who subscribe to the prevailing cultural norms will indeed find radical.

But for those seeking biblical wisdom on finding a spouse and arranging the home God’s way, it is a work full of Christ-exalting light.

“The objective of this book is to provide a winsomely radical alternative to the prevailing ideas, almost absolute doctrines, that guide our current thinking about manhood and womanhood and define our actions and expectations when pursing matters of the heart,” Ensor writes.

“It is not my aim to be radical for radical’s sake. Paradoxically, it is radical only in that postmodernity has radically gone and changed all the rules and definitions, and I say with Shakespeare, ‘I am not so nice, to change true rules for odd inventions.’”

Ensor serves as director of urban initiatives for Heartbeat International, an organization for establishing pregnancy help centers worldwide. He is presently working with Christian leaders to open five pregnancy help centers in the neediest neighborhoods of Miami. He is formerly president of A Women’s Concern.

Quoting a diversity of personages ranging from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Shakespeare, Joe Cocker to Percy Sledge, Ensor examines popular cultural attitudes toward relationships and demonstrates the bankruptcy of the wisdom of the postmodern age which views dating and marriage as mere exercises in self-fulfillment.

He spends much of the book establishing the biblical demands for marriage and the home, and in so doing, Ensor articulates the complementary roles God has uniquely designed men and women. These are the primary factors men and women should consider when thinking about getting married, he argues.

God has created men to be self-sacrificing husbands and godly fathers and He has created women to be graciously submitting wives and nurturing mothers, he writes.

“Men show themselves to be oriented toward and to have a primary interest in the mastery of the external world,” he writes. “Women tend to be oriented toward and to show a primary interest in the mastery of relationships. This is a blessing from God.

“Our primary interests correspond in complementary ways to the two spheres that God ordained for purposeful and satisfying labor—filling the earth and subduing it. We are equally commissioned to be fruitful in our labor at home and in the world around us. But we complement one another in the proportion of interest and satisfaction we gain from laboring in the two spheres.”

In a culture of serial hooking up, shacking up and breaking up, Doing Things Right calls single men and women to pursue a marriage that paints a clear picture of the Bible’s beatific vision of complementary manhood and womanhood.

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