Getting to the Heart of Manhood and Womanhood -- By: James K. Dew, Jr.

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 13:2 (Winter 2008)
Article: Getting to the Heart of Manhood and Womanhood
Author: James K. Dew, Jr.

Getting to the Heart of Manhood and Womanhood

James K. Dew Jr.*

A Review of John Ensor, Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart.
Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007.

*Senior Pastor, Stony Hill Baptist Church
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and the History of Ideas
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina

Accessible to a wide-ranging audience, John Ensor’s Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart is an excellent discipleship resource for those seeking a better understanding of God’s intention for marriage. Written from a complementarian perspective, Ensor argues that men and women perform distinctive roles within the marital relationship. When these roles are carried out correctly, it “is a welcomed sight in which both partners are fulfilled in themselves and delighted in the other” (89). With that in mind, he outlines the principles by which single men and women can develop and nurture godly relationships in preparation for marriage.

This important volume contains fifteen chapters and is broken into two major sections. In section one, some of the most important matters of the book are covered. Ensor challenges the modern approach to dating and courtship by showing that it is ultimately destructive. As he explains, in relationships it is now assumed that “sex is the heart of the matter, rather than the heart being the heart of the matter” (25). With all modesty and restraint removed, the dating process is about “repeating the bonding and tearing process till you get a hit” (25). This, according to Ensor, is harmful to both males and females since it is contrary to the way we were designed to function. Ensor then turns to consider what is lacking in the modern approach to dating and marriage. Though he mentions several important things (customs, examples, etc.), he spends most of his time dealing with the need to make God the center of our lives and relationships. Without this, men and women will never be truly satisfied and will look to each other to fill voids that no man is able to fill on his own. Thus, relationships are strained by burdens that they were never designed to carry. With God at the center, however, men and women find their greatest satisfaction and are also given a compass by which to guide all other aspects of their lives. Ensor closes this section by making a case for a complementarian approach to marriage. By looking carefully at Genesis 1–2, Ensor highlights the equality of the genders while at the same time showing how God has given special leadership to Adam. He strengthens his case by showing that a complementarian view of marriage is not only biblical, but is also “rooted in nature...

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