Item description for Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor...
Overview There is a radical, biblical alternative to much of what is taught and practiced today regarding relationships. Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart presents a bold plan for escaping the swift currents of contemporary patterns of hooking up, shacking up, and breaking up. It draws a compelling vision of complementarity between the sexes. It instructs men on what to do and informs women on what to look for in their mutual pursuit of a healthy, tender, long-term relationship.
There is a radical, biblical alternative to much of what is taught and practiced today regarding relationships. Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart presents a bold plan for escaping the swift currents of contemporary patterns of hooking up, shacking up, and breaking up. It draws a compelling vision of complementarity between the sexes. It instructs men on what to do and informs women on what to look for in their mutual pursuit of a healthy, tender, long-term relationship.
Citations And Professional Reviews Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 04/16/2007 page 17
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.76" Width: 5.39" Height: 0.34" Weight: 0.37 lbs.
Release Date Apr 4, 2007
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581348428 ISBN13 9781581348422
Availability 0 units.
More About John Ensor
John Ensor is Director of Urban Initiatives for Heartbeat International, an organization for Christian communities establishing pregnancy help centers worldwide. He is currently working with Christian leaders to open five pregnancy help centers in the neediest neighborhoods of Miami, Florida. He has also served as President of A Woman's Concern. John and his wife, Kristen, have three grown children and reside near Boston, Massachusetts.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
Reviews - What do customers think about Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart?
So many spend their dating lives going through a tiresome routine Aug 9, 2008
So many spend their dating lives going through a tiresome routine that leaves them both emotionally and spiritually drained. "Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart" is a Christian influenced guide for dating, written especially for those in turmoil over the matter. With advice for both men and women trying to find the one person with whom can they settle down and have a long, healthy relationship, "Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart" is highly recommended for Christian singles everywhere.
This book is full of biblical truth and practical applications. Aug 7, 2008
If you are not married yet, just married or married for 23 years, like myself, you would benefit from Mr. Ensor's clear explanation and application in the roles of Christ and his bride (the church)and the husband and his wife..........sacrifice and submission. Throughout the book I was convicted of my lack of womanhood in the times I don't let my husband lead either by squashing him with my own passiveness or in my desire for control. I am incredibly thankful that I am married to a Godly man who takes his role to lead through sacrifice seriously.
Thanks May 19, 2008
This is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Practical and to the point. Nothing spared in regards to facts and references of the Word. Love the Shakespeare too. Ive since passed this book on to friends and it has been flying all over the country like the "traveling pants". Thanks for this helpful book. I recommend any single person about to be engaged or even married already to read this book to help you get on track and stay on track.
"Mason's Work for the Soul's Happiness on Earth" Nov 4, 2007
Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor
There are very few necessary books, and fewer still are those necessary books that can be called relevant. John Ensor's newest book is both. It's necessary because the practical ramifications of living out biblical gender roles are so weighty. It's relevant because these ramifications are being mutated into grave consequences in our postmodern, subjectivist world where gender and coupling issues are consigned to each individual's heart. This in turn has led to diastrous outcomes for the young men and women of our generation, a Christian generation of passive, wimpy men and of aggressive women. Relationships formed between men and women who've confused their God-given roles and/or altogether forsaken them have unleashed upon the world's greater stage (at the massive expense of a clear gospel witness) singles seeking romantic fulfillment in all the wrong ways and marrieds breeding discontentment rather than fulfilled families.
Ensor's little book is a breezy, humorous, at times confrontational, somewhat rigorous, and always Scripturally motivated theological exercise on what it means to affirm God's intentions for the genders in singleness, in dating, in marriage, and in parenthood. Along the way he liberally sprinkles references to Shakespeare (his personal favorite and a massive channel--according to Ensor--of God's common grace in the area of love and romance), South Pacific, Casablanca, Chaucer, and Johnny Cash. By blending Bible, practical insight, personal wisdom and experience, and secular material, Ensor has carved out a vibrant little space where honest examination of our deepest heart-issues takes place, unimpeded by prudishness or self-righteousness. The author's own flaws are in the spotlight along with various statistics and real-life examples that bring the material home, into our hearts. His method proves refreshing.
Section One (comprising four chapters) is a down-to-earth theology of gender. It sets the stage for the bulk of the book, Section Two. Section One then essentially covers the complementarity of man and woman, celebrating the God-given differences between genders. Secondly, it powerfully asserts that our basic need is for "a healthy tender, passionate, enduring, mutually satisfying relationship" with one partner of the opposite sex. Early on, Ensor deconstructs the postmodern view of sexual freedom, showing us just how bankrupt and undesirable is a series of arbitrary affairs.
The chapters in Section Two each highlight the complementary "actions" of the man and the woman. This section is largely practical and as such, offers a wealth of personal insight. It's warm insight, insight gained from experience, insight that has the stains of sweat and tears, insight that reminds us that we are all sinners saved by grace and in daily need of grace to overcome pride and selfishness in order to make our relationships (dating and espeically marital) sing. The theme of this section can be stated in this way: "God calls the man to love by sacrificing his immediate desires for those of her [i.e., his wife's] overall well-being and happiness. He calls the woman to submit her more immediate desires to his overall well-being and happiness. They are like two people running to get out of the rain and arriving together at the door. `You first.' `No, you first'" (132-33).
Section Two is so challenging, so convicting precisely because it's so practical. I was reminded in each chapter that the roles of man and wife are not only to be taken seriously but to be practiced comprehensively. A little passivity for the man, a little disengagement and indifference and passing the buck to the wife, leads to the wife's frustration, bitterness, and assumption of control. But when the man "lead[s] with questions rather than conclusions" (98), the wife will more naturally have no impulse to take over the leadership reins. She will teach him by example and "appeal to his thoughtfulness and ask for his consideration" (99). Ensor sounds the trumpet to all Christian men to lead with strength and sensitivity and to all women to submit with respectfulness and trust in the sovereignty of God to work out all the "kinks" in her man. What a sorely needed wake-up call to men who want to be boys and to women who want to be men!
Section Two gets stronger toward the end, each chapter building momentum on the previous one. The chapters on purity are necessarily frank. He writes, "Unmet sexual passion brings into focus a vision for being a husband and potentially a father" (121). And again he writes, "Covenanted intimacy unleashes passion with no admixture of shame and guilt" (122). What a fresh insight: "It [umnet sexual desire in the man] drives us to solve problems and get ready. It matures us" (121)! He calls women to wait, that in waiting women receive their reward of a mature, selfless, "ready" leader-partner who will marry her sooner rather than later and who will take the relationship where it needs to go according to the Bible. He writes on this subject, "Sisters, there is power in waiting. If you give away this God-endowed power and simply act...and satisfy his lusts, you undermine God's work of maturing manhood. So part company with the crowd. Become a noncomformist. Swim upstream...Purity is the litmus test. Waiting will reveal the heart of the matter" (106).
The balance in his approach makes this book essential reading for both sexes. The premium he places on practical male leadership and practical female submission reminds us that marriage is not playing at husband and wife; it's not a game with only temporary or hypothetical setbacks. Gender theology drives gender practice and so both make or break real marriages, real families. Even with the balanced approach, this book undoubtedly stresses male leadership in the marriage relationship and in the home. How could it not when the Bible does the same? Phrases like "heavier responsibility for the outcome" of family decisions and "to provide a vision for our children about God and his ways and purposes for them" (156) fall with a climactic thud on the shoulders of all men, particularly married men. It is a sound that resonates deep within men's hearts since God has placed such manly desires there. And, as the book constantly reminds us, if the Christian man would absorb the divinely loving blows of his biblical responsibilities, he will shape a God-centered, glory-giving, joy-filled, deeply satisfied family.
God has given us certain desires as men and women; they reside permanently within our hearts; they long to be fulfilled. As Christians, these desires are redeemed; they are now able to be fulfilled in a Christ-honoring way. What will we do with them? How will we invest our hearts in matters of romance and sex? Reading John Ensor's book is a handy investment guide--one necessary and relevant for a gender-beinding, sexually confused age.
Simple and Revolutionary Wisdom Nov 3, 2007
This book is refreshingly revolutionary, disarmingly candid, and expertly succinct. It is an excellent primer on a complementary approach to masculinity and femininity. It is less daunting than the similarly-themed Piper and Grudem classic Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, making it easier to both read and recommend.
Ensor addresses a wide range of topics for a relatively short book, including sociological trends, singleness, sexual purity, and marriage. These are all discussed in the context of explaining patterns of biblical manhood and womanhood. Ensor writes with warmth, understanding, clarity, and humor. It is obvious that his knowledge of these topics has been forged in the trenches of real life.
Tim Challies, part of whose review is featured on the back of the book, writes that "this book is a refreshing reminder of the Bible's simple wisdom governing love, relationships, marriage, and matters of the heart." In essence, Doing Things Right... is just that - a light shed on the simple wisdom already in the Bible in reference to these matters. It is worth reading whether you are single or married, young or old.