Review: Strengthening Your Marriage

Wayne Mack, P & R, 2nd ed. 1999

StrengtheningThis was originally a doctrinal thesis at Westminster back in 1977. The book is unusual because Mack writes in outline form but he covers the standard topics helpful for premarital counseling such as the husband and wife’s responsibilities, good communication, finances, sex, and raising children. In this volume there is nothing avant-garde seeking to capture the zeitgeist of the Millennials. Mack is a Reformed complementarian.

This is the first book I go to for pre-marital counseling because of the questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are loaded with Scripture, thoughtful (“list some ways you can correct your husband without being bossy”), and thorough (the chapter on children is 35 pages, 15 of which are questions).

Some highlights of the book were his sections on what it means to leave your parents (2-3), ways to determine if your wife has first place (45), practical suggestions for good marital communication (73-74), and the twenty-two questions on financial agreement (115-117). The final chapter on family religion is weak.

It would be difficult for couples who want to read a marriage book together to find a marital guide with more Scripture than Mack’s Strengthening Marriage.

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