Nightstand Books #8
Welcome back to another installment of Nightstand books. Though it’s been a while since the last one, of course that does not mean that there are not books to be talked about and stands to be knighted. While it was good to take a little break to recharge my night light’s batteries (and do some pretty hard core editing), I’m back this week with another tale of “And it came from the Nightstand…” (cue dramatic music).
Unlike some authors, a reading machine I am not. Therefore I offer for your consideration only two books this time around. Unlike the sorts of books which usually grace my lovely table, this time around we have two non-fiction books. Non-fiction, you say? Forsooth! I thought you were a writer of the fictitious sort. Why yes, quoth I, verily that be so, and yet, and yet…okay enough of this Elizabethan chicanery, the point is that, yes, I do read non-fiction. When I do, I often select books which encourage me to grow in my faith.
Case in point, The Exemplary Husband. This is one of those books that needs to be shouted about from the rooftops. As far as I can tell it’s not a terribly popular book, but it should be. If you are a husband, or hope to be one, or hope to be married to one, or in short if you are of “marriable” age or about to be, you should read this book. While the focus of the book is directed towards men, its truths really apply to everyone. The reason for that is because at the end of the day this book is actually not a marriage book, or at least it’s not just a marriage book. It’s about how to serve, honor, and give glory to God and marriage is just the backdrop.
For me, this one made all other books I have ever read on the subject of marriage (and I’ve read quite a few) obsolete. This is a book which puts the focus where it needs to be, on a person’s relationship with God first and on their spouse second. I could probably go on and on about this book, but if you have any desire to know what God’s design for marriage really looks like, this is the book for you.
The other book, though I’ve just begun reading it, is wonderful in its own right. Dig Deeper is a “must read” for anyone who wants to grow in their understanding of the bible. It doesn’t tell you what the bible says, but rather teaches you the tools you will need to understand it for yourself. Though really the principles it offers could apply to any historical book, they are especially needed in a world where many either vilify the Scriptures and dismiss them or turn them into “precious moments” and pearls of wisdom about the “man upstairs”.
For example, if some of us read novels the way we read the bible, we would be hopelessly lost. How so? Because many people just read a chapter or a few verses and try to understand what God is saying without reading the passage in context or without checking to see what other parts of the bible might be saying about the same thing. It would be like skipping to the fifth chapter of Into the Vast and reading the second paragraph there:
“I know,” he said. “It sounded strange to me the first time I heard about it, too. In the Institute they have something called the viand stream to keep you healthy. They send out the nutrients you need through the air. It works sort of like the esolace. But out here you’re going to need food. We’ll start you out with some atol. You should be able to handle that.”
If you had not read the previous four chapters you would be completely confused. What is he talking about? What is the Institute? What is the esolace? The viand stream? Atol?* Who is it that is even talking anyway? But sadly, that is how many people read the bible. It’s not enough to just cross-stitch a verse on a pillow and walk away thinking we’ve got a solid idea about what God’s word says on a given subject. Talk about missing the forest for the trees! There is so much more to be understood if we will only learn a few basic principles. God’s word is a treasure and yet many of us are not gleaning all we can from its great riches.
I wish I had time to go over some of the wonderful things I’ve already learned from this book, but if you’re at all interested in improving your understanding of the bible, I urge you to get a copy. It’s quite short and it’s written at a very understandable level, nothing complicated or technical here. Most of it is just basic common sense, actually. But it could mean the difference between getting the meaning of the text or missing it by a heavenly mile. And I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I’m interested in doing. Those heavenly miles are pretty long…
Anyway, that’s all for this time. Happy reading!
* If you are interested in what these terms actually mean, you can find all the answers in the glossary in the back of the book or here on my site.