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The Exemplary Husband: A Biblical Perspective

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God ordained marriage between a man and a woman for companionship, procreation, and so man would have a helper suitable. However, God says much more in the Bible about husbands loving their wives than He says about wives submitting to their husbands. He created marriage to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Christ was willing to sacrifice His life for the Church, and God expects no less from husbands today.

The overall purpose of The Exemplary Husband is to assist husbands toward purposeful and lasting Christ-likeness for the glory of God. It was written to be a companion book for The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. Couples who commit to the biblical principles presented in these books will find a oneness in marriage that will give God glory and bring His blessing.

363 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

Stuart W. Scott

14 books31 followers
Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Stuart Scott is associate professor of Biblical Counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also a board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.

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5 stars
503 (50%)
4 stars
313 (31%)
3 stars
137 (13%)
2 stars
40 (3%)
1 star
11 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 81 reviews
Author 1 book8 followers
May 21, 2021
A great book to help a man understand how to be the kind of Husband God desires. Dr. Scott covers everything from basic communication, to dealing with idols of the heart, to fear and anxiety, and sexual sin. An excellent resource for husbands and biblical counselors.
July 14, 2023

As a unmarried young woman who has never been in a relationship, theoretically, this book applies to me….zero percent.

Yet, wow guys, am I glad I read it.

Honestly, I just feel so convicted. This book calls the heart out to such a Christocentric calling (which, as a woman, I will obvs have different practical applications than those laid out specifically in this volume…but my future husband’s Lord is still my Lord and the heart attitude is the same) and I can’t help but fall to my knees in the realization of how much of my life is focused on myself, not Christ.

Also, can I just take a minute to appreciate how powerful men, husband or not, are in the Kingdom of God?? (Sounds stupid, I know, but bear with me.) To all of y’all out there—I’d like to voice something for the feminine side of the Church: You guys are literally fire. Without you, we’d have no leaders, no protectors, nothing to glorify and fulfill, and therefore no dominion would be taken. I just wanna encourage you—look around at the ladies you are dear to & know are the greatest examples of Christ in our lives. If you are a man, you don’t need me to tell you what to do (haha you can read the book yourself) but I just want to encourage you—it inspires us to the highest degree when we see Christ in you. Please don’t see it as a weak task, growing in grace & gentleness & godliness. Learning leadership & stewardship, memorizing & studying the Word, etc. It’s the most comforting thing to see your man on his knees, and guaranteed nothing makes us prouder.

ANYWAY, I’ll end that rant there. I don’t mean to get in anybody’s business ahaha, I just wanted throw my small voice out there just in case some guy who’d happen to kindly read this has forgotten how much of an impact he makes with his relationship to Christ. It just matters…so much.

A final thought: in a perfect world I think this book would be powerful bundled with Micheal Foster’s It’s Good to Be A Man. It seems to me that much of what I personally found missing in Fosters book was brought strongly and graciously to attention in An Exemplary Husband. Yet Foster’s encouragement in pursing manliness also seems to be a sharp & vital sword against the enemy for men of God. 🤷‍♀️ Idk. I’ll end this review now. Haha
Profile Image for Jean Pierre.
36 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2020
This book is probably one of the most beneficial books I've read in a while. As a person aspiring to be an exemplary husband to my future wife, this book convicted me many times as well as taught me. I knew that there was a lot that I needed to change in order to be a godly husband but MAN this book showed me that I am nowhere close to where I need to be. By God's grace, I'll get there in due time. Parts 3 (A Husband's Resolves) & 4 (A Husband's Regrets) in the book were probably the most beneficial chapters for me personally. That's not to say that I did not benefit greatly from the first 2 parts as well because I most certainly did. I encourage anybody who is single and preparing for marriage, married, or engaged to be married to make the investment and purchase this book. You will not regret reading this book.
Profile Image for Stephen.
29 reviews
March 10, 2011
The Exemplary Husband did a reasonable job of assembling scriptures and topics together under the themes of marriage, responsibility, and Christ-likeness. At times, I felt that this book was very dry and impersonal. Stuart Scott was very direct in his writing -- to the extreme of having several bulleted sections in each chapter to organize his thoughts. It wasn't so much the directness that I minded, but his approach lacked in ability to converse with the reader. However, every few chapters he would do a fantastic job when his humanity showed through a bit. I especially enjoyed the chapter on love.

This book is not recommended for the reader looking for inspiration. It reads more like a reference book, and in that regard has a lot of topical content that is easy to find, with the added challenge to apply these Biblical principles to a man's life.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
Author 1 book252 followers
July 14, 2020
One aspect that I appreciate about this book is its focus on Scripture, as opposed to pop sociology, secular psychology, or anthropology.
Profile Image for Jessica.
40 reviews
June 19, 2023
It’s probably cheating to mark this as read because I just skimmed it 😛 But even so, it was clear from the excerpts that this is an absolutely stellar book. 5 stars for the bits I read and also for all the good things I’ve heard about it.
306 reviews5 followers
December 9, 2018
This books is dry and heavy. Scott doesn’t put a lot of personality into his writing, but it is full of Scripture and clear interpretations. Truth is engaging.

This is a study of Jesus’ love, care, and shepherding of His church, which does two things:
1. Causes us to worship Him.
2. Allows us to compare ourselves, as husbands to our wives, to Jesus as our (collective with the Church) husband. We fall short on every mark, but get to repent and pray for growth.
Profile Image for Brandon Miller.
105 reviews37 followers
August 18, 2019
I am now equipped to be an exemplary husband.

Okay, maybe not, but that's hardly this book's fault. It was thorough and biblically based and /really/ down to earth and not heady or theoretical or hard to apply.
Only reason it missed that last star is that I finished reading and I'm still single. lol
Profile Image for clara sylvester.
31 reviews1 follower
November 7, 2021
an excellent book. comprehensive, nuanced, really practical. holistically better than the excellent wife — although you could argue that they covered different categories. will use this book for all people, not just husbands — helpful categories and homework in this book.
Profile Image for Jonathan Duff.
11 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2019
Gotta lot of work to do now ig. @brandon I gave it five stars because I expect to not stay single lol
Profile Image for Jared Rasmussen.
4 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2023
Great in-depth resource on being a godly husband. Felt like I could sense the writers beliefs and doctrine behind specific pieces of scripture, but this is mans interpretation of Gods Word and not Gods interpretation. Overall, a great read and extremely applicable.
Author 1 book
March 26, 2014
An excellent book recommended for everyone. It is written mainly for husbands, but young or older men would learn great and valuable lessons and also be challenged to think deeper about what God desires, the importance of relationships, and their selves. Read it!The book refers to Scriptures very often and is very applicable to a Christian in terms of dealing with issues Biblically.
Profile Image for Sean Wood.
4 reviews
July 19, 2020
Stuart Scott cannot be faulted for his knowledge, intellect and desire to uphold scripture - his book is crammed full of it, which is great; if I were giving him a rating purely on this I would have to give him five stars.

However, marriage is a mystical and marvellous institution founded on love, honesty, vulnerability and trust, but I found his book, sadly, mechanical and dry. I felt that it fails to do justice to the beauty and joy of marriage. I was left with the impression that marriage is an academic exercise and the formula for success in marriage lies simply in my ability to memorise scripture. We know in practice that marriage - and any sort of relationship for that matter - is more complicated than that.

I don’t recall Scott sharing a single story about himself. There is the odd story about poor, struggling couples that he has had the experience of counselling, but does he have anything practical to teach me from his experiences from his own marriage? Good pastors have the gift of being relatable to their congregants, or in this case, readers. Scott is disappointingly quiet about himself; there is a glaring absence vulnerability.

I’m so glad I also read Timothy Keller’s book, “The Meaning of Marriage”, whilst preparing to get married. Keller’s book is crammed full of real-life stories of success and failure, from his and his wife’s own experiences, that we can really relate to and learn from, as well as containing a good balance of scripture and biblical principles. His was a book that left me feeling more hopeful and actually excited about marriage; Scott’s, on the other hand, sadly just left me feeling bewildered.
Profile Image for Tim Counts.
26 reviews
December 1, 2018
THE go-to book for what it means to be a godly husband. Nine years ago I was challenged greatly & helped greatly by this book. I am forever grateful for the impact it had on me to grow in godliness as a husband. Scott’s principles, applications & implications are biblical. The book is Bible saturated! I have used it chapter by chapter to bring other men through at least 4 times & have led 2 Men’s Studies through the book. Always challenging & helpful & I have seen the Lord use it to bring tremendous growth.

My only complaint about the book is that sometimes it feels like Scott put all of his biblical counseling class notes into the book & did not edit them enough into a book. It is not the best writing; at times it is wooden. I have also found this to be a strength because some men who don’t like to read “just want the facts.” At other times though it is a weakness; for example, in the anxiety chapter he hardly applies it to being a husband! But I give it 5 stars because of its comprehensiveness & helpfulness to me and the church. Read it, share it, discuss it with your brothers in Christ & grow in glorifying God and loving your wife!
Profile Image for Daniel.
83 reviews6 followers
May 26, 2022
With topics ranging from sex to budgeting, anger to fear, and pride to lust, it blessed me to not only read this book, but also to discuss it with other men from my church, as well as with my wife from time-to-time. I am particularly thankful to God for how practical each chapter is. It is filled with biblical truth, yes. However, it doesn’t stop there. It asks tough application questions and provides helpful lists for immediate action and/or reflection.

Can you just read isolated chapters from this book based on your personal needs? Yes, but I recommend reading the whole thing from start to finish. You’ll be surprised how applicable every chapter is to your life. An added bonus is that the author has committed to pray for whoever reads it. I’ll take it! I need those prayers and am grateful for them.

Finally, the deepest desire of my heart resonates with the purpose of this book: To glorify God as I grow in Christlikeness that is not seasonal but truly lasts for the rest of my life. May God fulfill this purpose in your life as you read it.
Profile Image for Brian Hallam.
21 reviews
May 8, 2021
I critisized a book recently for having too many anecdotes and catering a secular audience (that’s not necessarily a bad thing, referencing the Bible doesn’t carry the same weight to unbelievers), but this book was the opposite. By far my favourite book on the theme of biblical husbandry/masculinity and a must-read for husbands (and future husbands 💁‍♂️) that want to honour God in their relationships. The Bible is a giant text with so much wisdom contained within, and Stuart Scott did a phenomenal job using the scriptures to explain HOW we are called to love our wives, with practical examples. Broken up into four parts: a husbands recognition, responsibilities, resolves, and regrets. Could have chosen hundreds of different underlines/highlights, but to conclude:

“Men, we could sum up this entire book with these two points - love the Lord your God with all your heart, and lovingly lead and cherish your wife for the glory of God.”
Profile Image for Joshua Horn.
Author 4 books8 followers
February 12, 2019
I found this book to be a good explanation of what the Bible calls husbands to be, with a emphasis on the theology and not just practical advice. Overall I found the book to be helpful, especially the ways that he talks about how you need to deal seriously with your own sin. I am striving to apply those in ways beyond what he was even speaking about.

There's a couple things I disagreed with him on. One was kind of strange - a one sentence description of the Trinity and the relationship between one God and three persons that I thought was incorrect. Another that was repeated several times was his view that the commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" was not a commandment but more like some advice?
819 reviews22 followers
December 10, 2019
This became so frustrating to read. Most of it was common sense, or so vague that there is very little that is helpful.

Don't hit your wife, don't abuse your kids, don't abuse your authority as a father and husband. Okay, people who do those things aren't reading this book. I'm reading this book because I want to be a better husband and father. These are not necessarily bad things to say, but he says them in virtually every chapter. I want to be better, there is room to improve, but I'm not starting at step 0 and need police intervention.

If it isn't that, it's very wishy-washy advice. Pray with your wife, talk about your feelings, communicate better. Again, not that these are bad things; and these are the things we can all do better, but this stuff is so vague it is unhelpful.
133 reviews
December 31, 2019
This is a very thorough book and like many self-improvement books, the most difficult task is the discipline to utilize the skills addressed. Similarly, like most marriage books, this one takes the focus off of the couple and puts it solely on the reader (husband). There is very little actual discussion in regards to whether the wife is truly at fault. I am not saying this is always the case and most of the time I am sure the husband is more concerned with himself than his relationship to God or his wife. However, there are few times when the wife is at fault and I believe there should be more said about how to get help for this, other than references to counselling. This is a book I will keep as a reference.
Profile Image for Tim Michiemo.
254 reviews34 followers
September 19, 2022
4.0 Stars

Stuart Scott's "The Exemplary Husband" is a book on the Biblical perspective on what is means to be a good or "exemplary" husband. Scott's book is primarily practically, but Scott excels in basing all his practical advice on the truth of Scriptures. Because of this Scott has written a book that should be required reading for all men preparing to be husbands. Scott reminds us of the Biblical requirements of the husband and his ultimate accountability to God. But most of all Scott reminds us of the love that Christ has for the church and how that should motive husband's practical living day-by-day to love their wives. This is a great read!
Profile Image for Timothy Ward.
Author 14 books121 followers
November 23, 2018
Truly beneficial

While I bought the kindle version to ensure I could read it as often as possible, I will now also need the paper version so I can more easily reference this in counseling sessions. There is so much wealth of information, and while it certainly applies biblical humility, salvation and sanctification to the husband’s role in marriage, it also has magnificent advice on these broad areas of sanctification. What an outstanding book! This won’t be the last time I read it.
Profile Image for Josh Bice.
30 reviews1 follower
November 5, 2022
This isn’t a marriage book as much as it is a Godly manhood book. I think it achieves what it sets out to achieve! I just was expecting more marriage principles than it provided. Probably won’t be a top recommendation for married people in my circles, but for someone who picks it up they will have a pretty comprehensive Biblical picture of being a Godly man. Slightly dated at times, a few moments Im not sure I completely agree with Dr Scott, and sometimes the lists are too long but overall a good book! If I could rate 3.5 I would.
Profile Image for Paul Kurtz.
138 reviews1 follower
September 21, 2017
There is a lot of good information in this book, but it tends to be tedious and overwhelming. I think the overwhelming part was probably intentional to drive home the point that none of us is able to be the kind of husband we should be without God's help, but after a couple hundred pages of, "you're almost certainly a lousy husband," I'd had enough already. There is enough valuable information in the book for it to be helpful and worth reading, but be warned that it won't be an easy read.
7 reviews
July 18, 2022
Excellent book

Every Christian man needs to read this book. It is challenging and convicting. Unlike many other marriage books, this book does not shy away from the challenging issues, but it does so both practically AND graciously by pointing readers to Christ. Too often such books can crush men under the law without showing them Christ. This book captures both Law and Gospel - a welcome combination!
Profile Image for Davey Ermold.
66 reviews
June 16, 2019
This would be a great resource for premarital and marital counseling, and it also challenged me as a husband and a father. I didn't rate it five stars, because the writing, editing, and formatting is almost textbook-like. I feel like it would be more effective if the style were different. But, I'd still recommend for any man who is a husband or soon will be.
1 review
December 27, 2019
Scott does an exceptional job of providing application guidance to Scripture’s commandments for husbands. Many reviews rightly state that the content is dry, but it is none-the-less valuable, insightful, and essential to grasp. Highly recommended for any future husbands, new Christian husbands, or anyone looking to serve God rightly through their marriage.
Profile Image for Matthew Cole.
55 reviews
February 24, 2020
Very good book for husbands looking to better themselves as a husband. While this is a book for a Christian man on how to be a biblical husband, it could also help any husband. A lot of divorces out there over very fixable things. The wife and I enjoyed reading our books together also. I read this while she read The Excellent Wife and then we talked about what we read in each chapter. God Bless!
August 20, 2021
Wonderful book!!!!

As a man who is very much behind the eight ball (so-to-speak) in being the man that my family needs, I hunger and thirst after any material from godly men on these topics, and I can report that this book was one of many healing drafts that I have taken as I seek to quench this thirst.
Profile Image for Seth Sowalskie.
20 reviews1 follower
January 2, 2022
Overall, this is a fairly helpful resource for husbands, as it covers a wide variety of topics related to being a godly husband from a biblical perspective. That said, the book feels outdated in many areas (including the late 90s Word document format of the text) and has a few typos. I also found the author to be pretty dry or formulaic and sometimes come across a little paternalistic towards wives, though I'm sure that wasn't his intent. On the whole, though, this was still a helpful read.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 81 reviews

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