Review: The Complete Husband

prpbooks-images-covers-md-9781629951034Louis P. Priolo is the director of biblical counseling at Valleydale Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and the founder and president of Competent to Counsel International. Priolo has been a full-time biblical counselor since 1985 and is a fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. He is a graduate of both Calvary Bible College and Liberty University, and is the author of several books, including The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children, Pleasing People: How Not to be an Approval Junkie, and Resolving Conflict: How to Make, Disturb, and Keep Peace.

Priolo is a world-class thinker and with both the experience and knowledge to help others navigate life through a Christian worldview. One of the lasting achievement to flow from Priolo’s pen is arguably the publication, and now a newly expanded revision of The Complete Husband: A Practical Guide for Improved Biblical Husbanding. The far-reaching impact of exemplifying the characteristics of a biblical husband has the potential to significantly shape a culture, and Priolo offers readers an accessible handbook for engaging such husbandry.

The Complete Husband is a challenging read for anyone who seriously approaches the role of  husband. Priolo’s presuppositions for such are established in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and his assistance therein. Priolo explains, “It is impossible for any man to consistently do what the Bible says without the assistance of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power. So, if you are not a Christian—that is, if you have not put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation—you will not be able to properly apply the contents of this book to your life” (p. 13).

Rightly so, Priolo is consistently straightforward and honest about the biblical teaching that surrounds husbanding, and he doesn’t shy away from allowing the weight of such to penetrate the heart the reader. Throughout The Complete Husband the reader will not only find practical advice but meaningful interaction with the Bible as the foundation. There are also a number of helpful interview-style questions at the conclusion of each chapter and various workbook-style exercises to assist the reader in the study of the content. That’s right, the study of the content. As Priolo appropriately mentions at the outset, “this is not a book you read; rather, it is the kind of book you study . . . it’s a reference book of practical theology that is designed to be referred to again and again” (p. 15).

The Complete Husband is amazingly useful and life-giving on many levels. Priolo has truly given a gift to the Christian community. First, as mentioned above, the content is boldly honest and is uniquely situated to allow the reader to digest and apply. Second, Priolo has intentionally taken care of how the content flows into the various exercises to ensure that the reader is trained on how to implement specific biblical commands (p. 15). Third, the interview questions are pointed towards couple engagement and allow the reader to work through the material with his spouse. I found this aspect of the book to be extremely rewarding. The kind of conversation that arose from these questions was both organic and meaningful, and my wife and I often began to discuss the content together. There are some very pointed and vulnerable questions that you may need to prepare your heart for before discussing. But, if approached with humility and a willingness to hear honest feedback from your spouse, then they will become motivation for conformity to the exemplar husband whom Priolo points the readers—Jesus.

The Complete Husband: A Practical Guide for Improved Biblical Husbanding (Revised and Expanded) by Louis P. Priolo is a book that should be on the shelf of every Christian man—married or preparing for marriage. I couldn’t recommend it more strongly.

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