Book Review: The Pattern

ThePattern_frontcoverweb_300Title: The Pattern: Discovering God’s Design for Marriage

Author: Dev Menon

Publisher: Graceworks

Price: SGD 12

 

Lately, there seems to be renewed discussions on the institution of marriage. The discourse goes beyond the “how-tos” of communication skills and financial management. Instead, it goes behind the scenes, focusing on ideas and principles that shape one’s view of matrimony. The common conclusion is that ultimately, marriage is to glorify God and testify to the gospel of Christ.

In his latest book, The Pattern, author and minister Dev Menon explores that same line of thought. But The Pattern is not just about what a God-glorifying union should look like. It hopes to reveal that an authentic, successful marriage is dependent on a proper understanding of God Himself.

Almost from the get-go, 1 Corinthians 11:3 is introduced, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (ESV).

This verse outlines what Dev calls the 113 Pattern: The relationship between the Father and Son is the pattern that Christ and the church follows, and subsequently should be emulated by husband and wife. It’s a template, if you will.

Breaking the 113 Pattern down, Dev proceeds into a biblical study of the Father-Son and Christ-church relationships, and draws from them truths to be translated into the husband-wife relationship. Subjects like achieving oneness and understanding headship are discussed, with suggested applications practical for any couple to incorporate into their lives. The book also touches on issues unique to Asian cultures, such as learning to build an identity separate from, yet honouring to parents.

Although the premise of the book is simple, its implications can be significant. The interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11:3 itself is thought-provoking and exposes the unfortunate misuse of the verse to justify an abusive husband’s actions. One learns that God’s idea of headship is very unlike man’s.

Dev’s pattern is crisply expressed in a blend of reason and wit.  He is faithful to the Word while providing case studies that readers can relate with and visualise. What is evident from the book is wisdom gained from years of ministering to young adults; living out his own marriage; and gleaning from fellow authors and friends.

As a young bride, I found The Pattern a welcome read.  The account on marriage was enlightening,  but it was the examination into the nature of God that gave weight to it. In knowing God better, one starts to grasp the invaluable sanctity of marriage and is moved to pursue and protect it. It is with that, that The Pattern hopes for the redemption of matrimonial unions from today’s heartbreaking statistics of divorce, infidelities and dysfunctional relationships.

The Pattern is a sleek little book that appears an easy read but packs a punch. Whether you’re newlyweds, decades into marriage or even single, this is worth a space in your library.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book gratis from Graceworks, in exchange for an honest and independent review. The opinions are entirely my own.

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