I Give Up Book Review: “The Diamond Marriage” by Simon Vibert (2005)

“Have Ultimate Purpose in Your Marriage”

This book came as part of my Logos Bible Software package, and I read as much as I did on my phone through the Vyrso app. I love the Logos software and Vyrso is a great platform for reading the digital books I have in my Logos library, but this particular book on marriage just didn’t do it for me.

I approached The Diamond Marriage by Simon Vibert as a husband wanting to grow far stronger in that role, but I simply couldn’t stop the writer in me from reading as well. And the writer in me was not pleased with what he found here. The greatest red flag for me was Vibert’s most foundational illustration of marriage: it’s not simply the traditional triangle in which the husband and wife (two points of the triangle) grow closer to God (the third point) as they grow closer together, there is also a world (the fourth point of the triangle-turned-diamond) to which they become greater ministers as they grow closer together and closer to God. Practically speaking, Vibert should have illustrated this concept with an ever-shrinking pyramid with God at the apex, where the husband and wife bring their whole world into closer communion with God as they grow together in their marriage. Instead, his diamond illustration only suggests that the husband and wife can only grow either closer to God or closer to the world as they endure this lifelong battle called marriage (since God and the world are opposites that don’t attract). Since this is not his intent, yet it is his illustration, it suggests to me that he came up with an interesting (and romantic sounding) idea, but never really thought it out much beyond that.

A second red flag for me in The Diamond Marriage was the constant sermon illustrations that, while potentially worth a chuckle in a audible sermon, simply did not translate well onto paper. For example, “Aisle, altar, hymn,” his joke about the bride reciting the order of service as she marched down the aisle, much to the dismay of the audience (who apparently misheard her as saying, “I’ll alter him”). Vibert’s book is filled with such anecdotes that clearly were meant for his live sermons, but should never have made it past the editing stage in their present form. The farther I went into the book, the more I felt like I was simply reading a series of sermon notes copied direct from a year’s worth of bulletin inserts. I can get that type of writing from any corner church, so I really didn’t want to spend any more of my precious time with the same.

The teachings of The Diamond Marriage are undoubtedly helpful and probably would have proven to strengthen me in my role as a husband, but they’re also nothing new and I can find them elsewhere in better-written books by other strong believers concerned about the present state of marriages detached from a passion for God and for reaching the lost world around them. The amount of digging I would have to do through the rough of this book to find the tiny diamonds that Vibert’s hidden there just isn’t worth my time, however, which is why I’ve given up on it so early.

©2016 E.T.

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