Book Plunge: Vertical Marriage

What do I think of Dave and Ann Wilson’s book published by Zondervan. Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Dave Wilson didn’t know what to think. He had gone all out to try to impress his wife on their tenth anniversary only to hear her say “I don’t think I love you anymore.” At that point, marriage could have easily ended and as their book shows, their marriage had had rocky times up to that point, but they did turn it around.

The secret was to go vertical. It was to make the relationship with Christ the priority. It sounds easy and really, it’s a message we shouldn’t need to hear, but we too often do. Today, Dave and Ann are happily married and getting better everyday.

It hasn’t been without several bumps in the road. Dave and Ann are fully honesty and share their great mistakes together that they made. Dave talks about being alone in a hotel room and just watching 30 seconds of a porn movie and how that led to an addiction that even to this day he has to keep under control.

Ann talks about how she could be tempted to hold a grudge against Dave, such as the time he forgot to fix a light on her car until the last minute. Instead, it’s always best to go vertical. It’s my personal philosophy that no one will ever wrong you greater than you have wronged Jesus Christ, and yet He forgives you.

One of the first sections of the book is on communication, which is always a problem. There are different communication styles and people tend to communicate with what they grew up with. Some people grew up in houses where there weren’t any problems. Does that sound unrealistic? That’s right, because the reality is they had problems, but it was better to just not talk about them. You avoided the issue. Then some people grew up in houses where you dealt with the issue right away.

Now imagine what happens when spouses with those communication styles get together.

And one of the great techniques here is listening. It’s too easy to not hear what the other person is saying and instead interpreting it through what you think. Those of us in apologetics know that it’s easy for us to be misunderstood by skeptics online and we can also do the same thing. The way a man understands the world is vastly different from the way a woman does.

There is naturally a section entirely on intimacy. No. This is not about a new position to try in the bedroom or a new technique. This is about connection. There are some absolutely hysterical parts of the book in this section. Some stories are quite amazing, such as when there was a mission trip that took place in Sweden with several young men and in to a place they were working at walked in three topless women. Dave did lower his head then to which his wife said, “If you look up, you are dead.”

This is another issue where men and women think differently. Men tend to focus on the physical aspect and women want the more relational aspect. It’s not to say men don’t appreciate the relational connection or women don’t appreciate the bodies of their men, but it does mean that generally, this is where the primary focus lies.

The book is easy to read and very funny. The Wilsons do freely share the skeletons in their closets. There are times in the book when it is Dave speaking and times when it is Ann.

The only aspect of the book I couldn’t really embrace so often is my questioning of the idea that God is telling people to do XYZ on a regular basis. I always wonder how they know that. There is even one time where Dave writes a note to his wife and is convinced the words are from God when he gives it, but we know they’re not and Dave would say the same thing about the content of the note now. This is not to say advice said to be from God is not good advice. I just question if it came directly from God.

Don’t let that hold you back. This is an enjoyable book and should change your perspective. If you want to improve your marriage, go get this one.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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