[In Simon Cowell’s voice] This was a no for me. Next.
A “faith-based” self-help book on areas in which you can begin praying for your husband.
What I Thought
I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I will start with saying: I did not like or enjoy this book, but I read every page. As a young, married woman who is re-establishing her relationship with God and re-rooting her family in faith, I thought this book had potential to aid in this journey and I really wanted to like it.
Before I jump into all the reasons I disliked and disagreed with this book, I’ll mention a few reasons it got a couple stars. The first thing this book was supposed to do was help me to begin praying again. What better a reason to pray than to pray for your husband. This book ultimately helped me to do that by giving me ideas as to what I can pray for to help my husband. One star. The other thing I hoped this book would do is start conversations about faith between me and my family, which it definitely did. We talked about, laughed at, and discussed many of the points and statements made in this book. One star. That is about as far as this book went in aiding me in my journey.
This book missed the mark for me for many reasons, including:
- lack of biblical backup
- incorrectly or too literally interpreted some of the biblical backup provided
- outrageous blanket statements
- views on how a marriage should look
- baseless and unbiblical opinions
This book has 31 “chapters” in it, if you can even call them that. The introduction and first chapter have quite a few pages, but all the remaining chapters were three pages or less long. That was concerning to me, because it was basically a page of her personal thoughts on the subject plus a few verses thrown in there for good measure. As you read the remaining chapters, you realize that not much actual biblical study or research went into this information she is providing.
Each chapter has a page at the end with an example prayer and related verses. These prayers are exceedingly over the top and grandeur, but what felt more disappointing was the “power tools” or related verses. There were four to five for every chapter and although they were all related to the same basic topic, they seemed very randomly chosen – as if she just went to her concordance and picked a few verses on the topic she was writing about.
From the very first chapter, I realized that she and I have very different views on what a marriage should look like. She discusses in depth what a woman’s role is in a marriage and it was very troubling to me. I felt that she has not necessarily caught up with the times. She even states:
I don’t care how liberated you are, when you are married there will always be two areas that will ultimately be your responsibility: home and children. Even if you are the only one working and your husband stays home to keep the house and tend the kids, you will be expected to see that the heart of your home is a peaceful sanctuary – a source of contentment, acceptance, rejuvenation, nurturing, rest, and love for your family. On top of this, you will also be expected to be sexually appealing, a good cook, a great mother, and physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit.
I will have to respectfully disagree. During this entire paragraph, she provides no biblical backup to these outrageous statements. I feel like if all that falls on your shoulders as a wife then some expectations need to be reevaluated and discussed between you and your husband. She blatantly states that the man should be in charge of the finances and the woman should be in charge of the home and “trying to reverse that keeps a constant struggle going.” I will respectfully disagree again. In our home, we both contribute to our finances and to our home, but I am ultimately the one who keeps track of our bills and how much money we are to save and spend and it is insulting for someone to say that I am causing a struggle for essentially not keeping my place.
She also spends quite a bit of time talking about how attractive a woman should be to her husband always. She mentions that we should smell good, exercise regularly, eat healthy, dress attractively, and spend time alone with the Lord… and that if our husband falls out of love with us or stops finding us attractive that is our fault for not trying hard enough to please him. This made me want to throw up. Her overwhelming focus on sex is rather annoying. It comes off as if women are supposed to be slaves to their husband sexually and again keep him pleased. She goes as far to say that “for a husband, sex is pure need. His eyes, ears, brain, and emotions get clouded if he doesn’t have that release. He has trouble hearing anything his wife says or see what she needs when that area of his being is neglected.” I asked my husband about this and he laughed saying that his sexual want does not rule his life and that not receiving sex when he wants it does not give him the right to ignore me. In situations where you and your husband are having a disagreement or you are hurt by him, she encourages you to forego communicating your feelings and just have sex… only then will you be able to settle your issues. I respectfully disagree again.
When your husband communicates to you that he [wants to have sex and you don’t], say, “Okay, give me fifteen minutes.” During that time, do something to make yourself feel attractive. For example, take a shower or a relaxing bath. Put on scented body lotion or his favorite perfume. Comb your hair. Wash your face and prepare it with products that make your skin look dewy and fresh. Put on lip gloss and blush. Slip into lingerie you know he finds irresistible… While you’re doing this, pray for God to give you renewed energy, strength, vitality, and a good attitude. Hopefully, when you’re ready, your husband will find your were worth the wait.
Throughout this book, a woman’s desire for sex does not matter. The only thing she focuses on is basically to give it as often as your husband wants, otherwise you are neglecting him. Her encouraging you to get all done up to “make yourself feel better” in order to be a better sex partner is ridiculous. For one, my husband would rather I didn’t put on makeup and for two he doesn’t want to have sex with me if I’m not in the mood. I am not a slave and to him my feelings and opinions matter.
There is one section where she talks about expectations and provides this story about how one night her husband asked her to make a certain dish, so she went out and got the ingredients and spent a lot of time preparing the dish, but when her husband comes home he exclaims that he doesn’t want that dish anymore, he wants something else. She also mentions there are many times he promises to be home for dinner and then just doesn’t show or calls to say he’s eating with his coworkers instead. She then states, “I realized it was healthier for both of us if I rearranged my expectations. From then on, I prepared meals as if only I and the children would be eating them.” I will yet again respectfully disagree. I find this to be an extremely unhealthy solution. Instead, I believe that she should communicate with her husband about how he is disrespecting her and their family, share her feelings about the situation, discuss how they can come to some kind of actual solution, and pray about these situations and this kind of behavior. During this entire paragraph she doesn’t mention prayer at all.
I’ve observed that people who have had actively praying parents seem to find their life’s work early. Their careers may not take off immediately, but they have a sense of purpose and destiny that propels them in the right direction. They don’t live with the frustration and aimlessness that others do. While many parents have an agenda for their children, not enough of them seek out God’s plan for their lives. When a child’s life is left to chance that way, a kind of vocational wandering can result. There is needless floundering, disappointment, doubt, and despair as he tries to carve out a place for himself.
I will yet again respectfully disagree. The above excerpt came from the chapter relating to a man’s work. She basically says that if your husband is not successful or struggled to find purpose it is because his parents did not pray correctly, enough, or at all for him. This is just not true. A person’s success, purpose, or destiny does not fall solely on the parents… I believe praying for your children is important, but not the end all be all. It is ultimately our responsibility to seek God out, pray about his plan for our lives, and listen and react accordingly.
One of my favorite lines from one of the example prayers is, “Help me to never be a wife who talks too much, saying nothing of significance.” Let me just say that I will never ever pray that. This is just more along the lines of changing yourself to please your husband. This is at the end of the chapter on your husband’s inability to listen and pay attention to you. So basically if your husband does not listen to you or care what you have to say, you should pray that God should turn you into a woman who only speaks when necessary. Um no. First of all, significance depends on who is speaking and who is listening. It isn’t black and white. I may be saying something I find very significant, but my husband doesn’t. That doesn’t mean I just shouldn’t say it.
On multiple occasions, she expresses how she considers herself an expert on these topics and that didn’t sit well with me. I researched her biography and as far as I know, she has no schooling for counseling or seminary, so really she’s not an expert. It doesn’t take an expert to encourage friends, family, and strangers to pray. She also is extremely passionate about her “shut up and pray” method. As important and vital as prayer is, I believe that in addition to prayer, you should also communicate with your spouse. I believe God has given us communication as a tool and it is naive to ignore it. This reminds me of the man who was stranded on top of his house in a flood. He prayed for God to save him. A boat came by and offered the man help, but the man refused saying God will save him. A helicopter came by and offered the man help, but the man refused saying God will save him. The man dies and asks God why he didn’t save him. God replies that he provided a boat and a helicopter. That’s how I view communication within a marriage and I don’t believe we shouldn’t utilize it. Your husband can’t even begin to think about changing his ways if he doesn’t know your thoughts, feelings, and needs. So pray and communicate them.
It is revolting how little she believes men are capable of. While I was reading this book, I gathered that men are capable of three things: sex, work, and money. She arranges the chapters in order of what is important to a man. His walk, his faith, and his future are three of the last chapters… ultimately saying that sex, work, and money are more important to a man than his relationship with God. This sickened me. She puts all men under this very sad umbrella. She also says that your husband will more than likely not be praying for you… I feel like she just always assumes that men want it their way and aren’t willing to change if you just talk to them. I don’t know what kind of men she knows, but I’m happy that I am not married to that kind of man.
Overall, I felt that this book was geared toward wives who are in horrible marriages. She focuses tremendously on divorce mentioning it almost every chapter. That doing [insert scenario here] is better than getting a divorce. So maybe this book wasn’t for me, because I am in a very happy, loving, and open marriage with a wonderful man who loves, trusts, and values me. I feel like instead of just encouraging prayer to root and realign your marriage and relationship in God, it was pray for your husband in this situation, so you don’t get a divorce. It also felt like after four paragraphs of her personal opinion, she would throw in a sentence about prayer or a verse very vaguely related to the topic
My Rating: 2 Stars
This book received two stars, because it gave me ideas on how to pray for husband and started conversations about faith within my family, other than that, this book is 201 pages of opinion. I don’t recommend this book to anyone, because I very much disagree with majority of the points and methods she provides and I don’t appreciate the lack of biblical backup provided.
Have you read this book? Do you agree with the points made about marriage?
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