I am sad to say after years of wanting to read this book, and being certain that I would adore it, I am less than impressed with it.
While I think the overall message of the book (wives are to submit to their husbands) is good, I feel like the author (Debi Pearl) is very negative, judgmental, and condescending.
It isn’t the principles in this book that upset me, it is the delivery of the information that I don’t really care for (I HATE how often I end sentences in prepositions, but it always sounds funny when I fix it!).
- She refers to women that don’t do what she thinks they should do as stupid and silly ALL the time. She also refers to men in similar manners.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. Matthew 5:21-22 (No idea if this is in context or not…)
- In relating true stories she describes the women as fat, ugly and dirty. Can you imagine how upset you would be if you picked up a book looking for Biblical guidance and found yourself being negatively described?
- She is very, VERY negative about women that work, and the thought of day care, or even baby-sitters. It kind of hurts my feelings as a care provider that she talks about how 1 in 4 little girls and 1 in 5 little boys are molested as children in the same section as not having baby-sitters. She also talks about sowing bad seeds in children during daycare. I guess its a little fair, I mean those would be my concerns in sending my kids to childcare, but I love the kids I baby-sit and care for and instruct them like they were my own (or at least I assume like they were my own, I don’t know for sure since I don’t have my own…), we are not all evil, horrible people. On the same topic she says that if your husband molests your kids, you should get him thrown in jail, take the kids to see him a few times a year, and when he comes back welcome him with open arms. I am 99% against divorce, but that is the one instance that I wouldn’t hesitate to separate myself completely from my husband.
- I believe that women were created to submit and serve their husbands, but the advice she gives would be very detrimental to a woman if her husband died, or left her. She basically advises that you don’t have close female friendships (because I guess they lead to lesbian relationships? I mean that is what she implied…) and live your entire life serving your husband. This woman would be completely isolated if something happened, and have no support in her time of need.
- She seems to think that anything bad that happens in a marriage is the wife’s fault, which seems a little unfair to me.
From what I can tell, most of what she is saying is Biblically accurate, with a few questionable parts (her explanation for head covering for example made almost no sense to me), but I am not a Bible scholar by any means and have read other reviews that say she takes verses out of context. She just apparently has never heard the saying “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. No one is going to have an open mind to someone that is calling them stupid, selfish, ungodly and basically a complete failure.
I was 100% sure that I would LOVE this book. I really like To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl, so I figured this book, about being a great wife, would be even better. I don’t expect to like everything that a book says, and I tend to take what I like and agree with from a book, and leave the rest. For instance, To Train Up A Child is a great resource BUT you have to make sure that you are taking your child’s health, welfare and abilities into consideration more than they advise, or you run the risk of abusing your children, which no one wants to do. This book is just not very pleasant to read, and although most of the advice seems to be sound, she is so abrasive in her delivery, you want to dismiss it entirely.
On the upside, it has inspired me to make a little more effort to be a good wife in the last few days as I was reading it.
I would give this 2 out of 5 stars. Its not a great book, but it has some good advice in it if you can get around her negativity.
I have read You Can Be the Wife of a Happy Husband, and I liked it a lot better, but it was a while ago. Perhaps I will re-read it and review it in the near future.
Have you read this book? What do you think? Do you have any other books on the topic you would recommend?
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