My rating: 5 of 5 stars
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Author and pastor Steve McVey has spent thousands of hours listening to and counseling women who face marriage difficulties. Many want to believe God is at work, but they don't see how. They try to change their husband, but eventually become frustrated, hopeless, or disengaged.
Starting from the truth that a wife can't change her husband (or children)--only God can--Steve points women toward how God wants to change them by flooding their hearts with His generous grace so they can...
- rest in His assurance of their worth when they feel pressured to do everything
- trust, not fret, when they're unsure about their husband's spiritual leadership
- see God's bigger picture in the struggle with a prodigal child
- take decisive, loving actions in a controlling or bullying relationship
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve McVey is the President of Grace Walk Ministries, a discipleship training ministry located in the Tampa Bay area. Over 550,000 copies of Steve's books have been published in fifteen languages. He and his wife, Melanie live in Atlanta. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.
MY THOUGHTS: Many Christian books I've read that are written to wives place the entire weight of the marriage on her shoulders. No, they don't come out and say that, but they stress that the environment or mood of the home depends on the woman, that behind every good man is a great woman, that her attitude and reactions will determine how successful or spiritual he will be.
Now, I am fully aware of the power we queens hold--the feminine wiles and our secret powers, all that. But I have seen too many good, strong women married to duds to believe everything I read, and I know some horror stories of situations where no matter how perky or joyful Mom is, when it's time for Dad to come home from work, the house's atmosphere plummets. No amount of recipe-religion effort on her part is making any change in her man, so she ends up feeling like a failure because SHE can't change him.
So talk to me about practical matters if you're brave enough to "go there" in your book.
Steve McVey does just that. He's dealing with situations many women find themselves in at some point. I won't go into detail about those since you can read a few examples in the publisher's book description above, but let's just say that for those women who aren't living out a fairy tale with their Prince Charming, there's sure to be a section of this book devoted to you.
Although many different scenarios are presented--including a story to make it real and practical tips of how to handle yourself in each--the main thread running through the book is that of trusting God with your marriage. In chapter 2, before getting into the hows and whys of specific situations, the author says this,
"...you must first give up your husband into the Father's hands so that He can take up the situation and do His work. Sometimes a man can't hear God's voice because his wife's voice is drowning Him out. Give your husband to Him. Then watch and wait. He will work in your husband's life in His way and His timing."I've heard that sort of advice before, but the difference comes in the chapters that follow. What does this giving up look like in my life? How can I stay out of God's way in my marriage relationship so that He can do His work with my husband? What does a Godly wife really look like in my home, in my family? What if my husband is not a Christian? What if he IS?
The truth that applies to any woman in any type of relationship is that we must look to God to meet our needs and thus not be so dependent on another person that our sense of value or identity is tied into the relationship with that person. When this happens, I am freeing the other person from the heavy weight of defining me, of completing me. Sure, it sounds romantic in movies to say that he completes you, but God is really the only One capable of doing that.
I recommend this book for all wives, soon-to-be wives, or hope-to-one-day-be wives. I also recommend it highly for anyone finding herself in the position to counsel wives, as these chapters include straightforward, practical tips of what a woman should do in certain situations.
**Scheduled publish date is August 1, 2013. I was provided an advance review copy from netgalley.com in exchange for my honest opinions, which I have expressed here.