In today's world, women are often rewarded for having type A personalities. Driven, demanding women achieve higher positions, better salaries, and praise for their ambition. They learn to be confident, take-charge leaders who can handle anything on their own. Yet when it comes to their marriages, those same traits can backfire. After all, no one goes into marriage hoping for a promotion. What is a wife to do?
April Cassidy knows this struggle firsthand. She thought she was a great Christian wife and begged God to make her passive husband into a more loving, involved, godly leader. Instead, God opened her eyes to changes that she needed to make, such as laying down her desire for control and offering genuine, unconditional respect—not just love—to her husband. The Peaceful Wife focuses on Cassidy's experience and its life-changing properties, providing a template for others to follow.
Cassidy's conclusions may be as shocking to readers as they were to her, but she backs up her own tale with stories from her blog readers, and also includes recommendations for further study. She walks through baby steps on how to change, addressing questions such as:
- What is respect?
- How can you show respect?
- How is being respectful different from being loving?
In the end, The Peaceful Wife is a powerful path to God's design for women to live in full submission to Christ as Lord.
Submission, that controversial subject that is either "all or nothing" it seems. Certainly not something we modern women care to discuss very often. But undeniably so, it is in God's Word and all things God ordains have a place and a purpose in our lives. Primarily this book is about submission to God as our Lord and complete surrender to Him as we learn and follow His ways.
In her book, April begins by telling her story. How she met, married and after many years learned what it meant to respect her husband. April's marriage began blissful, but quickly took a turn downhill after she suffered a back injury. Her go-get-it personality, combined with her husband's more passive one, made it difficult for her to recognizer her place in the relationship. No one had pointed out the importance respect plays in a man's life. She shares how God brought her attention to this area of her life, the affect her disrespect was having on her marriage, as well as, the joy and freedom learning to follow God's commands brought.
We live in a society in which God's chain of command is obscured. We have the feminist movement claiming men and women are equal, and so demanding an equal position in the chain of command. We have men usurping and misusing their power of authority and undermining or even abusing women. Hence a constant struggle for power, rights, equality; while submission, love and respect get thrown out the window.
April gently reminds us of God's chain of command: Christ, husband, wife, children. She explains how this chain of command works, and that instead of binding us, it frees us, when practiced correctly. God commands husbands to love their wives, and wives to respect their husbands. Those two qualities enhance a marriage, instead of degrading it. Showing proper respect for our husbands builds them up, encourages them, and motivates them to become the men God desires them to be.
There were a few things that really stood out to me in this book.
One of them was that when God's design for married gets distorted, it affects our children and can even cause gender confusion. This may seem far fetched to some, but I can understand how that may very well be the case, and today's society pretty much affirms it.
The other thing that stood out to me was the chapter on submission. April handled it firmly but delicately. It is the best I have read in a long time, and the easiest to understand.
In no way, form, or fashion does April endorse or promote husband domination, abuse, or misconstrue God's view of marriage. She repeatedly advises women in any type of abusive relationships, who may have spouses under drug or alcohol influence, reputation, or a mental health condition to seek godly counsel.
Personally, I was impressed with this book. I think any woman seeking to honor God in her marriage would benefit from it. As with anything you read, it should be taken with a grain of salt and backed up with Scripture. This is not a popular topic in today's day and age, but God's Word never changes, and He is the ultimate authority. When we seek him with out while hearts, we will find him, if we are willing to open our eyes and hearts to truth.
I received this book courtesy of Kregel and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to review this book positively.
If you're interested in another take on this book. My friend Rachel also posted a review on her blog Reader's Cozy Corner.