Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Four Very Different Books About Women

The true story of a Saudi Arabian princess growing up in the 50's.  Truly fascinating look into the lives of privileged middle eastern women.  An eye-opening, disturbing, page-turner. 

"The only knowledge most Arabs have of American society comes from the content of low-grade American movies and trashy television shows...the vast majority of Arabs truly believe that most Western women are promiscuous."  (So what happens when they associate America with Christianity as well?)

Inspiring, encouraging, humble.  I loved this one and highly recommend it for young moms.  Sally Clarkson presents her advice with humility and gentleness, and I felt convicted and inspired--but not guilty and overwhelmed as some parenting books make me feel. 

"If I have integrity and patience in the small moments of life that are so important to my children, and if I approach them with a servant's heart, then I have a far better chance of influencing them in the larger and more critical issues of life."

"My biggest concern is not for [my children] to be happy, but for them to understand how--and why--to be content and to accept their circumstances as from God's hand."

I really debated over whether to recommend this one.  I am not ashamed to say I am a complementarian (if you don't know what that is, don't worry about it), but yet I still cannot wholeheartedly endorse this book.  I disagree with some of Debi Pearl's Scriptural interpretations.  Some of what she says is downright ridiculous.  This is not the book to try to persuade someone to consider complementarianism--it is way too harsh and dogmatic.  And I would never give it to someone from a non-western culture. 

That said, it still impacted me almost more than any other marriage book I have read.  For an American wife who already takes a traditional interpretation of marriage roles, this book will give you a swift kick in the backside.  Debi Pearl does not mince words.  She is not gentle.  It's hard to read, and I would have thrown the book across the room a few times except that I read it on my Kindle! But she says it like it is, and sometimes that's what we need to hear.  I had to grudgingly admit that on more than one occasion, she was spot on. 

"No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to be a better man--no matter how justified her condemnation."

"God stands with you when you stand by your man, but you will stand alone if you insist on standing by your rights."

Read it.  Even if you are not a Steven Curtis Chapman fan, you need to read it.  I cried through the entire second half, as I knew I would, but it's beautiful and inspiring and a remarkable testimony to God's Sovereignty and faithfulness in the midst of unspeakable tragedy. 

"It's all true!  It's all true!  The gospel is true.  If we believe anything about our faith, we have to believe that we know where Maria is right now and that God didn't make a mistake.  He didn't turn His head, He was in complete control.  Maria's days here were numbered.  We don't like it, but He will give us the strength and the hope to walk this journey."  (Spoken by Mary Beth at her five-year-old daughter's memorial service)
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