Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; 12/22/07 edition (March 26, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #16,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #27 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Sociology > Marriage & Family #65 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Family #118 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Marriage
Sacred Influence addresses a woman's role in marriage as designed by God. This book is Biblically sound and doctrinally accurate. Gary Thomas' ability to tell women how be the wives that husbands need them to be and the women God designed the to be in such a kind and gentle way demonstrates his skill as an author and his understanding of love defined in I Corinthians. He does not compromise the truth regarding the requirements God sets before a woman in her marriage, or the roles for which we are designed. However, instead of beating down a woman's spirit, he mananges to motivate women to do their duties, in even the most difficult circumstances because it helps a husband be the man she wants and needs him to be. When I finished this book, it was very clear to me how much men need their wives in every facet of life. The better a wife treats her husband, the more likely she is to be treated better in return. The level of success of this priciple is of course relative to the humility of soul in both people in the marriage, and Thomas does not back down from that principle, either. Being valuable and needed is necessary validation for all of us. Thomas suggests that wives look for how their husbands might be trying to give them that validation, rather than assume the husbands aren't because they aren't doing it the way the wife thinks they should be. Furthermore, he suggests living by example in that regard--don't demand what you're not offering. If wives treat husbands like they are men, instead of wishing they would be something else--namely women, then they come to a point where they cannot live without us. Many women who are dissatisfied in their marriages complain that their husbands aren't men they want them to be.
I must first and formost admit that this is was a very difficult book for me to read. The TRUTH presented in it hit home like a tone of bricks! I really appreciate Mr. Thomas's point of view and I really like that this book is written from a man's point of view. I really feel like God has chosen me to do a good work in my husband's life. This book has helped me see how I have not been cooperating with God in being a Godly influence to my husband. Here's the thing: I'm not sure I would recommend this book for women who are being neglected or emotionally/physically abused by their husband. Women in this position are in a very delicate state and need to be built up in God and receive a stronger foundation in Him before being able to take a look at themselves throught the lens of this book. There are elements in this book that may inadvertently reinforce a woman's belief that her mistreatment is her doing and her responsibility. A woman's abuse at the hands of her husband is his choice and his choice ALONE. There are so many woman out there who need to be empowered FIRST, before one is able to pick apart their roles in their abusive relationships. There needs to be a greater awareness of this issue and it needs to be addressed more openly in books that deal with the woman's role in the marriage.Although there was a chapter on husbands who are unsaved, it was not adequate. This kind of union has different needs from a christian union and I felt that this book did not provide this different perspective.Another bad taste that was left in my mouth after all this was that in my readings of so many of the Christian lit on marriage (including this one), men seem to not be held accountable for ungodly behavior as much as women. Despite this very valuable point of view from Mr.
I was really excited about this book, but I ended up feeling more frustrated than anything else. To be fair, the book is not poorly written and indeed is more engaging than many Christian advice books out there. However, I think that Mr. Thomas simply lost control of the tone--in the end I had the feeling that he sees marriage as nothing more than a long trial sent from God, the rewards of which we will reap only when we get to heaven. In all of the other marriage books I've read, the authors praise their own wives highly and seem to be genuinely happy in their marriages. I get no such sense from Mr. Thomas (this is not to say his marriage isn't happy, simply that it doesn't come across in the book). If he explains in great depth the mechanics of the first fruit of the spirit, love, he neglects entirely the second, joy.My other complaints with the book involve Mr. Thomas's treatment of genders. While I appreciate understanding a man physiologically, I don't want my understanding of my husband to end there. Nor do I want him to understand me only from a biological standpoint (i.e., I am one of 3.5 billion females). Also, I felt like women are held to a much higher standard in this book than men are, and that wives are often held accountable for their husbands' behavior, or at least for aggravating their husbands' bad behavior. I understand that this book was written specifically for women, but the implication seemed to be that wives simply have to bite the bullet, accept that their husbands will never be all that spectacular, and then try to accommodate them in every way. Furthermore, I was actually insulted on men's behalf at times, due to the way that Mr.
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