Category Archives: Relationships

Date Your Wife by Buzzard

Another book on how men are constantly inept and can’t figure out how to meet the needs of women? Not interested? I don’t blame you. As a man, I’ve kinda had enough. Woman are hard enough to understand without a bunch of books blaming us. Fortunately, this is not that type of book.

Date Your Wife
by Justin Buzzard
Crossway
June 2012

It is also not a book with a bunch of ideas but no context. It isn’t about spending money to make her happy either. This is about how to view marriage through the same lense God views you in relationship: through grace. Since men are supposed to sacrifice for their wife like Jesus sacrificed for his Church this is exactly right.

The author takes us through our misconceptions about marriage and marriage roles and where we get it wrong but never plays the blame game. He then moves directly to how to get it right and gives positive insight into making changes and decisions to build a relationship based on grace and the Gospel instead of a works-righteousness type relationship so many other books focus on. (And that type we always fail.)

This is a great little book. (Little is the right term: it is smaller than paperback and only a little over a hundred pages, so this is almost gift book sized. Or pocket sized for us men who are reading it without wanting our spouses or others to know we are.) I recommend it to men who are interested in a good relationship, not a good brow beating.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Cleaning House by Wills Wyma

Remember back when we had to walk to school, uphill both ways, with no shoes, in the snow and everyone said “Ma’am” and “Sir”, and not a single instance of back talking ever? I do. It was in my grandparent’s dreams.

Cleaning House
A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement
By Kay Wills Wyma
WaterBrook Press
May 2012

All jokes aside, there is an issue with kids “these days” (Ugh! I’m not old enough to say that!) It’s called entitlement.

Maybe our parents, (I’m Gen X,) wanted to do for us better and more than their parents did for them and now we want to do more for our children than was done for us. It comes from love but even though our intentions are good and our efforts are made out of love we have somehow gotten off point. Our kids aren’t just more loved, but more sheltered; not just more cared for, but more spoiled.

Wyma’s moment of clarity came when her teen son wondered aloud whether or not he would have a Porsche or a BMW for his first car when he turned 16. Where would he get this car? From Mom and Dad of course. With no effort on his part, unless you count living 16 years. So Wyma decided to do something about this unrealistic sense of entitlement: she would put her children to work.

This isn’t a book about how we can utilize our children to get more chores done. This is a book about preparing her children for the real world, teaching them responsibility and self confidence based on reality: you are awesome because you do awesome things, not because “Mommy loves you!”

Wyma takes readers through 12 months of her life as she moved from basic skills like cleaning their room and picking up their clothes to ever more complicated tasks through getting a job. Her monthly goals were achievable, malleable enough to fit the age of each of her children (4-14) and just hard enough to inspire a true sense of accomplishment when the child completed the task.

The end result? Confidence based on real achievements, self respect and respect for others, creativity unleashed, and a family bonded tighter than ever. This book was so inspiring that I’ve chosen to adapt several of the steps to my own system of reward/punishment at my home (which was similar to some of the systems shown in the book, where there are stars given for completed tasks and stars removed for incomplete tasks, then a tally is done at the end of the month which determines cash payout.)

The only down side to listening to the book, available at ChristianAudio.com, is that I found that I really wanted to make notes and refer back to them. This is a book about planning and doing, which may not fit well with the audio book format. If you aren’t a big reader, or you listen to books in the car then this one is well read and a good choice. But all things even, the paperback is the way to go in my opinion.

A great idea book, written in an engaging way, this book is highly recommended.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on Christianity, Zombies, and anything else he wants to.

This audio book was provided by the publisher, ChristianAudio.com, as a review copy.

5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney

I picked up this book as the mom of a 9 almost 10 year old daughter thinking oh, I want to have those important talks with my girl so let me find out what they are.

5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter
by Vicki Courtney
B&H Books
November 2008

This book is not a cheerleader book. There really isn’t a sense of Rah, Rah, fun and wonderful talk time in my opinion. Mrs. Courtney doesn’t pull any punches in the details she shares. She is direct and gives the reality without any “Christianese”. That’s not to say she doesn’t bring out God’s truths or discuss faith in troubled situations.

There were several very impactful statements and ideas for me. Conversation 1 is teaching or sharing with our daughters that they are more than the sum of their parts! In a society that places such emphasis on the outward appearance and gives the impression that this is what a girls worth is, we must teach out daughters the falseness of this – using/following God’s standards. This is definitely a swimming upstream pursuit. Through the print media, billboards, movies, television, and music our daughters are subtly and not so subtly given the message that they need to change their bodies to be accepted; that they are objects for men to ogle. With the rise in eating disorders and girls having plastic surgery, we MUST be diligent to share what true beauty is in the eyes of God.
Other issues she brings out are not being in too much of a hurry to grow up, and who are our children hanging out with. “The type of friends your daughter chooses or gravitates toward can speak volumes about her developing identity.”

There is some not-so-encouraging information on teen pregnancy even among our Christian girls provided, I have to say it made me a little sick to my stomach to read some of the data but forearmed is forewarned. Also, I wouldn’t leave the book out where your daughter can pick it up to read, especially if she is younger than say 13, in my opinion some details and verbiage is more for an adult.
These conversations are ones you would probably have had at some point but Mrs. Courtney’s book gives you lots to think about and much information to bring to the table. I found it insightful and appreciative of the information at my fingertips.


Renee Caldwell is a wife, a mother and a follower of Christ who loves to read.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Love & War by John and Stasi Eldredge

All too often in our society we conform to the lie that marriage will inevitably fail as, after all, all good things come to an end. But that isn’t how it’s supposed to be. It is supposed to last a lifetime. The vows are supposed to mean what the words do, not what we pour into the words. In John and Stasi Eldredge’s book I found a message that transcends the societal pressures, and lives up to its message that the best things in life, like marriage, are hard work but not only worth it but exciting and rewarding.

Drawing generously on their previous works, the Eldredge’s offer an honest look at marriage from the perspective that they share that we humans are made male and female on purpose with unique needs and desires. This isn’t Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – we aren’t talking about language barriers and differences that separate. We are talking about the way that the sexes compliment each other when understood correctly. What I liked most about this book was the honest and open peek inside this marriage that most likely assumed was always and would always be perfect. After all, they literally wrote the book(s) on the sexes! But what I found was a marriage that in many ways mirrored mine. The early struggles, the tough choices, coming to the edge of choosing to quit. The Eldredges opened themselves up to the reader and I can’t see a relationship that wouldn’t benefit from reading it.

For Valentines day, this year or any, you could give flowers or material goods or you could give a book like this one that says to your spouse that you are in it for life. Highly recommended.

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Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of BookGateway.com. Along with his contributions to BookGateway, he reviews for the commercial site BuddyHollywood.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on anything he finds funny and Christianity, which sometimes overlap.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

This is Your Brain in Love by Dr. Earl Henslin and Dr. Daniel Amen

In This is Your Brain in Love, Dr. Earl Henslin examines the impact brain disorders can have on our relationships.  The book comes with five tests included that are intended to help you determine both your own and your partner’s loive style. From there, Dr. Henslin describes those love styles and details first how to control the issues associated with that particular style if it is your own, and then how to communicate with your partner if he/she is of that particular style.

First: the high points: I do like that Dr. Henslin attributes some of the issues we have as couples to issues that we might be facing in brain chemistry. I think too often people attribute poor choices with a lack of personal responsibility. There are instances where obsessive and depressive behaviors are simply not something a person can “get over.” I also like that Dr. Henslin both details the problems people may be facing in brain chemistry and ways those can be overcome. He details behavior modification, diet, supplements, and finally medication as options for treatment. I am very excited that he doesn’t skip straight to medication as a fix all method.  Dr. Henslin also relates the stories of his patients in each of the five categories, which helps to put a real world feel to the information he is relating.

On the down side, Dr. Henslin relies too heavily on brain chemistry and less on the fact that people can still make different choices.  While I will concede that there are some instances where brain misfires can override good decision making, I would like to believe that these are the exception and not the rule. Otherwise, it would mean that I have absolutely no control over my own actions and decisions.

I also had a difficult time relating to this book, as I didn’t fit into any of the five love styles Dr Henslin details in the book. Rather, I exhibit some of the behaviors in all five of them. It was also difficult to apply any of the love styles to my husband, as he also had some of the attributes in each of them.  Without any definitive path, it would be hard to put any of the principles into action.

In addition, much of Dr. Henslin’s book reads like an endorsement for Dr. Daniel Amen (who is a brain researcher). The brain scans on which the test and theories are based are from Dr. Amen’s research. In addition, many of the supplements recommended by Dr. Henslin are from Dr. Amen’s practice.

In the end, I have to put this one in the land of the middle as far as my recommendation. If you are able to relate either your spouse or yourself to any of the five love styles, then many of his principles could be put to good use. Since I was unable to do that, I simply find it to be an interesting read.

A note of warning: if you are looking for ways to improve your relationship based on Godly principles found in his Word, you will not find them here. There are biblical references as far as God’s plan for marriage and the marriage bed in the book, but the actions needed to improve a relationship (from Dr. Henslin’s view) are based on scientific research and not the theological variety.


Robin Gwaro describes herself as “a woman just trying to keep it all together. Most days, I have the juggling act down! Others, I have the broom and dustpan handy to clean up the mess. My life is not always easy, it is not always neat, but it is always worth every minute!” Her personal blog is Just Wandering. Not Lost.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.