Book Review Series: “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Lori Reveals Her Mindset

Lori Alexander, The Power of a Transformed Wife, Book Review, Gender Roles


transformed wife

Here we go!

-by Kathi

We have critiqued Lori Alexander’s blog posts as well as some of her commentors here at SSB. Now is the time to dive into her published book, The Power of a Transformed Wife (Publisher: Turning Page Books, September 30, 2016). I will be reading from the Kindle version of this book. Honestly, because it was cheaper and that means less of my hard-earned working money is going to Lori.

Lori first started writing at Always Learning. While she still posts on this blog, she is primarily writing at her new blog, The Transformed Wife.

I plan on covering a chapter at a time. There’s plenty of information in each chapter to give us good discussion. We’ll see how that goes. If I feel the need to break a chapter apart, I’ll make sure to let you know. Today we’ll look at the introduction and Chapter 1.

dedication

Introduction

Lori informs us that conflicts with her husband, Ken, started on their honeymoon. (Note: In Chapter 1 she tells us that conflicts started while they were dating.) She didn’t like that Ken ate crackers with fake cheese spread, and she would give him the silent treatment for not eating healthy. Really. She also did not like that Ken watched too much TV, was consumed with sports, and was always grumpy toward her.

When their kids came along, they focused all of their energy on the kids and not on each other. Lori notes that her awakening moment happened when Ken asked her what would become of their marriage when the kids left the house.

Then, miracle of miracles happened! Lori read Debi Pearl’s book, Created to Be His Helpmeet and her life was changed. She writes her book to be like Debi, to help young women who feel lost in their marriage.

My Life Growing Up

Lori starts off Chapter 1 saying that for 23 years she was a “neglectful wife.” She could always point blame at Ken, but most of their problems “resulted from the deep-seeded rebellion in my heart.” I think these two statements pretty much sum up this entire chapter.

Lori goes into great detail about her upbringing. I think the greater importance about this chapter is that it reveals much about her mindset. Based upon Lori’s experiences, I think she projects a lot on her blog and leaves little room to accept different ideas from women on how they live their life:

  • Lori’s mother complained to her about her dad when she was younger so she grew up not liking her dad. Lori often talks about not nagging your husband and not talking negatively about your husband. Lori states that her parents, now in their 80s, have a wonderful relationship, and you’re never too young to learn how to have a loving relationship.
  • Lori went to public school most of her childhood and was exposed to “filthy talk” and did not have any girlfriends. Lori promotes homeschooling and complains how public education teaches girls to be feminists.
  • Lori had a couple of boyfriends while in high school who “supposedly accepted Jesus into their hearts while we were dating.” Lori often questions women’s faith if they are not living according to God’s word — that is, Lori’s version of God’s word.
  • The dating advice that Lori received from her mother was to not have sex before marriage and to marry a Christian. Lori wishes she had more guidance about relationships and sex from her mother. Lori’s main purpose is “to help young wives not make the mistakes that I did.”
  • Lori went to college because her father wanted her to have an education so that she could find a job. All Lori ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. All women should only want to be a wife and mother.
  • Lori and Ken met in college and they argued a lot. When Ken asked her to marry him she said, “yes,” but was not excited. She says, “I knew I loved him even though I didn’t necessarily enjoy him.” Ouch!
  • When her first child was 4 months old, Lori went back to work. Lori describes this as a very painful time and she felt like she wasn’t being a good mother, wife, or teacher. Lori is continually stating that working mothers cannot possibly be good mothers because they are not home raising their children.
  • Lori has dealt with major illnesses, including two brain operations for tumors.
  • When Lori read Debi Pearl’s book, she realized she needed to do her part to make her marriage work. She credits Pearl’s book for helping her “develop confidence in my role as a Godly wife,” and I would guess that Lori would like to hear this said of her. Lori is constantly telling women that they need to do their part to make their marriage work. When it comes to husbands, Lori tells women that they are “called to submit to him and respect him, not try to control him.”

Lori ends Chapter 1 with an old blog post in which Michael Pearl and Voddie Baucham teach their sons to marry a woman who wants to be a wife and a mother. Apparently Christian men should not marry a woman who wants to be like a man. What makes a woman be like a man? A woman who is loud, independent, strong, or career-minded.

Why? Because the Bible that say that women should:

1) Love and obey their husbands (Titus 2:4-5, Genesis 2:18),

2) Love their children and teach them (Titus 2:5, Proverbs 22:6),

3) Be pure, chaste, gentle, and quiet (Titus 2:5, I Peter 3:4),

4) Be keepers of home. This is her God placed ministry. (Titus 2:5), and

5) Be good – desiring to love home and husband. (Titus 2: 4-5)

Did you notice that there are only four verses listed in those points? Out of the entire Bible, these authors, including Lori, use four verses to tell women how they should live. I find that to be a great misunderstanding of scripture.

This brings us to the end of Chapter 1. I find this to be an eye-opening view into Lori’s mindset which helps bring some understanding into her writing and the advice that she gives women.

How Safe is Your Church?

 

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Have you met Boz Tchividjian of GRACE – Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment? This would be a good video to post on Facebook or send to church leaders. Until churches have safe policies in place and survivors feel safe to share their trauma to others in the church, the church is not whole. We need to be proactive in minimizing the opportunity for sex abuse to occur and also to help those who have been harmed by sexual abuse.

 

Josh and Anna Duggar Announce New Pregnancy After His Sex Scandal

Josh Duggar, Sex Scandal, ATI, Ashley Madison


 

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The eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of TLC’s popular TV show, 19 Kids and Counting is in the news again. Josh and his wife Anna Duggar made an announcement on their family’s website. This announcement comes two years after accusations of:

  • alleged sexual abuse against his sisters and another young minor as a teen
  • having an Ashley Madison online account
  • paying for sex
  • entering a pseudo Christian “treatment” facility
  • separating from his wife, Anna

 

Josh Duggar

Image via Facebook

 

Duggar Family AnnouncementMarch 17, 2017

For nearly the last two years, we have quietly worked to save our marriage, focus on our children, and rebuild our lives together as a family. Doing so is never easy after a breach of trust. We’ve learned that a life of faith and rebuilding a life together is simply done one day at a time. As we continue our journey as a family and rebuild our lives, we are delighted to share with you that we are expecting a new baby boy later this year. Beauty comes from ashes and we cannot wait to see and kiss the face of this sweet new boy! – Josh & Anna

The reason why this story is important to observe is because of the history of abuse and connections to ideologies that are abusive, such as: Courtship, Patriarchy, ATI – the homeschool curricula program of Bill Gothard (another man who has been accused of sexual scandals), stay-at-home daughters, purity and modesty movements, etc.

In following cases like Josh Duggar, we are able to see disturbing behavioral patterns – similar patterns that others have experienced while raised in this kind of controlled and legalistic environment.

 

 

 

 

Trey Comments at “The Transformed Wife” About Working Women

Complementarianism, Gender Roles, The Transformed Wife

mind-the-gap

-by Kathi

In our last book post we talked about how God’s Design turns work into a men’s only club. This seems to be a big deal among the comp crowd.

Trey posted a comment again at The Transformed Wife giving his two cents worth about why women shouldn’t be in the work place. To me, it’s only worth two cents. Continue reading

Review of Children’s Book “God’s Design” – Get to Work! and Is This the End?

Complementarianism, God’s Design, Gender roles

Owen sitting on book.jpg

The Watch Dog may not be a sheep dog, but he’s fluffy like a sheep.

-by Kathi

This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the underlined subtitles below are chapters from the book.

This is a very sad day, children. This is our last day to talk about God’s Design. I know, I know….we’ll get through this together. Today, we will talk about work and summarizing everything we’ve learned. Continue reading

Review of Children’s Book “God’s Design” – The Church and Learning About Things We Already Know

Complementarianism, Women in the Church, Gender Roles, Proper Church and Family Roles

20170306_191504

-by Kathi

This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the underlined subtitles below are chapters from the book.

Today, children, we will talk about God’s design for the church and how to learn God’s ways (as if this hasn’t already been said enough). Continue reading

Bill Gothard Documentary

Bill Gothard, Advanced Training Institute (ATI), Institutes in Basic Life Principles (IBLP)

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When I was in Chicago visiting my daughter in the fall, I met with Jake Youngman who had contacted me weeks earlier about the cult of Bill Gothard, Institutes in Basic Life Principles and ATI. He wanted to interview me based on my knowledge of cults and the culture of this group, why I viewed it as a cult, and why it caused/causes harm especially to girls and women.

My background: I remember hearing about Gothard’s program in the 70s which was then called Basic Youth Conflicts. Many Christians and their families from various denominations attended their seminars. My family went through the Basic and Advanced seminars in the 90s, when it was called Institutes in Basic Life Principles. Our children went to the Children’s Institute. Others continued further with the program and joined the ATI (Advanced Training Institute) homeschool program, and even sent their kids to some of the “training” facilities throughout the country and the world.

Bill Gothard’s training was sold as a program to help Christian families to be successful if we just followed his formula. He had answers to all of life’s problems.

The reality is that he didn’t. Not only do his teachings harm women/girls, they also harm men/boys because they teach that men are to rule over women, that women cause men to stumble sexually, etc. That is only one of many problems, but one that I know about most because of listening to the stories of victims who were harmed by Gothard.

When reading over his teaching materials on sex abuse, it occurred to me that Gothard’s teachings is essentially grooming material for young men/men to sexually abuse girls and get away with it, blaming girls instead: for dressing immodestly, for having unconfessed sin in their life, etc. The blame is consistently shifted to the victim, with no responsibility placed on the perpetrator. (The Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting used this curricula and is it any wonder Josh Duggar got into so much sexual trouble?)

A couple of years ago, I contacted Bill Gothard himself and asked him pointed questions. He danced around the questions I asked regarding repentance and asking forgiveness from his victims. Instead, he tried to shift the conversation to his latest program, just like a used cars salesman. The man is evil. He should have no place in ministry.

Here is the documentary that was made by Jake Youngman about cult leader, Bill Gothard.

Continue reading

Spiritual Sounding Board: Updating the Legacy – Year 5

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Boy, oh boy, it’s been FIVE years today since the beginning of my blogs, and tomorrow marks five years since being served with the lawsuit by my ex-pastor Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church. It’s a good milestone moment to update the legacy.

Here was my profile summary from the original blog (on Blogspot): Continue reading

4. An Appeal to Publisher David C Cook, and Others Promoting Tullian Tchividjian

Part #4 of 4, by Julie Anne Smith

 

SUMMARY

The public ministry platforms of Tullian Tchividjian — including his books — have become an issue of public concern and debate, in light of his various degrees of involvement with multiple women.

  • Part #1 introduced the third woman reportedly seduced by Tullian Tchividjian into a sexual relationship. Her story extends his womanizing behaviors back into 2013.
  • Part #2 shared an infographic showing what Tullian Tchividjian’s pursuit of multiple women looks like, when it is layered over some of his ministry platform and publication data for Fall 2013 through 2016.
  • Part #3 provided reference information about Tullian Tchividjian’s publishers and his publications, both out-of-print and presently available, from three publishers: Crossway, David C Cook, and Multnomah. It also highlights the “Christian Living” category bestseller status in 2014-2015 for his most recent book, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World (David C Cook, released October  2013), and related character contradictions in light of his self-admitted moral failures plus newly emerging reports of emotional grooming and clergy sexual misconduct.
  • Part #4 addresses issues with David C Cook specifically, given their reported intention to publish a future book by Tullian Tchividjian.

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One of the more frustrating things about abuse is that sometimes you know the truth about an abuse situation before others. It’s especially difficult when your friends or people you respect are still believing and defending the abuser. This is what happened in the case of Tullian Tchividjian. Some people came to realize that Tullian Tchividjian was not who he claimed to be after the first sexual relationship outside of marriage went public. Many more saw the light after the second woman was revealed. Yet, many church leaders still extended grace, believing that Tullian had been truly remorseful and wanted to make a positive change.

This seeing-the-light process that other people needed to go through seemed extremely long for me, but that is because I had information directly from the victims — information which I held in confidence. But as the victims have slowly recovered and have agreed to release more from the accounts of their experiences, they discredited Tullian’s testimony, which was previously the only testimony. With the victims’ narratives going public, more people saw the truth and were no longer being duped by someone whose intention was to control the narrative. Continue reading

Review of Children’s Book “God’s Design” – Married/Single; Husband/ Father; Wife/Mother

Complementarian, Gender Roles, Being Married, Being Single, Desiring God’s Influence

married-couple

-by Kathi

This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the underlined subtitles below are chapters from the book.

Today, children, we will talk about marriage and singleness, husbands and fathers, and wives and mothers.  Continue reading

Personal Update

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snowI’m sure you have noticed the sporadic blog posts these past few weeks.

After taking off last term to recovery from a hysterectomy, I have gone back to school with a full load this term. I’m still not at 100% and require more sleep/rest than normal. All of the women who told me that this recovery takes up to a year are absolutely right. Whew! I just spoke to my advisor and we mapped out my classes. It looks like I should be able to graduate Spring 2018 with my Bachelors if all goes as planned.

I am trying to juggle a lot of things (mom, blog, school). I continue to do a lot of behind-the-scenes work on the blog. I still have the final post in the series on Tullian Tchividjian to post. Last week, I finally received a statement from a source that I had been waiting for, so that post should be coming soon.

Trying to balance all of the above is a challenge and I’ve needed take my own advice when it comes to self-care. Carrying so many abuse stories in my heart is taxing, so sometimes I just need to take a breather. This is important so I can be a better advocate, a better mother, a better student. I’ve had to mentally give myself the freedom to not write a post if I need to do self-care.

I have no plans on stopping here. There is a consistent cycle of wives of pedophiles who find the old 2013 blog post and ask for help. That has been a unique ministry here as Anon3 and Brenda support these precious ladies.

Although right now I cannot do the in-depth stories that require a lot of research as I used to do, there is obviously a need here, as I keep getting more personal stories. Personal stories are such a powerful way for readers to connect with their own abuse. They also help survivors to validate themselves as they own their stories and use their voice in a powerful way. Personal stories will continue.

I have to think simply when it comes to the next year or so. My upper-level classes are more challenging in my field of study, so I have to allow for that, as well as a possible internship which is highly recommended.

I think I will try to at least post an open blog post each week. This will help give a dedicated space for those who wish to connect, share articles, share if they are going through a difficult time, get connected and support/encouragement. I’m grateful to Kathi who has continued to post the Sunday posts. She has been such a help to me.

I’m so thankful for all of you who have continued to be part of this SSB family, providing support to others, sharing your stories. You’ve all been such an encouragement to me.

~Julie Anne

Update from Alex Grenier on His Reconciliation with his Parents Who Sued Him

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Earlier, I posted about the reconciliation between Alex Grenier and his parents. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before — reported on a situation that has a positive outcome. The thought of restored relationships after years of harm makes me cry. This has been so amazing. When I first got involved with Alex’s story and then formed a group to work on the “Who Would Jesus Sue” campaign to bring media attention to this story nearly 5 years ago, I don’t think I ever expected to see such a positive outcome. My thoughts were that hopefully Alex would win the court case, but I don’t think I ever imagined that something this beautiful could have occurred.

Alex is my friend. We have many things in common, and I love him like a brother. After he lost the first couple of rounds in the court process, I saw him change. I saw him go downhill spiritually and emotionally. He was angry (and rightly so). The new Alex was more cynical. I saw close his circle of friends get tighter. He became serious and driven, and he had to do things his own way. There were several friends I know who remained steadfast in their support of him, even though Alex sometimes lashed out.

About 6 months ago, I noticed a change in Alex. He wanted to prioritize the important things in his life: his family, his business, and I think it was around this time that he also wrestled with his God. For me, it was difficult to observe this long process over the years. I was watching the fruit of what happens when someone is harmed. We all know it can happen, but when you have been closely connected to someone, the sadness is real. You know there’s nothing you can do except continue to extend love and grace. You just hope and pray that your “brother” will get it all figured out. Alex is one tough dude and I knew he’d have to get hit hard (because he and are so alike). The nearly five years of legal battles, and all of the emotional and spiritual strain in his life, left him spent. He was done. And apparently, it was in this place where Alex was humble, and was able to find truth, love, and healing.  I love you, Alex.  I think this is your life verse, literally:

I have fought the good fight,

I have finished the race,

I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

Continue reading