Book Review Series, The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace, Sin
This is a book review series of The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.
Chapter Three – A Wife’s Understanding of Sin: God’s Provision
This blog exists to expose sin and crimes committed by those in the church. Even though we take abuse seriously, it does seem that there are times when talking about sin seems like overkill. For instance, there have been two altar calls within the first two chapters of this book and now we’re back to talking about sin.
My thought is that the author focuses on the sin of the wife so that later on, if a wife begins to talk about her husband’s sin, the author can inevitably point back to the wife and say, “But you’re a sinner too.” It’s easy to tell a wife to forgive her abusing husband if the underlying sentiment is that all sin, and all are to forgive just as Christ forgave.
What stands out to me in this chapter is Peace’s instruction on ridding sinful thoughts:
Changing sinful thoughts begins with recognizing thoughts that are selfish or unloving, vengeful or bitter, or in any way unbiblical. After realizing that your thought is wrong, confess it to God (agreeing with God that the thought was sinful). However, since repentance means to change your mind, the repentance process is not complete until you replace it with a godly, righteous thought. Then you will “put off” a self-honoring thought and will have “put on” a God-honoring thought.
Here are some examples Peace provides of replacing wrong, sinful thoughts with right, godly thoughts:
Wrong: “I hate him!”
Right: “I don’t feel love for him right now, but I choose to love him by responding in a kind way.”
Wrong: “There is no hope for this marriage!”
Right: “If he repents, there is nothing that I cannot forgive and that we cannot work through.”
Wrong: “I can’t be what God wants me to be because my husband is not a righteous man.”
Right: “He may be a complete failure before God, but I do not have to be. I can be pleasing to God whether he is or not.”
Wrong: “I can’t take the pressure any more!”
Right: “I can take the pressure since ‘There is no temptation but such as is common to man and God is faithful who will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to bear.'” I Corinthians 10:13
Wrong: “I don’t dare tell him what I am thinking. If I do, he will think badly of me.”
Right: “I can learn to speak the truth in love. God will give me the grace to respond to his reaction whatever it is.”
This is nothing more than telling a woman that she needs to suppress her thoughts and feelings, and that actions taken against her should hold no consequences. It will be very interesting to see if and how Peace deals with domestic abuse in this book.