Book Review Series, Christian Marriage, Doctrine as Idol, Marriage, Marriages Damaged-Destroyed by Sp. Ab., Martha Peace, Women and the Church

Book Review Series – “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace – Chapter 3: For the Love of Sin

Book Review Series, The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace, Sin


-by Kathi

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 OneChapter Two

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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.

8 thoughts on “Book Review Series – “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace – Chapter 3: For the Love of Sin”

  1. Just that cover…
    And the title font on it…
    I can feel my testicles shrivel up from the estrogen overload just looking at it.
    WHY IS IT THAT ALL CHRISTIAN(TM) BOOKS ABOUT WOMEN HAVE TO HAVE THE MOST FROU-FROU COVER DESIGNS?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s warning men to stay away from the brainwashing.

    I think the definition of repentance is a bit too much. When we repent of our sins, we are expressing sorrow for them, we are agreeing that we deserve condemnation for them, and we are expressing a true desire to change. However, that change does not have to happen immediately for us to receive forgiveness and restoration. I have besetting sins that I commit over and over. I believe I’m truly sorry for them and I have to come to God over and over in a sort of, “okay, here I am again…” way. Because I haven’t “replaced that sin with a God-honoring heart” does that mean I haven’t truly repented?

    So, I think that Kathi is exactly right. Peace is placing a burden on women… if you struggle with X, you haven’t really repented, and you don’t have a stone to throw against your husband who hasn’t even tried to repent. I’m also concerned that “forgiveness” is going to be a codeword for removal of consequences. If the husband drains the bank account, forgiveness means taking an extra job to fill it back up, rather than closing it and opening an account in your name.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From my point of view, the whole focus here is on SELF… the need for the wife to analyze herself and fix herself. This introspection includes condemning herself and her failures and then TRY HARDER to not be such a hopeless failure. Where is Jesus in this picture? Where is the focus on the compassion and forgiveness of Jesus and the complete FREEDOM he brings from bondage and oppression?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. HUG said,

    Just that cover…
    And the title font on it…
    I can feel my testicles shrivel up from the estrogen overload just looking at it.
    WHY IS IT THAT ALL CHRISTIAN(TM) BOOKS ABOUT WOMEN HAVE TO HAVE THE MOST FROU-FROU COVER DESIGNS?

    That’s how I feel about the Gender Complementarian sites for women. They usually are covered in pink and/or lots of uber-feminine imagery.

    I’ve never been a girly girl. As a kid, I was a tom boy and turned off by most girly girl stuff. I never cared for pink.

    And it’s just another way Complementarians try to depict all women as being identical – all women are supposed to like the color pink and cooing babies; God supposedly designed all women to like pink and cooing babies.

    I was once at a complementarian site for women a few years back, and it seriously had lots of babies of gurgling and cooing babies. I don’t hate babies, but I’m not fond of them, either.

    Seeing lots of giggling babies on a site that was supposed to be for me (a woman) was eye rolling, and it again suggests that all women have children, all women want to have children, that all women love, love, adore and can’t get enough of babies.

    (I prefer puppies and kittens.)

    Anyway, it’s not just men who get turned off by the estrogen-soaked graphics on book covers and web sites, but it’s also some of us women.

    Like

  5. This…
    “I was once at a complementarian site for women a few years back, and it seriously had lots of babies of gurgling and cooing babies.”

    Was supposed to be “lots of photos of…”

    Like

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