Book Review Series, Christian Marriage, Complementarianism, Doctrine as Idol, Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence and Churches, Gender Roles, Martha Peace, Spiritual Abuse, Women and the Church

Book Review Series – “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace – Chapter Seven – False Idols and Faking Joy

Book Review Series, The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace, Complementarian Doctrine, Abusive Behavior


-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 TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter FiveChapter Six

Chapter Seven begins part two of this book which is: “A Wife’s Responsibility: Faithful Commitments of the Excellent Wife.” Chapter Seven focuses on the wife’s heart. Let’s see where a wife’s heart should be faithfully committed.

For those of you who have read this book, I am going to jump a bit here to put together Peace’s argument. Peace tells us that people may run to “false saviors” for comfort and relief. Some of the false saviors include: sex, sleep, food, sports, exercise, hobbies, etc. On this I agree with her. While none of these things in and of themselves are bad, if we focus so much on one that it affects our daily living or sense of reality, then that is not healthy.

Peace tells us that “idols/lusts in the heart are rampant.” Is it really “rampant,” or does she draw this conclusion because she doesn’t think women place their focus on right, godly things? Again, finding comfort in sleep, food, exercise, hobbies, etc. is not a bad thing. Having balance in your life is good for you. It seems like we will never get away from the constant badgering of how sinful we are. What are some of these “wrong desires” you ask?

  1. That my husband will be more affectionate.
  2. That he will anticipate my needs without my asking.
  3. That he will give me compliments.
  4. That he will make me feel special.
  5. That he will not hurt my feelings.
  6. That he will talk to me and share his thoughts and feelings.
  7. That he will put me first.

What should a wife have her heart set on?

  1. That I may know God’s word and obey it.
  2. That I may delight in Him.
  3. That I may seek Him with all my heart.
  4. That I may be pleasing to Him regardless of my circumstances.
  5. That I may cultivate an attitude of joy and gratitude in what God is doing in my life no matter what my husband does or does not do.
  6. That I may have joy in God deciding how my life and circumstances can glorify Him the most, that He can use me for His glory.

Let me try and understand this….a wife’s expectation of her husband treating her well can be an idol, yet the 18-point list in the last chapter for what a wife can do to glorify her husband isn’t a form of idolatry? And, why would a wife strive to bring glory to God when she is designed to bring glory to her husband? I honestly don’t understand how a wife expecting her husband to treat her with respect, kindness, and love is an idol. Everyone has the need and desire to feel worthy, loved, and valued. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these feelings.

What is more concerning about the second part of the list is that a wife should maintain joy and gratitude no matter what her husband does, or what her circumstances are. Is your husband viewing pornography, sleeping with other women, or a sex offender? Have joy and glorify God. Does your husband spend all of the family finances on a gambling, alcohol, or drug addiction? Be joyful and praise God. Is your husband emotionally, physically, or spiritually abusive to you and your children? Fake the joy.

It is clear that Peace is making an idol out of “biblical marriage” and “biblical gender roles.” I am beginning to get a grasp on the stories that I have heard of how damaging this book was for women in abusive marriages. Lord have mercy.

106 thoughts on “Book Review Series – “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace – Chapter Seven – False Idols and Faking Joy”

  1. My one post up above still says it’s in moderated status? It says,
    ((DAISY June 12, 2019 at 7:55 PM Your comment is awaiting moderation.))

    One thing I said in that post is that I have never identified as a feminist,

    so I don’t appreciate it when these entitled, women-hating trolls, incels, and MRAs show up here and insist any woman who disagrees with their sexist garbage is a “feminist.”

    I vehemently disagree with their sexist views, but I don’t wear the “feminist” label.

    Like

  2. That troll guy who was posting here under 3, 4 names here on this blog signed up to follow my Daisy blog under the name “feministdestroyer,” so I put that name on block on my blog.

    I don’t want you on my blog at all, dude.
    Stop signing up to follow or comment on my blog under any name.
    Thanks.

    Like

  3. marriage produces a new kinship, dissolvable only on death. Cf. Rom 7, 1 Cor 7.

    I disagree with your interpretation of the scriptures, but you haven’t actually addressed my question which is what does it MEAN. You just say ‘god says’, which I disagree with.

    What the **** is a ‘marriage’ with two people permanently separated for SAFETY? HOW IS THAT A ‘ONE FLESH’ relationship of any kind???????

    Apologies for all the capitals but this is quite frankly ridiculous. Rabadash the ridiculous levels. This is not any kind of marriage, where people have to separate for safety. You do not have a spiritual connection that any god would approve of in this situation.

    You ignore the fact that preventing divorces in these marriage causes pain, by saying people are wrong to wish to avoid such pain. People are wrong to protect themselves.

    Well I say, you are wrong to insist that there is any spiritual value of a quote unquote ‘marriage’ when abuse exists. When safety is threatened. When people are constantly torn down by painful, mean comments from their partner. This is NO MARRIAGe, whether on paper or not.

    The idea that any god worth worshiping would encourage such a thing for some mystical supposed reason is ludicrous.

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  4. What another painful chapter in a ridiculous book disguised as “speaking for god” or “proper righteous christianity.” You certainly are a strong person Kathi, for reading this rubbish, and I most certainly appreciate you educating all of us on the dangers of these wolves in sheep’s clothing. The words on those pages make it impossible for a woman to please a man, or anyone for that matter. I call it, “living in the land that’s never good enough,” and it sets women up to be the punching bags in marriage, in the church, and in our society. When man sins, blame it on the woman, or in some depraved men’s (and even some psycho-pseudo-religious women’s) minds, blame it on young girls and teenagers. What sick minds blame the female genders for all sins of the world???………I already know the answers to this one.

    Regarding the word “feminisim,” to date, not one soul has offered up a truly clear and concise definition; it has different meanings for different folks, thus rendering it irrelevant as far as the east is from the west. And now, we have the term “Christo-feminism,” whatever in the world that means…..I have a strong suspicion this pertains to any woman who does not worship the man within the ranks of the visible c’hurch, being their proverbial cheerleaders on all issues of life. Visible c’hurch hierarchy bears no difference from the other religions they label “pagan,” as we are to bow down and serve the “felt needs” of the c’hurch leadership, instead of helping, serving, and ministering to the “least of these,” Jesus’ Words, not mine.

    As stated before in other posts, I NEVER, EVER, heard this “gender garbage” during any sermon from the pagan pulpit system developed by man, growing up in a small, rather poor to middle class c’hurch system. And when we were dismissed, most of the girls and boys grabbed their “softball gloves” and went out and had some great “ball playing fellowship” behind the religious building made of brick and mortar. Gender wasn’t a big deal, and when families are not flooding with wealth, there’s basically no time for the gender debate, because BOTH genders pitch in and get the work done to provide for their families.

    When a form of “religion” decides who can and can’t do certain jobs within any society, the freedom and liberty Jesus speaks of, particularly in Him, is abolished, and what we see today is a form of “religion” that denies the finished work of Christ in each and every born again believer. I know without a doubt that many a Scripture has been falsely transcribed by men who seek power and control over the masses, and have used and abused words to keep the “least of these” in their proper place, serving the “important religious folks” and addressing them properly with their “entitled titles.” The golden calf of idolatry was never destroyed at the edge of the Red Sea, for it is alive and well within visible evangelicalism (I do not identify with that movement any longer, for it worships man and not our Savior of our Scriptures).

    Sharing the Gospel and serving/ministering to others, is not a gender issue, and religious folks are doing a sneaky job of destroying the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints (of which include both genders by the way.) 🙂

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  5. KAS, I’ve been itching to reply to your comments for a few days now. It’s past my bedtime, but I’ve just got too much to say.

    I do wonder if people then (and in earlier generations) were perhaps on average more contented in their marriages than now.

    Or, perhaps, there were just as many miserable and abused spouses then as there are now. But the public just wasn’t as willing to believe and listen to victimized spouses, or they wanted to treat domestic violence as “a domestic matter” which people outside the family shouldn’t interfere with. These factors, as well as the stigma against divorce, would mean that oppressed spouses (most often women) were trapped in marriages that sucked the life out of them, and so they limped along as best as they could. If so, then how is it a negative that abused women (and men) now have greater chance at freedom and worldly happiness, for them and for their children?

    This view of marriage…means marriage should not be entered into lightly…and once contracted needs to be worked at.

    I wonder if you’d say the same thing to the over 200,000 Americans who have been forced into marriage as minors since the year 2000. Many of them become pregnant underage — with many probably the victims of rape or molestation — and are coerced by their families into getting married to “preserve the family’s honour”.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/unicefusa/2018/10/29/what-you-need-to-know-about-child-marriage-in-the-us-1/

    Is it really your contention, KAS, that God requires women in this situation to “work at” a contract that was decided for them, sometimes before they were even old enough to drive? And that the only options he gives them are either to stay married to rapist husbands, or to live their lives and struggle to support themselves alone until these men croak? Is this really your concept of a loving God?

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