As a single woman, I was curious whether or not this book could help me. It could! Not only is it preparing me for a Godly marriage, but it also helped me immensely with my relationship with my father.
I found the vast differences in the reviews posted intriguing. Some made me strongly wonder if the reviewer had truly read the book, just skimmed it, or went off of another's interpretation of the book since I found a lot of false and misleading information. So, this is one book you may need to read for yourself before concluding what you think about it.
If you are a woman looking for someone else to blame or to do the work in your struggling relationship, then choose some other "feel good" material (there are some suggestions listed on negative reviewers' posts). However, if you are willing to return to the basics of the Bible and to be honest with yourself and God, then you have found the perfect aide to your journey to a God-blessed, Bible-based marriage.
Notice that the reviewers who followed the suggestions given by Debi Pearl are now calling their marriages "deliriously happy" and "blessed". There is a reason why.
My sister-in-law read the book, changed her marriage, added two more little ones to their home (love being an auntie), and recommended it to me. I've read it, altered my bad relationship habits, readjusted my worldly thinking, bought a copy from christianbook.com to be shipped to my Christian sister with an atheist husband (Lord willing he, too, will come to know the Lord through her testimony), and bought it for one of my former high school Sunday school gals who just got married this summer.
When I moved to a foreign third-world country and had very limited suitcase space, I made sure this book was packed along for the journey. Even now I can see it sitting on my bookshelf.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a little hard to get into at first but then it really picks up once you stick with it. I'd recommend this book to single people who are about to be married. I would strongly recommend this book to newly weds and those that have been married a long time. This book will improve any marriage. I gave away copies to friends and family for Mother's Day.
Warning 1: In chapter 7, the author does away with older women and our hopes for sanctification/improvement as wives. She shuts the door on us, killing off any hope for a better marriage, arguing we cannot be transformed because of older age. (How unbiblical is that?)
Warning 2: This book may mislead wives into replacing God with their husbands. I have seen former godly women become husband-idolaters, following the advice in this book almost sectarianly.
This book is a great book to beat yourself up with if you have been trying to keep a failing marriage together, or to leave laying around for your abusive husband to find (he can justify his behavior very easily by what's written in this book - even an affair, because it's your fault you didn't giggle at him enough or give him enough sex). The author even claims that a woman's *response* to an adulterous husband is the reason for a divorce, not his adultery!
Among other bad behavior on the part of a husband which is excused is sexual abuse of the children. According to this book, if your husband has sexually abused your children, you just put him in jail and then take the children who were abused and go visit him! Then when he gets out, you welcome him back home. This will help the children "heal".
With all that said, I think the most dangerous thing about this book is that it is full of the Pearls' opinions which they present as Biblical truth. There are many unBiblical things in this book, but here is just one example: that a wife doesn't need to worry about her own time with the Lord, she needs to focus on her husband first - he is her "mediator" or "high priest" with God. As we all know, there is "now one Mediator between all of us and God - Christ Jesus". NOT our husbands. This book presents the idea that our salvation is based on the way we treat our husbands. It also attempts to say that a woman's sole purpose is to be a wife, and yet we know in several verses in the NT, we are told that if we don't marry, we can focus more on the Lord's work.
There are many other examples. Debi and her husband, Michael Pearl, insinuate their own ideas about vaccinations into the book as well - like others I have known who tie their Christian walk to issues like vaccinations, growing your own food, etc., etc. These people make you feel like a bad Christian if you vaccinate your children and buy your food at the grocery store. UNBIBLICAL.
Debi Pearl is a mean, un-Christian woman. One quick look at her descriptions of other women would make one think one was reading a non-believer's book. "Hillbilly ugly", "very obese", "long faced, sickly complainer", "wench", "slut", "hussy" - not normally things I, as a Christian, say to describe other women. Not to mention that apparently not only are men not to blame for their sins, but they are easily manipulated and that's what a good wife does - manipulate her husband - that's how you get him back. Mischievous giggles, etc. - that'll do it!
The statements in the book about a woman blaspheming God if she doesn't completely, mindlessly obey her husband (Titus 2:4-6), are the worst cases of re-writing the Bible that I've ever seen. Every time I've ever been taught this Scripture, it has been that the women set a good example so others can't blaspheme God because they present themselves as followers of Jesus and then don't set a good example. To claim that a woman is blaspheming God by not following the instructions of "submission" in this book is just insane! But that's what the Pearls say.
In my opinion, there aren't enough good points in this book to justify the bad - because the bad is horrible. Please do not give this book to someone else unless they have asked for it. After being transparent in women's group and with my church friends about MY bad attitudes and sin, I had two different church friends give me this book and tell me it was just what I needed - when they had also been told that my husband had already had one affair, was verbally and sometimes physically abusive, verbally and physically abused my son, and spent all our money to keep us in debt and me unable to leave. Just what I needed ... a mean-spirited book telling me everything was my fault and if only I would stop being sad and be "cheerful" toward my husband everything would be okay. I went from depressed to suicidal. Praise God that He is faithful and merciful and loving - unlike the "god" the Pearls seem to serve. I threw both copies of that book in the trash, which is where it belongs!