2 Stars Out Of 5
It was okay
March 27, 2016
Age: Under 18
Book Review on Letters to My Daughters, the art of being a good wife by Barbara Rainey, review by elambert312
This book had its ups and downs for me. Overall I would have to say the book was alright, but not something I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone.
The idea of using a painting to illustrate marriage was interesting, but I must say I was greatly shocked and disgusted when Rainy attempted to pull God down to the level of mankind in chapter one: He knew marriages would fail, that His hoped for plans of glory, would not all be as He envisioned. Is it true God knew marriages would fail? Of course! Is it true that not all of His plans for glory would not all be as He envisioned? Absolutely NO! God is not human and that is a solid fact. We humans are limited and we know that not all that we plan will happen (in fact, most of the time we expect the opposite to take place!) but God is not like us, thankfully! He is not ignorant of the future because He planned the future.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
Hmmm, sure seems like God knew, and knows, what He is doing and will do.
Not only did Rainey try to take away from Gods inscrutable knowledge, but she contradicts herself in chapter 4 when speaking on Esther she said, He makes no mistakes and in other parts of the book Rainey talks about relying on God, but how can we rely on a god who doesnt even know if things will work out himself? We cannot trust that kind of god, we can only truly trust the One Who knows and plans all.
But, like I said at the beginning, this book has its ups as well.
At the end of chapter 1 Rainey made an interesting point when talking on the eternal purpose of marriage, And so it is that admiring a beautifully mature marriage makes us want to know the couple and the Creator. And that is the eternal purpose for marriage, making Him known.
I also liked how in chapter 3 Rainey said, Remember, surrender to Jesus is not a onetime decision. But a daily one. A beautiful marriage is not possible without a solid foundation built on the Rock of Christ. How true that is, with not just marriage, but life in general! We must die to ourselves daily as we go through the trials God has planned us to go through.
Also in the same chapter Rainey points out some clear, and to the point, truths about marriage, My daughters, prayer is a privilege God gives to involve you in the work He is doing in your husbands life.
When your marriage feels impossible, remember, He wants you to experience your own inadequacy, its good to know you cant do it all.
I do not like how it seems many Christian book authors will take liberties with the scripture by adding their own little, spins to the mix as Rainey did in chapter 4 when speaking on Adam and Eve, Though we would love to know more details of this creation performance, which was celebrated by an audience of watching angles who sang for joy Where does it say in Genesis that the angles sang for joy when God created marriage? Have it might have happened? Yes, but we do not know if it did, so it would be wise not to add that on to scripture no matter how little it may be.
Chapter 6 was on the topic of the marriage bed and I must say Rainey handled this topic with the respect and discretion it deserves (though a couple of times she made and spoke of comments that should have been left out as they are not at all edifying (these comments were brief but not appropriate)).
Two times near the end of this book in chapters 5 and 8 Rainey makes some presuming statements that are not reasonable according to scripture and life as not everyone will marry. In chapter 5 when Rainey was speaking on the importance of letting men assist women she says, Because it is a step towards his becoming the kind of man who will make a very good husband one day. Those of you who have sons are training them to become husbands. Giving them doses of respect, admiring them as they learn to lead and serve others, calling out the best in them, are crucial ways you can cooperate with Gods hand as He forms them into the men He desires them to be for the unique plans He has for them. And in chapter 8 when Rainey was speaking about her daughters marriages she said, Parents prepare their children, and some of you are getting nearer now that you have young teens, and pray for this moment for year and years. So your weddings were in many ways gifts to both sets of parents. A good marriage is not to be the goal of a Christian. If anything, parents should be praying that their children will grow to be faithful, God-loving men and women, not for them to get married. Because it is a well-known fact that not everyone gets married. Presuming upon God is no noble thing to do, it is foolish as we do not know what tomorrow will bring and it will set our expectations on the wrong goal. For those of us who are unmarried, we should not be focusing on getting a good marriage because marriage may not be in Gods plan for us. What scripture DOES tell us to focus on is being a good Christian.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
The reader of this audio book was Nan McNamara who I will say did a very good job in her reading of this book. Her voice is soft, and yet steady. And she was not to slow and not fast (and having listened to audio books previously, I really appreciate her skill).
I received a free copy of this book from christianaudio.com as part of their Review Program. Reviews are not required to be positive and the opinions I have expressed are my own.