I confess, sometimes when author friends send me a free copy of their latest book, I don’t always read the whole book. Not true with Sheila Wray Gregoire’s excellent new release 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. I read it cover to cover in less than a week. It’s that good.
Sheila covers 9 thoughts that can transform your marriage, but my two favorites are:
Thought #5: I’m Not in Competition with My Husband
Thought #8: Having Sex is Not the Same as Making Love
Of course, I loved #8. I’m all about making married sex sizzle with emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy. But the Thought #5 chapter is a well-written, insightful, balanced discussion of biblical submission, what it is and what it is not. I am frequently asked by Christian wives, “What does it mean to be a biblically submissive wife?,” and from here on out, my answer is going to include recommending they read this chapter in 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage.
Loved this quote:
“Treating marriage like a hierarchical relationship makes it sound as though wives and husbands are constantly at odds and someone needs to have the final say. It indicates that we’re in competition, not in unity. I think this is the wrong way to look at it.
We’re not on opposite teams; we’re on the same team!
Unfortunately, instead of understanding this teamwork dynamic, we often see submission in terms of obedience.”
Other excellent points:
- Submission is not primarily about who is in charge.
- Submission doesn’t mean I blindly obey.
- Submission doesn’t mean I’m less than my husband.
- Deferring to your husband is not the answer to every marriage problem.
- Submission is about oneness.
Sheila also addresses wives’ concerns about their husband’s spiritual leadership and how we tend to put our men in a spiritual leadership box. In particular, we tend to expect our husbands to do devotions and pray with us and with our kids, and when they don’t, we believe they are failing at spiritual leadership in our home.
This reminded me of myself when our kids were young. I so much wanted Jeff to lead family devotions. I even bought him books on how to do these cool object lessons with the kids to teach them spiritual truths. Guess what? Teaching is not his spiritual gift. It’s mine. He has other spiritual gifts, and our children saw him using those gifts frequently to serve God. They heard him pray at the dinner table. They saw him making time to go to church and Bible studies. They heard him talk about what the pastor preached on. They saw him live out his faith, in his way and in line with who God created him to be. And he never led a family devotion.
And both our children, now adults, love Jesus and are involved in church and ministry. Their dad was a spiritual leader in our home. It didn’t look like I thought it would which is a good thing. My way is not always best.
I’m grateful to Sheila for tackling such a sensitive topic in her new book. It has my highest recommendation. Here’s a link to her website to read more about her book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage.