Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Understanding Women (for Men)

Books for understanding the mystery that is woman. (This post will grow as I add books over time. Check back often.)

"For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women" by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn should be required reading for every man who is either married or is in a season of life where marriage is a possibility.


For full disclosure, I should note that there are two general issues around which I disagree with the solutions proposed by almost all authors I have read. Those issues are confrontation (with bullies, primarily) and the priority of female attractiveness in relationships.

Specifically, I do not agree with the proactive, violent, thrashing out approach most authors support as the "manly" response to bullying, physical threats, and protection of the weak. I truly believe that such an approach returns evil for evil and violates the "turn the other cheek" directive of Christ. That does not mean that I don't think men should exhert their power physically in those situations if required. But my personal approach is always a defensive and negotiative one, not an offensive one.

And although I agree with most authors in the reality that physical attractiveness is a priority for men, I don't believe that it has to be or that such a priority is godly. As such, I bristle at any suggestion that maintaining attractiveness is some kind of requirement for a woman to be godly or that there is any justification for men to discard their women because they don't maintain some standard of beauty. Scripture makes it clear not only that beauty does not last forever (Proverbs 31:30) but that we are to adore and be captivated (to turn an Eldredge phrase) by our wives at all times, regardless of the natural degradation that time, gravity, and physiology inflict on their bodies (Proverbs 5:19)

I just had to add that lest one think that I agree with absolutely everything every author writes. But by and large, these are really excellent books and these few quibbles do not prevent me from recommending them highly.

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