I received both of these titles from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Husbands. I could make all kinds of jokes here, really. My wit totally lends itself to that direction. However, it would demean my purpose for asking NetGalley for advance copies of these books. My husband is by far a better person than me. It's not a new revelation, I've known this, but it's taken some time and maturity to see that I should perhaps follow his example in some of his ways. He is humble and endlessly unselfish, two hard to find and seemingly impossible to gain traits, if they don't come naturally. He is also, well, a guy, so we have many misunderstandings and miscommunications based on typical male/female thought processes. So I was happy to see that this summer Harvest House Publishers releases two books focused on helping wives better understand their husbands. As a person always wanting (and needing) to better the relationships in my life, especially with those closest to me, I requested and read them both.
The first to hit the shelves (August 1st) is 52 Things Husbands Need from Their Wives by Jay Payleitner. The book is literally 52 short chapters that discuss one topic per chapter that a husband needs a wife to do, be, or understand within their marriage. There were quite a variety of topics presented, all ending with a small tidbit called a "Takeaway" and a scripture verse.
Topics covered on the light side of marriage included: know his likes and dislikes, show him love in little ways, don't nag him too much, and don't let him beat up on himself too much. There are many more that lead up to tougher topics, such as decision making and the true meaning of submission in Ephesians 5:22. Also, Payleitner does not stray from the more embarrassing or touchy topics, as he also discusses "making marriage sexy again" and "the slippery slope" he calls porn. A really good point Payleitner makes throughout the book is the need for realistic expectations. Anyone in any relationship has to expect that there will be hard times, experiences will change us for better and worse, and that no one is perfect. To expect these things to rarely or never happen sets the marriage up for failure. Establishing realistic expectations of your husband and working together is the key to success.
Payleitner has a whole series of these relationship advice books, including 52 Things Daughters Need from Their Fathers and 52 Things Wives Need from Their Husbands. If there is a relationship you are interested in improving, these books give quick, easy to understand pieces of advice that help you change the way you think and act toward that important person in your life. After all, you are the only person you can change.
And change is hard indeed, especially when it's about you. But looking for change in yourself is exactly where our second book takes us. Getting Your Husband to Talk to You by Bob and Cheryl Moeller, is due out September 1st. The authors are not only a couple themselves, but they have also counseled many marriages over the years. My interest in this title stems from the fact that I am a very out spoken wife and my husband is pretty quiet. As a matter of fact, the more vocal I get, the quieter he gets! So how do I get him to speak up when it really counts?
This book is big on understanding yourself too. Sometimes we hold issues we do not understand or do not even realize and these issues largely affect our relationships with others. You can only change yourself and that is always the best place to start. To help the reader get started, the book ends with two tests: One to determine which things have hardened your heart (such as bitterness, control, rejection, etc.). The second determines the types of sin issues you deal with (malice, envy, arrogance, etc.). Both tests are excellent and accurate in my opinion.
I think this book has been by far the best one I've read on the related topics of understanding husbands, changing yourself, and improving a marriage. (It seems geared toward couples who have been married, although I think those starting out can learn from the mistakes of others and prevent a lot of trouble.)The information is easily accessible through both the writing and organization. The points are clear, make sense, and seem totally valid; however, putting them into action is another story. I just keep in mind what Frederick Douglas said: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Change is a crazy topic. What's your favorite quote about change?