Emilie’s Creative Home Organizer

Title: Emilie’s Creative Home Organizer
Author: Emilie Barnes
Pages: 159
Star Rating: ★★★

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This is the first book that I have read either by Emilie Barnes or in the Emilie Barnes tradition (i.e. tips for around the house). While some of the recommendations were based upon outdated technologies and systems (the book was written in the 1980s!), many of the tips were still applicable.

Mrs. Barnes offers all manner of wisdom on a variety of topics – organization, cleaning, laundry, storage, time management, gardening, child-rearing, etc. Here are a few of her tips.

Color code all the keys at the home. Buy small colored dots and put a red dot on the key and a red dot on the matching lock, a blue dot on the next key, and so on. It saves time when you’re looking for the right key. [pg. 14]

Neat idea…

Have a container or basket at the bottom and top of the stairs. It helps to eliminate trips up and down the stairs. When someone goes up stairs, they take the stuff in the basket at the bottom of the stairs up, and vice versa. [pg. 22]

For people who celebrate Christmas, Mrs. Barnes suggested keeping the Christmas cards received from friends in a basket. Then, during family devotions, select a few of the cards from the baskey and pray for the families that sent those cards. I thought that was an ingenious way to be in prayer for the brethren – those local and afar.

To make full use of the catsup in a nearly empty bottle, rinse it out with a little warm water and add it to baked beans or any dish requiring a tomato base. [pg. 30]

Yay! I’m not the only one who feels guilty throwing away an almost-empty-but-not-quite ketchup bottle!

Squeeze excess lemons and freeze juice in ice cube trays. Transfer the frozen cubes into baggies and defrost for fresh lemon juice any time! [pg. 51]

How ’bout this one?

To clean piano keys: A music teacher once told me she uses toothpaste on a dampened sponge, rubs the keys well, and polishes with a dry cloth. [pg. 67]

: O This next one is super-smart, but I’ll bet it’s also noisy.

Use small safet pins to pin socks together in laundry. Weight keeps socks (especially little toddler socks) from clinging to other laundry and saves time on matching socks when folding laundry. [pg. 77]

Divide children’s toys into three separate boxes and then rotate the boxes each week to avoid boredom with playthings.” [pg. 97]

If your baby is cutting teeth, take a baby bottle nipple and fill it with water and freeze it. When it is frozen, put it back on the bottle and give it to your baby. This numbs his gums and as the ice melts, the water goes back into the bottle. [pg. 97]

Remove the back pocket on pants to patch hole in knees.” [pg. 123]

When making a tablecloth to be used on an outdoor table, put a triangular pocket across each corner. If the wind is blowing that day, drop a rock in each corner pocket. [pg. 127]

(Unless it’s an outdoor party during a hurricane, in which case, the rock might knock somebody out…)

Don’t throw away old curtain valances. Just cut the valance in half and sew the two pieces together to form tiers of an apron. For a tie, slip ribbon through the valance casing. [pg. 127]

I’m tempted to try that one… just think of how cute and flouncy the apron would be! #adollable

Ferns love a tea party. Dump your left over tea into your fern pots. A used tea bag planted in their soil will also reap beautiful healthy ferns.” [pg. 133]

Use hair spray to get rid of pesty flies, bees, and insects in the house. It stiffens their wings so they can’t fly and down they go. [pg. 138]

: D Love that one! Do you suppose the trick works on roaches?

There were many more tips – the book’s one hundred sixty pages, after all! – most of which were probably more practical than the ones that I mentioned, but hey, what can I say? The ones I mentioned were fun. :)

Conclusion. A fun, helpful resource, but not a necessary one, Emilie’s Household Hints will equip you with a Ph.D. in the tricks of the trade.

Why Pro-Life?

Title: Why Pro-Life?
Author: Randy Alcorn
Pages: 136
Star Rating: ★★★★★

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Every issue has its ‘one-liners’ that cause your heart to stop, mind to race, and basically make you feel inadequate and unintelligent. Until three seconds go past and you suddenly remember the answer that you memorized several years ago. From ‘we’re under grace, not law’ to ‘but God would never make anybody love Him!’ these cliché phrases can be super hard to answer, because they’re packed with misconceptions – and the teeniest bit of truth.

The abortion issue is no exception to this rule – ‘I can do whatever I want with my body’, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if every child was a wanted child?’ ‘They’re not really humans’, and gobs of other such phrases are used as firecrackers against the pro-life position; they spark and sputter like the real thing, but they haven’t got the explosion to back it up.

In Why Pro-Life? Randy Alcorn does a superb job setting forth the pro-life position and answering these pro-abortion diatribes. Why Pro-Life? is divided into five sections – The Basics, The Child, The Woman, Other Important Issues, and Spiritual Perspectives and Opportunities.

The Basics. Abortion is America’s most frequently performed surgery on women.” [pg. 15] The practice of abortion is anything but new; records show abortions being practiced by women in the earliest Egyptian and Chinese civilization. But it is only since the 20th century that abortion has become a culturally acceptable, widespread, and practiced by Christians (43% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27 percent identify themselves as Catholic [pg. 17]). It is time for Christians to return to Biblical thinking on this issue and to fight against the murder of babies now legally practiced in America. But often abortionists argue that abortion isn’t murder because the ‘fetus’ isn’t a real baby.

So, the first question is this – Is the fetus a human?

The Child.

The irony is that ‘fetus’ is simply the Latin word for ‘child’ or ‘offspring’. So, although the word helps to remove the emotional aspect from the discussion, it means the exact same thing – baby.

Mr. Alcorn begins this section by citing and quoting several of the highest medical authorities who asserted that life does indeed begin at conception. He even quotes the owner of Oregon’s largest abortion clinic as saying, “Of course human life begins at conception”. So, if life has begun, what makes it morally right to take that life? Its lack of development? If that were the case, then we would be justified in killing 10 year olds because they are ‘less developed’ – not as strong mentally or physically – as 30 year olds. As Mr. Alcorn says,

“At conception the unborn doesn’t appear human to us who are used to judging humanity by appearance. Nevertheless, in the objective scientific sense he is every bit as human as any older child or adult. He looks like a human being ought to at his stage of development.” [pg. 28]

If a person is less of a person because he lacks certain organs or appendages, then what do we say about tetraplegics whose limbs cannot function or soldiers whose legs have been amputated? Does anybody really believe that a person who’s 4’9” is less human than someone who is 6’6” simply because there’s less of him? Does anyone think that if you’ve had your tonsils removed or heart replaced that you’re ‘not really human’? The amount of matter or development present does not define a human being.

Another reason that is often pointed to is the baby’s entire dependency upon its mother, its inability to survive without its mother. But if this is what defines human life, then postnatal babies are no more human than prenatal ‘fetuses’; they are still entirely dependent upon others to take care of them and would die if neglected. Also, any person with a debilitating disease – paralysis, Alzheimer’s, etc. – would be considered ‘not really human’.

Another argument is that the fetus is a part of the woman’s body, so she should be able to do whatever she wants with it. But just because one object is contained by another doesn’t mean that they are the same. A car is parked in a garage, but no one claims that the car IS the garage. Babies aren’t just a part of their mother – they have their own genetic structure, and often have a different blood type. Think of how absurd it is to claim that the baby is just a part of the mother; that would mean that the mother has two brains, two hearts, four legs, and so on. And that when expecting a male child she is both male and female!

The Woman.

Abortionists have declared that it is only when women have the right to kill their babies that they can “participate fully in the social and political life of society” [Kate Michelman, quoted in The New York Times] But this position is really an insult to women because it claims that only when a woman fights her natural biological processes (that of pregnancy) is she a full citizen. Is encouraging women to kill their children really the best way to train them for societal interaction? If a baby can be killed because it is unwanted, how does this train women to think about co-workers, waiters, or any other person who gets in the way?

Also in this line of thought is that women should have ‘the right to choose’.  Those who are pro-life are called ‘anti-choice’ because they believe that women should not legally allowed to abort their children. But pro-life supporters are not anti-choice. They believe that women should be able to choose what they eat, what they wear, what movies they watch, who they marry, etc. We just don’t believe that they should have the right to commit murder any more than a man has the right to commit murder. See, it’s really quite silly to defend abortion on the ground that women should make choices. Just because a choice can be made (to rape, burglarize, etc.) does not make it a moral or lawful choice.

Abortion was finally legalized because people felt that it was cruel to make a rape victim bear the child of her assaulter. But in reality, abortion accomplishes the same thing that rape does – a stronger person forcing its will upon a weaker person and devastating (or destroying) its life. Far from remedying the situation, it compounds it; the child is forced to suffer for the sins of its father. Two wrongs do not make a right. Murdering an innocent does not punish the evil-doer.

And even the idea that abortions are most used in cases of rape is incorrect. Statistics show that only one percent of all abortions are due to rape or incest. The vast, overwhelming majority result from voluntary decisions made by consenting adults.

Other Important Issues.

What abortion has done is dealt a sickening blow to our perspective of children as a blessing. Pro-abortionists have polemicized that abortion will bring forth a better world for children because ‘every child is a wanted child’. Therefore each of these ‘wanted’ children will be treated with more love and kindness because it was specifically chosen to live. But the opposite is true. Abortion has taught our culture to hate children because it has removed the specialty of each life. Instead of viewing babies as precious gifts, we view them as optional inconveniences. This translates beyond the womb; now children are treated less as humans, and more as toys, pets, or pests – things that are petted and kicked alternately and sometimes downright abused.

We have been taught that people’s futures should be evaluated by their ‘quality of life’; that if their life will be hard or be tainted by mental or physical underdevelopment, then they should not be forced to live it. But who are we to judge whether another’s life is worth living? And why not give them the chance to decide for themselves? Once we allow the worth of a human being to be subject to the judgment of another human being, we’ve lost any objective standard. My life may be less ‘enjoyable’ or ‘valuable’ than the man down the streets, but it is at least my [God’s really, I know] life. A mother deciding that her baby’s life is not worth living is one step away from doctors and politicians deciding which of their citizens’ lives are worth living. ‘Quality of life’ can be no consideration; the question is, is it a human life? If so, then it is for God to kill or let live.

Spiritual Perspectives and Opportunities.

Abortion is a terrible sin – it is the murder of another human being who is crafted after the image of God. But, like other sins, it does not place the sinner irrevocably outside of Christ’s redemption. Christ can save the baby-murderer as assuredly as he can save the thief or adult-murderer – but this cannot be used as an excuse to continue in the sin. Repentance must be made.

Many of the women who get abortions aren’t hardened criminals who are deliberately shaking their fist in God’s face. In fact many of them are misled, misinformed or desperate; they should be treated firmly, but with tenderness and love. They should be shown the great anger and love of God through our interaction with them.

One of the ways that we can best show God’s love is by adopting the children who have not been aborted. Many women have reported that if they had known how to put their child up for adoption, they would’ve done so eagerly. We must do our best to make this option available to them.

Some Christians have argued that it is wrong for us to focus on the abortion issue, that instead we should preach only Christ and ‘win people to Him’. But this view mistakes the nature of the Great Commission. By preaching Christ, we do not merely preach His name; we preach what His name represents, what it stands for, how He defined it. This means we preach orthodoxy and orthopraxy – we preach what men must believe and how that belief should affect his actions. We preach what God requires of man, part of which is to

Rescue those being led away to death.” [Proverbs 24:11]

And

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” [Psalms 82:3]

It is precisely because we believe in the Great Commission that we must take seriously the sin of abortion.

Conclusion. Why Pro-Life? is a slim book, but it’s worth its weight in gold for those seeking to prep themselves on the abortion controversy. While far from exhaustive, it is a thoroughly helpful and practical read. Purchase your own copy here.

Training Children in Godliness

Title: Training Children in Godliness
Author: Jacob Abbott
Pages: 142
Star Rating: ★★★★

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I was ecstatic to find a copy of Training Children in Godliness at a bookstore for free. Yes, I said free. : O

The book is divided into five chapters, but I have summarized it in only four sections.

How to Influence Children in Godliness. The ability to influence the impressionable souls of young children is one of the most wonderful and scary things that God has given to adults. The fact that children have been given over to our care to train and instruct in godliness is a fearsome thing. So how should it be done?

There are two main ways to influence children. They are equally important. One is through formal teaching – having serious conversations with them about weighty matters. The other, which is often overlooked, is that of influencing by example. It is hard for adults to understand the impact that their words and actions have on young children; we have become so hardened and guarded ourselves, that we imagine children to be the same way. But they are not. A few words thoughtlessly dropped may remain in a child’s mind for months. This is why it is so important for parents to monitor the atmosphere of their home. One tiny negative influence may influence a child more than ninety-nine positive influences.

For this reason, we should guard our mouths well when with children. And is not this a good thing? For is it ever fitting to speak ill words?

How to Instruct Children for Eternity. What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world, yet lose his own soul? And what shall it profit a parent to provide for the physical needs of their children while neglecting their spiritual needs? It is nonsense to believe that simply because a person is young, that he is unaware of sin and the need to be saved from it. So how should children be instructed in eternity?

Christianity should be set before them at every turn and in a diversity of ways. Formal teaching should be provided to them, it is true, in the form of Bible studies and didactic instruction. But far more important is the placing before them God and His marvels as they wander throughout the day. Do not let them think that God is limited to a certain book or a certain time of day – make Him their constant thought. To do so will be to saturate their minds with principles which will either reinforce the salvation which they have already experienced, or drive them to it.

Teaching Children to Be Happy. It is very easy for children to be happy when they are having their way – playing a favorite game, for instance – or being silly. But all of life is not made up of having one’s own way (nor indeed should it be), and children must be taught to be happy while performing duties. It is easy for children to fall into the ritual of obeying when they are commanded, but to feel no joy in it. But children should be taught to rejoice in all things and to love the kingdom work which is set before them, even at an early age. Happiness is directly related to a person’s contentedness. If a child is continuously unhappy, then it is a sign that he is discontent with what God has given him.

Teaching Children the Royal Law. It is important that, from an early age, children are taught to obey rules. They should not only be taught to obey, them, but also why they should obey them. When we teach our children rules, we are not teaching them something that can only be used or applied in childhood. It is preparation for life – a life in relation and subjectivity to God. But it is important that law be taught to children in the context of a thriving relationship. Obedience to rules should be taught as the natural manifestation of a child’s love for his parent. If parents harshly demand obedience from their children, while not also showing them love, then a child’s motive for obedience will be limited merely to fear of punishment. Instead, parents should seek to gain their children’s hearts, while also teaching them the Royal Law as principles of life.

Conclusion. Not *the best* book on child-training, but a very good one.

Reforming Marriage

Title: Reforming Marriage
Author: Douglas Wilson
Pages: 144
Star Rating: ★★★★★

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What an immense undertaking is represented by that pat little phrase – Reforming Marriage. And what an array of topics is covered in this slim little book – Reforming Marriage. There is teaching on the purpose of marriage, exhortation in the roles of marriage, and instruction in the problems of marriage as well as miscellaneous bits of wisdom. We shall follow this general outline in the review. But first….

What is marriage? Marriage is one the most besieged institutions in all of history. Its attackers are everywhere, vilifying it on one hand and romanticizing it on the other. Some seek to destroy it by redefining it; others abuse it by idolizing it. But as Mr. Wilson says:

“Throughout the history of the church, destructive heresies have been used by a sovereign God to force the church to define that which was unclear.” [pg. 14-15]

In the face of rising hostility, Christians must define marriage with absolute clarity.

Marriage, if it is Biblically understood, proves itself to be much more than merely a dictionary definition. But as a definition of the word, Marriage is the covenantal union of a man and woman. It is necessary that it be covenantal, because it is a union; it is an agreement, a promise, a vowing of constancy one to another. It must be a man and a woman because 1) It is the example that we see set forth and commanded in Scripture “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” [Gen. 2:24] We never once in Scripture see an example of two men or two women being joined in covenant before God. So far from this 2) we see sexual relationships between members of the same gender condemned by God. “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” [Lev. 20:13]

What is the purpose of marriage? The purpose of every living creature, institution, and object is to give glory to God. But, of course, every creature, institution, and object has its own particular functions wherein it gives glory to God. Marriage has several such roles.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The chief way in which humans can seek to glorify God is by building His kingdom. Marriage proves itself to be a buttress for this pursuit. Through the joining together of two souls in matrimony, a single, unified vision can be forged and tackled by two people who work in coordination with each other as no other two people can.

“And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” Malachi 2:5

One of God’s primary purposes in joining together a Christian man and woman is that they might have godly seed. This means that a couple will not only bear children, but they will also disciple and instruct them in the admonition of the Lord. In this way, godly marriages populate the church. Marriage also serves as the foundation of the family, which is God’s means of perpetuating Christian faith and culture.

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Ephesians 5:23

As a husband leads and loves his wife, he represents Christ’s guidance and redemptive love towards the church. When a wife submits herself to her husband and respects him with all purity, she portrays to those who observe her what the Church’s attitude is towards her Lord. If a husband does not guide his wife, he tells those watching that Christ does not shepherd His church. If a wife loves her husband but does not respect him, she is saying that the Church need only feel emotional towards Christ; she is not required to keep his commandments.

What are the roles of marriage? It is precisely because a husband and wife represent Christ and His bride that the marriage roles are so crucial.

The husband is the head and leader. This is not to say that he ought to be the head or he ought to lead. He leads whether he wishes to or not. His headship is the predicate of his participation in marriage. And this is because he represents Christ in the marriage. Now, just because a man is the inescapable leader of his marriage does not mean that he always or ever leads well. As Mr. Wilson says;

“Because the husband is the head of the wife, he finds himself in a position of inescapable leadership. He cannot successfully refuse to lead. If he attempts to abdicate in some way, he may, through his rebellion, lead poorly. But no matter what he does, or where he goes, he does so as the head of his wife. This is how God designed marriage…. If the husband is godly, then that dominance will not be harsh; it will be characterized by the same self-sacrificial love demonstrated by our Lord—Dominus—at the cross. If a husband tries to run away from his headship, that abdication will dominate the home….. If the marriage is one in which the wife ‘wears the pants,’ the wimpiness of the husband is the most obvious thing about the marriage, creating a miserable marriage and home. His abdication dominates.” [pg. 24]

It may seem self-evident to say that a husband must be a husband. But most husbands are not really husbands. What do I mean by this?

I mean that the word husband doesn’t mean simply a man in a marriage relationship. A husband is a man who practices stewardship over a household; he is a man who cultivates and nourishes that which is under his jurisdiction. When a man determines to be a husband to a wife, he must set about nourishing and cultivating her as well. He should be her tutor in spiritual matters; he should be constantly tending his wife. This is not to say that she should absorb all of his time and efforts, but that however busily he may be engaged in his work and projects, he does not neglect her spiritually.

The wife is the helpmeet; the follower. Now, when we talk about ‘leading’ and ‘following’ we must be very careful. When we say that a man is the head of his household we do not mean that he is the dictator and his wife merely trudges along in his footsteps. No person, however lawful their authority, has the right to tyrannize. Instead, decision-making should be a time of mutual counseling, discussion, and prayer. Husbands and wives should be united in their decisions, both eager to pursue the option they have chosen. A husband does have the ultimate authority in a marriage, but this does not mean that he should make decisions independently of his wife.

We have discussed how men often abuse or abdicate their leadership position. Now we turn to women. Women are just as prone to failure in their role as men are. Women are called to honor their husbands and treat them with respect. Often women follow badly by continuously nagging their husbands about their decisions or by vapidly acquiescing. Sometimes women refuse to follow at all and seek to dominate their home.

Feminism has taught both men and women to eschew the Biblical roles of marriage. It has claimed that women must be equal (or really, superior) to men, and that the only way this can be accomplished is if they have the same function and authority as men. But just because men and women have different functions, this does not mean that they have differing levels of intelligence or importance. Neither a hammer nor a screw-driver is more important than the other; they are simply each better equipped to handle their particular job. I have tried hammering nails with screw-drivers on several different occasions, and each time I was amazed at how much easier it was when I gave in and used a hammer. It’s impossible to turn a screw with a hammer. Yet neither hammer nor screwdriver is inferior. In this same sense, men and women are equally talented and equipped in their own roles. The whole idea of headship is one of jurisdiction not superiority. Christians do not teach that men and their roles are more important than women and their roles; each are equally important and impossible without each other.

Dealing with problems. Marriage was established during the first week of the newly created world, and it was shortly thereafter that the first problem arose between the Adam and Eve. And as might be expected, that problem was over jurisdiction. Eve disobeyed God and her husband and sought to establish her own vision for the world. Adam capitulated to her evil counsel and failed to be her leader.

Having problems in a marriage is inevitable. Even the best of marriages will be beset with sin and offenses. It is not the problems that arise in marriage that is the problem. It’s how those problems are handled, addressed, and resolved.

There are some sins which are so heinously offensive that it is nigh impossible to forgive them. But most often it is not these which destroy a marriage. It’s the little problems which, insignificant in themselves, become a life of torture when clumped together. These problems are not addressed because they do not seem significant, and then when an explosion occurs because of them it is impossible to point to a single incident, and the problem is then thought to be everything. We must be careful not to let these small offenses pile up. As Mr. Wilson says,

“When sins are confessed, it is like picking something up that was dropped on the carpet. If a person learns to pick things up immediately, a thousand things can be dropped on the carpet, and the home will still remain clean. But if things are only picked up once every six months, the result will be an overwhelming house cleaning job. To continue the illustration, some homes are so messed up that those responsible for cleaning simply do not know where to start. They do not necessarily like the way it is, but they are simply overwhelmed. But such things always accumulate one at a time. If they had been picked up as fast as they had been dropped, then the home would have remained clean.” [pg. 68]

Husbands and wives must learn to confess sin to one another. And they must be careful that they are actually confessing their sin and not their spouses’. We see this all the time with children; after a fight breaks out, you ask Tommy what happened and Tommy proceeds to tell you everything that David did to contribute to the fight. Adults are more subtle than children, but the same effect is achieved. “I’m sorry for yelling at you, honey, but I was so mad because you were late coming home, and then you didn’t pick up the mess you made……” Whenever we apologize we must apologize for our own sins.

Bits of Wisdom. Mr. Wilson said a great many wise things which do not really fit into the categories I have provided above. For example, Mr. Wilson addressed the command of Peter for men to give honor unto their wives as unto the weaker vessel.

“The problem is that men commonly have trouble honoring ‘weakness’. When men get together with men, some sort of competition usually arises. And when competition is there, men seek to exploit weakness whenever they think they see it. If a football coach were to discover that the other team’s left tackle was clearly weak, he will run his plays over the left tackle all night long. So men have this natural tendency, and in our nation, this kind of competitiveness is greatly admired.

Consequently, if there is any kind of problem in the marriage, men commonly fall into an adversarial, competitive relationship with their wives. If they disagree over something, and the distressed wife expresses her concerns, a husband with this basic competitive mentality is going to say, “That is the dumbest thing I ever heard!’ He is treating her as though she were the opposing left tackle. When he responds this way, he is seeking to exploit her. But Peter does not say to exploit the weakness; he says to honor her in it….

In order for men to respect weakness, they must recognize it as their own weakness. A wife with her husband is a joint heir of their mutual inheritance, and her weakness is his weakness. She is not his adversary. The weakness is on his own team; it is in his own family.” [pgs. 35-36]

Mr. Wilson also comments on what he calls the ‘Nice-Guy’ Syndrome.

“Susan believes that the man she married is a very nice man, and so she does not really know why she is so frustrated with him. When she gets angry with him, she feels guilty – not because of the anger, but because it has no apparent cause… Why is she so upset with such a nice guy?

In the Christian world today, countless marriages have not really been spiritually consummated. The marriage covenant has been made, and there has been physical consummation, but the marriage is still not right. It is not right because a marriage cannot be spiritually consummated if the husband acts the part of a spiritual eunuch. Such a eunuch is one who is impotent in his masculinity…

When a husband has this problem, the result for the wife is a temptation to deep-seated frustration and resentment….

The irony is that such spiritual eunuchs are almost always nice guys. And because the symptoms of this spiritual neglect overtly appear in the wife, the watching world usually wonders “what on earth got into her?” As a consequence, she feels even greater frustration and resentment. There are more than enough examples of this pattern to give it a name – the Nice Guy Syndrome.

Countless nice Christian men have wives in this state of continual frustration. And the more frustrated the wife gets, the nicer the husband tries to be. Unfortunately, this “nice-ness” is not biblical gentleness. It is not the love discussed above; it is abdication, or ‘wimping out.’ From time to time, the situation gets to be too much, even for him, and he loses his temper over her frustration. But he knows that that is wrong, and so he apologizes, and goes back to his old pattern of indulging his wife, instead of loving her through leadership.” [pgs. 77-78]

In regard to disagreements between husbands and wives, Mr. Wilson says.

“The goal is not to win the argument, but to maintain the relationship. When the husband is ahead 15-3 in husband/wife fights, they are both losers.”

Conclusion.  This book does an excellent job at presenting the ideals of marriage and then translating them into practicalities. While not perfect, Reforming Marriage is enormously helpful and easy to grasp. Buy it new or buy it off of Amazon.