Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Few Good Reads

Lately I've found myself devouring books.

I've just finished Holding On To Hope by Nancy Guthrie. This was an excellent read and made me stop and think about my own responses to some hard things we've been through. It was also intensely encouraging.

I'm currently reading Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. We hosted a missionary couple two years ago and she raved about how many lives God was changing through that book. Several women in my church picked this book to study a few years ago and I heard fantastic when I saw it on the shelf at the thrift store...well, what choice did I have but to give it a go? Check this out: (from the introduction)

In fact, if I had to describe a large percentage of the Christian women I have met and talked with in recent years, I would choose one or more of the following words:

emotionally unstable
and, yes, even suicidal

Um, more than a few of those words describe me...depending on which day you ask me...or better yet, at what point in my day you ask...

Then she writes:

What if I told you that instead of being miserable, frustrated, and in bondage you could be:


I think I might could learn a few things here.

T and I are reading Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Gulp...he writes asking the question, "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?" The first chapter has an excerpt from an essay written in the 1940s by Katherine Anne Porter titled, "The Necessary Enemy." She makes the following observations about a young bride:

This very contemporary young woman finds herself facing the oldest and ugliest dilemma of marriage. She is dismayed, horrified, full of guilt and forebodings because she is finding out little by little that she is capable of hating her husband, whom she loves faithfully. She can hate him at times as fiercely and mysteriously, indeed in terribly much the same way, as often she hated her parents, her brothers and sisters, whom she loves, when she was a child...

She thought she had outgrown all this, but here it was again, an element in her own nature she could not control, or feared she could not...

Above all, she wants him to be absolutely confident that she loves him, for that is the real truth, no matter how unreasonable it sounds, and no matter how her own feelings betray them both at times. She depends recklessly on his love.

She is afraid her marriage is going to fail times she feels a painful hostility toward her husband, and cannot admit its reality because such an admission would damage in her own eyes her view of what love should be.

So...what if God designed marriage for the purpose of making us holy, as opposed to making us happy? Yes, certainly happiness is part of the equation...or is it?...but definitely not the sole purpose.

T and I read the first chapter aloud to one another, and afterward discussed it. We came to a few admissions/realizations. As unpopular to talk about as this is in "Christian" circles - actually, as we talked about what I am about to admit to you, we realized we'd never heard a Christian couple admit that...

there are times when, though we love one another, we hate one another, too.

There. I said it. You know the truth. He grates on me, I grate on him...sometimes to the point of feeling terribly ill towards one another. Yet we love one another fiercely and intensely...we are committed. No question about that. I identified with the young bride Porter wrote about. My awful feelings, at times, toward my husband make me think something is wrong with our marriage - isn't it supposed to be romance and least most of the time? But what if T, God's good and perfect gift to me, forces me to confront my weakness and sin...and I do the same for him? What if the "rub" is what brings us to the cross, on our knees, and is the very thing, the very one, God uses to make us holy? Hmmm...something to ponder.


  1. wow, what a book! I think we should read it too.

  2. Great post J, and I agree-great books. I have only read Lies Women Believe, and it was great. Love you