by Poppy Smith
Expected publication: April 1st 2012 by Harvest House Publishers
“What do you and your spouse have in common?”
“We got married on the same day.”
Many women can identify with that sentiment. They want their marriages to be happy and honoring to God, but they wonder how when their mate baffles and even irritates them so. Some may even wonder if they made a terrible mistake.
Using Scripture, humor, and colorful illustrations from her own struggles, Poppy Smith offers hope in this upbeat, personal, practical, biblically grounded, and empathetic book. Why Can’t He Be More Like Me? will help women analyze areas of marital conflict by reviewing their backgrounds, parenting personalities, expectations, needs, and reactions. Each chapter provides practical tools to help women learn to accept and enjoy their mate, resulting in a strengthened relationship, better communication, and deeper understanding of each other.
With its how-to emphasis, this book is a useful resource for classes, small groups, or seminars for wives and couples.
Why Can’t He be More Like Me is a Christian self-help book. I wanted to review it in order to see if this book could be helpful to my husband and I in our ministry. I feel this book could be very beneficial to someone who is having marital problems; if they actually read this book and take an honest look at both themselves and their husbands. The author mixes Bible verses and paraphrases in with marital advice and quizzes to help demonstrate God’s design for marriage. She also ends each section with prayers you can say for guidance.
What I like about this book is that the author does not claim to know everything, and she often states that if your problem is greater than “X” you may need to seek professional help. She states that in some instances, professional help is needed, period, such as in cases of abuse or traumatic events that the reader may have to work through.
There are three parts to this book; the first part looks at the problem of marriage not being what you expected. It asks the question; what happened to my dreams; and discusses facing crossroads and making choices. The second part looks at particular issues that many married couples face such as:
• He’s not my clone
• We weren’t raised in the same Household
• His brain isn’t wired like mine
• We don’t have the same emotional needs
• When I say this, He hears that
• I think “Bargain,” He thinks “Bankruptcy”
• We’re not the same spiritually
• We get “headaches” for different reasons
Many of these topics my husband and I frequently try to cover when we do premarital counseling. Many people do not look at things like how you were raised, how you are going to handle money, and what religion each person is/was and how they want to practice, or not practice it, before they get married.
Engaged couples are so much in love that many think that love can concur all, or that if they just work hard enough or pray hard enough, God will change the other person into what they desire. That is not completely true. Marriage takes work and often prayer on both sides. Poppy (author) uses examples from her own marriage to illustrate these key points. She learned that in order for her husband to change, she also had to change, and that there are some things they may never agree on or be able to compromise on, one person may have to give in sometimes. I totally agree with this principal, a marriage takes two and it takes give and take from BOTH parties.
One of the things I like is that Poppy does not take the super conservative point that women must be submissive to their husbands. I hate that idea. I could go into a lecture on this topic, but I am not going to. Poppy uses the Bible to demonstrate what each person’s role in a marriage should be and reminds us (using scripture) of what God intended a healthy marriage to look like. That is important. Poppy shows both sides of the coin; the side that describes women as being there for their husbands in all ways, but she also makes sure not to leave out the other side of the coin, the side that says men also have a role in reciprocating. This flip side is often left out of Christian books that want to “forget” the part about men and women being equals in a marriage. Women are not subservient to their husbands, we are subservient to each other, marriage is a partnership.
Poppy covers everything from looking at how you were raised and how that can affect your view and responses to situations in marriage, to communication, one of the fundamental key things in a marriage, all the way to sex and its importance in a healthy marriage.
The last part of the book looks at where you, as a married person, can go from here. You can either choose to thrive and work on your marriage, or leave.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is engaged to read before you tie the knot. It has tons of quizzes that you and your fiancé can take to help you work on or at least identify potential problem areas, before you are forever joined together in marriage. This book is also good for couples who are hitting rough patches, or worse. This book can help guide you in your decision to work through your problem, or even help you to know if you really do need to seek professional help. This book is also a good read for any married person, no marriage is perfect, no marriage goes on for 50 years without hitting rough patches and this book can help the reader see where their differences lye and help you to work though them as a couple, prayerfully asking God for guidance along the way.
I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist clergy in recommending appropriate books for people to read and to identify books couples may find useful.
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