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Confessions From an Honest Wife: On the Mess, Mystery & Miracle of Marriage
Author: Sarah Zacharias Davis
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 190
Release Date: March 2006
Confessions from an Honest Wife should be a must read for anyone planning to get married and those conducting pre-marital counseling courses should make sure their participants read this book! I wish there was a companion book for men.
Chapter ten begins with a humorous but true quote by Jean Kerr, "Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house."
In the wake of being in love we often ignore the sage advice of those who warn us that things won't always be smooth sailing. We often reply, 'no our marriage will be different because we love each other'. Wouldn't it be a wonderful life if being in love simply meant there would be no hiccups along the way?
Two chapters in the book deal with the subject of sexuality. One of them, the second chapter also hits upon a pet peeve of mine. The chapter highlights the dearth of qualified counselors who happen to be Christians. Certainly within the typical church environment they are almost nonexistent. The vast majority of pastors have no in-depth training as counselors. What we in the Christian community need to do is identify Christians in private practice that are qualified counselors and make sure our churches are working closely with them. We also need to place the same emphasis on preaching and teaching our young people to be receptive to the 'call' to serving in those roles. Perhaps instead of adding a children's education pastor, youth or worship pastor we should first consider adding a qualified counselor to our staff. That is not to say the other positions are not important but instead maybe it is time for our churches to take a broader look at the needs of our congregations. 
The two chapters in this book that do delve into the area of sexuality within marriage do so in a way that is a fresh honest look at a very important part of our relationships, psyche and physiology. Too long has it been misunderstood that these issues are not discussed in 'polite society'. Zacharias and the women she interviewed are honest about addressing some very real issues.
Chapter five shares with us Rebecca's story. I used to think it was funny when a television sitcom would focus for an episode on the meddlesome parents or other in-laws. It stopped being funny many years ago when I realized that often the sad truth is parents and other family members can be meddlesome. Rebecca finds strength in the support she receives from her husband and comfort in knowing they are within God's will for their lives. Marriage as a journey is as my closest friend likes to say tough work and it doesn't need any added pressure. It may sound like a cliché but something worth having is worth working for.
I cannot possibly paraphrase the theme of chapter nine any better than Zacharias' interpretation of Brook's feelings so I will simply quote them, "It's been said that a marriage that lasts has stood the test of time, but I don't think that time is a test. Time is a gift-a gift because change, growth and compromise don't happen quickly. They come with time, and you've got to have time to work things out."
Chapters such as "Faithfulness" and "Reconciling the Past" take the reader places few Christian authors are prepared to go. They take us into the very real world of doubt and temptation. Doubt about whether or not our spouse really is the right man, temptation concerning others who we may have missed our chance on. Zacharias and our anonymous women are not suggesting these are right thoughts or courses of action or that they even afflict a significant group of women. What is being suggested is that there are some women out there who have experienced these struggles and it does not make them bad or evil but simply human. What is noteworthy is how each of the women hung in there, honored their vows and found solutions with their husbands.
My only real dispute with the author comes with chapter four. Thematically the author and our anonymous woman Emma seem to hold the view that women are still considered subservient or rank somewhere below the last rung of the ladder. I realize I can only respond first as a male and secondly from the context of my Canadian culture but the view seems outdated to me. 
What is valid about Emma's view is her contention that women should be treated as equals in marriage. What is often forgotten sadly even today in some circles when interpreting the Apostle Paul's writings is he was writing within the context of a Jewish society two thousand years ago. 
I started this review by saying this book is a must read. If you know of someone that is contemplating marriage, is married or is on the pastoral staff of a church do them a favor and recommend this book. They will be glad you did. While you are at it pick up a copy for yourself.

By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague. 


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