Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Beautiful Wife

I recently had the opportunity to review "The Beautiful Wife" by Sandy Ralya. I reviewed the book as well as both the prayer and mentor guides. These are there reviews. I also wanted to let you know that I am priveledged by being allowed to feature guest posts written by Sandy here on my blog. The first one was posted yesterday, and there will be four all together (one a week for four weeks), and they will be posted on Mondays. I encourage you to check back to read those as you have time. Now, on to the reviews!

Book Review:

The Beautiful Wife uses these inspiring stories along with biblical principles to guide and encourage any wife looking for God's best in her marriage. The Beautiful Wife answers serious questions women have about their roles as wives. Discussing everything from romance and money to beauty, communication, and sex, Sandy challenges women to open up and share their journeys so that together they can see God's plan for their marriages. "It is my passion to help women discover God's heart for their marriage, just as the other women helped me," writes Sandy. "When women share with each other the details of their journeys with God as wives, it's a beautiful thing indeed."
~Amazon Book Description

This book is not what I was expecting… at all. The target audience of “any wife looking for God’s best in her marriage” is very misleading. This book is directed more towards believers who have not read any previous books about Christian marriage. Not the woman who is not currently reading her Bible daily, and seeking God with every fiber of her being, but the woman who wants to know God more, and what God wants in her marriage but doesn’t know where to start.  Therefore, I will tell you right now that I was not the target audience. In the author’s own words, “Recipe theology – living by a one-size-fits-all formula – leaves women hungry.” This book, and the assumption that it would work for “any wife…” left me hungry.

What this book has to offer:
  • Short Scripture passages to get you started reading God’s Word each day.
  • Basic description of who women are in the Christian religion, including a description of their roles as mothers and wives (mainly wives).
  • Reflection questions to get you to look at your life.
What I didn’t like:
  • The reflection questions were not very thought provoking, but rather just a literal reflection on what you are or are not doing.
  • In chapter 10 (chapter 6 in the galley that I had) the focus was the beauty of the home, both physical and emotional. I don’t believe that condemning a woman for the way her home looks will be helpful at all. The author went on to say that, but only after she focused on its importance. I believe that it would have been much better to start the chapter with the importance of spiritual beauty, and then if needed, add in the other part relating it to the expression of our inner beauty. The last thing a marriage in trouble needs is to sit down and discuss a budget that includes the physical beautification of their home.
  • I also want to mention that most of the Scriptures used in the book are from the NLT, which I generally don’t really like, so I spent most of my time looking to see what the Scriptures actually said, verses what they were thought to mean.
All in all, I found this book to be very biblical, and I might possibly recommend it for a young believer, or a Christian woman who was just beginning the search to find God’s will for her marriage. It basically held almost all of the truths that I have ever been told about marriage in an easy to read format. However, it did so in a very motherly way that for me seemed a little patronizing.

Prayer Journal Review:

The Prayer Journal for “The Beautiful Wife” was fabulous. It’s actually one of the very few prayer journals that I’ve ever liked. Most leave me feeling like they were pointless, but this one is so well laid out that it could be used on its own without the book.  It would be a great tool for (gasp) any Christian wife –or wife to be- that enjoys journaling, and is looking for a way to document her journey as she grows in that role.

Mentor Guide Review:

Okay, this was actually my favorite part of the whole thing. I loved the layout of the mentor guide, and just everything held within. The ideas were amazing, and I could really see a great group meeting coming from it! I might actually use this guide for a group without the book, with another book that has similar subjects, or even just use the ideas separately in a women’s retreat setting. I can’t stress how much I enjoyed the mentors guide and am looking forward to putting the ideas within into action!

*Also I want to note that I had a galley copy of this book that was still in the editing process, and therefore I’m assuming that all typos and redundancies were caught before it was completed and put up for sale. I received my copy for free from LitFuse Publicity via their bloggers review program, and it contained all three products in one galley. I did receive actual copies of the books in the mail last week, but haven't had a chance to go through them extensively. You can hop over to their website to read more reviews to get a more balanced opinion of this book by going to: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13457272/beautifulwife

Sandy Ralya is the founder and director of Beautiful Womanhood, a marriage mentoring ministry based near Grand Rapids, Mich. Her marriage testimony was the focus of a popular three-day interview on FamilyLife Today, TV's Walking by Faith, and Time Out for Women. Sandy is a sought-after speaker, presenting Beautiful Womanhood seminars to hundreds of women each year at MOPS groups, women's retreats, and church leadership conferences across the country and in Canada. Sandy and her husband Tom have been married since 1980, and have a growing number of grandchildren.  www.beautifulwomanhood.com

Celebrate the launch of this book with Sandy by entering her Kindle Touch Giveaway and coming to her "Beautiful Womanhood" Facebook Party {3/8}!

One beautiful winner will receive:
  • A Brand new Kindle Touch with Wi-Fi
  • The Beautiful Wife By Sandy Ralya
  • The Beautiful Wife Prayer Journal and Mentor's Guide
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/7/12. Winner will be announced at Sandy's "Beautiful Womanhood" Facebook Party on 3/8. Sandy will be hosting an evening of chat, laughter and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, prayer journals and a live chat with Sandy for your Bible study or small group!

So grab your copy of The Beautiful Wife and join Sandy and friends on the evening of March 8th for an evening of fun.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on March 8th!

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