Posts Tagged ‘feminine appeal’

Book Review: How To Be A Pure Obedient Christian Wife: Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

carolyn mahaney feminine appeal

The advice given in this book is based on Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2 – 3, Timothy 2:10-2:12, Colossians 3:18, Proverbs 31 and a few more. In a nutshell, be happy, be delighted, enjoy your food, enjoy loving your husband, cherish your kids, have pride in running your home, be modest in your dress and adornment, take care of yourself, take care of your physical attributes, be pure, don’t fool around, be attractive, be always available emotionally and sexually to your husband, compliment your husband, create the mood, be kind to your children, be kind to your husband, don’t question him and if you do, let him make the final decision, just trust god. And of course, be submissive, obedient, meek, gentle, and a quiet helpmeet to your husband.

We ladies at the organization see absolutely nothing wrong with any of this. We feel it is the natural order of things, and the natural position of the wife. It’s worked for hundreds of years in cultures all around the world. Feminism – the kind that encouraged women to abandon homemaking and go compete with men outside the home – ran out of steam in less than 25 years. It’s not trendy to be a homemaker, let alone a religious one. But trends come and go, sound marriages last a lifetime.

The author saves the dynamite for the last chapter. Shrill naysayers will undoubtedly scream murder when a woman is instructed to be submissive to her husband. But Mahaney states very specifically on pg 137 that the Book of Genesis, at the very beginning of the Bible states that both male and female are created in the image of god, and therefore equal. It isn’t about inferiority or being in a demeaning position. Submission, in this context, echos the church’s submission to Christ, and Christ’s sacrificial love. The chapter “The Beauty of Submission” goes on to say that at no point, was there a call for women to submit to any and every man, only wife to husband. Also, she does advise that when husbands makechoices that are detrimental to the family “requesting assistance in such circumstances is helping the husband.” I have seen reviewers say that the author recommends praying for all situations. That’s simply inaccurate.

Even if you are not religious, there are many chapters of sound advice. If you are familiar with advice books from the 1900s, you will see many familiar ideas here. As an added bonus, look especially for the passages quoting a number of husbands on how they are made to feel cherished by their wives, as well as a section on children talking about the tenderness of their moms.

The book is separated into three sections. The Main Body by Carolyn Mahaney (158 pages), A Study Guide and Questions section corresponding to each chapter (22 pages), and a short appendix with footnotes and bibliography that points to further reading.