What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You by David Murrow

David Murrow, who also wrote the bestselling book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, wrote What Your Husband Isn’t Telling You to help women understand what makes our men tick. He even spends some time explaining why they often won’t tell us themselves.

For the most part, I found the content of this book helpful. Murrow covers every aspect of men’s lives, at least briefly—the book is divided into sections about body, soul, and spirit. I gained new insight into my husband’s heart and now have a better understanding of why certain things are important to him—and why other things aren’t.

Some sections seemed a little over the top, so I asked my husband if he’d be willing to listen to what Murrow said and give me feedback. I could tell it made him a bit uncomfortable, but he complied, and we actually had some really good conversations.

One of the sections was about men holding the roles of “provider” and “protector.” Murrow spent several chapters explaining why men have taken on these roles and illustrating how they can play out in day-to-day life. My husband thought some of the information in this section was a little extreme, and we both agreed that some of it was probably over-simplified for the sake of making a point.

The other section I struggled with was on the topic of men being visual. No wife wants to hear that her man notices other women, so I was a little resistant at first. And some of his examples! In one story, he talked about following an attractive woman around the grocery store. Because I couldn’t imagine my own husband doing such a thing, I talked to him about it. We came to the conclusion that many of the ideas Murrow presented in the chapter were accurate, but the grocery store example was an extreme case. It may be true for some men, but not necessarily all.

If you want to have a better understanding of your husband, I recommend this book. Just keep in mind that Murrow over-simplifies and provides some extreme examples—most likely in order to help women recognize their own husbands within a broader spectrum.

And if your husband would be willing to talk about some of the things discussed, I recommend having those conversations, even if they’re uncomfortable. The conversations I had with my husband were, by far, my most valuable takeaway.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

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When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler

Recently I’ve found myself in quite a few situations where I didn’t know if I should speak my mind or shut my mouth, so when I was given the opportunity to read When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up by Dr. Micahel D. Sedler, I jumped on it.

Though it’s not a new book—it’s been repackaged and reprinted, and the cover boasts that over 200,000 copies have been sold—the advice Sedler gives is timeless. Using biblical, historical, and personal examples, he makes suggestions for a variety of scenarios, everything from keeping quiet when a friend makes a poor decision to respectfully letting your boss know you have concerns about the way he’s conducting business.

Some of Sedler’s stories and examples seemed a bit off-topic, but I finished the book knowing I had just received sound biblical guidance for future conversations. And I’m confident that, the next time I’m not sure what to say (or not say) in a given situation, I can pull When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up off my shelf and make a sound decision. I may have to spend some time studying up though, because I won’t always have the luxury of time to refer back to the book, and there are quite a few different lists of dos and don’ts.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who . . . well, just anyone, really. It’s great for employees and employers, for parents and children, for pastors and church members, for husbands and wives, for friends. If you need guidance for communicating concerns or staying silent, or even if you need help coping with anger and resentment that comes as a result of hard conversations, read it.

I liked this book enough that I’d do a giveaway for my copy, but alas, it got drenched and is now ruined. At least I got to finish it : )

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day by Garry R. Morgan

Understanding World ReligionsI’ve always had an interest in learning about religions. I’m a Christian, but I think it’s important to understand other religions because it helps you understand other people. My beliefs are a core part of who I am, and I imagine people of other religions feel the same way.

So I was excited to review this book. I’ve also read So What’s the Difference? by Fritz Ridenour and I took a world religions class in high school. Despite my interest and previous experience with the topic, this book still taught me things I didn’t know.

Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes was a great read. Morgan gave an overview of religion in general and covered each of the following religions:

  • Roman Catholic Christianity
  • Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • Protestant Christianity
  • Evangelical Christianity
  • Animism and Folk Religions
  • Native American Religions
  • African Traditional Religions
  • Judaism
  • Zoroastrianism
  • Islam
  • The Nation of Islam
  • Baha’i
  • Hinduism
  • Jainism
  • Sikhism
  • Buddhism
  • Confucianism
  • Taoism
  • Shinto
  • Secular Humanism
  • Cults, “Isms,” and Contemporary Religious Movements
  • The Unitarian-Universalist Association
  • The Unity School of Christianity
  • The Unification Church
  • Christian Science
  • Scientology
  • Mormonism
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Neopagan Religions
  • New Age Religions
  • Transcendental Meditation

Each chapter is only about three pages long, making it easy to read when you only have a few minutes. And even though the author is a Christian, his explanations of other religions were mostly unbiased, making this a great resource for anyone, Christian or not. (I do recognize that, as a Christian myself, I may have missed biases others would have caught, but I did try to read with that in mind.)

I learned TONS from this book and recommend it for anyone who wants to know more about world religions, even the smaller ones like Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. It’s a great book to read through and keep on hand for reference.

Bethany House also has books on understanding the Bible and theology that break topics down into fifteen-minute segments. I’m looking forward to reading those as well.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

Relentless Pursuit by Ken Gire

In his latest book, Relentless Pursuit, author Ken Gire mixes his own story, the stories of biblical heroes, and the stories of more recent Christian thinkers to show God’s heart for the outsiders in our world. He paints a picture of the God who chases after us, drawing us to Himself, restoring the pieces that have been lost, and calling us to be different—just like Jesus. Gire states, “Jesus became an outsider . . . to befriend outsiders. He was and still is the champion of all who have been pushed beyond the pen’s perimeter—the poor, the oppressed, the rejected, the marginalized and disenfranchised, the forgotten and the forlorn, the shunned and the scorned” (113).

Not only does Gire address that lost, broken part of us that sits on the sidelines, he warns of the comfort that makes us feel like insiders: “We can forget where we came from, who we once were, what it felt like on the outside. . . . And before we know it, we lose touch with those on the outside, lose God’s plan for them, His prayers for them, His passion for them” (129).

Relentless Pursuit gave me a fresh perspective, reminding me that Jesus came for the broken, the sick, and the forgotten, not the clean, the comfortable, and the popular. His fantastic writing didn’t hurt, either. I enjoyed every page. If you need to be reminded that God is pursuing you—and the outsiders in your life—read it.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.

Unstuck by Arnie Cole & Michael Ross

Written by Arnie Cole, the CEO of the international Back to the Bible ministry and Michael Ross, a journalist and author, Unstuck combines research, survey results, real-life stories and a Bible reading plan to help Christians who feel stuck in their faith and stunted in their spiritual growth.

As someone who feels that way quite often (especially lately), I appreciated the straight-forward, simple advice: get into God’s Word daily. They emphasized that there’s no formula for a living, growing faith, but shared a finding that shook me:

“There are no statistical differences in the behaviors of those who read/listen to the Bible one to three times weekly and those who spend zero days doing so” (pg. 56).

Though I hate to admit it, a look at myself lately proves this true in my own life. I am ready for a change.

The book is broken into three parts: Why We Stall Out, The Powered by Four Solution, and Engage, Untangle . . . Grow! And each chapter ends with 3–4 days of Scripture readings paired with questions to help you take a serious look at where your faith is and where it’s going. Though I haven’t had a chance to follow the reading plan (they suggest you take 45 days to work through it), I think it’s probably the most helpful part of the book.

Each chapter also ends with a reminder to check out the companion website, unstuck.gotandem.com, for more ideas and resources. I didn’t spend a lot of time on the website, but it looks like the reading plan is available there as well, with a few more questions to help you interact with God’s Word. It also offers goTandem, a free personalized spiritual growth program that will provide encouragement and reminders based on a short assessment.

Even if you only read Unstuck for the reading plan, it’s a great way to form the habit of not just reading the Bible, but interacting with it.

And since I didn’t get a chance to work through the reading plan while I was reading the book, I plan to start the 45-day journey today. Keep me accountable!

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.