Well. That is quite the sobering picture. I told you, this book draws a line in the sand. Either you love it or you hate it.
"By the time many women are entering their fortieth year, they are teetering on the edge of mental instability. They have spent several years of their life irritated at their husbands, daily feeling hurt and responding with coldness and bitterness. Instead of practicing being thankful and merry, they are practicing bitterness...
"In the course of time, as her edginess and moodiness grow, she realized that she can no longer control her nervousness. One day her "nerves" snap and she loses control, screaming like a crazy woman and calling loved ones terrible names...
"The disturbed woman expects her family to appease her and is offended when they act like life is just fine. God is visiting her soul with a terrible rot called madness. First, she is only mad at her husband. Years pass and she is mad at the family. As time goes on, she is mad at the church. Then she is mad at the mailman and the waitress. Practicing, always practicing, perfecting her madness. Mad, all the time mad. Madness." (62-63).
I am thankful that I am getting to read it as a young wife. This "madness" temptation is a constant source of struggle for me, and I doubt I am alone. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling hurt, ignored, disrespected, or discounted. Just because I feel that way does not mean it is true! Most times, it is not true at all. And the practicing of madness really does become insanity- living in a reality that is not there.
One thing I learned through trial, error, and imparted wisdom from women around me- marriage is work. I practice music. I practice language. I practice cooking and baking and mothering. I must also practice taking my sinful thoughts captive and replacing them with a treasured verse:
Out with the garbage- the thoughts like He didn't even notice...He purposely left those socks there again...I made a new recipe and he hated it...blah blah blah. In with the honorable and lovely thoughts- He didn't say anything because he was playing sweetly with the children...Just pick up the socks, woman, and be thankful you have a man that comes home to you each night...Just because he didn't tell me he loved the recipe doesn't mean he didn't eat every bite, lovingly talking with me about our day over a family dinner.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" Phillipians 4:8
Or something like that. Now, for every mad and bitter older woman who professes Christ, there are two or three dear saints who have heavenly marriages because they know the secret. They love to love their husbands. And their husbands adore them for it.
So what do you think?