Friday, May 2, 2014

BookCrash Review: 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband by Jennifer Flanders

I recently reviewed the book titled 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband written by Jennifer Flanders as part of the BookCrash book review program. This 180-page softcover paperback handbook is choked full of Biblical marriage advice and suggestions. The book won the Christian Small Press Association's (CSPA) Book of the Year Award. Click on the following link to get your free respect summary or list printable that can be utilized as you read through the book. The author originally posted a short blog post which turned into this book. I am a lifelong learner that enjoys reading relationship books that inspire and motivate me to become a better person. I hope that the knowledge that I gain from reading this book with improve my marriage.

Book Description (Taken From the Website)
We get out of marriage what we pour into it. 
  • Would you like for your husband to be more attentive?
  • Do you long for him to notice and admire you?
  • Wish he'd recognize and appreciate all your hard work?
  • Want him to be respectful of your wishes and opinions? 
  • Would you like for him to spend more time with you?
**Treat him the way you want to be treated. **

Did you answer "yes" to any of those questions? 

Book Details
Publisher: Prescott Publishing
Price: $9.95 Order Now
Amazon: $8.96 and Kindle Version: $3.99

Note: All Prices Are Subject to Change.

About the Author 
Jennifer Flanders is a Christian homeschool mother of twelve children. She's been happily married for over 26 years. She is also the author of another book that I purchased at a homeschool convention years ago titled, Love Your Husband Love/Yourself which made me blush on more than one occasion.

My Thoughts
25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband is a thought provoking book which is based on the foundation of Ephesians 5:33 "The wife must see to it that she respects her husband." The concise format of the book makes it very easy to read. The author utilizes iconed titles, larger fonts, different text fonts, and bulleted lists to organized the content into manageable chunks which I found to be very helpful. The book is divided into 25 chapters covering a wide variety of topics. Each topic is an example or a way to express respect to your husband. The author suggests reading and applying the information to your life at a rate of one chapter per week to get the most from the material presented.

Topics Addressed
  • Choose Joy
  • Honor His Wishes
  • Pay Attention
  • Don't Interrupt
  • Emphasize His Good Points
  • Pray for Him
  • Don't Nag
  • Be Thankful
  • Smile at Him
  • Respond Physically
  • Eyes Only for Him
  • Kiss Him Goodbye
  • Feed Him His Favorites
  • Cherish Togetherness
  • Don't Complain
  • Resist the Urge to Correct
  • Dress to Please Him
  • Keep the House Tidy
  • Be Content
  • Take His Advice
  • Admire Him
  • Guard His Reputation
  • Forgive His Shortcomings
  • Don't Argue
  • Follow His Lead
The book begins with a dictionary definition of the term "respect." A bulleted description of what respect DOESN'T mean is also included in the introduction which put my heart at ease enabling me to understand the implications and meaning of the word (respect) better. I felt that this section clarified a few misunderstandings I was having with regards to the term.

Many of the topics addressed in the book are based on common sense, but the book serves as a great reminder for all wives. I personally am struggling with the last topic: Follow His Lead. My husband recently made a major life-changing decision that impacts my family and sadly even after reading this book, I am not exactly following his lead as I should be. In order to show him respect and honor, the ideas presented in this book must actually be applied to my life. I also need to remember that habitual actions speak louder than words.

I appreciated the chapter on "Paying Attention." It included a helpful chart comparing the characteristics of an active and passive listener. The author quotes Jim Rohn in this chapter, "Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. This means that you stop what you are doing to give your undivided attention to that person or project. There are days when I notice I am not giving my family my full attention, because I am distracted with the projects I'm working on at my computer. This chapter revealed to me that occasionally I've been a passive listener when at the computer. I've missed important news while not respecting the other person. It explained the importance of being intentional when listening to others. This is something that I am well aware of, but somewhere along the way I got off track and my priorities got mixed up.

I also came to the realization that I definitely was NOT dressing to please my husband. I had a bad habit of wearing sweatpants all the time. I thought I was saving money by not shopping for myself - making sacrifices for my family. I decided to purchase a few new outfits when we had a little extra cash so that my husband would see me in something new and different. This small intentional effort was noticed immediately. Every small and successful change can and will make a difference.

The sixth chapter on prayer resonated with me. Jennifer shares a quote from Ruth Graham with her readers, "Tell your mate the positive and tell your God the negative." I was inspired and motivated to practice this action more often after reading this quotation. You will find a free printable titled, "Pray for Your Husband From Head to Toe" on her Loving Life at Home blog. I added a copy of this printable to my prayer journal.

Each short chapter contains bulleted "Put It Into Practice" application exercises that will help you discover ways to show honor and respect. These practical nuggets of wisdom give you meaningful ways to reflect on and apply what you've learned to your particular marriage. The applications are relevant to the topic being discussed and easy to immediately implement. For example, the author may ask you to read specific scripture in the Bible, create a blessings journal, memorize scripture references using note cards, listen to and sing worship hymns, pray for your husband's roles and reputation from head to toe, keep a running list of items you admire most about him, compose songs or poems about him, send special text messages or handwritten notes, and she also suggests that you tend to the items on your "honey-do" list. Insightful scripture references are sprinkled throughout the text helping you understand what respect means in a marriage and how it is viewed in the Bible.

A list of recommended marriage-building resources categorized as books or website links are offered in the book. Jennifer encourages you to invest your personal time in your marriage aiming to always improve it by reading and implementing good marriage advice from reputable resources. The book ends with acknowledgements, end notes, and references.

I absolutely LOVED the WARNING on the back of the book. The author states, "Reading this book may alter the way you look at your husband, your marriage, and life in general. Read at your own risk. Side effects from implementing the principles set forth in these pages may include a more joyful outlook, better communication skills, a healthier relationship, a happier home, and a rekindled desire to love your man." I pray that I can implement the ideas suggested in the book and experience ALL of these side effects to the extreme. The straightforward approach showed me the error of my ways. I knew right away that I would enjoy reading this author's perspective on marriage, because she added this humorous note to the back of the book which definitely caught my attention.

The author stole the words right from my mouth in the book's afterward when she noted a commonly asked question from other women, "But shouldn't all these things go both ways?" Her remark was "Somebody has to make the first move." The stubbornness that may exist in your man will most likely keep you waiting for change longer than you desire. Furthermore, she encourages you to consistently work on things because you know its the right thing to do. You are doing what God wants you to do and you can't control your spouse's actions. I also pray that I will choose joy, trust in the Lord, and learn to dwell on the good or "silver lining" of my problems especially during the difficult times. 

I highly recommend this book to all Christian women that are either married and engaged. It is definitely worth reading! In fact, any woman considering marriage in the future will benefit from reading this book. If your role model model as a child wasn't ideal, the information in this book will help you make better life decisions and create new habits. I am already rereading the book at a much slower pace giving myself ample time to complete the exercises and evaluate my progress.

Social Media
Blog - Loving Life at Home and Jennifer's popular Respect Post
Flanders Family Website

I received a complimentary, free copy of this book from the publisher through BookCrash in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

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