I finished "Fierce Women" (by Kimberly Wagner) this past week and was really encouraged to learn from my own past behavior (in my first marriage.) When a marriage breaks down, there is rarely an "innocent" party - even if it's a bad reaction to a bad situation.
Women (welcome to the human race) have an insecurity (as most human beings) and feel a need to be in control.
Written from a Complementarian viewpoint, Wagner writes from the painful spot of a woman who has been there, done that - and who, as a couple, brought their marriage from a painful union, to a joyful communion.
Teaching that women have a different role in a marriage than their husbands have, the point of the book is to help women recognize that role, how to step out of trying to fill their husband's shoes, and how to gracefully and joyfully submit to the will of God in marriage.
Whether or not you realize it, you are in a battle, and God has placed strengths within you to be used in powerful ways. When you enter the marriage relationship, you are entering the sacred metaphor God designed to explain Himself to a watching world. Marriage is the great mystery, the glorious platform God created to display His love relationship with His bride. This is why marriage is a flashpoint for Satan’s attacks; he seeks to destroy the beauty and effectiveness of God’s model. In light of this, we must strive for the Great Story to be lived out in our marriages.
I hope as you read, you will take moments to pause, ponder, and pray. May you encounter the Lord of Battles within these pages and receive insight and instruction for serving Him as a soft warrior—the Fierce Woman who is empowered by the Spirit and softened by His grace.(1)
Wagner uses examples from her own life, as well as examples from women that she knows or has known, to show how women can use their strength to either help or hurt their marriages.
Being a Complementarian does not exclude a woman to having a pastoral tone to other women, and Wagner excels. Her "I've done this, don't follow me down that path" plea a wonderful tone to a world of women who are at once frustrated with the state of their marriage, and frustrated with the way they are dealing with it.
With these women as her audience, Wagner is uniquely qualified because she HAS been there.
My "book review template" asks at this point: What does the book promise? What is the problem the book promises to solve?
In the author's words:
I hope as you read, you will take moments to pause, ponder, and pray. May you encounter the Lord of Battles within these pages and receive insight and instruction for serving Him as a soft warrior—the Fierce Woman who is empowered by the Spirit and softened by His grace.(2)
And yes, the book delivers.
As a woman who will be entering a marriage covenant in a few months, with Christ at the center, and Complementarianism as the framework, "Fierce Women" is a playbook of how to relate to your husband in a way that is fitting for a woman who loves Christ.
What does "respect" look like? Submission? Do I need to be a "doormat?"
This matters because Satan wants nothing more than to strike at the soul of marriage. If marriage reflects Christ and His bride, turning those roles upside down in a marriage leaves us with a distorted view of Christ and His church. How should the church submit to Christ - wives should be able to reflect that.
I really like this book. I printed out a couple of things and put them in my planner. If you have a power struggle in your marriage and want to be part of the solution, read this book.
If you want to be a Biblically submissive wife, read this book.
If you want to build your husband up, instead of tearing him down, read this book.
I've read a lot of books on how to be a submissive wife. This book is, at the end of the day, not how to make yourself more submissive, but how to build your husband up, to better help him to be the husband God wants him to be.
(1)Wagner, Kimberly (2012-08-24). Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior (True Woman) (pp. 10-12). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2)Wagner, Kimberly (2012-08-24). Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior (True Woman) (p. 12). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.