Friday, January 8, 2016

Lasting Love: How to Avoid Marital Failure (Book)

My religious book study group was looking for a new/different subject to read and discuss. We chose to read a subject concerning marriage. After researching the options, we ended up picking this book in part because it had great reviews. The author (Alistair Begg) is very "traditional" in his beliefs and that is clear a short time into the book. I will elaborate later.

The first few chapters were fairly good, though nothing spectacular/profound. There were a lot of references to the bible throughout, which I thought was nice and tied well to his points. However, the book takes a decided turn in chapter 4 titled "The Role of a Wife" . Begg recalls a story with a pregnant stylist that was cutting his hair. He asked the stylist if she planned to stay at home after her baby was born. The stylist replied that she would be a working mother. Begg scorned the soon-to-be mother blaming feminists for this type of belief being prevalent in society. Begg wrote, "despite how much I have come to rely upon her expertise in cutting my hair, she had just cut it for the last time - for I would not contribute in any way to her neglecting her baby, which I believed she was about to do so that she could cut hair!" I think that sentence says a lot about the author, unfortunately. This book lost a lot of credence with our bible study group as a whole after reading this chapter. In all fairness, the book is less controversial after chapter 4.

One member of my group even tried to call Alistar Begg from contact information on his website to get clarification on that chapter. However, the representative would not give Mr. Begg's email (my group member stated that she for sure has been getting plenty of requests for donations in her email inbox)!

This book could have overcome that questionable chapter 4, but it never quite did. It left a lot to be desired, unfortunately. From what I gathered, most everyone in my religious book study group was quite disappointed with the book as a whole as well. The book and questions at the end of each chapter therein are a decent introduction to topics for a lasting marriage. However, it left me wishing I had read a different book on the subject for more substantive reading. The book was just missing something. 
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