by Heather Bock
Don’t miss your chance at winning a copy of this book–instructions are at the end of this post.
I have some questions for any woman in a relationship with a man: have you ever wondered why your husband or boyfriend acts the way he does? Have you ever been frustrated or started a fight with him because you didn’t think he should act the way he did? Has the thought crossed your mind, What was he thinking?? If so, I recommend you read I Wish He Had Come with Instructions: The Woman’s Guide to a Man’s Brain by Mike Bechtle.
Before I review the book, though, I need to pause and give you some background. I happen to be friends with Mike Bechtle, and I have been friends with him and his wife, Diane, since around 2003, even though we haven’t lived near each other for eleven years. I remember when he was working on his first book, Evangelism for the Rest of Us. He and Diane were a mentor couple in our young marrieds Sunday school class, and Mike often taught. Diane mentored me when I was a young wife–together we memorized Psalm 139, ran many times along the nearby river trail, and shared life. When Greg and I had to choose a mentor couple as a requirement for Greg’s seminary education, we had no question who we would ask, and it was no surprise that the Bechtles were willing to meet with us regularly to talk about marriage.
As a result, I know firsthand that the words in this book are honest and trustworthy. This wise man genuinely loves the Lord. I wanted to give you this character reference because this book is about the way a man’s brain works, and it is not written by a brain scientist. However, that’s probably a good thing for readability–Mike does have an easy-to-read, personable writing voice. Also, it is written by someone who has a lot of knowledge and experience in the topics of relationships and communication through his longtime job of leading successful seminars at work. In addition, it is written by a man who has the character to have done his research well on anything he didn’t know personally from experience.
More background: the aforementioned seminary provided free marriage counseling. Greg and I were newly married, so we decided to take advantage of it to learn communication skills and to take care of problems while they were still small. We attended cheap (but valuable) seminary marriage retreats, read relationship books, and later went to pastors for counseling whenever we hit anything in our marriage we didn’t know to work out on our own. We were not afraid of getting wise counsel, and we were (and are) determined to have more than just a good marriage. As a result of all this, most of the principles in this book were not new to me; however, they were good reminders for me, and in some ways, I was able to understand Greg a little better.
What I love about this book is how Mike treats both sexes with respect–women and men may think differently, but those differences don’t make one better or worse than the other. In fact, through the descriptions of the way a man thinks, Mike is able to dispel negative stereotypes that are portrayed in media, stereotypes that belittle men. I love his quote below about this:
For example, just because many men tend to focus on a football or basketball game on tv and ignore a woman who might try to have a conversation during the game, it doesn’t mean it’s proof of his inability to connect with a woman through conversation. It doesn’t usually mean he’s ignoring her or thinks she’s less important than sports. Most of the time, it is due to the way his brain is wired to focus fully on one task at a time. This kind of focus can serve him very well in other areas of life, so this can be a strength. Mike also delves into the common reasons why men are so interested in sports and action movies in the first place. Information about men can really help a woman not get so offended when a man behaves in a way that confuses her. She can understand better why he does it and know it’s probably not personally against her.
I am also glad Bechtle makes it clear the research done on men’s brains only shows how the majority of men think. It doesn’t mean the man to whom you are married or dating thinks that way. Mike encourages every woman to take the information given in the book and ask the man in her life in a non-confrontational way if that is the way he personally operates.
I Wish He Had Come with Instructions is repetitive at times, but, especially for those new to this content, this technique can facilitate better learning, cementing the information in the brain. Women, if you haven’t done much study on the way a man’s brain operates, I recommend this book.
I’m always glad when I have the opportunity to give away a book to a subscriber. Thanks to the generosity of Mike Bechtle, I get to give away a copy of this book! If this review made you realize you could use some pointers on the way a man thinks, you can earn an entry to this drawing by clicking the button “follow” in the above right corner and typing in your email address.
If you’ve already subscribed, or if you just want more entries, you can earn entries by sharing this book review post via social media. Remember, though, you have to be subscribed for your shares to count as entries. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three). Be sure to let me know in a comment if you’ve shared in a place where I won’t be notified and be sure to let me know your name so I can announce the name of the winner. I will announce the winner next Saturday, so look for it! Thank you!