A Wife’s Secret to Happiness by Jen Weaver Book Review

A Wife's Secret to Happiness

by Heather Bock

Don’t miss a chance to win this book at the end of this post!

I thought I was pretty good at submission. My husband Greg makes it seem that way because he’s a good leader. He never tries to forcibly lead me into anything. God knew I needed a husband like that; I’m stubborn with strong opinions (like the rest of my side of the family), so it’s good to be married to someone who comes at decisions by asking what I think instead of first telling me what he thinks we should do. Oh, believe me, he has an opinion about what we should do, and he’s just as strong in his views as I am, but he’s not so proud that he can’t be persuaded with good reason. Part of why I married him was because I knew I couldn’t marry someone too easy-going, or I would run all over him and easily lose respect for him.

However, even though Greg has strong views, he doesn’t bring them up continually, so it can be easy to do what I want for a time even with his protests voiced. Thankfully, he always comes back eventually with the same concerns. God has used his leadership to help me let go of what I’ve held too tightly. Sometimes, though, I let go of something for a time or shove it somewhere else to make him happy, thinking I was submitting, but then find it reemerging a few weeks or months later. I had never truly given it up, or it wouldn’t have come back.

Enter Jen Weaver.

 

Jen is someone I was privileged to meet at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. When I heard she had written a book, I was excited to read it and review it for her. I had no idea how God was going to use it to convict me about submission. Her book is called A Wife’s Secret to Happiness: Receiving, Honoring, & Celebrating God’s Role for You in Your Marriage.

God showed me through this book that I need to talk to Greg about new projects before taking them on, getting his OK before I start another one. Greg is one of the wisest people I know, so I should do this anyway, but also, as Jen says,

“I want the blessing, unity, and company of his partnership. We seek unanimous decisions, but Jared has the final word and final responsibility before God for what happens to our family. Sure, it’s hard when we disagree. But I fight to submit. I’d rather reach 10 percent of my dreams but live approved by God than fulfill 90 percent of my passions in resistance to my husband’s leadership and, therefore, outside God’s favor.”

Sometimes submission to your husband can seem scary—what if he’s wrong? I love one of Jen’s answers to this. We might be tempted to say, “Buuut Gawwd!” in a whiny voice when it doesn’t look like we’re going to get what we want due to submission. However, He wants us instead to remember that sometimes life seems hard, but God makes a way. This requires faith, and I think that’s what it comes down to—trusting God to take care of the outcome while we do what God’s asked us to do.

Jen is not saying we don’t have voices as women. I’m thankful that she clearly shows that submission does not mean I must be silent. I have God-given wisdom, a different perspective, and the ability to share my viewpoint. In fact, she says if I don’t speak up, I am not fulfilling my calling as a wife. I am not helping my husband see another side that he might not see. Jen addresses much more than what I’ve mentioned so far. She shows that God’s design for marriage is full of blessings and makes those blessings clear.

I force myself to read a lot of non-fiction books when I’d much rather be reading fiction because I want to learn about one topic or another. This book is one of the few non-fiction books I actually enjoyed. Not only has God given Jen a lot of wisdom in the area of marital relationships, but her style of writing is just so much fun. I can relate to her, too. I find myself nodding as I read. Let me give you an example:

“By the time Jared and I met, I had moved out of my parents’ home and family pets were faint memories. All but one. I consider myself a harmonious person, easygoing and gracious. But a few weeks into our relationship, I could tell Jared and my pet Peeves did not get along. So many of Jared’s natural tendencies ruffled little Peevie’s feathers. We’d make plans for him to pick me up at 6. Ready at 5:45, I’d often wait until 6:15…I didn’t even like Peeve. He was annoying and cumbersome, getting upset at the littlest issues that someone with my level of maturity (ahem) should overlook. But I’d stroke Peeve’s little ego. With each misstep, Peevie and I would exchange knowing glances, and I’d feed the pest to keep him quiet.”

Not only is Jen’s writing style fun, but she also gives so many extras in this book–more than 95 pages. She provides a quiz at the end of each chapter to help readers decide which “wifestyle” we use on each topic in the book. She gives questions to help us contemplate where our heart is. My favorite is the “Real Life #Wifestylin,” story at the end of each chapter from different wives who have dealt with and overcome the same issue. In addition, she provides a ton of bonus material to download from her website.

I recommend this book to any wife, but especially to those who struggle with submission. Jen makes a difficult topic doable and turns it on its head from what seems a curse to what it really is: a blessing.

If you want to learn more about Jen Weaver, I encourage you to go to her website, thejenweaver.com.

Also, this post is entered into a writer’s contest that depends on YOUR votes to determine the winner. I would love if you quickly went over to A Wife’s Secret to Happiness Writer’s Contest and clicked “like” under my picture!

Book Giveaway

If you’re intrigued and want to learn more about submission, I am giving away one copy of the book A wife’s Secret to Happiness by Jen Weaver. Here’s what you need to do to enter my giveaway:

To enter the drawing, subscribe to my blog:

  • Click the button “follow” in the above right column under my picture and type in your email address.

To earn more entries, or if you’re already following my blog,

  • Share this post via social media. Each share to a different social media venue earns you one entry (up to three).
  • Let me know in a comment where you’ve shared.
  • Notify me of your name.

Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only.

I will announce the winner next Wednesday, so look for it! If I don’t hear from the winner within a week, I will draw another name. Thank you!

DISCLOSURE (IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FTC’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING”): MANY THANKS TO THE BLOGABOUT NETWORK FOR GIVING ME TWO COPIES OF A WIFE’S SECRET TO HAPPINESS IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST OPINION.

Sugarless Lent Prepares My Heart for the Sweetness of Christ, A Guest Post at (in)courage

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. I grew up in a church that observed no more of the Church calendar than Easter and Christmas, but I was introduced to Lent in college, when I developed a great appreciation for its reminder of Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness and of His suffering. It is a focus on the cross before the Resurrection. I love the cross-shaped smearing of ashes on the forehead, a reminder that I am from the dust, and to the dust I will return. Last night, this reminder became all too real when I found out one of my students, a bright, kind, talented 24 year old, had died in a car crash. Continue reading

The Beginning of Our Adoption Journey

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Greg and I have begun the journey to adoption, a journey that I had been hoping to embark on for many years, since before I can remember!

When I was young, many of my favorite books centered around orphans: almost all the books by L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables), one book I read numerous times about a girl who lost her mother to cancer, and even the original 101 Dalmatians, a story about orphaned puppies. In high school I repeatedly sang the songs from the musical Annie, especially the song full of longing, “Maybe.” I fell in love with the novel Les Miserables and sang the songs from the opera inspired by it, especially loving the songs by Cosette–an orphaned child and Fantine–her dying mother longing for her child. I loved the book and opera Phantom of the Opera, a story about a lonely orphaned young woman bewitched by an even lonelier twisted orphaned young man. I believe God stirred the heart of this bookworm from that young age, using the tools He knew would reach me.

As I grew older, I was moved by the fact that God adopted me into His family, as it says in Ephesians 1:3-6: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” I love taking part in God’s nature, imitating Him in who He is. I do this when I create something as a decoration for a birthday party, when I teach preschoolers, and when I mother my children. I feel such joy mimicking my Father in these small ways, and as I do, I find that I understand who He is and how He relates to me a little bit more. As I thought about how He adopted me, I wanted to do the same.

I’ve also visited several orphanages and read stories about foster children. I think a lot about children who are not part of a loving family, children who long to be deeply loved and belong, children who need to learn about God’s love–children I want my own children to see and understand. I know my family is not overly rich–Greg is a professor at a community college, and I’m a stay-at-home mom, but compared to many in the world, we have much, enough to share with a child. More importantly, we have God’s love to share.

However, it seemed for many years that God was not going to allow me to do so, even though it seemed like such a good and needed act–after all, there are an estimated 153 million orphans in the world. I prayed countless times over many years that He would change my heart towards adoption if it weren’t right for my family, but the desire did not fade. Two years ago, I wrote some of the very same words I’m writing now, but from a different perspective. At that time, I was in the process of surrendering my desire to adopt. I sold or gave away my baby gear and clothes as an act of surrender to God over this issue. I didn’t want to hold it too tightly.

One Wednesday night at the grocery store, I met an old acquaintance who happily told me he was about to adopt two girls. Normally, I’ve been excited for people who are in the process of adopting or who have already adopted, and this time was no exception, but when I climbed back in my car, the longing I had for adoption welled up in me like it hadn’t in a long time. I cried out to God, asking Him what He was doing and why He hadn’t taken my desire away yet if He wasn’t going to allow me to do it. I told Him once again how much I wanted it.

The following Sunday, a woman was talking in my community group at church about infertility and how she had to surrender her desires for a child to God and really wrestle it out with Him. I thought, Ok, God. I thought I’d surrendered this desire to You, but I’ll do it again. I’ll go home and wrestle it out with You. I never did get that chance to really wrestle it out with Him. That night, God let me know in a way I understood very well that He was finally allowing us to adopt. It was finally time!

We don’t know yet how we’re going to do it–we considered embryo adoption at first (as there are more than an estimated 600,000 frozen embryos in the U.S. alone, around 60,000 of which could be adopted), but as we believe that God would take to Heaven any of those lives that are ended prematurely (I hate the term used, “discarded”), we decided it was better to adopt a child already born who would be subjected to more suffering if not adopted. We don’t know if we’ll adopt a newborn, older baby, or toddler, but we do know we want to adopt a child younger than our youngest (who is almost 3 years old). We also still don’t know if we’ll adopt domestically through the foster system or privately, or even if we’ll adopt internationally, but we are researching, praying, and waiting for God to guide us.

And I’m praising God over and over for the green light He gave me!