Now that I'm 120 pages in of the 297, I can say there are a few things I'm not sure if I agree with. But the overall concept is almost . . . Scriptural.
The premise? The desire to be in control is preventing women from "attracting and marrying the man who's right for you" (as the subtitle says).
So here are some chapter titles and what I've been learning in each.
Surrender to Your Desire to Be Happily Married
"Dishonoring your desire to get married is a way of protecting yourself from disappointment and trying to avoid becoming dependent," writes Doyle. "Denying what you want is a way of controlling your desires so that you can ward off the fear, disappointment, and humiliation" (p33).
Give Up the Idea of the Perfect Man
"As we all know, no one is perfect. . . . A checklist [ie. the list of qualities you want in a guy] is a suit of armor that protects you from having to face your fears . . . . As long as it's never met--and it won't be--you don't have to risk your heart. Keeping your checklist is a way to stay invulnerable" (42).
It's also a way to stay in control by "dictating the qualities of an acceptable future mate" (43).
That's not a relationship.
At least, not with another (messy) human being.
And boy, am I guilty of that! I can't even decide what should be on the checklist because I don't know what I would be most happy with and what I think is perfect. I want to control all those factors so I will be incandescently happy, don't you know.
Stop Male-Bashing and Start Admiring Men.
The title says it all. Male-bashing is rather "counterproductive" (50).
Flirt with Every Man You See
Ok, don't gasp! She calls it "flirting," but really it's just being friendly and making a point to smile at men.
How many times do I on-purpose avoid eye-contact with a passing male or purposefully don't smile just so I don't give him the wrong impression or encourage him or make him think I'm open to conversation?
It's a habit!
How is a man ever supposed to get through my stonewall?
"[W]e know that smiling can lead to the unexpected, and the unexpected often makes us feel as if we are out of control, and that makes us nervous" (59).
So I just shut down any conversation before it starts. Just to be on the safe side.
Well, that's attractive.
Be a gracious receiver of gifts and compliments.
"Part of what makes receiving difficult is that we are not controlling what is offered, so any time something comes our way unexpectedly, we feel vulnerable . . . .When you refuse a compliment or a material gift, you are taking control of the situation" (p114-115).
That hit me right between the eyes.
Women are designed to be receivers, but, somehow, owning up to who we are makes us (me) feel vulnerable. Accepting what we feel we don't deserve makes us feel out of control. And so I take control and try to push the guy out of the way by not receiving graciously.
That's it for now. My hope is that the Lord will use these thoughts to sanctify me--tear off my desire for control as I simultaneously learn to trust Him--so that I can trust the Lord in more areas of my life and become the kind of woman who will be a blessing to her husband.
And hopefully learn how to do the process of getting a husband a little better. *smile*