Here’s the short version of this post. Ready?
You want to read this book! 🙂
Someone gave me part of their library a few months ago, and For Women Only was in the mix. I had already heard of the author, Shaunti Feldhahn, so I was excited about the chance to read one of her books…
But within reading the first chapter? I was beyond excited. I was sold!
For Women Only is an intensely practical book about guys and how they tick. It’s a book that’s easy to read, easy to relate to, and easy to apply. And it’s a book that’s written by a woman who has “been there” and who understands where we’re coming from as women, wives, and moms…
Shaunti Feldhahn is a Christian, a wife and mom, a social researcher, and a best-selling author. Her books are unique in that they are not “how-to” or “self-help” books. Rather, they are researched-based, finding their foundation in hundreds of surveys conducted on the topics in question.
And that’s where her authority lies as the author of a book subtitled, “what you need to know about the inner lives of men.”
In preparing for her book, For Women Only, Shaunti and her team conducted “spoken and written interviews with more than one thousand men with the goal of delving into the ‘common perplexities’ that crop up when men and women interact” (p 10).
(She talked to one thousand men! That’s commitment!)
In studying the answers that these men gave her, Shaunti found seven “revelations… things that my own husband always wished I knew, but couldn’t figure out how to explain” (p 12). These revelations are principles that many women have a surface understanding of, things like “men need respect” and “men are visual.” But chapter by chapter, Shaunti digs behind these surface understandings to bring out what each principle means in the practical, everyday lives of our guys.
Here’s an Example…
Men need respect and women need love. That’s common marriage advice in today’s Christian circles, and it’s based on a Biblical concept found in Ephesians 5. But that statement still leaves us hanging without a practical vision of how love and respect play out in day-to-day life. “Wives respect your husbands…”
Well, I’m pretty sure I respect him, so I’m good right?
Shaunti Feldhahn took this principle that we’re so familiar with and gave it hands and feet. She explains what is going through the male mind in regard to respect. She points out that while “most of us do respect the man in our lives and often don’t realize when our words or actions convey exactly the opposite!” (p 23-24).
Here’s a great example (p 30): Men need us to respect their abilities. They want us to trust them to figure things out. So when I suggest to my husband that we need to ask for directions on a road trip, I am inadvertently communicating distrust in his ability to get us to our destination. My comments are meant to be helpful, but his ears hear it as a slam on his ability and his intuition. He feels disrespect!
I had to smile when I checked my husband’s opinion on this one. Yes, he told me, that’s how he felt in situations like that, don’t women feel that way too? No, we don’t! It’s a team effort! Everybody’s trying to find they’re destination together, let’s help one another out! His response: It is a team effort – and they (anybody we might ask directions of) are on the other team!
The Value of this Book…
Honestly, it was these practical, real life examples and the resulting conversations with my husband that were so helpful to me. Before reading Shaunti’s book, I knew that I needed to respect my husband, and I was committed to doing just that. But For Women Only shed light on what respect looks like from his point of view, and that was incredibly helpful!
Every chapter gave me a better understanding of how guys think. And in some cases, Shaunti blew my mind with how much I didn’t get about men. Men are built to be different from women, and there are some things we just won’t understand until we hear them out on their point of view.
Part of Biblical womanhood is sharing resources with our sisters in Christ, resources that point us to Christ, teach us truth, and change our perspective. That’s how we sharpen one another, how we help one another grow.
This book, For Women Only, is one of those resources for me. I wish I’d had it two years ago when I got married! It has changed my perspective on how men think and on how marriage works. Things like not stopping to ask for directions? I understand now! I get it!
As a sister in Christ, I wanted to share this resource with you too. I would encourage you, find a copy at the library, borrow one from a friend, check out Shaunti’s website 4-womenonly.com, whatever you need to do to make sure it’s a good buy. Then put it on your Christmas wish-list and buy it for friends!
Thanks for letting me share my heart and gush a little, friends! And let me know what you think of the book – I would love to hear your thoughts and things that you learn!
Blessings! ~ Erin
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