Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: No More Christian Nice Girl

image No More Christian Nice Girl, written by Paul Coughlin & Christian psychologist Jennifer D. Degler, is a book about the importance of being a good girl over being a nice girl, and warns us of the dangers of confusing the two.

If you are a woman who:

  • has a hard time saying no
  • avoids conflict (especially in your relationships)
  • has a hard time making decisions
  • says ‘sorry’ more often than you should (and about things that weren’t your fault in the first place) or
  • struggles setting boundaries

this book is for you.

When I first got the book, I was really excited to read it. My husband has seen Paul Coughlin at a men’s conference at our church, I was also able to meet him and discuss in short a little bit about our son and parenting and from what I had seen and heard I was intrigued to hear (or read) more. My husband had bought Coughlin’s “No More Christian Nice Guy” it seemed pretty good, so I was excited to see the girl version come out.

When I told my hubby I was getting it, I believe his response was something like “You don’t really need that, do you? You don’t struggle with being nice.” Um, What?!?!

Okay, to be fair I knew exactly what he meant…. and actually he’s right; saying no, passive and too “sweet” are not areas that I personally struggle in…. but still!! :)

My favorite part of the book was actually chapter 1 “The One-Sided Jesus” (I read it twice!) which talks about the fact that teachings of Jesus are often focused from a one-sided view of his more sensitive side and the dangers of having that view of Him.

Here are a few of the quotes that I enjoyed:

“As presented in the Gospels, Jesus is most definitely not one-sided. He is the complete embodiment of healthy, balanced human personality; thus, Jesus is immensely compassionate, kind and gracious while also being assertive, forceful and firm when necessary.”

In reference to some of the “tougher” verses/stories about Jesus (anyone want to talk about Jesus overturning the temple?) “Every verse about Jesus is in the Bible is the Bible because God wants it there to develop believers into an accurate image of Christ”

When you start thinking like Christ, you are guaranteed to sometimes make choices that offend and anger other people.”

And my two favorites:

Some church leaders and churchgoers have removed Christ’s forceful side in a deliberate attempt to make Christianity more appealing to the average person… it robs Christians of a Savior who has the power to actually save and rescue people… they’ve come to a dangerous conclude: ‘Jesus is so nice that he won’t be able to help me out of the trouble I’m in. He’s so nice that, like all nice people, he’s going to be shocked by how bad the real me can be.’”

His [Jesus'’] supposed character (always nurturing and compassionate) leans far more towards a typical woman’s strengths than a man’s – so women get to claim the title of being more spiritual while at the same time not having to undergo the challenge of spiritual transformation of becoming more bold, strong and courageous!! It’s no wonder, then, that church today is far more attractive to women than men.”

Review:

I think this is a much needed book in the church today. Often times as women we struggle with saying no, questioning anyone’s behavior or standing up for the good of ourselves and those around us. We have wrongly assumed that going with the flow and “being nice” is the way we are supposed to be, when in fact, that’s not only wrong but dangerous and harmful. Being “nice” isn’t getting us anywhere - it’s time for the women of the church to stand up and be good rather than nice.

The author’s do a great job of writing this book in an easy to read manner and while some of the sections are a little wordy, it’s not to ‘mucky’ so it’s easy to get through. Depending on what your struggle is, this book could change the way you see yourself and those in your life and in turn change the way you “do” relationship.

Disclaimer: I received this book for review purposes from Bethany House Publishers, the opinions expressed are my own.

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