Book Review -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 11:2 (Spring 1997)
Article: Book Review
Author: Anonymous

Book Review

What Does She Want From Me Anyway? Honest Answers To The Questions Men Ask About Women, by Holly Faith Phillips (with Gregg Lewis), Zondervan, 1997, Reviewed by Dr. James R. Beck, Professor of Counseling, Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary

In an ideal world we would not need a book like this. Husbands would frequently fulfill one of their basic marital duties by sitting down and listening to their wives. Wives would be able to express their needs, wishes and desires with clarity, and husbands would be committed to working on solutions. Likewise, wives would be eager to sit down and listen to their husbands to provide a similar function for them. But we do not live in an ideal world and apparently there are countless husbands who have no idea how to function in their marriages. We apparently need books like Holly Phillips’ and those of Gary Oliver and Jim Dobson to guide these men.

Holly Phillips has written her book from the heart of the Promise Keepers movement (literally and figuratively). Holly is the wife of founding president Randy Phillips, has been a PK staff member from its early days, and was the first woman to address a PK rally. Her book gives us a fascinating glimpse into the homes of PK staffers, especially the Phillips’ themselves. No one can argue that Promise Keepers tries to sanitize its leaders, to present them as paragons of never-failing virtue, or to hide their personal, spiritual and psychological blemishes. In the tradition of the McCartney family, PK leaders such as the Phillips discuss their lives and struggles with remarkable candor and commendable honesty.

The book is addressed to husbands whose wives have given them (or are about to give them) an ultimatum to change. The target audience for Phillips’ book are men who cannot understand why their wives have never responded to them (or have stopped responding) and now need outside assistance. Holly seeks to help these befuddled husbands by telling the story of her own troubled marriage and how God has transformed it into a fulfilling relationship.

The book’s primary value is showing how God can rebuild a marriage that from any other perspective was doomed to fail. Randy and Holly brought into their marriage a host of unresolved problems that soon created marital distress. At one point Randy lost a ministerial position because the church board did not think his marriage was exemplary. The Phillips have obviously matured spiritually and psychologically as they have rebuilt their marriage from the ground up. Readers will rejoice with them as their story-is told. “If there was hope for Holly and Randy Phillips, there is hope for anyone” (163). Of course, Randy could write the other half of the story, but his five-page response at the end of the ...

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