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Review: The Peaceful Wife by April Cassidy

the peaceful wife

When April Cassidy, a driven, perfectionistic, controlling type A person, got married, she didn’t realize that the very qualities that led to her success in the workplace were a handicap in her marriage.  In The Peaceful Wife she shares what it took her years of misery to find out:  how to apply the biblical view of marriage in real life.

April discusses many things, always beginning with and returning to the idea of respect.  Wives are commanded to respect their husbands, and April’s goal in this book is to show what disrespect includes, what respect actually means to a man, and how a wife can learn to change so that she respects her husband in ways he can appreciate.

This is crucial because, it turns out, even those of us who think we are genuinely respecting our husbands actually communicate the opposite more often than we would guess.  I just realized yesterday (after almost 27 years of marriage!) that a sudden intake of breath during a scary driving manoeuver is interpreted as a lack of confidence and respect!  Ouch!  Without April’s detailed discussion, I would not have heard these emotions behind the words, just as I haven’t heard them for all these years.

April’s book is full of detailed lists, step by step discussions of what repentance means, how to apologize, how to change, and so much more.  It is, by April’s own admission, written from her point of view of being a bossy, take-charge wife and it may not apply to everyone.  Yet, as I noticed in yesterday’s driving incident, even those of us who are quieter and less controlling can learn from the book.

What is refreshingly different about The Peaceful Wife, however, is how April links being a peaceful wife to understanding the whole Bible, not just the marriage parts.  She found that believing in God’s control over everything enabled her to become peaceful in her relationship with God and with her husband.  She also points out that without regular Bible reading and prayer we cannot change or even see that we need to change.

April teaches practical aspects of moving from disrespect to respect, gives examples of respect in common situations, and discusses how to deal with serious disagreements while still acting respectfully.  Over and over she points the reader to God’s Word, emphasizing that unless God is first in a woman’s life she cannot be the wife she is called to be.

The Peaceful Wife is April’s own story as well as that of her husband Greg but also includes letters from the readers of her Peaceful Wife blog.  Although a variety of situations, personalities, and backgrounds are represented, a reader really only needs to find a few applicable suggestions for this book to add value to her life and marriage.

Do you need this book?  If you are stressed about your marriage or your responsibilities, yes.  You might be taking on burdens that are not yours to bear.  If your husband seems passive and unplugged or has sudden outbursts of frustration, again the answer is ‘yes’.   Perhaps something you’re doing comes across as disrespectful to him.  It is worth looking at this book to find out.

I myself did not think I needed The Peaceful Wife and only accepted the offer of a review copy to help people who had asked us for marriage advice.  It turns out, however, that I did need the book, and I thank God for showing me that what seems like perfectly appropriate behavior on my part may come across as demeaning, discouraging, or disrespectful to my husband.

This is yet another book in the in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, What to Read Wednesdays and The Book Nook.  For more encouragement see Raising Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell it to Me Tuesday.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Kregel and have presented my own opinions.

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5 Comments

  1. Dana says:

    Surely an intake of breath when he’s driving like a maniac is involuntary?

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Well, yes, but he’s a mostly responsible driver (not much maniac there) and I’m actually too timid, most of the time. So, yes, it’s involuntary but I really do need to work on my fear level so I can cut down on it.

      Just like April, I find that knowing God is in control helps with that, when I remember it. So does not being tired.

  2. I laughed when I saw your example of the sudden intake of breath during driving. I knew it bothered my husband because he told me so early on. Over the years I have managed to cut down my reactions to a brief tension in my body. It helps that he really is a good driver, of course. 🙂
    I like the point that God is first. Husbands were never meant to satisfy our every need, and often it’s unrealistic expectations that lead to disrespect and unhappiness.

  3. Dana says:

    Luckily, my husband thinks my involuntary intake of breath is funny. 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      That made me smile, Dana! I’m aiming to get either to Nelleke’s situation or to yours! 🙂

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