Discovering the Mind of a Woman by Ken Nair
This is one of those marriage books which scores points on the big issues and loses them in the details. Nair’s central thesis is right on the money: “Christlikeness is God’s first priority for every man” (p. 6). He then takes this thesis and attempts to work it out in the dynamics of marriage. Again Nair’s broad strokes are good, since a Christlike man will make every attempt to understand his wife (1 Peter 3:7) and lead her spiritually (Ephesians 5:25-27). The Christlike husband will put his wife’s needs before his own and love her as Christ loves the church. All of this is excellent—and if this is all Nair said then we could highly recommend Discovering the Mind of a Woman. However, he says much more.
First, Nair is very careless in his use of Scripture, often ripping verses out of context or simply creating strange interpretations (pp. 37-39, 71, 89, 112, 118, 196, 217, 220, 238). He often speaks of dying to self (pp. 14,17), a concept not taught in Scripture (he is confusing this with denying self which is something very different). The author is far too stereotypical throughout—seemingly basing most of his views on men (and women) by his own experience. He dabbles in psychobabble (pp. 148, 174) and has a faulty view of God’s leading (e.g. p. 5). This latter issue leads to the main flaws in the book. Nair believes:
1. That God speaks through the wife to her husband (pp. 45, 49, 64, 79, 166, 176, 213, 232).
2. If the Holy Spirit is in control of the man’s life he will be able to read his wife’s thoughts (pp. 113, 119).
3. The husband controls his wife’s emotions and behavior. She has no choice, Nair claims, but to respond to the husband’s behavior. If he behaves sinfully then she will respond in kind—she can’t help herself (pp. 79, 84, 89, 132, 138-139, 155, 176, 241). Even weight gain is the husband’s fault (pp. 97-98).
In addition, Nair projects a truly unfortunate and distorted understanding of the sexual relationship in marriage (chapter 13).
Bottom line, men, by all means live Christlike. But that can be learned through Scripture and much better resources than this book. Nair presents far too many unbiblical teachings in Discovering the Mind of a Woman to be of any real profit and the distortions he presents are downright dangerous.