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No More Christian Nice GirlWhen Just Being Nice—Instead of Good—Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends
By Paul Coughlin Jennifer D. Degler
Bethany House PublishersCopyright © 2010 Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. Degler
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWondering if you are a Christian Nice Girl? Next is a self-test that will help you identify if the CNG problem is infecting your life. Try not to overanalyze the questions. Just go with your first, instinctive response.
Now go back and total your number of true responses. If you have five to nine true responses, you have the early stages of Nice Girliosis, and it may get worse if you don't take action now. If you answered true to ten or more questions, the Nice Girl problem has spread and needs immediate intervention, so keep reading (the laundry can wait!). Your next step after diagnosing Nice Girliosis is to figure out how you ended up with this condition and what to do about it. We'll discuss these things and much more in the chapters to come, including the three common factors that, individually or in combination, can cause Christian women to act like Nice Girls instead of God's Good Women:
1. Having an incomplete image of Jesus that focuses on his sweet side and ignores his forceful side;
2. Giving in to the immense pressure society puts on women to hide their true selves behind a façade of niceness;
3. Encountering harmful childhood experiences, such as lacking inspiring words or role models, having anxious parents, or suffering abuse.
We'll also look at God's Good Women of the Bible and show you how to emulate their examples. (No, they were not always sugar and spice. These women were downright spunky.) Fresh life will be breathed into your faith as you see how these godly, strong women flexed their muscles of faith and chose to be good instead of nice. As a result, they discovered how amazingly useful Christianity is in everyday life, and you can too.
We'll uncover how "acting nice" appears to make friendships easier— right up until it ruins those relationships and leaves you feeling used and bitter. We'll reveal how Christian Nice Girls are a magnet for Mr. Wrong, and how to date Mr. Right instead. If you're already married, there's a whole chapter to show you how to prevent the Nice Wife problem from poisoning your marriage. You might even blush as you read a frank and fun discussion about how acting nice prevents you from fully embracing and expressing your sexuality. (That's chapter 8 for those of you who want to go directly there!)
We hope light bulbs will go on for you as you realize how being a Nice Girl at work diminishes your chances for advancement and destroys the trust and respect others have for you (not to mention your own self-respect). You'll learn how to handle sticky situations at work, church, and home with graceful firmness and greater self-confidence.
After all the bad news, you'll get the great news: There is hope for Christian Nice Girls and a way out of their frustrating, fearful, and fake world. You'll get the road map for the journey from Christian Nice Girl to God's Good Woman so that you can courageously walk with integrity and purpose as you enjoy the abundant life God has planned for you. When you say good-bye to nice and hello to being God's Good Woman, you will warmly welcome the new you—authentic, energized, and level-headed (your family will greatly appreciate the last quality—no more explosions that seem to come out of nowhere).
We've included study questions at the end of each chapter, and we encourage you to write down your answers in a journal or notebook and apply this material to your life. Or join with a few others to discuss the book together. The journey is always easier when you share it with friends.
Excerpted from No More Christian Nice Girl by Paul Coughlin Jennifer D. Degler Copyright © 2010 by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. Degler . Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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