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No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends

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Overview

When passivity and false niceness don't bring the abundant life Jesus promised, some Christian women try even harder to hide behind a fragile façade of pleasant perfection. Paul Coughlin and Jennifer Degler give women the empowering message that they have options far beyond simply acting nice or being mean--if they will emulate the real Jesus Christ and face their fears of conflict, rejection, and criticism. Brimming with enlightening information, thought-provoking questionnaires, real-life stories, and ...
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No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends

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Overview

When passivity and false niceness don't bring the abundant life Jesus promised, some Christian women try even harder to hide behind a fragile façade of pleasant perfection. Paul Coughlin and Jennifer Degler give women the empowering message that they have options far beyond simply acting nice or being mean--if they will emulate the real Jesus Christ and face their fears of conflict, rejection, and criticism. Brimming with enlightening information, thought-provoking questionnaires, real-life stories, and biblically based teaching from both the male author of the pioneering No More Christian Nice Guy and a female clinical psychologist, this book will motivate women to allow God to transform them into authentic, powerful women of loving faith.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764207693
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 629,936
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 5.48 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Coughlin hosts a radio talk show in southern Oregon and is the author of No More Christian Nice Guy. Paul has been interviewed by C-SPAN, the New York Times, and numerous radio and television stations across the country. His articles have appeared in many publications, including New Man, Faithworks, and Ministries Today. He has also been editor of a weekly newspaper and a radio station program director. A former Christian Nice Guy, Paul is a happily married father. The Coughlin family lives in Medford, Oregon.

Jennifer D. Degler, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and life coach. A frequent speaker at women's events and marriage retreats, she also maintains a counseling practice, seeing adults, children, and couples for psychotherapy. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and the founder of Creating Christian Change, a life coaching enterprise that works with clients across the United States helping them to create lives they love. She has been interviewed by the Lexington Herald-Leader and local NBC and CBS affiliates as an expert in life coaching and mental health issues. Jennifer and her husband, Jeff, live in Lexington, Kentucky, with their two teenage children.

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Read an Excerpt

No More Christian Nice Girl

When Just Being Nice—Instead of Good—Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends
By Paul Coughlin Jennifer D. Degler

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2010 Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. Degler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0769-3


Chapter One

Wondering 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.

(Continues...)



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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Be The Strong, Confident, and Caring Woman You Were Meant To Be!

    Tired of doing all you can for others while your relationships remain stuck in neutral or are headed in reverse? Paul Coughlin and psychologist Jennifer Degler show how being nice can harm you and drain the life out of your relationships. They explore the keys to fulfillment at home, work, church, and even in the bedroom. You'll discover that emulating the real Jesus is the key to transforming from a Christian Nice Girl into an authentic, powerful woman of loving faith.
    (excerpt from back cover).

    My Review:

    I actually loved this book, No More Christian Nice Girl, When Being Nice - Instead of Good - Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends, by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer Degler, because I can identify with your typical CNG or Christian Nice Girl.

    These are the types of women and girls who try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus but only the sweet and kind, Jesus steps. Not the mix of salty and sweet that is found in our favorite foods and snacks. We need a bit of both to balance our life and make sure we don't become the proverbial "doormat".

    There is a cute quiz at the beginning of the book to let you know if you have fallen into the character of CNG or are on your way to becoming one. Each chapter helps you to identify how you can find balance in those areas of still walking in the footsteps of Jesus but defining boundaries and borders instead of letting people walk all over you and saying nothing.

    Some of the chapters deal with friendships and families, how nice wrecks those relationships; dating, how nice attracts Mr. Wrong; Marriage, how nice messes up matrimony; sex, how nice steals your spice, and work, how nice cripples your career.

    After reading this book, I understand the mistakes I have been making along with so many other women I know who don't want to rock the boat, but have the feeling that we are taken advantage of instead of speaking up for ourselves. Thankfully in using some of these principles in my own personal life, I can rest assured I am not doing things God would be unhappy with but seeing me become the woman of God He truly had in mind for me all along.

    I received this book, compliments of Bethany House Publishers for my honest review and feel that every single girl and woman should read this. I would rate this book 5 stars for the benefit that we all need to become that woman of God we've always dreamed of becoming.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

    'No More Christian Nice Girl'

    What a book! The title, 'No More Christian Nice Girl' caught my eye and I had to read it. This book delves into the misconceptions that being Christian means being unequivocally nice, regardless of the situation. The authors take the time to explain that honesty and righteousness (while at times uncomfortable) are the true calling of Christians. Christian women are called to be strong, not doormats.

    I read this book at a time when I most needed it and it was a great read. I finished it two short sittings because I was very interested in what the author's had to say. My copy is now dogeared and I plan to go back through it again.

    I also enjoyed the set up of the book. It is broken down into manageable chapters and at the end of each chapter are useful questions to reflect upon and Bible verses to boot.

    In interest of full disclosure, as a part of Bethany House Publisher's Book Reviewer Program, I was given this book in exchange for my honest review on a retail website as well as my personal blog.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    No More Christian Nice Girl! Yay!

    The subtitle of No More Christian Nice Girl is: When just being nice - instead of good - hurts you, your family, and your friends. That is exactly what this book is about. The authors challenge Christian women to move from being Christian Nice Girls (CNGs) to being God's Good Women. What's the difference? The difference is that a CNG is a people-pleaser who thinks she is behaving like a nice Christian girl should act, but the truth is she is allowing unhealthy actions and situations to rule her life. God's good woman, on the other hand, reflects the 360 degree personality of Jesus and has the courage to take a stand. The authors present Jesus as standing for what he believed in, even if it was abrasive to some people. Best of all, the authors back up everything with Scripture so that one can go to the Bible and see exactly what it says. The book also offers practical advice on setting boundaries and dealing with friends, co-workers, husbands, and CNGs.

    It took me well over a month to read No More Christian Nice Girl because I read it as part of my daily devotions. A few sections a day was an extremely effective way for me to read it because it allowed everything to sink in and the repetition of reading about the same topic daily increased the impact of the lessons. I would recommend this book to women over the age of 18. I only give the age limit of 18 because there is a chapter about sex and boundaries which might not be appropriate for younger readers.

    I wish there had been more said about dealing with family. The family and friends chapter seemed to focus mainly on friends and I think family is one of the most difficult areas when it comes to setting boundaries and speaking the truth in love. I especially appreciated Appendix A of this book which lists all the times that Jesus was "not so nice" aka He set boundaries or said things that upset people. The questions at the end of each chapter were thought-provoking and helpful.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2010

    Excellent book for ALL women to read again and again!

    Do you feel like you're a nice girl but you have nothing to show for it? Do you feel like you just get trampled in relationships of all kinds? Do you feel like you try so hard to be nice to everyone only to have unfulfilling relationships with most everyone? You don't have to!!

    The premise of this book is stated in the subtitle: When just being nice - instead of good - hurts you, your family and your friends.

    We are taught, or at least think we are, that being nice is what is expected of us as Christians. Yet, is that really what Jesus taught? Is that really what God wants from us? The authors make the point that we need to be more like the 360-degree Jesus, who was salty and sweet, not just sweet all the time. The book covers several outside influences that have lead to this problem of CNG (Christian Nice Girls) and provides examples from the bible of God's Good Women that were not nice, but were definitely good.

    The authors do an excellent job of keeping what could be a heavy topic light and yet makes you pause and think about your life and how you behave in all types of situations. The book was easy to read and yet provided enough practical information that I'm still working through a lot of it in my own mind. It's a book that I could read every year or so and get something more out of it (or maybe just a few pointed reminders).

    Not only did it provide practical information, but it also provided scripture to back up it's points. The authors encourage you to read the bible for yourself and also seek out others who will help you on your road out of "Nice Girl City", which really helped their credibility.

    No matter your stage of life or whether you think you fall into this trap of being nice instead of good (I didn't think I did, but boy was I wrong!), this is an excellent read. Great to read by yourself, but it would also make an excellent study for a small group of women who are interested in growing their relationships with Jesus and with each other.

    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    What A Book!!!

    No More Christian Nice Girl
    When just being nice,
    instead of good, hurts you,
    your family and your friends

    By:
    Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D, Degler, PhD


    Have you ever felt like you do things for people, not because you want to, or have the time, but because you feel it is expected of you? Then this is the book for you. It is broken down into 10 chapters, which have questions which you answer True or False, and also has things you can do to help change your attitude.

    I know it is one I needed to read and I need to keep it and reread it, whenever I begin to feel that it is 'my duty' to take care of others first, and put myself last. I've been doing it all my life, and now is the time that I'm changing, and this book is going to help me do it.

    I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House to read and review. I received no other compensation for my review, and all opinions expressed here are my own. I am not required to write a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2010

    Inspiring and life-changing book about being a true Christian woman

    No More Christian Nice Girl by Paul Coughlin & Jennifer D. Degler is the companion volume to No More Christian Nice Guy for men. Christian girls and women are raised to always be kind, quiet, and modest. There is an expectation that they never show anger or strong emotion, because they are supposed to be perfect. The authors explain that the perfect woman is occasionally angry, and that while we are to model our lives on Jesus', he wasn't always nice. Jesus was often angry and spoke harsh words to people, but only when they had it coming. Coughlin and Degler use Jesus' life on earth as their model for women to speak up for themselves, stop swallowing their angry and avoiding conflict and becoming doormats. I read a lot of devotionals over the course of a year, and while they are often encouraging, it is the rare book that actually inspires me to begin changing me life AND leaves a lasting impact long after I've finished reading it. Just like many Christian women, I have kept quiet when my feelings were hurt, took on co-worker's workloads to "help" out, said yes when I really meant no, and allowed people to walk all over me in order to avoid hurting someone's feelings, all because I wanted to be a good Christian woman. What I discovered in this book is that I haven't been a good Christian woman at all. A good Christian woman allows others to take responsibility for their own actions and addresses the issue when someone hurts them, even if it does create conflict. Jesus didn't avoid speaking the truth to the Pharisees to keep from hurting their feelings, and neither should we! A quiz is included that will help readers determine what areas of their life they are too nice in, and chapters are broken up into sections like work, family, marriage, and even sex for easy reference. It's written with a lightly humorous touch to keep it from becoming too heavy, and is endlessly encouraging. Since reading it, I've been making a lot of changes in my life in how I interact with people and I anticipate that will truly bring about long-term change. I also plan on passing it on to a few women in my life who I know need it just as much I as do!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    A MUST READ FOR ALL WOMEN!

    This book is a must read for women! If you tired of always saying "yes" and would like to learn to say "no" without packing your bags for a guilt trip, then look no further than the pages of this book. The authors do a great job at illustrating that women have options far beyond being a "door mat" or just being mean. The book provides sound biblical and practical advise on how to speak the truth in love and create healthy boundaries to better balance your life. It is an easy read and one that will leave you feeling empowered to go and claim the abundant life God has for you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    No More Christian Nice Girl

    This is an awesome book! This book teaches Christian women how to stop feeling like we have to make everyone happy. We are supposed to live our lives like Jesus! However this book shows us that Jesus was not always nice! The authors use scripture passages to enforce their points which is always good. The layout of the book is awesome also because it is in small chapters so you can read one everyday. This is a great book for all women!


    (I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to review.)

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    No More Christian Nice Girl

    With such a captivating title and facetious cover image, Christan women like myself dive into this book, expecting to see what all the commotion is all about. The authors go on to discuss how Christian women are often more nice than good. They also claim that CNGs (Christian Nice Girls, as they call them) are trying to earn points with God when they act nice and are not doing so solely out of the goodness of their hearts. Quizzes, comical side notes, fictitious scenarios, and more are profuse. Escritoire is quoted every so often, and the pronouns relative to God are not capitalized, sadly. Topics covered include avoiding abuse in relationships, not attracting Mr. Wrong, speaking up, not being a pushover, and other situations. Personally, most Christian women will be taken aback by the chapter on--um, er--relations. While it is discussed as being only biblical when in marriage, the way it is discussed raises eyebrows. Giving tips on how to spice up marriage and that God wants couples to be--ahem--"happy" together is not exactly prime theological work. Also, it is noted that Song of Solomon is quoted much with regard to intimacy between spouses--and thus downplayed as an allegory between the Messiah and the Church. All in all, this controversial book has its good moments and even has a fun appendix in the back that cites where in the Bible Jesus turned heads with His outlandish and often surprising behavior that stumped those who were against Him.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2010

    Funny title, great Biblical principles.

    Today, we face the realities of a "social church" that seldom faces facts, acts in the sweetest way possible to "be a good witness," and likes sermons and ways that are soft, delicate and sweet, just because someone is Christian. As a result, many good-intentioned women end up trying to please everyone else but themselves, accomplishing nothing more than becoming a doormat for those who like abusing others. As a consequence, even the own identity is lost and life becomes a constant struggle, resulting in frustrated and broken relationships.

    This is the reality the authors say drove them to write this book. Both are experienced counselors, and it shows both, in their biblically-found advice and in their easy narration. Yes, you might find yourself soaring through the truths, jokes and challenges, while you learn that assertive, respectful and graceful words (somewhat surprising, but sincere) are more powerful than nice ones (those expected and wanted), even if this might result "offensive" to those who like to use women. It might be a challenge, but as the authors put it, confrontation will lead into intimacy and better relations.

    This book is very easy to read; the authors have a relaxed and straightforward way that invites the reader to go on. However, I found myself identified with some situations and had to take a pause and ponder about it before reading on, and this does not happen to me with any book, which is another fact I liked about this one. I even read some chapters twice.

    A great asset, at the end of each chapter, the authors include a series of questions that might be used for study in small groups or for personal reflection. They also invite the reader to go to certain verses in the Bible and study how the principle they expose is seen or applied in that specific portion. Another plus is Nicole, a fictional character that exemplifies the situations described in each chapter; by the end of the book, you can see her learning to be a different person, with authentic (not socially accepted) love for God, for herself and others. The best part of her process is that she gets closer to God and becomes a better witness of His love.

    I would not doubt in recommending this book. However, I must also include a word of caution: this is a very good book, so good that I have to add the reader must always have in mind that it is not the maximum authority on how to build a Christian character; that's what the Bible is for. I wonder - if Christians stepped up, studied the Bible and applied the teachings it includes, this book might not be needed and the authors be out of work!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review, but this does not bias my opinion on the book nor the authors.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    No More Christian Nice Girl

    I have to admit, it took me a while to get into this book. I'm not sure if it was that I was offended at first because of the way the authors described Jesus in the first chapters or what it was. Once I got further into the book, I realized that the authors were right about Jesus, he was nice yet firm in his works. He was Good. He did not worry about offending others by his actions. He knew who he was and what he stood for. And as a Christian, we are suppose to lead our lives in the way that Jesus lead his, Good-not Nice!

    There were plenty of reference's to the Bible that have verse's to back up what the authors are saying in the book. They list the ones that apply to what they are describing. There is a great Appendix in the back of the book that list passages where we can find a more forceful Jesus.

    The focus of this book is towards Christian women that feel they have to please everyone. As a Christian woman, I can relate to this book very well. I sometimes feel that I have to say yes to someone asking for me to help when I actually have something else planned to do. The older that I have got, however, I have learned to say No. Having a family of three children and a husband keeps me on my toes and I have very little time to satisfy the needs of others. At first I felt bad for this, but as described in the book, you can still be Good without actually being Nice. The need to be nice takes over all other area's of your life if you let it control you. This book gives great examples of how to be good instead of nice in areas such as marriage, sex, work, dating, and friendships. Study questions are available at the end of each chapter that challenge you to think about your life and whether you should make some changes or not. All of this comes from the fact that Jesus did not aim to please everyone and neither should you. You should still be good, but you have to be in control of your life and not worry about what others need or think of you.

    I would have to give this book a 4 out of 5 score, with 5 being a very good read. I was very intrigued and interested in what the authors had to say once I got past the first chapter and my own bias opinion. The book was very informative. They did reference the "Nice Girl" tendencies quite frequently which sometimes made it seem as if I had already read that part of the book. This book does have a great message to give, women need to be more assertive and firm instead of being passive in life. I would recommend this book to any Christian woman that needs references in the Bible to help gain control of her life.

    I was provided this book for free from Bethany House Book Publishers in return for a review based upon my honest opinion of the book.

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    Posted October 21, 2010

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    Posted December 26, 2012

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    Posted March 24, 2013

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