“Where do these authors get this stuff? That book says my husband can beat me, and I have to take it.”
I stared at the woman, and if you told me my jaw hung, I would have believed it. I’d just finished the book in question, and hadn’t read that anywhere in there. In fact, as far as I was concerned, you’d be hard-pressed to stretch it to that.
Similar stories followed the release of another book—and another. The complaints always took a similar vein. Sometimes you could stretch what was in a book to support the complaint, but often I wondered if we’d read the same words.
Eventually, I quit reading books on marriage because either:
- The books really did teach unbiblical stuff, and I couldn’t discern it
- I saw them teaching unbiblical stuff, and I wasn’t going to read that!
I missed those books, though—the encouragement, the reminder that I’d made vows to this man of mine, and those vows had meaning. In fact, I once had a rotation of five or six books that I read and reread to keep my mind fixed on being the wife I’d vowed to be.
Time passed—like ten years or more.
Then last year at a writers’ conference, I learned about a new book that intrigued me. When a publisher asked my opinion of it, I said that what I’d seen looked solid. Then I promptly forgot about it. What can I say? I’m a busy gal.
The year passed.
This June I sat at a table at Hope International, ready to help the next author who walked through the door. She came in with a bright smile, a notebook, and ready to learn. That alone is an exciting thing. So often I see people who have decided what they want you to tell them and then are annoyed when you don’t say what they want to hear.
She laid out what she’d done, what she’d planned to do, and asked where to start to find the people who were looking for her book. In a word, she needed help with marketing.
We worked out a plan.
And afterward, I mentioned it to my publisher friend. That’s when I found out that the book I’d been excited about last year was the one I’d just spent an hour discussing. Excited can’t even begin to describe how I felt.
See, here’s the deal. So often people say they’re writing a book or they wrote one and want to get it published. They talk a lot—even take little steps toward those goals.
But it never goes anywhere.
Not this gal. She made a plan, worked the plan, finished the plan, and was now ready for a new one.
The invitation to receive a free ARC of the book arrived in my inbox, and I jumped at it. Read the thing in one chunk, devouring it.
Friday night, I drove three hours south to attend the book launch.
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know what book I’m talking about— Crown: 30 Wife-Changing Lessons. I shared some of Nancy’s cheesy commercials on my Facebook page over the past few weeks #becausehilarious! Next up: a bit from that launch and my opinion on Crown.
The foyer of the church teemed with people in line for food, to buy a book, or to get their book signed when I finally made it through the door—right on time. Seriously, it was supposed to start at 6:30, and I walked through that door at 6:30 sharp. Not too shabby for a girl not used to Orange County traffic and who had injured herself just a couple of hours earlier.
The line stretched out in front of the book tables—seemingly endless. I stood back and, call me ridiculous, but I felt like this proud mom watching her child nail her first ballet performance or something. Nancy seemed indefatigable. She smiled, took pictures, signed—the works.
All in a room decorated in gorgeous blues, golds, and with bright, exquisite floral arrangements everywhere. It sounds silly to say, but I couldn’t help but think, “How appropriate that this looks like a wedding reception.”
At seven o’clock, we all filed into the fellowship hall for a short time of worship, an introduction to her and her family, and the story behind how this book came to be. Those who know me are going to crack up, but I actually had to wipe away a couple of tears that tried to form.
I don’t even do tears!
After a reading of a couple of passages from the book, Nancy treated us to a full showing of all of those cheesy commercials, ending with a final one made just that day. I still can’t stop giggling at it.
Note: links are affiliate links and provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Additionally, while I was provided with a review copy, I purchased both my own Kindle copy and ten paperbacks, so this review wasn’t influenced by anything but my opinion.
Is Crown the Perfect Jewel That Wives Need?
In a word? No. That would be Jesus.
However, Crown is a beautiful example of what happens when someone goes to Jesus’ Word and uses His words to encourage others. With careful attention to speaking truth, in love, and with care to avoid misunderstandings, Nancy Kaser tackles the Biblical view of marriage and shows readers how to apply those principles to everyday life.
The book is divided into six chapters with five lessons per chapter. Or, as the title puts it, in “30 wife-changing lessons.” I just love that subtitle. Those chapters cover one themed topic—themes like yield, help, smile, gift… and within those, the deeper lessons. From sacrificial servanthood to simple things like smiling (that aren’t always so simple to do, right?), she addresses the life of a wife.
Because of that setup, someone could dig deep into the book in six weeks, spending each weekday in one lesson. It would be time-consuming to do a thorough job, but not excessively so. Or, if you prefer, it could easily be done in a little over six months. One lesson could be tackled each week of the month.
There are so many amazing things to say about Crown.
With careful attention to Scriptural accuracy and a compassionate devotion to the topic, Crown is written with an intelligent but approachable voice. The book lapses into conversational style when Kaser tells one of her stories to illustrate a point. Want to know what Daniel Boone has to do with her marriage? Read the book.
Look, she’s even an overachiever! Where many wives joke about hiding purchases from their husbands, Kaser admits to hiding the money for a purchase from her husband! She hadn’t even spent it yet!
I hope that answers the question of whether the book is written from a lofty tower of self-righteousness. It is not. Kaser offers a realistic and approachable look at Biblical marriage from the viewpoint of one who has made the mistakes as well as learned from and grown through them.
That said, she doesn’t pull punches.
One of my favorite quotes from Crown had to do with gloating in someone else’s failures… or maybe it was modesty? I can’t remember the context, but she wrote,
You are having your ego stroked by someone else’s sin, and you need to repent.”
Seriously? BRILLIANT. How often do authors risk that kind of forthright, candid response to sin these days?
Another thing I loved was how she made a point of reminding us that she was writing to wives. Yes, husbands have admonitions, too, but our responsibility before the Lord does not change based on how obedient our husbands are. As firm as she stands on a Biblical perspective of marriage, Kaser doesn’t advocate for a dangerous, slavish devotion to the ideal without acknowledging that we live in a sin-filled world and sometimes that means there are exceptions that God has allowed for. Still, she writes primarily to the “rule” rather than the “exception.”
Who is it best for?
I suspect the worst five words you could say to an editor is, “My book is for everyone.”
Well, Nancy Kaser doesn’t make that claim, but I do. So much of Crown applies to Christians in general. We are called the “Bride of Christ,” after all. Even men could learn a thing or two about yielding, smiling, order, and helping, right? Young, unmarried women could get a realistic view of what it means to be married and maybe, just maybe, get a good idea of what kind of man they want to marry in the first place. Young men? Yeah, them, too.
What about Crown do you need to know?
Synopsis: Whether you’re in the honeymoon stage or celebrating your fiftieth anniversary, you have never before been in this season of your marriage. Your family dynamics, finances, health, emotional state, location, ministry, employment status—all the factors of your life—are in a perpetual state of transition.
As a married woman, you are continually wife-changing. The Scriptures never change, but they can always be freshly applied to every season of marriage.
Crown is a resource that combines solid Bible teaching, humorous and humbling tales from the author’s own marriage journey, and dozens of compelling stories from real women just like you.
Based on Proverbs 12:4, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,”
Crown includes concrete Scriptural truths and real-life examples that will equip you to be the excellent wife God created you to be. Complex issues such as biblical roles within marriage, physical intimacy, communication, forgiveness, and home management are all addressed with candid honesty, encouragement, and biblical substance.
In thirty wife-changing lessons, you will be instructed, challenged, and motivated to walk in obedience to God’s beautiful design for marriage.
To celebrate the release of Crown…
I have TWO winners of CROWN to share with you!!! Congratulations to…
Anne L. Rightler and…
Aryn the Libraryan
I’ll be emailing you guys!!!