Genre: Nonfiction, Domestic Abuse
Source: Paperback copy provided by Book Look Bloggers/Harper Collins Publishing, in exchange for a review.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars for good
Barnes and Noble
Excerpt from Zondervan.
Ruth A. Tucker's blog @ Ruth Tucker.
and the blog @ Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife.
Tim Challies review of the book: Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
"If this volume saves even one woman from further domestic abuse, my dread in writing will have been worth it." Ruth A. Tucker
The above quote is the main purpose for the writing of the book. Tucker shares her story of being in an abusive marriage. She provides insight to a world many people in the Church do not understand or who have ambivalent feelings.
Pastors, leaders in the Church, and well-known Christian speakers give voice and advice, not knowing their words place the abused in harm's way.
Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife is a starting point for Christians to read and educate themselves about domestic violence. The book is a discussion tool. It is a place to create knowledge and wisdom on a subject that has been kept in the shadows.
The first chapter reflects on a debate Tucker and Dr. John Piper had in 1995. The subject of the debate was, "Should marriage be based on a model of mutual submission and equality or on a model of male headship?" Tucker brings out a second theme in Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: the Complementarian belief. This belief holds men and women have different roles and responsibilities in marriage, family, and church leadership.
Submission in the marriage is a stumbled upon word. It's a word misunderstood and used to take advantage of another. I appreciated Tucker sharing Bible stories of men and families who were imperfect. Men who were well-known OT heroes; however, they treated their wives disrespectfully and often brought about generational problems. Two men were admirable: Elkanah and Boaz.
A less spoke upon theme in the book, but blatantly clear is how Christians interpret the Bible. There are Christians who are conservative, fundamental, moderate, and liberal. There are also Christians who have no idea what they believe, because they do not read the Bible.
Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife surprised me with other topics of interest: parenting, marriage, and a person's character.
The main focus of the book is on the domestic abuse Tucker and her son lived through when she was married to her first husband. As well as, the choices she made as a result of the abuse, the long-term affects on her and her son, and the response of the church in regards to her abuse.
I'm thankful to writers who take off their mask and become transparent in sharing stories of domestic abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual addiction, imprisonment, child abuse, sexual abuse/assault, bankruptcy, prostitution, mental health conditions, adultery, terminal/end of life, grieving a death, and PTSD.
There will always be people who do not believe a life story shared. They will look for a loop hole or make a negative remark. But this should not stop the story from being shared. The story is meant to help. It is a personal and private story shared. Only God knows what is in a person's heart. To declare the abused is giving false information or with an intent to stir the pot on a subject is inappropriate.
If you are a reader who is liberal in regards to gender equality, this is not a pro-gender equality book. Tucker's book tries to answer the question of biblical equality in a marriage; plus her story of abuse. Tucker comes close to this subject in Chapter 5, by showing a research analysis on gender differences in brains: emotional stimuli in female brains versus male.
Chapter 8 is on cultural issues including genital mutilation and a hatred of women. I wish this chapter had been omitted. It is interesting reading material, but I don't think it helped the over-all purpose of the book. Rap music is talked about in this chapter. I feel the chapter needs further clarification, to speak on several points in this one chapter is heavy, and made me feel culture groups might feel slighted. However, I do agree with the statement on page 126, "...the demand to domineer is always present. Yet hatred of women is not easily detectable. Indeed, there is a fine line between male domination and misogyny."
Chapter 9 is on rape in marriage. This chapter I had a problem with.
Dare we ask Todd Akin's questions; Is a particular incident a case of 'legitimate rape'? I may be walking on thin ice here, but perhaps the question has merit. As we've already seen when it comes to domestic violence, we should not automatically believe everyone's story. Is there a motive for someone to lie, perhaps in a child custody battle? And what is the definition of abuse? Is it abuse when a husband tells a wife she ought to lose twenty pounds and wear sexy nighties? While such behavior may not be appropriate, we dare not flatten a crime so much that it means nothing. If almost everything is abuse, then nothing is abuse. So it is with rape. If we define it too broadly, the term almost becomes meaningless. So, then what is legitimate rape?" Page 134I quoted the entire paragraph in order to not chop up words to take out of context.
First of all I cannot believe she said, "we should not automatically believe everyone's story." Yikes. Does this mean we should not believe her story or my story? As I stated above it is inappropriate to accuse someone else of being a liar...at least out of the court system.
I dislike the wording of defining rape and using words like "meaningless" and "legitimate". This area of the book needs clarification.
I feel a weak point over-all in the book is bringing about too many elements, because the book is not long enough in explaining and clarifying every given element.
The strong point over-all in the book is bringing to light domestic abuse and child abuse, because these affect not just the world but Christian homes. The Church must educate and prepare for helping the abused and oppressed.