tough to swallow

I know there are 2 kinds of criticism–constructive and the other kind. I don’t really like either one. And I don’t always receive it well. I’m working on this. My husband is really good at making sure his criticism is constructive, or not even criticism at all–just helpful advice and insights. I prefer to be right, to be thought well of, to never, ever be criticized. But, I do realize it’s good for me–especially when I take it like I should and use what I’ve learned to help me grow into a better person.

Anyway, my stomach is churning a little after reading this. (the first review on the page) If you don’t feel like going there, I’ll summarize for you. Someone bought my book (possibly from, read part of it, and decided that my theology was way off, so she didn’t finish it.

Her last sentence reads, “I personally don’t know of anywhere in scripture that it encourages us to be anything but open and honest….and her methods often suggest keeping things from our husband and not being transparent in every way….which is very popular theology in today’s church….yet one I disagree with.”

Hmmm…I’m not quite sure what she’s saying. I can’t remember writing anything to the effect of keeping things from your husband. ?? I tell my husband pretty much everything. Maybe someone who has read it recently could help me out. I do say, “This book isn’t for your husband–it’s for you.” ?? Is that what she means? I need to re-read the book.

I was a bit hurt by this statement: “her remarks about God judging us for our words….was all peppered with the familiar Southern Baptist works religion.”

I hope and pray that my book wasn’t dishonoring to the God I know and serve and love. He is a God of grace and love and mercy, and “works religion” is the farthest thing from what I wanted to express in the book. Hmmm…

So, I’m asking for a favor. If anyone read the book and enjoyed it, could you take a minute to review it on amazon for me? Just to keep other women from being discouraged from getting the book based on that review. And to get my rating back up to 4 stars or so. 🙂

Thanks, friends. I still wanted to get your thoughts on book promotion–I’ll do that soon!

You’re the best!

14 thoughts on “tough to swallow

  1. biblestorebrowser

    Gabe mentioned HCC to DH. If it’s as good as it seems from its website, it seems like a place I’d wanna be too!! Oh, why can’t there be such a place over here in the middle of nowhere?!

  2. biblestorebrowser

    I’d feel the same way. I don’t take criticism well whether it’s from a lack of (their) understanding or entirely founded. The fact is, we can’t please everyone no matter how hard we try. We just have to take comfort in the knowledge that God leads us to share with others the things we share because no one else can minister in the same way.
    Now the Southern Baptist theology is a “works religion?” I’ve always heard it criticized for its once saved, always saved theology leading to false conversions and extensive “liberties” by some of its members. I guess it just goes to show how Satan will pervert things both ways to turn people off to Christianity when the bottom line is people need to be in the Word allowing the Spirit to speak to them rather than relying solely on what others tell them God says.

  3. kkakwright

    I left you a review, hope it helps.  I will pray that God will release this bad review from your mind.  I’m not sure where but there is a verse in the Bible that says something like this…..Sometimes we can’t here God whispering in our ear cause Satan is shouting so loudly.  Obviously, my paraphrase.   So, Satan is workin on you Marla cause you are workin for Jesus.  Doesn’t help ease the hurt but it does help to recognize it for what it is.  Not saying this gal is Satan or anything, I’m just saying.  Harvest House doesn’t publish everything that comes across their desk girlfriend.  Keep your head up.

  4. KmHunsberger

    I think I am similar to you with my ability to swallow criticism. I guess when you write a book, or do anything of that public nature, you have to prepare yourself for SOME amount of criticism. It is too bad she did not finish the book, maybe if she had she might have felt differently about the book! Anyway, I feel badly for you bc if I were you, that review would keep bouncing around in my head, and I would have a hard time not thinking about it. But like one of your commenters said, “let it bounce right out of your ear!” I think your book was wonderful, and I am still in amazement that I have a “friend” who got a book published by Harvest House! Maybe that reveiwer was jealous…and took it out like that 🙂 I know I am !!!! 🙂

  5. youngadamj

    Hey Marla,

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the mixed review that you got from that particular person. It is probably a misunderstanding of the reader more than anything. I have not read your book, but from seeing the review it seems that the reader was questioning your theological motives, even though you may have had none. From my understanding, your book was about practical advice, not a theology of marriage.

    I wouldn’t get too upset over it, because every author will at some point have someone disagree with their point of view simply because the reader does not fully understand where the author is coming from. Your family and friends, who know you, will less likely misunderstand what you are saying because they know you personally. Someone who does not know you can only guess at your meaning. That, I guess, is a drawback of writing to a large group of people. All you can do is hope that you do your best to make what you are saying clear. It is impossible, though, to satisfy everyone in your works.

    Have a good day!


  6. YoYoYoder

    You bought me something?? How exciting!!

    I would’ve written a review earlier, but it was so hard to wrap up your book in a couple paragraphs. I wasn’t sure what to say. But after reading the negative review, I definitely had to respond and let everyone know that your book is awesome and spiritually sound!!

    Her review was a bit loony and she didn’t have any exact quotes from your book to use. And the part about God judging our motives, not our words–um…it’s the same thing!! We don’t say mean things if our motive isn’t revenge or selfishness or jealousy, etc. etc. What a goon! I mean, what a nice sister in Christ who needs to learn the art of constructive criticism! I’m sure she’s a nice person once you get to know her. 🙂

    I love you Marsy!! Oh–and did you mean #5?? Had you never thought to be thankful for nieces and nephews or empty grocery aisles? 🙂

  7. mtaviano

    Ha! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow, CMP! I think Jesus also told the Pharisees to love their enemies and turn the other cheek and not call people “stuffy twits.” 🙂

  8. CourtneyMarieP

    Dang, I need to read the book again, I totally missed out on your pointers on how to keep things from the ol hubby!  JK

    Greek schmeek!  Stuffy twit….I’m glad that according to A.Sprinker that every time Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, it doesn’t apply to us. Hallelujah!

    I’m sorry, I missed the Forward in your book where you  claimed to be a theologian! 

    You my dear have a gift….take this with a grain of salt, learn from it, let it stretch you, bounce it around in your  head and then…ooops, there is goes, rolling out your ear! 

  9. mrsnorthern8605

    Deni, like as in Denny! Drew gave it to me. I told him I would never call him Andrew, because I just don’t like the whole long name thing, plus Andrew is too common. He decided to call me Deni because he said it would be fun, it kinda stuck. Glad I could be encouraging!

  10. mtaviano

    Deni, Drew, and Nixie–thank you guys so much. This has realy been bumming me out, but I’m feeling better already. Keep the encouraging comments coming–what great friends I have!

  11. Nixter77

    Hey – I am going to write you an email, that makes me quite mad because I am a bit of a theolog and have actually been telling ALL my friends how biblically sound it is.  Grrrrrrrr

  12. waterbrine

    Marla, to second what Deni said, I have to say that I can see how communication has improved in our marriage since she had read your book. You’re doing amazing work that is helping marriages.

  13. mrsnorthern8605

    Wow, what a rather harsh review. Part of me would like to say, “I’d like to see you write something like that.” But that isn’t appropriate and makes me look like a terrible person. I am not sure what to tell you. I guess one encouraging thing is that it seems most people that have read it, enjoyed it. Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but she has reviewed other books and ripped them apart too. It seems to me this person wants to be difficult and opinionated. I know it must hurt to hear such a negative review, but I really think the book was written well. I just think people tend to over analyze things. And remember, someone came up to you the other day and hugged you for writing the book and saving their marriage, right? Think about those things and I think you will find that most people enjoy your book. There is always going to be that one person who wants to be difficult, seems we have found that person! Keep writing, keep encouraging others, you do it well!


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