The fourth chapter develops this theme by pointing out how thankfulness can end up guarding our own hearts against much frustration. I admit I don't really see the joke of having to clean up a bag of trash because your husband was showing off, but then again I probably wouldn't hide in the laundry room in order to scare him. More power to them I reckon. Her main point is that thankfulness produces a joy that makes husbands and wives joyful playmates more quick to laugh than fret. Amen. Where I lose Mrs. Pearl is when she that she has this sort of marriage because of choices that she made and that by making similar choices you can "control" what kind of marriage you have (40,42). Sounds a whole lot like backseat driving when you consider that husbands are heads of their wives.
As I read through chapter 4 I noticed some more odd theology about women (remember me questioning her ideas on single women?). There's a tiny paragraph that I think is worth quoting in full:
Because I have known such love and closeness with a man, subsequently my understanding of God and my appreciation for him are so much deeper. A relationship based on law, rules, willful humility, and formality is death. I have learned to approach God just as I approach my husband with love, joy, and delight (44).Again, I know this is written to wives, but where does this leave all the other women? It's a no brainer that wives would experience God differently than single women, but then again farmers, navy captains, and architects also experience God differently from teachers, painters, and biologists. That's the nature of believing in a God who deals in metaphor and narrative. Certain parts of our own stories will align more or less closely with parts of God's revealed story. Speaking of which, her interpretation of Luke 7:38 baffles me. I was pretty sure that standard interpretation is that this woman was washing and anointing Christ both for his burial and in judgment of the Pharisees who condemned Him. Instead Mrs. Pearl turns it into a story of guilt over her daring to soil the feet of Jesus with her tears. One question for Mrs. Pearl - if that's the case then why does Jesus say she hadn't ceased kissing His feet? Something doesn't seem to add up here.
The next few chapters seem to be on wisdom. I'll get to them later today or tomorrow. Right now this housewife has to packing to do. We've got an ETA of 6 weeks, and things are getting busy.