ForeWord Reviews

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For My Boys and the Women They Will Love

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

For My Boys and the Women They Will Love is a slim volume of relationship advice penned by Princess Elaine S. Fletcher Watson. Intended as a heartfelt guide to dating and marriage for her own two sons, Watson draws on personal experience and faith-based teachings to deliver a book that makes an attempt to appeal to young men and women who seek a better understanding of the wants, needs, expectations, and temptations of the opposite sex.

The chapters are interspersed with biblical quotations and action steps, the context of which not only speaks to committing oneself fully to the chosen romantic partner but also to the glory of God and the love of one’s fellow man. Among the observations Watson includes in her “Countdown To a Happy Life” (reiterated throughout the book) are “A happy life is intentional,” “Declare and defend your decisions,” and “Your birthright in God is separate, distinct and protected from another person’s.” While the format is easy to follow and effective in conveying the author’s religious beliefs, the text employs excessive repetition.

Watson’s core messages regarding love, respect, and honesty break very little new ground: “Keep the flame burning,” “Be open and honest in your discussion on sex,” “Deviations bring us disappointments, dejection and divorce.” In itself, there is nothing wrong with restating these codes of conduct and morality if one’s hope is to achieve a state of grace, humility, and security. Watson’s frequent references to gender-specific household chores (cooking, cleaning, laundry) and her comments declaring a wife’s duty to be submissive echo a bygone era that many women today will find offensive. Watson writes, “Submission is an important tenet of marriage,” as well as, “Submission is not optional.” In Watson’s view, this also extends to legal issues such as property rights: “The lease agreement must have your name appearing first, then her name.”

Watson’s advice to women on “staying market fresh” and accompanying one’s husband on trips that last longer than one week in order to keep him from sexually straying underscore a belief (by Watson) that females exist only to please their superior mates. While many women will find much to criticize about this approach, Watson’s perspectives may resonate with teens and young adults seeking guidance on matters of dating and relationships from a Christian perspective.

Numerous typos, grammatical and punctuation errors, mixed fonts (several of them challenging to read), and repetitive tips throughout give the volume an unfinished look and structure. The same seven steps to deal with infidelity, obesity, and ungodly thoughts are reiterated multiple times through the second half of the book. The cover art and color scheme are attractive choices, and Watson communicates sincerity and steadfast devoutness to her faith.

Christina Hamlett