Several years ago I stole a book from my parents called Discovering the Mind of a Woman by Ken Nair. I think I was dating someone at the time and realizing that what I knew about women could fill a 140 character tweet. I never actually read the book until recently. Being a husband and aware of my need of good advice, I’ve been rereading this cornily-named book and I think you should too–even if you’re not married or dating yet. Don’t be distracted by the early-90’s cover, the title, or his ministry website–all of which are outdated and cheesy–the advice in this book is completely timely and relevant to your life.
I’ll warn you up front that if you don’t like to be convicted, challenged, and exhorted to grow then don’t even bother reading this review, much less the book itself. Ken Nair will kick your ass–but in a good way. If you’re attracted to a title like Discovering the Mind of a Woman because you think it will get you more hot dates or get you laid then you have no idea what you’re in store for. Nair writes with the voice of a spiritual father. He wants you to mature, to let go of your childish ways, and to grow to be a man who God can use to bless, lead, learn from and love a woman.
Nair starts out with the story of how he came to realize that he was living selfishly as a husband and father and that he was not being a spiritual leader in his home. He encountered the Father’s grace in this and prayed for three things:
- That God would help (him) learn how to meet the need of (his) wife, to understand her mind, her way of thinking, her innermost feelings.
- That God would show (him) how to love (his) wife so that she would be able to experience more than just hearing (him) say, “I love you.” As God’s representative, (he) wanted to have her experience God’s loving her through (him), to bless her heart through (him). That would include learning how to love her through her frame of reference.
- That (he) would learn how to be the spiritual leader of (his) home. That (his) spirit might become so sensitive that (he) would become aware of the Holy Spirit leading (his) spirit.
It turns out that God answered these prayers for Ken Nair but it would come at a high price and through a long process. He realized that God was calling him to true Christ-likeness and that Paul’s words in Ephesians, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loves the church and also gave himself for her.” were a greater commandment than he could possibly imagine.
What came from his journey with God and his wife, and from years as a marriage counselor and discipler of men is distilled in Discovering the Mind of a Woman. Nair’s teachings are not for the faint of heart, his first chapter has subtitles like “This Could Be Dangerous!” and “No Shortcuts”.
In chapter two Nair takes a sledge-hammer to four common male prejudices that prevent us from pursuing our wives and generally respecting the women in our lives:
- Women are impossible to understand.
- Women are the real problem.
- Women are inferior to men.
- Women are supposed to be “the boss”.
From there Nair guides us on a journey that will doubtless continue our entire lives.
Nair has a high view of the husband’s duty in marriage, a real appreciation for the glorious, terrifyingly deep heart of a woman, and a passionate commitment to seeing men become more like Christ. This makes for a truly challenging book but one that is written with a voice obviously motivated by love and that encourages us to rely on grace and the Holy Spirit as we try to rise to the occasion.
Every man needs a man like Ken Nair in his life. A man who has seen and learned a lot, who has remained faithful to the Lord, and who is generative enough to pass on the things he has learned. If we don’t seek out men like this, in person or writing or however else we can, we will be missing out. Solomon tells his son,
“My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
With books like Discovering the Mind of a Woman, you don’t have to search very far to find a good dose of wisdom.
If you read the book check back in and let me know what you think of it.