This 1989 book comes highly recommended by many pastors and church leaders. It is our belief, however, that Rekindled is not at all Biblical in its approach to the matters of building and maintaining a marriage relationship, in that it relies heavily upon the concepts and teachings of humanistic psychology. Below are listed some quotes and comments that detail these concerns:
- "She [Jill] didn't like herself much right then" (p. 41).
- "Jill was eager to do something, anything, for herself" (p. 92).
- Jill details her "dissatisfaction" list of areas in which Pat needs improvement, so that he becomes the husband that Jill (and supposedly, God) wants him to be: not as careful about things as when dating; car is dirty; shoes unshined; bad haircut; needs contact lenses; wears unfashionable clothes; has lost his "healthy" look; has lost his upper body strength; his hair needs coloring; and, in general, looks ten years too old (pp. 96-97). [Incredibly (p. 115), Pat tries to correct these so-called flaws!]
- "I [Jill] should have been thrilled that he was letting me do my own thing, discover myself, become aware of my possibilities" (p. 103).
- "I [Jill] hated myself" (p. 106).
- Jill sought "emotional intimacy outside the home" where others "saw her worth" (p. 108).
- Jill has a faulty concept of the sovereignty of God; i.e., "If You [God] cared for me wouldn't You want me to be happy in my marriage?" She was, "afraid to be angry with God ..." but what else could she be, considering all the problems she had with her husband -- implying that being angry with God can be a justified response to adversity or trials (p. 110).
- Pat makes a statement quite reminiscent of Larry Crabb's theology -- "She was dead, Pat decided. Emotionally dead. And I killed her" (p. 114).
- Pat treats Jill's unwillingness to forgive him as being "unable" to forgive (p. 119).
- Lauds over and over again the help given by Ed Wheat, particularly in his psychologically-based book, Love Life, citing endorsements by such so-called "evangelicals" as James Dobson and Chuck Swindoll (pp. 120, 135). The continual references to Wheat and Love Life, appear to be placing him in the category of God's prophet, and the book as having at least equal authority with the Bible (pp. 123, 128, 148, 130-140). (Wheat's B-E-S-T system is strikingly similar to Gary Smalley's "psychology of matriarchy," whereby the husband is to be manipulated to the point where he succumbs to the wife's every so-called need.)
- Again demonstrates the complete feelings-oriented focus of Jill, along with Ed Wheat's prescription for pandering and groveling by Pat in order to win Jill back. There is absolutely no recognition by the authors of Jill's sinful response pattern nor her need to obey God regardless of her feelings (pp. 129, 139).
- Labels Jill's "wants/desires" as "needs" (p. 131).
- Supports Ed Wheat's "edifying" concept, which is nothing more than a humanistic psychological methodology; e.g., "Jill was starved for it [praise] as most women are ... Jill had very little confidence in herself ... In many ways, she thought she was worthless ... Jill has a self-image problem," much like Brooke Shields, and "it's not false modesty" (p. 134). [The Bible knows nothing of this "starvation" for praise. This so-called need has been developed and nurtured by our psychological society (i.e., "build-up her self-esteem"), while the Bible knows only of a few physical needs (food, clothing, shelter) and only one basic spiritual need (salvation) (Matt. 6).]
- Views rebuilding a marriage in "Ed Wheat fashion" (i.e., pandering and groveling) as "You have to go at this like a recovering alcoholic" (p. 138).
- Pat lets Jill off the hook after all her sinful responses and her refusal to ask for his forgiveness by saying, "Self-acceptance [for her] after that would be difficult" (p. 140).
- Quotes favorably another so-called Christian psychologist, Tim LaHaye (p. 150).
- Pat makes what could be called a "wife deification" statement -- Pat has come to believe that God is actually speaking to him through his wife, to the point that now, "When she suggests something, like having another baby, buying another van, moving, whatever, I start by assuming it's probably of God" (p. 150). [Pat has apparently, via the counsel of Ed Wheat, completely relinquished to his wife his God-given responsibility for spiritual leadership and decision-making. Pat is no longer Jill's leader, but her follower!]
- Pat and Jill are now applying Wheat's B-E-S-T system to their children, to the point where the kids are now "demanding" touching and hugging for themselves (p. 150).
- By the time the book is complete, Pat has given-in to every single self-centered demand of Jill's -- he's built up his upper body strength; he squeezes her orange juice every day; he's adopted Korean orphans; he constantly praises her whether it's warranted or not so that she can feel good about herself; he's wearing contact lenses and dressing more fashionably; he's bought her the fur coat she's always wanted; etc., etc. -- all this, we are led to believe, is the Biblical way for a husband to "rekindle" his marriage.
- The "For Further Thought and Discussion" section in the back of the book is loaded with psychological platitudes from humanistic psychology (e.g., "self-esteem, fear of rejection, self- image, feelings of inferiority," etc.) (pp. 155-160).
- The inside of the book's covers and the outer jacket contain 38 endorsements, some of which are from well-known psychologists and New Agers! One, therefore, needs to question to whom this book is intended to appeal, and to whom it is supposed to help? For example, why are the following people endorsers of Rekindled?:
(a) Howard Hendricks: self-esteem/self-love proponent
(b) Ted Engstrom: psychologizer
(c) Zig Ziglar: humanist/psychologizer
(d) Marabel Morgan: psychologizer and author of The Total Woman
(e) Henry Brandt: psychologist
(f) Tim Timmons: psychologizer
(g) Bruce Larson: New-Age pastor in Seattle
(h) Tony Campolo: sociologist/psychologizer and pantheistic philosopher
* At the time of this report (3/96), Pat Williams is the General Manager of the Orlando Magic professional basketball team. In 1/96, an Orlando newspaper reported that Jill was divorcing Pat. She left him the 18 children!