And so we come to one of the worst chapters in this book – Let It Go – not the pretty song from the Disney film ‘Frozen’ either. The chapter is all about letting go of your desires to control your husband. Lori illustrates this with her many stringent food rules without once consulting Ken on his needs or wants.
The chapter is mercifully short and starts with a jaunt through the ancient history of Lori’s mother’s health struggles complete with a bashing of how modern medicine failed her mother, even though her father is a doctor. I believe I read somewhere that her father was a pathology doctor.
Her mother was miraculously healed by that thing that is so incredibly prevalent in Quiverfull families, the idol of ‘healthy eating’. I’m not bashing eating healthy here, just the extremist version of it practiced in many Evangelical households. You have to eat the way that works for your needs, it’s incredibly personal and not something that you need to be nagging others to do.
Which leads us to the crux of this chapter and Lori and Ken’s most sticky marital wicket. Fighting over food choices. Some choice quotes:
When I met Ken, I was determined to change his eating habits because his idea of dinner was driving to the closest fast food restaurant….
This made me angry….
To make it clear that I disapproved, I would give him the silent treatment the rest of the night….
One thing that isn’t explained is if Lori and Ken had a conversation about this issue and expectations about the food they would eat before they got married. If they had this whole thing could have been defused, or lessened and they would not have wasted all that time with Ken sneaking in ice cream and potato chips while Lori fumed.
The other thing is this – Ken is a grown assed man, responsible for his own choices, good or bad. Lori can serve healthy meals all she wants, but if Ken takes a notion that he wants a Snickers bar instead there’s nothing concrete she can do.
I’m reminded of an incident in my own household this week. I slept in one morning and came downstairs for breakfast just in time to see my husband having cookies and cappuccino. I asked him if he was having cookies for breakfast. He confirmed it and I laughed, told him that Lori Alexander would so not approve. He laughed. Reading this book has turned ‘Lori would not approve’ into a funny catchphrase between us now.
Jim is a grown ass man. If he wants cookies for breakfast I’m not going to say a thing. His choice. As it should be. Would I eat cookies for breakfast? Nope, not my choice because I need protein in the morning to feel right. But I’m not going to throw shade over that either, or pout, or fume silently.
Lori follows with this:
I hated being so overly rigid.
Well, yeah, being a total buzz kill would do that. Not a happy place for anyone to be. I am imaging someone that stayed awake at night angrily grinding their teeth while stewing about the tacos and burgers.
When I learned not to try to control Ken in in (sic) how he ate, I felt released from my overwhelming desire to control him in other areas of his life.
She learned something positive that she’s sharing with us through the book. Don’t try to control your husband. The sole good lesson so far.
But she kills this with her assertion at the end.
It’s pride, plain and simple.
Our desire to control others is rarely about pride. Many times others seek to control people out of fear. Sometimes control comes when we’re too stressed to deal with any possibility of something going wrong. There are a lot of reasons. Examining yourself for those possible reasons is a probably a good thing and dealing with that reason with a trained professional is even better. Don’t live in the controlling misery Lori Alexander lived for over twenty years. Just. Don’t.
She ends the chapter talking about how you are not responsible for your husband’s choices and if he ends up dead of heart attack or develops diabetes its solely on him.That may be true, but being as supportive of his needs and making healthy options goes a long way too.
Next chapter is called ‘Allow Him to Lead’ and instead of the crazy stories from her life it’s mostly just Lori rehashing her personal cherry-picked Bible.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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