13 Women You Should Never Marry

13 women you should13 Women You Should Never Marry: and How Every Man Can Recognize Them,  by Mary Colbert. Published in March, 2015.

I have read a lot of books written by Christians to Christians about marriage. It’s a curiosity of mine so when I saw this one, written from a proactive rather than reactive perspective (not to mention super cheap), I snapped it up.

Mary Colbert is a mother of two sons and six grandsons, which was the driver behind her desire to write 13 Women You Should Never Marry.

The book is short, concise and direct. She outlines 13 types of women men should watch out for. I recognized myself in most of them during different periods of my life- even as a wife, although not always in as extreme a measure as outlined in this book. The author acknowledged the same of herself as well. I was left wondering to myself as the disciples did after hearing what Christ had to say on the subject: “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

At this point I am sorely tempted to offer a marital philosophy but I won’t, and stick to giving you an idea what you’ll find in the book and my thoughts about it. First, a few examples of the women you will meet in 13 Women before I grade the book. This book, I believe, is an expansion of a column Mrs. Colbert wrote for Charisma magazine back in 2014, so a couple of the descriptions I’ll lift from there.

Blinded Brenda is chronically unable to view life through the lens of anyone’s view but her own. Every situation is judged by how it will affect her personally, whether for good or ill. Even when she has a husband and children, their needs and feelings take a back seat to her own.

Holy Holly was of particular interest to me as I know her intimately. More concerned with the appearance of righteousness than living a life of love and grace, she quotes Scripture constantly, hears God tell her what to do in every area of her life (right down to what color shoes to wear!). Sounds like a fun sister to be married to, no? You can just hear her saying, “God told me not tonight, honey. Gotta fast and pray.”

Addicted Debbie is usually looking in the rear view mirror of life. She sings the “somebody done me something wrong” song to everybody and anybody who will listen. She constantly hashes and rehashes the failures or losses of life. Many times this woman will battle addictions to numb her pain, whether it’s drugs, alcohol or food. Her pains will become your worst nightmare. Remember you are looking for a helpmate, not a mate to help.

Lazy Lucille. The only place the Lord talks about laziness is in conjunction with wickedness—“You wicked, lazy servant.” God sees laziness as wicked. You will know this woman. Her house is a filthy mess, and her car looks like a trash dump. She doesn’t take care of herself in any way. She doesn’t have a healthy love for herself and won’t be able to love you correctly until she does.

Broke-as-a-Joke Julie. This is a woman who has credit issues. She owes money to everybody, and she will have no sense of restraint when it comes to spending money. Just as it is important for a woman to know a man’s financial status, a man should know a woman’s. If she can’t budget her own money, she won’t have any trouble spending yours.

In an attempt to offer some balance the author follows up every exposition of a negative wife trait with examples of women (both in Scripture and in her real life encounters) who exhibit the opposite, more excellent character traits.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that at the end of exploring each woman, Mrs. Colbert then offers a quick little “red flag”, “yellow flag”, “green flag” checklist to help men quickly identify if the woman they are considering is in fact the woman described in the chapter. It lacked the depth she intended for it to convey in my opinion, but it might be useful to some.

This book was a quick read, and given the time most of us give to reading books these days, that’s a good thing. She makes good points and she expresses them well enough. There were certainly a few things that I felt were worth addressing with my own young adult daughters and even though it was written with men in mind, I plan to have them read it. I’m not enamored with it, but it has value.

Grade: B-


13 thoughts on “13 Women You Should Never Marry

  1. Elspeth says:

    I just had a thought, for the folks who wonder why (if I gave my girls a good example) would I have them read the book. It is because I had a stellar -if not perfect- example in my own parents and when I was old enough to make my own decisions, some of these negative traits emerged and without the restraining hand of my father, I gave in to them.

    I am not of the school of “if you raise your kids right, they will never show signs of a sin nature any darker than the occasional foul word”..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elspeth says:

    Yes. I think I mentioned in the post that after each exposition of the negative character traits, she offers the positive flip side using examples from the Bible and/or real women she has encountered in her life and relationships.


  3. Robyn says:

    ohmygosh you did! I could say something like, “Gee, that’s what happens when you are racing through your emails and posts.” But that just wouldn’t be the truth! My dander was raised as I was reading, thinking, “Wait a minute, I see those negative traits in men just as much!” And, “Marriage is a process of perfection, not a coming to because you are already perfect.”

    I am humbled …. again!


  4. Elspeth says:

    Well yes of course there are men who exhibit these character traits but women are already expected not to marry those “losers”. Women on the other hand -correct me if I’m wrong- are largely considered marriage material simply for being cute and nice.

    Besides, this is a woman looking for her grandsons and all that good stuff. I didn’t sense any misogyny here.


  5. Robyn says:

    “Women on the other hand -correct me if I’m wrong- are largely considered marriage material simply for being cute and nice.” I guess that is true. Where does this view come from?


  6. Elspeth says:

    I suspect (like a lot of things in Western culture) it’s a bit of residue from days gone by.

    There used to be a reasonable expectation that a woman had been mostly chaste, had a rudimentary knowledge of how to put together a basic meal, wanted children, etc. In other words, all but the most radioactive woman of even moderate attractiveness was suitable for some gainfully employed man to wife up.

    The sexual revolution/feminism fallout has allowed the moral and practical standards for what is wife material to drop significantly -so long as the woman in question is cute and shows sufficient earnings potential- while the standards for what makes a man a suitable husband has remained largely unchanged.

    It’s within this context that parents of sons are faced with the task of helping them to look beyond whether the girl is cute, nice, and Bachelor’s degree holding.

    Look, we have 5 daughters, no sons. I am not at all pleased with the reality our girls are facing having been raised right -by a stellar example of masculinity 😉 – and trying to find a husband in a world full of young adults who have been raised wrong. I suppose I could write a book titled, “13 Men You Should Never Marry” but it would be redundant because our culture has already deemed 3/4 of men deficient in some way.


  7. Robyn says:

    “I am not at all pleased with the reality our girls are facing having been raised right …”

    I agree. Our oldest is stepping to the reality now. Being believers, we assumed that she would gravitate towards the church. But the result she keeps coming up against is weak men (not that all that are in the church are weak … but, I guess that is her opinion). She is finding higher levels of masculinity in the world. We have reached the third alternative for all of us, she will pursue on-line through Christian sites.


  8. Elspeth says:

    Our oldest is 21. Been asked out a couple of times, flirted with, but never dated anyone.

    She has only been asked out by men outside the church. Period. She’s often said quite bluntly that she hasn’t encountered any men in her age range that she felt she would feel the kind of security with that she senses I feel from her father. On the contrary, she thinks she’d have to go down stairs to confront the intruder in the night if she married most of the young men she has encountered. That’s not a statement of male expendability (for the lurkers). it’s how she expresses her take on the lack of raw masculinity she encounters as a matter of course. But there is a flip side, and it’s one we really have to consider.

    It could be that or daughters, being somewhat immature, haven’t yet recognized that as frail human women, we are often drawn to darkness rather than light.

    It is the same thing I think the author of the book was trying to offset in service to the young men she loves and knows. That we are viscerally drawn to some things and we have to set our hearts and minds to remember that in our pursuit of those things (for men beauty, for women that raw masculine confidence that makes us weak) we could make a horrible mistake by forgetting those things which God prizes most highly.

    Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. You know the passage.


  9. Elspeth says:

    Just realized I need to clarify:

    “For men, beauty to the exclusion of all else, for women that raw masculine confidence that makes us so weak that we can fail to properly vet for character and godliness“.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with men desiring a beautiful woman or women wanting a masculine, confident man.


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