Comedian Steve Harvey wrote a serious book on relationships titled: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. This book has taken this country by a storm and been lauded by Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Good Morning America, on the New York Times Bestsellers list and on and on the accolades go.
But for Christians, this book is a major problem. It’s full of advice being given by a man claiming to be a Christian. Advice that if Christian women (and men) follow, will find themselves compromising biblical principles.
I wasn’t too interested in this book until I started hearing Steve Harvey on some of the talk shows encouraging women to follow the 90 day rule. His rule is for women to not give up the *cookie* for 90 days but have the man wait until he is proven “worthy” of her feminine benefits. I’ll explain this in more detail below.
Steve Harvey made statements throughout his book that left me wondering whether this man should be about the business of relationship counseling. There’s nothing wrong with giving advice, but if you are going to wear the title “Christian,” then the advice needs to match what you claim to believe in.
The following statements were most problematic and what I found to be quite contrary to biblical standards.
- “Make him qualify for the benefits, and I guarantee you’ll have a better man on your hands – and in your bed.” Encouraging women to have the men wait at least 90 days before having sex with them. The Ninety-day rule. (Chapter 11)
- “Hell is no longer an option for me. I’m doing what I can to get to the Gate.” pg 45
- “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date a man who doesn’t go to church, or who has a different belief system than you.” pg 140
- “…when it comes to having sex with a woman, we men don’t decide a thing. We don’t determine when we’re going to sleep with you – that decision is yours.” pg 153
- In his chapter on “Why Men Cheat,” Steve Harvey says to women that “the way to get out of that cheater’s circle is to … figure out your standards and requirements, explain them, and stick to them…” pg 106
#1 – The 90-day rule. The *cookie.* That’s Steve Harvey’s nice way of saying “a woman’s sex.” The benefits. That’s what the man gets once his ninety days are up.
Most Christians can see right off the bat what’s wrong with this picture. Sex in 90 days means sex before marriage. Steve doesn’t encourage anyone to wait until marriage. That’s a major problem for the professing Christian.
Sex outside of marriage is completely forbidden in the bible. In fact, the warnings are so dire in the New Testament about the practice of illicit sex, that we are commanded not to have anything to do with Christians who practice it! 1 Corinthians 5 shows this clearly:
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you …And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?” (verses 1-2)
These Corinthian Christians sound a little like Steve Harvey and most American Christians today: proud, and not ashamed of their actions. How many of our churches have pews filled with Christians who go home and “shack-up” or have sex with endless partners without one bit of shame and proud for doing so?
“I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” (vs 9-11)
Paul isn’t talking about the unsaved here, but the saved! And how many churches are Christians practicing this discipline – the removal of those who practice immorality and all other kinds of sin?
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (vs. 12 and 13)
One of the most misunderstood acts in the bible is the act of judging. In Matthews 7:1-5 we are told not to judge hypocritically, but Paul makes it plain here that we are to JUDGE each other! Christians are to judge one another and not the unsaved. Our job with the unsaved is to share the gospel so that they may become saved.
#2 – “I’m doing what I can to get to the Gate.”
I’m hoping he’s just joking here because as most Christians know, that if you are born again and trust in Christ for your salvation, you are guaranteed a place with our heavenly Father. (Ephesians 4:30) No need to worry about whether you make it to the Gate or not!
From that statement it sounds like Steve Harvey is trying to work his way to everlasting life. We are saved by God’s grace and not our own works! (Ephesians 2:8-9) And this is with having full repentance of one’s sins – a major component that’s often missing with many Christians. The turning away from sin TO God. There are many who believe that they can just keep on sinning because God forgives you, not quite. When believers in Christ have truly repented, it will show in their day to day lifestyles.
#3 – “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t date a man who doesn’t go to church, or who has a different belief system than you.”
Steve is actually condoning unequally yoked dating here. According to scripture, a Christian must date only Christians. We aren’t worshipping the same God if you’re doing otherwise!
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
Christians need the equal yoke for praying together to the same God, reading from the same book for spiritual guidance, and if it leads to marriage, the equal yoking would provide the best stability for the husband, wife and child!
#4 - “…when it comes to having sex with a woman, we men don’t decide a thing. We don’t determine when we’re going to sleep with you – that decision is yours.”
As a woman, I become infuriated with any man who believes he has no responsibility to God or to others to maintain self-control. Steve is basically saying here that if a woman says yes, then by all means have sex with her!
That type of thinking belongs to the heathen, the unsaved. The heathen don’t listen to godly admonition and do things by the way of the world (Matthew 6:7, 18:17). Men as well as women are to hold to the standards that God has given us in the bible. (Galatians 5:16-26)
#5 – “the way to get out of that cheater’s circle is to … figure out your standards and requirements, explain them, and stick to them…”
Again, Steve Harvey takes the responsibility of men cheating away from them and on to the women. He does have a blurb within those pages about men who have a relationship with God will cause them to have a more stringent moral code (pg 103) but aside from that he makes no mention of adultery being a sin and how women should run as fast as they can if they meet a man with no such “moral code” – even if he calls himself a Christian!
Not one word in the 16 pages of this chapter explaining the real reason why men cheat – because they are disobeying God!
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ” Matt 5:27
Simple as that. Men cheat because of their own irresponsibility and lack of self-control.
Steve Harvey was trying his best to help women out by writing this self-help manual, but unfortunately this book turned out to be more self-serving than truly helpful. Steve relied upon his own wisdom rather than God’s and instead of putting God first as he encouraged folks to do throughout his book, God’s will is actually left as an afterthought.
Some have claimed that Steve Harvey only wrote this book to make money. I don’t really agree with that because he’s quite successful in his own right and as a radio talk show host he communicates with people everyday. From his experiences in talking with women and giving advice, he’s turned the verbal into a book. I truly believe it’s his heart’s desire to see what he understands is best for women but unfortunately he’s left God in the dust while ignoring the best guidebook for all relationships – the Bible!
© 2009 – 2012, Carlotta Morrow. All rights reserved.