Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Woman After God's Own Heart

At the beginning of summer Brad was part of a men's Bible study at church. He's been in several of such studies and always enjoys them so much. We usually talk about whatever the topic was that night and Brad loves sharing with me what he has learned about being a husband, father, and just a man after God's heart. He is so encouraged to be a strong leader for this family. He has learned how important it is that he serve his family, not just sit back and let me do all the work/child rearing. He has learned the importance of encouraging me through words, service, time together, etc. I'm always so impressed with the studies and how dead on they are about what I really want from him. It's so encouraging to know that men are being encouraged to take a more active role in the family. That they're being told especially as Christian men they need to step up and realize how important they are in their family, not only as the breadwinner, but also as a discipliner, supporter, encourager, house cleaner, etc.

After this last session I told Brad that I wish there was something like that for women. Oh, there are lots of Bible studies for women. Lots of studies about how to love people, how to get over our own insecurities, how to find strength in the Lord, etc. But I have never really seen a study on how to be a good, Christian wife. Not like the studies Brad goes to. What is my duty as the wife? How should I serve my family? What role do I have in the family, as opposed to my husband's role? What exactly does it mean to be a "help mate?"

In a totally unrelated conversation one day I was talking with my friend about how excited I was for her to become a stay at home mom (she was previously a working mom). I knew that she felt the same as me and secretly wanted to be like June Cleaver, with the house cleaned, dinner on the table when her husband gets home, and well-behaved children. We were talking about that and what the reality of it is and she recommended I read this book, A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.

This book was exactly what I was looking for.

Much of this book is very counter-cultural. She talks about the importance of having the house clean, greeting your husband at the door when he gets home from work, only leaving the house to do errands one day a week, not talking on the phone with friends while spending time with the children, etc. All things that are deemed "old fashioned." And they might be old-fashioned, but when you think about it they make sense.

I think in order to not make this post super long I am going to end up writing it over a period of a couple days. However, as an overview I will say that I found this book very challenging. I didn't like a lot of what it had to say (greet my husband at the door?!), but I can honestly say I didn't disagree with much. It was more that I don't want to take responsibility. A lot of it is more work for me. And, let's face it, I'm lazy. I don't want it to all fall on me, but when I thought about it, it all made sense. So, this book was very challenging, very insightful, very thought-provoking. It was exactly what I needed. I've already started to put some of what I've learned into practice and I can tell you it is already making a difference.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds very similar to one I read a couple of years ago, The Excellent Wife by Martha Pearce. I felt like that book was also very counter-cultural but completely dead-on, and it was full of Scripture. I don't have a hard copy of the book, just the audio file, but if you ever want to listen to it, let me know. This book sounds interesting as well, I'll have to add it to my list. :)

    Part of me very much wants that "June Cleaver" life, but I feel in my heart that I won't ever achieve it. However, I know in my heart that I don't want and can't achieve perfection (even if my insecurities tell me that is what I need), and what I truly want is to be real and walk with God and have a family that walks alongside me. And if how to do that comes straight from the pages of the Bible and runs counter to culture (which I believe it does), then that is what I want and my desire is to be in community with people who want the same thing and want to share that life with others who have felt the dysfunction that plagues families today and know that there is something better out there. I definitely think that it's a journey we can't take alone, so I think your desire for a group like that in your church is a godly one.

    While I was typing all that, I remembered a group that my college roommate had been in at her church called Apples of Gold ( It's a six-week study group where older women (and by older I just mean they have some experience being a wife and mother, I don't know if there are age requirements, haha) mentor younger women. Some of the time is spent cooking together, some time is spent learning, and some time is spent in fellowship (enjoying the food!). From the looks of the website, it seems that they cover some of the things you want to learn about. I don't know if this is something that you could get going in your church, but it's out there if the opportunity ever arises. :)