Monday, April 7, 2008

Book Review - Passionate Housewives Desperate For God

For the most part I don’t read many books on being a wife. They tend to make me plummet into an abyss of perfectionism and in turn make my marriage worse. That said, I loved Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. It is a book that unashamedly challenges the standard cultural perceptions of homemaking, encourages and gives hope in the role of homemaker and it examines the roles of wife and mother in the light of God’s perfect plan.

The author’s start off by dispelling common cultural myths about what a housewife is: a mindless maid for an tyrannical husband, the “desperate” housewife living a double life, or more commonly a woman that feels obligated to do her duty at home while leaving her dreams at the door. Though these myths may be founded on some reality the author’s seek to, “lay aside the stereotypes and glamorized myths and discover the rare jewel of godly womanhood—to rediscover what it means to be a passionate housewife ‘desperate’ for God alone!” They challenged many presumptions I have as a wife and mother; the need for “me time”, my personal needs vs. serving others, the advice of self-help gurus, and the subtle messages that we ingest through living in a self-centered society. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.” This challenge really helped me to look at the things that were influencing me and ultimately stealing the joy I have for my position as a wife and mother.

More than anything I loved the encouragement and perspective this book provided on the unique and special role of homemaker. I think the thing that makes me most unsatisfied as a wife is the feeling that my job is futile and never ending. Laundry is always dirty no matter how much I wash, the work seems never ending and that I must be wasting my God-given talents by “slaving away” in my home. I gained new perspective on the work of home making through these words by Martin Luther, “What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did them up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God...” The authors also point out that homemaking is one of the only jobs that the worker will see the direct results of their work, will experience immediate benefits from and that that the worker at home is truly their own manager. The combination of these two insights has changed how I feel about working in my home and for my family. I now see that what I do every day does have eternal importance, if done with a heart of service to the Lord, and that I have so much more freedom working in my home than I would working as an employee to someone else.

Lastly, I loved how the author’s unfolded the role of wife and mother in light of the plan God has put in his Word. Though God’s plan is a far cry from the realities of homemaking in our society and even in my life, it encouraged me to change my perceptions, my selfishness and to stop being influenced by the shallow role that the world has made being a wife and mother into. It encouraged me to find greater satisfaction and passion in life through the only one that can provide true and lasting satisfacation, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks the water I shall give to him will never thirst. But the water I give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14).

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