When I was a girl, I always figured I’d marry a preacher. It just seemed like the natural course of events for my life. God had other plans for me, but it was extremely interesting to crawl into the mind of a pastor’s wife for a little while. While Mrs. Williams is full of the wisdom one would imagine a pastor’s wife to have, she maintains a humble attitude. Readers will understand quite quickly that the author’s family is her life. Many of her posts involve either her husband or her children, and they are filled to the brim with encouragement for the Christian woman.
From the very first page, I was encouraged by the wisdom that Mrs. Williams had to offer. Because I am a remarried Christian, I was encouraged by her exhortation to “teach … [my] children the consequences of [divorce] and the standards that God has set (pg. 2).” Too many times, we try so hard to hide our mistakes, that our first-hand experiences can’t be of any use to anyone. We must never brag about our sins – past or present. But we can use them to identify with others and to point others in the right direction out of experience.
Mrs. Williams also touched on service, (pg. 7) which is an aspect of the Christian walk that is close to my heart. Years ago, I was searching for God’s will in my life. For some reason, I thought that God needed to tell me in no uncertain terms what to do next. As I was praying, it occurred to me that if I would only seek out a life of service, God’s will would naturally open itself up to me. It’s so nice to make yourself available to minister to the needs of others, instead of constantly searching for a preconceived position that we think is ours to fill. We wrongly wait for God to open up the specific door we are looking for. In the meantime, nothing else gets done, and the needs of others go unmet. The author writes that “God reminded me in His Word that my service to others is service to Him (pg. 7).” She goes on to explain that even the most mundane tasks can be offered as a service to God, such as doing laundry for our families. (As an added benefit, she also gives us a simple recipe for inexpensive laundry detergent.)
I also really appreciated Mrs. Williams’ take on obedient wives. So many of my acquaintances believe that they don’t have to obey their husbands because their husbands are so very wrong. The author makes the valid point that “you will be accountable to the Lord for your obedience, not your husband’s (pg. 9).” If we could only get this idea across to all of the Christian women, I believe that the world would change as a result. Maybe even the non-Christian women would realize the benefit of deferring to their husbands if only they could see it in action once in a while. Since we already know that it is God’s will that we obey our husbands, “without submitting myself to my husband I could never be in the will of God (pg. 10).”
I will tell you that it is refreshing to me to find a Christian who believes in obedience to our government (pg. 17). When it comes to filling out taxes and obeying speed limits, sometimes I feel like I’m all alone.
I have so many good things to say about this book, that I fear my review will run for pages and pages. To keep from scaring people away, I’m going to cut the review a little short. Allow me to just mention a few more of my favorite passages:
On page 19, Mrs. Williams relates a story that caused me to look at prayer in a new light. She says, “It thrills my heart as a parent to be able to bless my children, especially when it is something they have been diligently asking for.”
I like the way that she takes responsibility for training up her children: “My children’s behavior is a direct reflection of my training…When I allow my children to disobey me I am training them to grow up to disobey God (pg. 28).”
I love her comparison of life to a corn maze (pg. 69). Only God can see the whole picture, and when we do finally see it, it will make perfect sense.
I enjoyed her reminder of the original meaning of the word “Christian (pg. 80).”
She addresses television on page 90, 128, & 139. She touches on modern problems such as evolution (pg. 106-107) and feminism (pg. 108-109). She even gives us practical ideas for how to spend your time or give gifts when you are running low on cash (pg. 51 & 151-153)!
One of the ways this book has most helped me is in the area of contentment. It seems like I constantly think that I need to go buy something. I don’t usually just wander around aimlessly looking for something to buy, but when I’m at home, I think of something that I could really use, and then it seems like I have to run out and buy it. It is especially easy for me to rationalize when it comes to something that would make the educational process easier for me or my students. She addresses this problem on page 49, 53, and even though she isn’t specifically talking about covetousness on page 139, her exhortation about not loving things that God hates spoke directly to the covetousness in me.
And then there are the essays that are so close to my heart, it would take me pages and pages to explain how much they mean to me. For instance, the one titled “I’m Dying,” on pages 156 & 157, and the one titled “Giving Thanks” on the following page. Pondering these essays was like having an epiphany. I walked away thinking, “so that’s what God really wants from me.” I still feel like I need to spend an hour or two just considering the implications in my life. In fact, after reading the entire book, I still have several pages dog-eared for re-reading and re-thinking.
Note: I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.