Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review (Finally): The Good Wife's Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet

First of all, let me just say I am a big fan of Darlene Schacht and her ministry to women around the world, so I knew I would like this book....but I REALLY liked this book.  I was originally drawn to her blog a year or so ago because of it's title, "Time-Warp Wife".  I have said several times in the course of my marriage that I was born in the wrong era, that I would fit in much better as a housewife in the 1950's.  I don't say this because I am dying for a pink Cadillac, believe it's perfectly acceptable to vacuum in heels, or secretly hope the bee-hive makes a comeback. 

Candace Cameron-Bure wrote the foreword for this book and I believe she hits the nail on the head when she states, "I believe that families would be stronger today if we as women took back our femininity and invested more of our strength and power in our family."  To me, that is the difference between the 1950's housewife and now.  As a society in the 1950's we were still in touch with and accepting of the Biblical guidelines set for families and today our priorities are vastly different.  Men were men and women were women....and it was acceptable to appreciate the difference.

I understand that this book won't make everyone happy, especially those women out there adamantly fighting for women's liberation, but I agree wholeheartedly with Darlene's message. It is one based on Biblical principles and that is one thing that I don't want to be liberated from....TRUTH.  I knew after reading just the foreword and the introduction that Darlene and Candace both shared my heart about marriage and mothering.  In the introduction, Darlene writes, "As a Christian, I accept the Word of God to be true, and each time I apply it to my life I quickly discover that there is a good reason God put it there. His wisdom exceeds mine."  And in the foreword Candace so accurately states, "God created men and woman equally but differently.  He gave us separate roles that are of equal importance but different performance."  If you can also agree with these 2 statements and have a heart to grow as a wife and mother, you'll love this book, too!

Darlene's book is full of encouragement for all women in varying stages of life.  She sees no difference between a working mom, single mom, or stay at home mom. She encourages all women to make family their priority despite their present circumstances and encourages us not to compare one to another.  "That doesn't mean that we can't have our own interests or earn extra money, but it does mean that we are to prioritize family because that's what love does." (Pg. 32)  It's true that sometimes mom has to go to work.  That doesn't make a woman "less-than" or "disqualified", whether we work or stay home is not what defines us.  The Proverbs 31 woman is heralded for her service to her family but even she bought and sold, toiled and worked.  The point is not what you choose to do for work and if it comes attached to a paycheck.  What makes a good mother, a great help meet and a happy woman is the heart she has for her family.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of information, insightful analogies and scriptural encouragement found within the pages of The Good Wife's Guide.  I was blessed by the honesty and vulnerability Darlene possesses and her willingness to share with us.  More than that, she doesn't just leave you with some feel good stories and a can-do attitude, she is constantly leading us back to scripture and to Christ where our true strength is found.  I am thankful for women like Darlene, for the talents Christ has blessed them with and for the courage it takes to lay bare their hearts for the edification of others.

Darlene was also kind enough to include a whole section at the end of her book dedicated to the "how-to" of homemaking.  She includes organizing tips & tricks and some great cleaning schedules.  I would encourage you to order your own copy of this book.  I know you will be blessed by all she has to say, and her ministry is definitely worth supporting. 

*I did receive a complimentary copy of this book in return for my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you!


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