Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blog Party Post: Day 2: A Godly Wife

I hope you are enjoying the Titus 2 Blog Party hosted by Michelle from She Looketh Well . . . Today's theme is on being a godly wife. Michelle has an excellent post on this topic, but I wanted to share some thoughts too!

I love reading books about being a godly wife. No matter where we are now, there is always room for improvement! I really desire to be a godly "helpmeet" for my husband! Of course, my flesh gets in the way at times, as does the busyness of life with ten children! However, I think my husband knows that my HEART is to honor him, obey him and help him be successful.

Here are some of my favorite books for women who are seeking to be the wives that God wants them to be. You are sure to be challenged by these books!

The first book I read about marriage, back around 1989, was Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow. This is an excellent book that I would still recommend. This book really helped me understand my role, in a world that is steeped with feminism and confusion about a woman's role in relation to her husband and her home.

The author of this book examines three popular marriage models. The first model is based on competition. It is based on the belief that the partner who is best qualified should be the decision-maker in the home. This results in competition between the husband and wife, and is what is most commonly seen in the world around us. The second view is a distortion of the biblical view, where the husband is domineering and the wife is a doormat, with a low opinion of herself. She is basically just her husband's housekeeper and her life is boring, unfulfilling and full of complaining. The third model is the biblical ideal, and includes the husband as the spiritual head and the wife as his creative counterpart. Instead of competing or complaining, the pair complement each other as God intended!!

Linda Dillow explains it like this: "A creative counterpart is a helpmate, a complement to her husband. She not only allows her husband to be the leader, but also encourages him to take the leadership by reverencing him and by being submissive to him. She has chosen to be submissive because God has commanded it and because she is convinced that only completion will result in a vital, fulfilling marriage. She is submissive, but strives to be capable, intelligent, industrious, organized, efficient, warm, tender, gracious -- all virtues we saw in the beautiful blueprint in Proverbs 31."

There is so much more I could share -- but I encourage you to read this book for yourself! I bet you can find it in your local library, or order it through Amazon.

The most recent book I've read on being a godly wife is Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. I read this book when it first came out in 2004 and was definitely convicted of my shortcomings!!! I thought I was a pretty submissive wife, until I read this book and had my blind spots revealed!!! As Michelle mentioned, Debi does come across a bit harsh at times, and she does put a lot of responsibility on the wife to make the marriage a success; however, I think this book is still a treasure and should be required reading for most every wife!

Also, keep in mind that her husband, the infamous Michael Pearl (of To Train Up a Child fame) is not afraid to tell the husbands of their responsibilities in no uncertain terms! He won't hold back -- he will give it to them like it is! So, Debi is not trying to give a balanced picture -- she is just trying to communicate to the wives concerning their responsibilities, while her husband is preaching to the husbands concerning their responsibilities.

Debi especially targets "self-righteous, proud homeschooling wives" who are looking down at their husbands for their lack of spirituality and nitpicking them to death for differences in convictions and standards or their lack of involvement in the home/school. If you are a homeschooling wife who is dissatisfied with your husband, this book is definitely for you! Just be prepared to have your toes stepped on!!

Personally, I think chapter 8 on the three kinds of husbands is the highlight of this book! Knowing whether you are married to Mr. Command, Mr. Visionary, or Mr. Steady, and how to appreciate and adapt to that type of husband is a concept that will revolutionize your marriage!!! You can read an excerpt from this chapter here. I have quoted one of my favorite sections from that chapter below:

"The vast majority of my letters are from women criticizing their laid-back, quiet, slow, unassuming, undemanding, hardworking husbands for their "carnal" habits. These wives have forgotten to have a life of their own, so they spend their time trying to remake their husbands into dominant types because they admire leadership, authority, and clout. They don't have a clue about the demands that come from being married to a dominant, bossy man. Most of this book has been written to help young wives learn to honor, obey, and appreciate the steady man just as he is. If a wife dishonors her steady husband and takes control, he will most likely stay with her; they probably will not divorce. But her dishonor will cause him to lack the confidence to further his business opportunities. He will become satisfied with the mediocre, because it involves no risk. He will know that he pulls the plow alone, that he has no helper. Yet, if that same man had married a thankful, creative woman who delighted in him and thought he was the smartest, wisest, most important fellow around, then he would have risen to the occasion in every area of his life. Many women believe Mr. Steady is mediocre and lacks strength and authority, when in actuality, Mr. Steady is a manly, steady fellow that lacks a good wife."

Do I hear a collective "OUCH?"

This is a very challenging book, and I encourage you to read it! One of my goals for this year was to re-read this book, and after looking through it today, I have decided to start NOW! It is a life-changing book that has saved many marriages!

Let me whet your appetite by listing the Table of Contents.

Part 1 - The Help Meet

1. God's Gift
2. A Merry Heart
3. A Thankful Spirit
4. Thanksgiving Produces Joy
5. The Gift of Wisdom
6. The Beginning of Wisdom
7. Wisdom - While There is Yet Hope
8. Wisdom to Understand Your Man
9. Finding Your Life in His
10. Reactions Define You
11. The Nature of Man and Woman
12. By Divine Appointment
13. The Great Mystery
14. King and Kingdoms

Part 2 - Titus 2

15. To Be Sober
16. To Love their Husbands
17. To Love their Children
18. To be Discreet
19. Chaste
20. Keepers at Home
21. Good
22. Obedient to their Own Husbands
23. To Obey or Not to Obey
24. Heirs Together of the Grace of Life

I hope that this post has encouraged you in your desire to be a godly help meet for your husband! I'd love to hear your comments. (I think! No stones, please!) :)


Emily said...

Excellent book by Debi Pearl. It was such a convicting read. I have loaned out all my copies many times over.

Christie said...

I've only read The Excellent Wife and Created out of your recommendations... I'll have to see if I can find the others. Thanks! Have you ever read Daughters of Sarah by Genevieve White? http://www.amazon.com/Daughters-Sarah-Genevieve-White/dp/0916573893/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236132181&sr=1-1

It's been a looooong while since I read it, but it was the first book that really opened my eyes to the concept of submission.

Amy said...

Excellent posts! I have been looking forward to this blog party beginning, and am grateful for your involvement in it. :) Going to see which books I can find through my library now...Thank you!

Lainie said...

When I'm behaving like the wife God wants me to be, our marriage is so much better than when I'm trying to have things my way!

Michelle said...

Great Post! You worded your reviews very well. I also thought I was so alright as a wife until I read Debi's book. My eyes were opened in a big way! (a good way)

Thanks for being a part of this party!

She Looketh Well

MOMSWEB said...

You're right, there is always room for improvement. Read this post with benefit!

mommyx12 said...

Okay I'm back. I am supposed to be putting children to bed right now but they are all downstairs and being quiet so why fix something that isn't broke!! Even though it is almost 10:30. I just read your post on being a Godly wife and I love the books you displayed. I've read them all except 2 of them. The way I describe in just a few short words how I feel about being a Godly wife is....It is totally freeing. When I am being obedient, helpful, loving, excepting of my husband's will for me and our family I just feel so light hearted and free. Like I have no worries in the whole world!!

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