Book Review: Building Her House

This book was a Christmas gift from my parents, and I recently finished it.  It's a short and easy read, with each chapter being just 2 or 3 pages average.  Nancy's writing is very practical and to the point -- she doesn't spend a lot of time with unnecessary details.  I came away with some really good things that I hope to implement in our home, and I wanted to recommend the book to any mothers out there.  Whether you just had your first baby, or all your children are grown and you have grandchildren, or even those preparing to be mothers -- this book has something for you.  I don't want to spoil the book or take away from it, so I hope that by sharing the things that I do, you will be interested in reading the rest of the book and not just these few things.  The book is only about $10 through amazon, and you should be able to click on the picture above to go straight to amazon.  (As a side note, many of you may be familiar with the book Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic -- this book is written by Rachel's mother.)

The book is broken into 5 sections, with a few chapters in each section:

The Table
Sabbath Feasting
Mac and Cheese
Perfectly Domestic
Loving Labor

Family Relationships
Courtship Blues

Young Wives
Big Stinking Tangles

Family Stories
The Postpartum Mother
Your Baby Has a Soul
Mothers and Sons
Mothers and Daughters
Sons and Sports
Daughters and Sports
The Tomboy
Sons and Flattery

Pursuing Virtue
Chick Flicks
Contentious Women
Criticism that Kills
The Pricklies
Rainy-Day Blues

It looks like a LOT of chapters, but the book is only 113 pages long, and it really is not bad at all.  So, don't be scared.

Below are some of my favorite things gleaned from the book -- I realize that we will not all find the same things helpful or encouraging, but I am sharing this in hopes that some of you will find it helpful, as I did.

Life should be generally predictable for {children}.  This gives them security and makes them feel loved and cared for.  But the schedule should never become more important than they are.  Wisdom knows when the schedule needs to be ignored, stretched, or thrown out all together.  

Life in our homes should be characterized by joy and thanksgiving so that children are taught and nourished in a way that takes their souls into account.

Christian women (whether childbearing or not) are required to be patient in affliction, to cast their cares on the Lord, to trust Him in all their ways, and to honor and respect their husbands.  These are moral issues that matter to God.  

Childbirth is something women are equipped by God to do.  He has promised to keep His people, and He will certainly not abandon His children at a moment when He is bringing a new covenant child into the world.  Birthing is such a glorious privilege and high calling.  We must embrace it with wisdom and hardheaded obedience.  The eternal God is our refuge at all times, particularly as we fulfill our calling by bearing children.

Parents are the means God has established to nurture these little souls, and mothers share this tremendous privilege and responsibility to see that, by God's grace, all the children in their charge are flourishing, both body and soul. 

The wise woman understands that children are a source of joy and blessing entrusted to her by God, and she is to be a good steward of them, seeing that she takes care to dedicate her children to God and train them up as God's own.  

Laying aside our own plans in order to rock a baby or comfort a child is a soul-prospering work, not an annoying interruption.

The mother is designed by God to be a source of great blessing to her husband and children; she is to be the "very soul of the house."  

Listening to your children, taking them on your lap and talking with them, and being affectionate and loving to them will of course take time.  Just as preparing and serving good food takes time, so feeding our children's souls takes time.  God uses all these things we do, when we render them unto Him by faith, to strengthen, nourish, and grow our children up into men and women with fat souls who will then be able to nourish their own children and grandchildren.

Our sanctification, being an ongoing process fitting us for heaven, requires our diligence, by means of the Holy Spirit, in pursuing righteousness in our thoughts, our speech, and our lives.  A virtuous woman is one who is known in the Christian community for her high moral standard; she believes the Bible and applies it to herself.  She does not cut corners, make exceptions, or excuse sinful behavior.

A virtuous woman is eager to be taught God's Word, to learn wisdom, and to apply all she learns.  She wants to know, she wants to be virtuous because it is the means of glorifying God.  So a virtuous woman is a learner and a doer.

When wisdom is at home, home is a delight.  So it follows that a pleasant home is one that has a wise, virtuous woman in the center of it.

When the wise woman speaks to her husband, it is nourishing.  When she talks with her children, they are blessed.  She becomes a source of strength to her family, rather than a drain on their joy.  

Mothers (and fathers) who glibly criticize their children are driving them away.  There is NO EXCUSE for parents to share negative things about their children to anyone else.  This springs from a self-righteous "I have been wronged" attitude that is looking for pity.  Sometimes it can come from a desire to lord it over our children or to try to maintain some kind of control, but it can never come from a charitable, merciful, gracious spirit.

We know that only the Spirit of God can bring real joy and happiness to our souls.  But when we find that joy challenged by dreary circumstances, we have an obligation to overcome it with a wisdom grounded in faith.  Put away any murmuring about the weather.  It is unworthy of a Christian and a waste of time.  Not only that, but it is a setup for other sins like laziness, self-pity, or envy.  It only makes things worse, it distracts us away from our God-given duties, and is mighty unproductive.

Linking up at The Better Mom
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1 comment:

Jessica said...

I loved that book! Really all of the Nancy Wilson's books are fantastic, and Loving the Little Years is amazing!

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