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The Christian Homemakerís Handbookcomment (0)

February 6, 2014

By Martine Bates Sharp

Pat Ennis & Dorothy Patterson, Editors. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2013. 543 pp. (Paperback).

Need a good handbook of tips on everything to do with the home? Need a solid treatise on God’s plan for women? “The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook” is both. 

The dual nature of the book made it difficult to get a handle on at first, but the editors clearly felt a need to spend the first half of the book explaining the biblical model of womanhood to a generation raised on feminism. The editors do not tiptoe around their opposition to feminism, but rebut the teachings with Scripture, as would be expected from the wife of Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The second half of the book is packed with practical tips for running a household. Lots of good ideas here — sort of like Pinterest without the pictures. 

The big question: Did these two college professors counsel younger women not to seek careers outside the home? They did not. In fact, the theme that runs through the entire book is one of honoring God’s principles and seeking His will — and making decisions in conjunction with one’s husband. Whether the issue is getting a job versus staying home or baking pies versus calling a bakery, the position is that we are all uniquely gifted and should use those gifts for our families and God’s glory.

The first part of “The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook” is certain to be unpopular with a certain segment of our society — even among Christians, there is controversy over the role of women. The second is equally certain to be a hit. This book is going on my personal bookshelf; I’m just not sure what to file it under.

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