I have enjoyed reading Aimee Byrd’s personal blog, Housewife Theologian, for a while now. Her writing is intelligent, thoughtful, and gospel-centered, but what first grabbed my attention was the title of her blog ([intlink id="12787" type="post"]and now book[/intlink]), because it so bluntly paired what most would see as opposing occupations. Homemaking and theology are not usually seen as going hand in hand. Yet, if every Christian is indeed a theologian, then surely we Christian women–even us humble housewives at that–must be about the business of understanding and truly knowing our God. We must realize the importance of being diligent students of the Word of God for the benefit of our own souls and the souls of our family members. It is through the revealed Word of God that we find the grace, peace, and hope afforded to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is this gospel that gives our work in the home meaning and dignity! So, when I first stumbled upon Aimee’s blog, I could tell that I had found a kindred spirit.
In today’s Q&A we have the great joy of getting to hear from the Housewife Theologian herself, Aimee Byrd, as she answers some questions about life, theology, and her new book!
Q: Aimee, how did you first become interested in theology?
A: When I was in my young twenties, I owned a coffee shop. Some of the young women there that I became close with asked if I would begin leading a women’s Bible study. I was a little leery about this responsibility, especially when we all got together. Our small group represented Baptist, non-denominational, Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal denominations. We all brought our own presuppositions of the biblical text to the study. I quickly realized that we needed to formulate a confession that we would identify with as a group stating what we believed about God, his Word, and ourselves. And I also realized my responsibility to learn as a teacher. As we got into learning about the doctrines in Scripture, our group tripled in size and our friendships also grew deeper.
Q: Why are you passionate about encouraging women to study theology?
A: Theology is the study of God. While professional theologians are extremely valuable, I’m afraid that we have lost sight of its relevance. Theology isn’t only for the academics; our thoughts about God shape how we think and behave everyday. In John 17:3, Jesus is praying, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” So the question isn’t whether or not we are theologians, the question is whether we are good ones or bad ones. I want to encourage women by providing a tool to help one another in this calling. My book is an intentional way for us to learn together, sharing in our successes and failures as we learn how the gospel interrupts the ordinary.
Q: Why did you choose to write a book directed toward housewives when the term/title is so culturally taboo?
A: The premise of my book is that every married woman is a housewife, and every person is a theologian. The term housewife theologian first came to me as a way to describe myself. Because both words have been taken over by stereotypes, it kind of sounds like an oxymoron, right? But I think that it emphasizes a calling that many women share. Instead of dividing ourselves over whether we work outside the home, or how many kids we have, I am hoping to unite women by our common callings. As you see from the Scripture above, our theology has an eternal impact. The simple definition of housewife is a man’s partner in marriage, the woman of the home. This is a calling that many women share in, the responsibility and connection to the relationships and atmosphere of our home. It is an honor to live in this vocation, not something we should be ashamed of. That being said, I think there is also much in the book for single women and I would love to have them included in our study groups.
Q: If you could had to name one theologian who has had the greatest impact on your life, who would it be and why?
A: Agh! I’m terrible at these kinds of questions! It’s like asking me to pick my favorite child! Which makes me think, my three little theologians ask such good questions that they inspire me to learn more about God. I would say they have made a pretty big impact.
Q: What is the greatest way your theology has impacted your life?
A: I would have to say that it is in recognizing that life cannot be separated from theology. We live according to our beliefs. For instance, some may say that they are more about love than doctrine and theology. But love is a theological principle. God is love. To understand love, we need to know God. He has shown the ultimate expression of his love in sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to save his beloved from the curse of our sin, and raise us in the righteousness of Christ, so that we can dwell eternally with him on the new heavens and the new earth.
Q: How do you hope your book will impact women of the church?
A: I want to get women in the church having meaningful conversations about theology. I hope that Housewife Theologian will help facilitate an atmosphere for women discipling women. And I pray that women will learn to encourage one another in the gospel.
Thank you Aimee for taking the time to share your heart with the readers of Desiring Virtue, and thank you for the all the hard work you have put into this new resource for women who love the Lord and want to know him better.
Be sure to check out Aimee’s blog, where she often shares practical examples of how theology and life intersect on a daily basis. You can read my full review of Housewife Theologian [intlink id="12787" type="post"]here[/intlink] and order a copy for yourself here.
Thanks to the generosity of P&R Publishing, Cheryl Lee, Katie Schmidt, and Denise Cedras will each be receiving a free copy of Housewife Theologian. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this week’s giveaway as well as P&R Publishing for providing the prizes. When you participate in giveaways at Desiring Virtue it not only spreads the word about the awesome prizes, but also Desiring Virtue itself. Thank you!