Let’s face it, we live in a culture that scoffs at the idea of “homemaking” as a valid life choice, much less an endeavor that requires skill, training, and education. Even within Christian circles it can be difficult at times to find godly older women who can confidently pass on their knowledge of homemaking to the younger generation.
There are practical skills needed to fulfill our calling in Titus 2 (to love our husbands, love our children, be pure, kind, self-controlled, workers at home, and submissive to our husbands), skills that cannot simply be learned from Martha Stewart (though she has much to teach). We need–more than anything–to look at our homes through the lens of Scripture and see how we can glorify our Savior through our diligent work in the home and in our families. We need older women who are passionate about the gospel to come alongside us and give us a vision for our homes–a vision that will propel us to give our lives for the sake of others and the sake of the gospel itself.
I was thrilled to find out that right in my own backyard, Pat Ennis and Dorothy Patterson (women who are already known for their helpful writings on the home) recently published a massive book compiling a wide array of articles relevant to the Christian homemaker. Many books have been written on the topic of homemaking, but perhaps there has never been one that covers so many topics as The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook!
This 543 page book (!) would be an excellent resource for any homemaker (old or young) to have on her book shelf. I can see older women going through its chapters with younger ladies as they seek to disciple them in the art of homemaking, mothers of young girls using it as a resource for teaching their daughters the skills they will need when they leave the home, and young wives (like myself) benefiting from this Titus 2 resource. It would make an excellent bridal shower gift!
Its 40 chapters (which are more like individual articles) range from practical homemaking guides to theological and philosophical arguments for passionately pursuing excellence in the home. Here are some of the topics that are tackled with some of the most unique in bold:
- Impact of Feminism on the Home and Family
- Home: A Prepared Place
- The Role of the Wife
- Biblical Insights on Birth Control and “Family Planning”
- The Value of a Child
- Placing the Solitary in Families
- The Impact of a Handicapped Individual on a Family
- God’s Design for Nurturing Motherhood
- Spiritual Formation through Family Worship
- Life Management Skills
- Nest Building 101: Setting Up a Household
- Nest Building 102: Relocating a Household
- Is Working at Home for You?
- Decorating Your Home with Silent Witness
- Biblical Hospitality
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Making Wise Choices
- Family Mealtime
- Ideas for Holiday Celebrations
- Making Your Kitchen a Springboard for Ministry
- Is Modesty an Obsolete Virtue
- Merging Quality and Fit to Equal Value
- Will it Come Out in the Wash?
Again, these are about half of the topics covered. This isn’t a book that you will read straight through (though you could). This is a handbook for you to thumb through as needed, picking out information that is most relevant to your unique situation and needs. It is like your own personal Pinterest board filled with mature, godly women’s practical advice! And who are these mature godly women? Obviously many of the articles are written by Pat Ennis and Dorothy Patterson, but many more women–including Mary K. Mohler–have collaborated to offer their expertise in certain areas.
As Dorothy Patterson so eloquently puts it in the introduction to this book:
“Homemaking is indeed a career in the sense that it demands a woman’s careful diligence in preparation, dedicated commitment to priorities associated with the assignment, freshest energy, and keenest creativity… When a woman chooses to pursue homemaking with energy, imagination, and skills, she accepts a challenging task. As well as meeting the mundane needs of her family efficiently and completely, she also often finds the time to enrich lives with her tender loving care–encouraging and guiding, counseling or comforting. She is available to divide sorrow or share rejoicing, making the ones most dear to her the first priority in time and the most important work of her life.”
For these reasons, I highly recommend The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook as a helpful resource for women in every stage of life: young, old, married, single, with children or without. The lessons contained within its pages are valuable and practical and will help Christian women in their pursuit of godliness in the home. With this book on your shelf, you have a team of Titus 2 Women ready to aid you in your role as a homemaker!