Marci's Review

For the most part I don’t read many books on being a wife. They tend to make me plummet into an abyss of perfectionism and in turn make my marriage worse. That said, I loved Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. It is a book that unashamedly challenges the standard cultural perceptions of homemaking, encourages and gives hope in the role of homemaker, and it examines the roles of wife and mother in the light of God’s perfect plan.

The authors start off by dispelling common cultural myths about what a housewife is: a mindless maid for a tyrannical husband, the “desperate” housewife living a double life, or more commonly a woman who feels obligated to do her duty at home while leaving her dreams at the door. Though these myths may be founded on some reality, the author’s seek to, “lay aside the stereotypes and glamorized myths and discover the rare jewel of godly womanhood—to rediscover what it means to be a passionate housewife ‘desperate’ for God alone!”

They challenged many presumptions I have as a wife and mother; the need for “me time”, my personal needs vs. serving others, the advice of self-help gurus, and the subtle messages that we ingest through living in a self-centered society. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.” This challenge really helped me to look at the things that were influencing me and ultimately stealing the joy I have for my position as a wife and mother.

More than anything I loved the encouragement and perspective this book provided on the unique and special role of homemaker. I think the thing that makes me most unsatisfied as a wife is the feeling that my job is futile and never ending. Laundry is always dirty no matter how much I wash, the work seems never ending and that I must be wasting my God-given talents by “slaving away” in my home.

I gained new perspective on the work of home making through these words by Martin Luther, “What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did them up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God...”

The authors also point out that homemaking is one of the only jobs where the worker will see the direct results of their work, will experience immediate benefits from, and that the worker at home is truly their own manager. The combination of these two insights has changed how I feel about working in my home and for my family. I now see that what I do every day does have eternal importance, if done with a heart of service to the Lord, and that I have so much more freedom working in my home than I would working as an employee to someone else.

Lastly, I loved how the author’s unfolded the role of wife and mother in light of the plan God has put in his Word. Though God’s plan is a far cry from the realities of homemaking in our society and even in my life, it encouraged me to change my perceptions, my selfishness and to stop being influenced by the shallow role that the world has made being a wife and mother into.

It encouraged me to find greater satisfaction and passion in life through the only one that can provide true and lasting satisfaction, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks the water I shall give to him will never thirst. But the water I give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14).

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A Review from Christin...

Christin from As Gold Refined

As I came to a close on this book last night I was a little disappointed - not with the book, just that it was all done!

I can honestly tell you that after the preface and the first chapter, my mindset had already been changed on how I view myself as a mother and wife. I'm not saying I won't ever struggle again with thinking only of myself and what I can get out of life. But, I was so boggled down by other teachings of doing things for myself all the time that I felt like my own family was a burden. This is the same family that God has given me to care for - my number one ministry and for a while it seemed like only something in the way of the things I wanted to do.

I didn't necessarily want to go out and get a career, but I wanted to spend more time on the computer than I should have. I wanted to sit and read a book longer then I should have. I came to a point where I believed it was my "right" and I would get upset when this "time" was interrupted by the very ministry God has entrusted to me!

This book opened my eyes to the Truth of God's Word and it literally set me free. Free from the bondage of my own selfishness, which in turn made me free to love my kids so openly and easily - because it was no longer about me and I saw serving them as a blessing.

I was a bit surprised at how fast my mindset had changed just from reading a few chapters of a book, but I don't think that's what did it. I believe it was the enlightenment of the Truth of God's Word that set my mind free.

Stacy and Jennie use God's Word to break down the walls of lies that even the church feeds us about our role as women - to our husbands, to our children which in turn is our role in creation - what we were created for. No, it's not about being a doormat. It's about obeying God's word and in turn being blessed to use our gifts and talents through our own homes to serve the Lord and serve others.

I highly, highly recommend this book. It enlightens us to the bondage and dangers of feminism and shows us how to regain true femininity. I understand there are people very resistant and negative toward homemaking and being "just a mom", but being a mother and a homemaker are far greater callings then many people realize. There is nothing wasted here - we are pouring into the most important people in our lives - and those who care the most about us.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and be open to what these ladies have to share. We can find joy in serving - but we must be like Christ and deny ourselves to do so. He will equip us and we will reap the benefits.



Jennie and Stacy on Family Life Today Radio!

I know I'm a little late in getting this post up, but I hope you find it helpful anyway...

Home Sweet Home: The Center of Evangelism (Day 1)

CLICK HERE to listen to Day 1 of the radio interview with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine

Guests Include: Jennie Chancey, Stacy McDonaldDoes motherhood leave you little time for ministry? If that's what you've thought, you might want to reconsider. On today's broadcast, Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald, co-authors of the book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, tell Dennis Rainey how a woman's home can be her greatest outreach for the gospel, especially when she's training her children or reaching out to friends or neighbors.

Program: FamilyLife Today
Airdate: 3/13/2008 12:00:00 AM

Redefining Womanhood (Day 2)

CLICK HERE to listen to Day 2 of Jennie and Stacy's radio interview with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine

Mother of eight, Jennie Chancey, and mother of ten, Stacy McDonald, join award-winning author and speaker Dennis Rainey for today's broadcast. Jennie and Stacy, co-authors of the book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, encourage wives and mothers to remember their high calling and to look forward to the legacy they're leaving behind.

Program: FamilyLife TodayAirdate: 3/14/2008 12:00:00 AM


Mrs. Kincell's Review

I have been both a fulltime careerist and a fulltime homemaker. I was trained for the former. I remember times when

*I wished I had the equivalent of a “wife” so that when I got home from long hours at my job, someone would have dinner ready, my clothes clean for tomorrow, my babies home and taken care of, and my house clean. Instead this tired mom got home around 6 or 7, nursed a hungry baby, made dinner, ground baby food for the next day, cleaned up the kitchen, did some laundry, repacked the diaper bag, bathed the baby, tried to spend “quality” time with her, and fell into bed exhausted for three hours sleep before baby’s next feeding. Everything repeated starting at 6:30 A.M.

*I wished that I could work (my job) during the late afternoon and evening when I was tired. Instead I gave my fresh hours to my job and then when I came home tired, I got to spend time with my husband and children. Even though it wasn’t an option, I knew that if I could give those tired hours to my job, I wouldn’t be able to excel there, nor to keep job security, nor to feel like I was giving my best. (No one cared that I wasn’t giving my best to my family…)

That feeling wasn’t there until I had babies; the young, childless me had energy after work!These were the kind of things that I pondered over and over during the ten years that I worked fulltime. I slowly realized that a woman couldn’t do it all, despite appearances. And it was exhausting trying to.

Most of my colleagues didn’t really try although they told themselves they did. They either didn’t have babies; put off having them until they had fertility problems; or succumbed to “the best” daycares, bottle fed babies, and often divorce. Their older children looked more to their peers for models than to any adult. Parents easily sighed that there wasn’t anything they could do: “you know how kids are.” And everyone, I mean everyone, agreed that once they became teenagers they would rebel despite anything that could be done.

Don was finishing his degree at the end of my working years, and we both wanted me home as soon as we could; we would make different decisions if we had it to do over again. Yet, finally home – what I wanted for so long – things were different. There were no accolades and no one respected the mom they way they did the PT. Absolutely no one made me feel that what I did behind closed doors mattered. It was tempting in the beginning to trade a job for civic and church responsibilities, and I did my share of that for a few years.

I wasn’t prepared to manage a household. I could do quite well with the hired servants paid for with my big salary (like the “servants” who did much of the cooking before I put it in the microwave, or the “servants” who made my bread, or the “servants” who washed our cars). In order to stay home on one salary (in a society designed for two), I needed to fire all the “servants” and learn to do all that work myself. Except that I was not trained to do that work and so was not efficient at it.

I quit working fulltime 16 years ago. I’ve learned so much since. When I made the decision to pursue a career (actually I don’t remember ever entertaining any other thought), I had never learned anything about feminism and its influence on women my age. I was totally ignorant of the changes in expectations for women during the 20th century and I was a sitting duck for going in the usual direction without any thought of the cost involved. I didn’t know the difference between a consumer household and a productive one. And, in my profound ignorance and arrogance, I truly thought that being a homemaker required no real intelligence or preparation.

In the ensuing years of learning, I have often thought I would love to write a book explaining about REAL homemaking. Most women really have no clue. I certainly didn’t. Those who are home often still farm out much of their job so that they still don’t really do anything meaningful.

Passionate Housewives is much of the book I wish I could have written. Certainly it is written much better than what I could have, but it embodies many of the things I have learned and feel passionately about. In addition, there were new nuggets of encouragement and conviction that pushed me forward. A few times in my life I have read a book that was so meaningful that I would like to buy a zillion copies and just give them out. This is one such book. I would love to hand this one to all the homemakers I know and all the non-homemakers who think I’m a bit crazy.

Touched on in this book is the scariest thing I have learned in the past 16 years: that socialism is partially premised on these feminist ideas. Early in the 20th century, the socialists wrote that what was needed was to get children from their earliest ages into the government education system and to get women out of the homes. A breakdown of family ties and education would prevent the transfer of Christian heritage and thought to the next generation, opening the way for socialistic thought. That battle wasn’t won on the battlefields of WW I or II, but it has been won since as we acquiesced of our own accord. A quick read of the Communist Manifesto is not shocking; it reads like a report on the United States. We now demand the government provide daycare, preschool education, medical benefits, salary if we are unemployed, and the list goes on.

A woman may no longer depend on her man, but she certainly depends on Uncle Sam… Chalk one up for socialism; it appears that our soldiers may have died in vain. But we are oblivious. What the socialists could not win militarily, they have won by patience and dogma. We’ve been the slowly boiling frog.I challenge women to get out of the boiling pot long enough to actually study their history. Take an honest look at the other side. Don’t jump to conclusions based on ignorance.

A good place to start is a Scriptural study on women starting in Genesis 1 and 2. A second place to start might be this book. It certainly is a good place to be if you are already a homemaker. It contains much wisdom mostly absent in our society. Well written by both authors, I highly recommend this read!

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Cindy Prechtel's Review

“You deserve a break!”

“Why should you have to do all the caring for the kids?”

“You’re wasting your life being a stay-at-home mom.”

These messages and others are the voices of feminism that seek to undermine God’s high calling of being a wife and mother. These messages, whether spoken or inferred can be discouraging - especi- ally for homeschool moms who are not only mothering, but committed to teaching reading and even chemistry if needed! It can be easy to fall into a “woe is me” attitude that breeds discontentment and selfishness.

In this refreshingly honest and down-to-earth book, two godly women sit down to put forth a fresh vision for homemaking. The message of ‘Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God’, is one of HOPE! The authors are real, and scattered through this convicting and encouraging book are stories and glimpses into their very real lives.

They are quick to dispel the “perfect housewife” myth. You know the one - the 1950s happy homemaker vacuuming in her high heels and pearls. Instead, they take the reader straight to the Word of God, for fresh insight and pearls of truth. Be prepared to be chal- lenged - I found myself switching between this book and my Bible, highlighter in hand!

Both of the authors have a lot to say and they say it quite well. The book begins and ends with the fictional account of the life of ‘Carol’. It is kind of a before-and-after glimpse of her life as she first gives in to the message of feminism that permeates our society (and sadly, the church), and then as a woman set free by God’s Word to be all that He created her to be - completely ful-filled in her service to Him by serving her family.

‘Passionate Housewives’ is not a politically correct book! The concept of dying to self, of living to serve your husband and children as unto the Lord, is not a popular ideology in our society. You may not agree with every doctrinal position these ladies and their husbands hold, but you will, however, be blessed with truths that transcend denominations - and timeless wisdom desperately needed in this day and age.

This is not a “how-to” book. You won’t find ideas for successful home management, or picking the right homeschool curriculum. Here’s something else you won’t find - authors who expect you to be just like them. Oh, they hold firmly to their beliefs about many things, but when it comes to what a “perfect” wife and mother should be, well, they are quick to remind you to lay aside those thoughts of perfectionism and to be wary of comparing yourself with others, including them!

This book addresses so many issues of the heart, it is difficult to describe the breadth of coverage and the amount of hope and encouragement one will find in its pages. As I read, I had many “Aha!” moments and there were definitely places where I was convicted of falling for the message that I am somehow “missing out” on life by serving my family.

I was challenged to realize that I can be home with my kids, but not really “be here” in my heart. I have found the really good books are the ones that do more than cheer (although this book definitely inspires). The books that I put at the top of my “must read again” list are those that make me a bit uncomfortable, that cause me to examine my heart and propel me into the arms of God. ‘Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” is one of those books. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by Cindy Prechtel