The Culture of Christendom

Today, I read a review of Passionate Housewives, the book I co-authored with Jennie Chancey; and, I breathed a sigh of relief. Since writing our book, Jennie and I have read numerous reviews and received hundreds of emails from readers testifying to the fact that God is using Passionate Housewives to remind Believers of the beauty and magnitude of a woman's role in the home. However, it is certainly not without its detractors.

Having been misrepresented at times, it was especially refreshing to read the following review by Robin Phillips, a man who seemed to not only grasp the "heart" of our book; but was also able to expound upon it so powerfully.
“Many Christian young people have willingly walked away from a faith they knew to be true because they were enticed by the illusory attractiveness of idols; but few people ever abandoned a faith they believed to be both true and beautiful.”
I think, often, in a fleshly attempt to be holier than Jesus, we forget about the importance of passing down the significant beauty of our faith.
"Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:16-17)
And, as Robin points out:
Here’s the catch. In order for parents to show their children that the faith is lovely, they must be there to successfully model it.
Please take the time to read Robin's excellent insights:
We are all familiar with the way feminism has undermined the integrity of the family, leaving many women feeling guilty, or at least defensive, if they choose to stay at home to be housewives. What is generally given less attention, however, is the way Christian motherhood has suffered grievously from within the ranks of the church. I am not referring to direct theological challenges from Christian teachers who think women ought to farm their children off to day care or go and pursue careers. That is just feminism in evangelical packaging and is easy enough to spot, though sadly that mentality is rampant even in the church.

What is more difficult to discern, however, are the multitudinous ways that the individualistic and dispensational theological paradigms have indirectly contributed to many Christian mothers abandoning their primary vocation. An entire evangelical culture has sprung up over the last two hundred and fifty years which sees salvation purely in terms of going to heaven when you die, with no understanding of the need to build a Christian civilization here on the earth that will last for thousands of years.

Worse still, many Christians believe that the institutions and culture of Christendom are a Constantinian innovation and hardly a worthy goal for the 21st century church. Failing to understand God's purposes covenantally, we would prefer to wait to be ‘raptured’ away from the earth, working to get as many people saved in the meantime, than to seek God’s promised blessings on the thousands of descendents that come from those who love him.

As a result, the concept of family and child-rearing has suffered grievously. Not seeing ourselves as links in a golden chain, both receiving and transmitting the traditions of the covenant community to the next generation, we fail to pour ourselves into our children in the way that we could. (As an aside, this relates to why I am against the ‘conversion experience’ model for children of believers, a topic I deal with here.)

Because of our failure to invest in the next generation, our children are falling away right left and centre, giving credence to the second edition of the Confession of Faith, presented to Parliament in 1658, which includes these words: “Wherever thou goest thou wilt hear men crying out of bad children – whereas indeed the source must be sought a little higher, ‘its bad parents – that make bad children -, and we cannot blame so much their untowardness as our own negligence of their education.”

The education we should seek to give our children, and which is central for successfully transmitting the faith to the next generation, is more than just the education of correct ideas. It is not enough to simply convey to our children the sense that Christianity is true. Neither is it enough to give them a Christian worldview that interconnects all knowledge into a Biblical philosophy.

These are both necessary endeavours, but they are not sufficient. We must also strive to convey to our children the beauty of the Christian faith. If we are to be successful in transmitting our religion, we must show the next generation that the truth is lovely. Many Christian young people have willingly walked away from a faith they knew to be true because they were enticed by the illusory attractiveness of idols; but few people ever abandoned a faith they believed to be both true and beautiful.

But here’s the catch. In order for parents to show their children that the faith is lovely, they must be there to successfully model it. If a mother farms her children off to daycare so she can find fulfillment in pursuing a career, if the father comes home from work and takes more interest in his newspaper than his kids, if the parents use the television as a baby sitter whenever they are tired, if the parents are always grumbling or bickering and never promoting an atmosphere of joy, if the parents send their children off to be educated by the local priests of Baal, then we cannot be surprised when the children grow up to reject the faith their parents purported to follow.

This being the case, fathers and mothers need encouragement to focus on the primary mission field God has given them: their own children. That is why I so appreciated Stacy McDonald and Jannie Chancey’s book, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker. In an age when mothers are constantly being pressured to abandone their God-appointed mission field, McDonald and Chancey give much needed hope and encouragement.
CLICK HERE to read Robin's entire review of Passionate Housewives.

As an aside, I can hardly pass up the G. K. Chesterton quote Robin offers:
Woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. . . . when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. . . .

If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun a Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colourless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it.

How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.


Are you on Facebook?

Jennie Chancey and I have finally launched the Passionate Housewives Desperate for God Facebook page. It was created a while back and then promptly forgotten in the midst of the day to day challenges of homemaking and child rearing. As we have time, we will be sharing what God is teaching us, and we invite you to do the same! We love hearing from our readers and enjoy the interaction with other moms in the trenches.

See ya there!

Stacy McDonald

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God

Promote Your Page Too


CBMW Interview

Interview with CBMW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)

Encouraging Passionate Housewives: Interview with Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald

Jeff Robinson

The following is an interview with the co-authors of the book entitled Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker. Gender Blog gave an overview HERE.

Gender Blog: What compelled you to write this book?

Jennie: Stacy and I were disturbed by a trend that appeared in the broader culture and also penetrated the church-the "me-first" movement that was applauded in publications as diverse as Christianity Today and Newsweek and World Report.

Wives and mothers were urged to put self first if they expected to be happy and stay sane. We were amazed that such an unbiblical idea had gained traction in print and online. I received emails from several concerned readers of LAF (, who wanted to know if I'd write a biblical refutation of the self-first teachings.

Shortly after that, Stacy called me to tell me about a book she'd outlined that would hold out Christ's life as our model: dying to self, crucifying the flesh, and living for the Lord by putting others first and trusting the Lord to sustain us. When I saw her outline, my jaw dropped. She'd put down every single point I wanted to bring up in an article. That's when Stacy invited me to co-author the book with her, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Stacy: Jennie and I discussed her concerns over Christian women who were being duped into believing that the only way they were going to be happy and sane was if they pampered themselves, met their own needs and demanded their "right" to have it all. We were in agreement that women needed to be told the truth, straight up.

My original purpose and direction for the book related more simply to the erroneous picture of "homemaker" the general public was getting. Though our family doesn't even own a television, I heard about the types of shows that were becoming popular-shows where homemakers were portrayed as desperate, miserable, adulterous, and even murderous. Supposedly, they only "pretend" to be happy and content-and Hollywood is willing to show us what is "really" going on behind the scenes.

GB: Just how profound is the danger that feminism poses for our wives and daughters?

Jennie: Feminism is very dangerous. It hasn't changed since the Garden of Eden and still holds out the same lie: "What God says isn't good enough. You've got to make up your own mind." Feminism divorces girls from God-given, God-blessed femininity and urges them to pursue masculinity.

It's really ironic. I think "feminism" is the wrong word, because it's anything but feminine. Satan wants us to turn God's created order on its head. He doesn't agree with God's pronouncement that the creation of male and female was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). Egalitarians do their best to convince girls that male headship and biblical roles for women are part of a long-gone past and should be rejected.

But rejecting God's order does not bring greater happiness or fulfillment. I know, because I pursued the path of feminism for several years during college and for a couple of years after. I rejected the inerrancy of Scripture for a time, because "enlightened" professors at my Christian college told me "all that was written by men who were a product of their times." I am ashamed that I didn't take a firm stand against such heresy, but I didn't want to appear unintelligent or backwards, so I embraced it instead, forcibly silencing my doubts in the name of "higher education."

I Timothy 2:14 tells us that women are prone to deception. We might not be flattered by this, but it is the truth! We need to guard our hearts and the hearts of our daughters from the smooth tongues that would lure them away from the biblical role God has graciously given them.

Stacy: Whitewashed feminism is a more clandestine form of feminism that has crept into many modern churches. I'm sure you've heard the term "evangelical feminism." These feminists are typically not the radical, secular kind; they claim to hold Scripture in high regard, yet they do not accept the biblically defined role distinctions between men and women, and they reject male authority to varying degrees.

This more subtle version of feminism is particularly dangerous due to its beguiling cloak of Christianity. While its face may be more polished, and its manifestation less extreme, at its core, it is no different than its "secular" counterpart. It's simply whitewashed feminism.

This type of feminism can be especially dangerous to our daughters, but ironically, our daughters can actually be part of the attack on feminism. Our daughters love being women and understand their roles through God's design.

As we raise our daughters to embrace the feminine aspects of their creation and joyfully hold to a biblical view of womanhood, then we will see a whole generation of godly wives and mothers who are inoculated against the lies of feminism and who teach God's truth to their own children. They'll have seen the beauty and truth of the Scriptures lived out in real families and they'll want no part of the feminist lie.

GB: How can local churches better serve stay-at-home moms?

Jennie: I think a lot is accomplished by simply affirming the biblical role for women from the pulpit instead of giving ground to the egalitarians by remaining silent for fear of offending. So many wives and mothers struggle because they lack godly teaching and affirmation of their role. Saying "thanks" on Mother's Day is nice, but preaching the Word and encouraging women to love and apply themselves to their callings is far more important. It's also important to demonstrate scripturally that homemaking isn't just for women with children.

Often women who aren't able to have children feel left out or like second-rate citizens in God's economy. The Titus 2 commands for women apply to all of us. Older women need to be reminded that their role doesn't end when children leave the nest. There are young women out there starving for godly mentors to come alongside them.

Young unmarried women need to be encouraged to invest in the lives of the families in the church through acts of service (helping in a home when a new baby arrives, taking meals to shut-ins, visiting widows, etc.). There are so many things for women of all ages and stations to do in the church.

When we neglect or forget those tasks, we leave a vacuum-one that has been filled badly by the welfare state. Time for churches to boldly and courageously set forth God's commands for women and bless them when they are obedient and faithful!

Stacy: One thing churches can do is stop making moms feel guilty for not being involved in every program the church offers. Don't ask mothers of young children to teach classes, organize events, or take on various jobs at church. Support them in their focus to care for the needs in their homes. Remember that many times they are already overwhelmed with what they are doing - they don't need additional burdens to juggle or distractions that will keep them from their more important tasks.

While there are certainly many ways women can and should serve the church during different seasons of life, a woman whose responsibility it is to care for her husband and children should not feel torn from her family or feel that she's doing "lesser work" when she's serving in the home.

GB: How important is it that we encourage our "passionate housewives" as they carry out their crucial but difficult task of homemaking?

Jennie: I think it goes without saying that there's not a lot of encouragement for women to be homemakers and submissive to their husbands today. So many women have written us to say that they felt alone in their beliefs and without support. It is truly critical that we encourage a revival of biblical roles for women (as well as men) and give all the support we can to those women who are faithfully serving the Lord.

The majority of feminists would have us believe that homemaking is brainless, meaningless work. It is anything but! It isn't just about laundry and dishes and changing diapers. It is about being the helpers to our husbands that God has called us to be. It is about extending hospitality, caring for the sick and needy, reaching out to the lost, and raising up the generation behind us to wholeheartedly follow the Lord. It's a full-time job

Stacy: We hear from women all the time who are thankful for the encouragement that Passionate Housewives, LAF, and Your Sacred Calling give them. Many are starving for like-minded fellowship, and can't find Titus 2 mentors in their own churches because so many older women are not available due to their own careers and personal pursuits.

We think it's very important to provide "passionate housewives" who are in the trenches with as much encouragement and support as we can. And we encourage husbands and older women to remember how important it is too. These mothers are training up future generations for God's glory - we should be very supportive indeed!