I recently became aware of a new Christian book, written for women, Eve in Exile by Rebekah Merkle. It was getting some great reviews from solid Christian lady reviewers, so I, sensibly, wanted to read it as well. It particularly focuses on how women are to live in a godly way in this current-day world. It addresses some practical issues, such as: "Should a woman work?", "What is a Christian woman's priority supposed to be?", "How can a woman feel fulfilled in the home?", etc. I bought the kindle book today, and immediately jumped to the practical section, with the intent to go back to the beginning once my curiosity had been satiated. Well, good news, she doesn't prescribe a one-size-fits-all for women. She stays very biblical, while being firm in the following statement, "I would never say that a wife's place is in the home, but I would absolutely say that a wife's priority should be her home." She is balanced, and brings it into perspective for women at every walk of life, single, married with littles, married with olders, etc. So, let's just say I'm a chapter and half in, and I already feel the need to share some good stuff with you.
One of the biggest treasures so far is picking up on the fact that women, in a different way than men, have a God-given responsibility to be managers of the home. Sure, she can work outside of the home, but only to the effect that her eyes are always pointed on how it helps her household to thrive. It's never about fulfilling personal dreams or goals, but about having the main priority always be her home. This goes directly in the face of what feminism calls women to do, which is sacrifice family for the sake of being true to who you are as a woman, and fulfill your personal destiny at all costs. Merkle points us back to a biblical form of feminism, one that is others-focused, and is thereby fulfilling in its own right.
The last little treasure I'll leave you with on this "part 1" report is how Merkle encourages us, as women, to thrive in the home's responsibilities, not just survive while creating as much lounge time as possible. She (uncomfortably, I might add) points out our laziness as a direct rebellion to God's direction that we subdue the earth. We aren't meant to just get by with as little work as possible in the home, but to do our tasks with all our heart. She gives a little chide at the thought that women give in to not using their brains and abilities to their fullest in the home, reserving their talents for work outside of the home. For example, a very practical task is fixing food. Do we have the right attitude, attempting to prepare food that explores God's creation and does good things for our bodies? Do we research and think through it, or do we let this area lack, not using our talents for the good of our family (or those we thoughtfully invite over)? Are we content with the easiest recipes available to fulfill the task? We have to take all of this advice with a grain of salt, because Merkle is constantly saying she isn't laying down rules on what to do (or cook, in this instance), but rather the attitude with which we approach our God-given tasks. Our talents, as women, should find their highest priority, and thereby fulfillment, in the home. Are you mathematically minded? How can you help your household to thrive using your particular talents?
I'm looking forward to reading more of this helpful book! In the meantime, I'm encouraged to make my home my priority, given by God, and to approach it with my whole heart: creatively, others-focused, and in a God-honoring way.