Today was one of those days.
Let’s just say my three-year-old was in anything but rare form.
By dinner, I told my husband, “She’s your child for the rest of the day.”
I felt justified in my frustration and anger with her. After all, did she really have to scream as we walked the aisles of our local Wal-Mart? Or was it necessary for her to hit her six-year-old sister with a ruler? I mean, seriously.
My frustration soon turned to conviction though.
Once my three-year-old was tucked in her bed — yes, by my husband, not me — I picked up New York Times best-selling author and popular blogger Darlene Schacht’s new book, The Good Wife’s Guide: Embracing Your Role as Help Meet. I’d read it before, but I wanted to refresh my memory as I sat down to write this intro.
It was a word in due season. In it, I was reminded of the importance of serving and loving my kids joyfully, even when they do throw tantrums at Wally World.
Over the last few months, I’ve come to love Darlene for her practical, biblically-based ministry of encouraging women to embrace Titus 2’s exhortation to love our kids and be keepers of our homes. As I worked with her on leading our first book club selection, I’ve been encouraged and strengthened by her wisdom and resolve to honor God in this sphere.
I recently had the opportunity to chat via email with Darlene about The Good Wife’s Guide.
Hi Darlene! Thanks so much for chatting with me. For our readers who may not be familiar with you, tell me a bit about your background. How and when did you first start writing?
I grew up struggling with reading and writing. In fact I rarely to never finished reading a book, and writing was a definite struggle for me — this is evident in the fact that I failed Grade 12 English. For some reason, however, I always felt the tug toward writing, which is why I agree that God equips those He calls. There was a lot of equipping to get me where I am today!
I opened a blog about eight years ago called “What Would Jesus Blog?” where I posted some humorous articles about my children. My family and friends were so encouraging, and to my surprise they loved the articles I put out. That was the push I needed to get real about writing, work hard, polish my skill, and pray that God would guide my pen.
After that I launched an online magazine called Christian Women Online, through which I made some strong connections.
Your website Time-Warp Wife and its vision resulted from a difficult season in your life and the grace you discovered. Can you tell us about that?
Normally I shy away from this topic because I’m not proud of my sins. With everything that I knew, and after having experienced a deep relationship with Christ, I found myself faced with temptation and I was drawn away by my lust. It’s not that I didn’t know better — I did. I was a homeschooling, home-churching mom who read the Bible several times, studied Hebrew and Greek, and had attended church for most of my life. I was an “I’d never do that!” girl, but little by little I took a step closer to sin and away from the mark until I crossed the line and had an affair.
Coming back from that was the most difficult thing that I have ever faced in my life. I understood that God’s grace was for sinners, but because I had gone against everything I believed to be right and chose sin I was trapped under a heavy weight of guilt and shame. It was hard to accept grace from both my husband and God, but it’s that very grace that led me back home.
How would you challenge and encourage women who may have been in a similar situation and can’t forgive themselves for their sin?
I’d remind them of Peter, the disciple who was always eager to follow Jesus. Peter loved the Lord and yet in the very last hours before the death of our Savior, he denied him three times. This was the same man that Jesus spoke to earlier when He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.”
Grace is for sinners. We should never diminish the severity of sin, but at the same time we must accept that the grace of God is given freely to all sinners and that grace is bigger than our sin.
A short while before my dad passed away, he left me with this wise piece of advice, “God doesn’t care about what you did yesterday; He wants to know what you’ll do today.”
Like you, I love vintage styles. Because of this, I was instantly intrigued by the cover design for The Good Wife’s Guide. What inspired you to write it?
There’s a satirical article of the same name that’s been circulating the net for a couple of years. The piece appears to be from a May 13, 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly, but according to Snopes.com, it’s most likely a hoax. In any event, after taking a look at it, I realized that so many of the points that it listed were the same ones I stress throughout the contents of my blog, and in particular a post I wrote titled, “My Desire for Curb Appeal.”
I clicked through several of the links, and nearly everywhere the guide was posted, it was up for much ridicule. The sad thing in all of this is that our role as a help meet is being diminished by popular opinions that would rather scoff at good family values than face the truth of God’s word.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24, NIV).
I decided to resurrect The Good Wife’s Guide in my own words, and according to the role that I hope to fulfill in my life. From there it turned into a book. It is no longer a satirical piece written to mock the role of a help-meet, but rather a guide that leads women toward a noble character and good family values. It’s time that we took a stand for family values that serve to grow and protect the family unit as God divinely designed it to be.
We live in a culture where more and more Christians are embracing an egalitarian worldview. Why do you think it’s important for women to realize the beauty of complementarism?
I believe that the answer is found in Philippians where we have the infallible example of Jesus Christ:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8).
With that example in mind, I understand that I’m in every way equal to my husband, but equality isn’t something that I should take advantage of for my own pleasure or gain. My desire is to please God by humbling myself, and taking on the role of a help meet. If my Lord and Savior took on the role of a servant, why shouldn’t I?
Equality of people refers to our “value.” We have equality among all men and women, while at the same time we have some who are in a position of authority over us such as members of congress, senators, and governors. They are in no way of greater value than the people they serve.
Submission is yielding your will for the good of another. It is putting another ahead of you. It’s a choice that you make out of respect, love and reverence. And so in Colossians 3:18 where wives are commanded to submit to their husbands, it’s a decision I make that’s powered by faith.
In The Good Wife’s Guide, you affirm both stay-at-home moms and working moms. I love how you erase the division that often arises and point to the issue being one of the heart. Can you share a bit about this?
Looking to Scripture we see the Proverbs 31 woman selling fine linen to merchants, buying a field, and planting a vineyard. What we also see there is a woman who rises early to feed her household and whose children call her “blessed.” What I glean from her example is the importance of putting family first.
If we send our children off to daycare because we want a bigger house, a cabin, a boat or more spending money, then we may be prioritizing those things over the value of spending time with our children.
On the other hand, there might be stay-at-home moms who are so occupied with a number of distractions that they spend little time with their children but wear the SAHM badge with pride.
Only God knows the treasure of one’s heart, all we can do is search our own to ensure that our priorities are where they should be.
What book or books are you currently reading?
I love to learn anything from grammar to gardening so I’m constantly picking up how-to books. I can never get enough! I’m currently reading Brand Like a Rockstar, so if you see me pull out the electric guitar, and do a few scissor jumps, you’ll know why! *wink*
Any additional thoughts you’d like to add?
Maybe just this…
Enter Our Giveaway
We have two print copies of Darlene’s The Good Wife’s Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet to give away. To enter for a chance to win a copy, leave a comment. We’ll choose a winner using Random.org’s Integer Generator. One additional entry can be earned for each of these:
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This contest closes on Monday, May 7th, 2012, at 12 a.m. Our apologies to our international readers, but it’s only open to those residing in the United States and Canada.