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The Good Wife’s Guide: An Interview with Darlene Schacht



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, 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…

The Good Wife’s Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet now in print!

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’s Integer Generator.

One additional entry can be earned for each of these:

  • Follow @ungrind on Twitter. Leave a comment to tell us you did.
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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.

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Gisell James and Michelle T.!

Ashleigh Slater is the author of Team Us: Marriage Together and the editor of Ungrind. As a regular contributor at several blogs and websites, she loves to unite the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application to encourage others. She has 20 years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters. You can follow her on Instagram here.


When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.



One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

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Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.



“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

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He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.



Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

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Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

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The Good Wife’s Guide: An Interview with Darlene Schacht

by Ashleigh Slater time to read: 7 min