Praise Her in the Gates Paperback – 1 Jun 2000
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Nancy Wilson shows her talents as a writer and a communicator in this work that should be read by all Christian women, especially young girls aspiring to the great and high call of motherhood. (Men, pick it up and enjoy the fresh insights into the souls of your daughters, as you carefully cultivate these qualities in them!).
The Wilsons have been saying through their works what the Church of our generation so desperately needs to hear: there is hope for the family! In our day, we have been deluged with the advance of pop psychology intermingled with a few Scriptures, and the results have been nothing short of heart-breaking....families either broken apart, or hanging together by a thread, rather than the glorious example of the love of Christ to His Church. What is our testimony? What can we say to the world when our own families are in turmoil? How can we say, "follow us" when our own children do not follow us??
I urge every Christian to get the series of books from the Wilsons and see for yourselves: God has not left us without instructions! He has given us blue-prints to carefully follow, in glorious detail, and behind these instructions lies the wonderful promise of success:
Men loving their wives, Wives reverencing their husbands, children growing up to faithfully love Christ and family.
What more could you want in life.
Please look into: Standing On the Promises, Fidelity, The Fruit of Her Hands, and other works by the Wilsons...
Nancy, on behalf of my wife, my daughters, and the lovely ladies of our congregation: many thanks!
Like Nancy Wilson's earlier book, "The Fruit of Her Hands" (which revolutionized my life in Christ), this book is just must reading for Christian women today. Too often, we are dragged away from the simple, fulfilling life that is ours in Christ, to live by the world's standards. We hate it; we know we do. But we're dragged off anyway.
Well, for those who want to come back to reality, here's the handbook you should read alongside your Bible. Oh, what a gift to God's church is Nancy Wilson!
She seems to truly love and yearn to submit to Scripture and Christ. Her glowing descriptions of the beauty and nobility of motherhood are inspiring. We are indeed called to a vastly important, challenging, and life-giving work. Christian women need to hear and hang on to this in the midst of a culture that devalues everything we've given our lives for. "We should be praying that God will give us a godly, self-sacrificing, rejoicing love for our children, even when we think we have enough already." This is vital! I also appreciated the reminder that childbirth is about the baby, not the mother (especially as I'm a few days away from childbirth in a culture that obsesses over planning your ideal "birth experience"), and that the whole of pregnancy and childbirth will indeed involve suffering because of the curse. Motherhood is filled with sacrifice, and we need to expect and prepare for this.
However, even when I agreed with her points, the tone was one of "I'm right, and you're a fool." It was disconcerting. I am certainly no relativist, but I don't think condescension is the answer to wishy-washy thinking; clear, Biblical, gracious explanation and exegesis is.
The overwhelming flood of very culturally based assumptions about how a mother is a "good mother" were soul-crushing. I certainly believe in keeping my home a clean and pleasant place where my family can thrive, and making the dinner table a place of joy, and so on. But can I do it perfectly? No, despite my strongest efforts. She has a lot of opinions about how every aspect of the home environment should take place, but many of them are only one of many legitimate expressions of strong Biblical faith. She makes it sound like either you do this, or you are failing as a mother. Yikes. I think a young Christian would quickly feel the "shoulds" pile up until she felt utterly incapable of being this "ideal mother" that Wilson talks about. There is occasional talk about grace in this book, but she does not show how grace enables us as flawed and fallen women to nevertheless take up this amazing call and persevere in the Lord, with him as our vine and us as the branches.
I appreciated her bringing up the idea that boys and girls need different things and all of them need respect from their parents, but she almost made it sound like boys could be damaged by too much closeness with their mothers! And I'm not talking about being a lazy mama's boy. She actually warns parents about the harmful effects of home-schooling boys, or sending girls to schooling outside the home. I also think her emphasis on the mother respecting her sons was over the top; there is a level of respect that I have for every human being's dignity, and certainly boys, as they grow older, need to be able to separate from mom. But my sons are not in any way, shape, or form an authority over me, nor will they ever be. And they will be taught to respect their sister(s) as much as the reverse.
As others have mentioned, there is a very strong component of viewing everything a woman does in terms of submission to her husband. I believe and appreciate that we are to submit to our husbands as they love us sacrificially. But the Bible really does not portray a woman's entire existence as being about submission to her husband. Wilson's exact words--her idea of headship--are: "When a wife lurches off to do what she thinks is her responsibility without her husband's blessing and delegation, she is out of bounds." I think my husband, an ordained PCA pastor, would cringe at this more than I would. I'm not sure what constitutes "lurching", and my husband and I joyfully work in concert on all major decisions (and I will defer to him if it is necessary), but neither of us considers it "out of bounds" for me to serve with initiative and intentionality in our family. My husband trusts me, and greatly appreciates my strong mind and hard work.
With a healthy dose of discernment, this book can be useful to women wanting to better understand and carry out their calling as mother. Without discernment, this becomes a rulebook taken straight from a decades-old cultural setting, with little grace and not-so-careful contextualization of the eternally abiding truths of Scripture. I'd much rather someone read Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, by Gloria Furman. This book is really about being a mother who abides in Christ, in the midst of all the challenges and craziness of motherhood. She focuses on making Christ our ultimate treasure, and how that will transform our mothering, rather than writing a to-do list. Mothers of all ages and stages will benefit from Treasuring Christ.
My issue with this particular book is that it is filled with "shoulds". You should do this... you shouldn't allow your children to do this... a loving parent will do this... parents who allow their children to throw temper tantrums in the grocery store hate their children. My problem with extrabiblical "shoulds" is that it leads to a form of legalism. Now, Mrs. Wilson is NOT suggesting that you "should" do all these "shoulds" to attain righteousness. However, there is a sense that if you don't do these things, you are a bad parent and not living out God's design for the family.
I don't agree with the first reviewer that, by following Mrs. Wilson's suggestions that you become a slave to your husband. Not at all! I just see that, with all these rules for being a good parent, there is no room for making mistakes. If you don't do this, your kids are going to turn out crappy. Sheesh! I get exhausted just reading it let alone thinking about how I'm going to implement all this stuff.
I believe the suggestions are good ones, thus the three star review. I agree with just about all of them. However, there is more than one way to go. Heaping a bunch of law on my head doesn't help.