This is a post on why the cover of this book ticks me off. Firstly, you have to know that I have not read this book, so it isn't a judgement at all based on the content. I read some of the author's blog, and I think she has some great wisdom to share! This post is, however, a judgement about the misrepresentation of Biblical womanhood displayed on it's cover that I think so many women buy into in the church today.
I am a complementarian woman. I know in my bones that God created men and women to complement one another. This permeates every facet of our beings, from the complementary way he shaped our physical bodies to the way he created our emotions and sympathies work differently, as if we were two halves of a whole. I believe deeply that God has created men to humbly lead, to graciously initiate, and to lovingly shepherd. I also believe whole-heartedly that he created women to humbly serve, to graciously submit, and to lovingly follow. I believe that a man's primary line of work is outside of the home, while I believe that a woman's primary line of work is inside the home.
All that said, hear me when I say this: I do not believe that a woman is a 'good wife' who is actively glorifying God to her fullest capacity when all she can do is bake a nice cake and keep her house clean.
Don't get me wrong, I see immense value in the virtues of homemaking. I love cooking, I'm learning to love keeping things clean, and my entire heart adores nurturing children. What this book cover does, though, is equate doing these things with being a good wife. I think the Bible would disagree with that. Even in Proverbs 31, the ultimate checklist of things a good wife should do, the focus is not on all the little things that the wife does for her household. I would argue that the main point of the passage is in its culmination in verse 30, which says, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is greatly to be praised." All of the things she does to serve her household flow from the more important desire to worship and serve God in all that she does.
The Bible speaks frequently about what it means to be a Christ-follower. It displays the character of God and perfectly outlines our identities in light of who Christ is. It teaches us how to pray, it shows us what it means to worship, and empowers us to fight sin. Nowhere in the Bible does it outline a recipe for perfectly gooey, melty and kid-approved chocolate chip cookies. That's what Pinterest is for, not Scripture. That being said, when did our womanly, and, particularly, wifely value start being determined by the quality of our table settings and our outfits and our chicken parmesan?
I think something is missing from this book cover. Do you think this woman's husband would say that her baking is the pinnacle of what makes her a good wife? Do you think that Jesus would define her as a good wife based on the quality of her gluten-fat-carb-calorie-free banana bread? The answer is, probably not. Maybe her baking is an act of service done with joy in Jesus because her husband loves it! That's great! However, even then, it alone would not earn her the status of a 'good wife'.
A 'good wife' loves Jesus more than she loves her husband. A 'good wife' scours Scripture with a hungry heart because she loves hearing from her Father. A 'good wife' encourages and supports, lifting up her family with her words. A 'good wife' creates a comfortable and encouraging home environment for her family. Maybe that includes making cookies! There's nothing innately wrong with cookies (believe me... I'm always down for a cookie). The issue arises when the Pinterest-tricks are the goal instead of a natural result of seeking Jesus and determining how to better serve your family.
We as women must love and serve our God, then love and serve our husbands and families. After you've made those your primary goals, go ahead! Make some cookies! Heck, make ME some cookies!! Bake in the freedom of knowing that you can burn them to a crisp, render them inedible, and still be a good wife.