Recently my husband went on a mission trip to India and the kids and I went to AL to visit family. This was a ten (turned eleven because of a missed flight) day trip where I took five books to read and was able to read two of them and start a third. With a three and four year old in tow I was proud of this accomplishment. Whenever I read a really good book I want everyone I know to read the book as well. By the way, I only read what I would consider really good books, because if a book is not really good then I stop reading it. There are way too many good books out there to waste my time on the not so good ones. The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace and Stuart Scott was one that I had high hopes for (because of other books written by these authors) and began reading not long ago only to decide it was kind of boring and the information was not all that helpful. The two that I read in AL, however, were excellent and I want to share some of the highlights. The first small book, The Fruit Of Her Hands, by Nancy Wilson is the first of many I hope to read by this author. Here are some of the highlights broken up by chapters...
A Woman's Orientation to Marriage
"In the Song of Solomon we see a delightful view of the beloved: 'Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons' (2:3). When you think of your husband, is he an apple tree in the forest? He should be. Or do you see one tree in the forest, dwarfed by many other imposing trees of greater stature? Perhaps you need to adjust your view."
"A head is given to a woman for protection, safety, and shelter... Submitting to someone whom God has placed over you with loving authority is a relief, not a burden."
"We need to see submission to our own head as a God-ordained means to our protection and happiness."
"Her (a christian woman's) ministry should be visibly connected to him (her husband).
Walking With God
Sit down and read straight through five chapters of the New Testament every day and that small amount of time will take you through the NT once every two months.
"Paul teaches that women are more easily deceived than men (1 Timothy 2:14)"
"What does a wise woman do who needs spiritual help? Go to your husband first... if you have gone to him humbly, and he does not want to counsel you, get his permission to seek pastoral or biblical counseling."
"How can we know what God requires if we are not reading what He has written? (Deut. 8:3)."
"Stay away from books that get you to look inward instead of away from yourself to Christ."
"Let the wife see that she respects her husband." -Ephesians 5:33
"Sometimes I wonder where the church would be today if the men in it were respected as they ought to be by their wives. What power would God unleash through godly men who were respected in their homes? I am certain that lack of respect and, in some cases, overt disrespect are holding many men back."
"A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." -Proverbs 14:1
"It is far too common to hear wives complaining about the shortcomings of their husbands... it is disrespect if you do."
"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." -Proverbs 31:11-12
"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones." -Proverbs 12:4
"God has designed your husband to need respect, and He has commanded you to be the principal source of it."
"Because the husband is responsible for the decisions of the family, a wife must maintain an attitude of respect and submission in communication... Give him your input, ask for his counsel and advice, and then pray for him... When the wife is seizing the responsibility, he does not necessarily feel the need to fulfill his obligations."
1 Timothy 5:10: "Notice the order of these good deeds. Our children are first. Next is hospitality. Then comes relieving the afflicted. The wife does not have to go outside her domain to 'do good.' The home is the center of her activities, and these activities can be and should be pleasing to God."
"Remember that respect and submission are not what your husband requires of you, but what God requires of you."
"When a wife tries to bear the responsibilities that her husband should be bearing (in context, providing financially), she suffers... Quit scrambling, trying to come up with funds to meet deadlines. It is his responsibility."
"Wives are to be submissive regardless of their husbands' spiritual state."
"Grumbling and whining are the enemies of submission."
Principles and Methods
Titus 2: "The passage does not tell us what age a woman must reach before she is older, but we must assume that she has already faithfully accomplished all she now sets out to teach."
Duties of Homemaking
"God had called me to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. Because of this, all the mundane things I did were sanctified, holy, purposeful, and honoring to God, and I should offer them all to Him."
"When you are working hard at home, you don't have time to watch degrading television shows, you don't have time to spend your money recklessly, and you don't have time to fritter on the phone."
"Paul states one of the purposes of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5: it is a protection from sexual immorality."
"It is far better to hurry up the wedding than engage in immorality (1 Cor. 7:9)."
Comparing the marital sexual relationship to a garden: In the Song of Solomon the bride is referred to as 'a garden enclosed' (4:12; 5:1).. a lush garden with its pleasant fruits... the garden is a private place with a high wall around it called the marriage covenant... the husband is the garden tender, and the wife becomes a source of great joy and delight to the husband as he spends time in the garden he faithfully tends... a christian woman takes an eager interest in making it a lovely garden that her husband delights to spend time in... a peaceful atmosphere, with a soothing effect on the soul... (she tends her garden) by being affectionate, approachable, warm, and responsive... she hangs a 'No trespassing" sign out... a husband is never trespassing in his own garden."
The whole book is worth the read and Nancy Wilson along with her three daughters write at a blog called Femina. I hope to share the info from the next book I read soon.