This has truly been a wonderful year for me in the area of "books that I have read." I admit I haven't done very much reading in the past few years, but this year was different. I know God was in it because all of the books have had a similar message, and each one has added to the other. Some of the titles include the following:
1. Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth Dodds. Sarah was truly a wonderful wife - and she didn't even have the power of the internet and blogs to read to learn how to do it! I learned a lot by reading about her life as Jonathan's wife, and I was very inspired. I don't think I was ever convinced that Jonathan was truly a difficult man, though. It sounds like he spent a lot of time studying the scriptures, writing, and preparing for sermons. He was careful to instruct and train his children in things that society today would think were ridiculous, but he felt they were very important. I certainly don't see that any harm was caused as a result (and what a legacy they have left behind!). Sarah did have a lot on her plate as a result of being his wife and the fact he wasn't available to help out much - and they certainly did have a lot of visitors! Sarah truly understood that her job was to be his help meet - not his equal. As a result, he loved her dearly, and this was evidenced in his dying words. I think she knew what it meant to live out true Biblical womanhood.
2. Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl - This book deserves a standing ovation, and I think also deserves the #1 spot on the book of the year. I just love the Pearls. Any questions I've ever had about raising children, marriage, salvation, etc., the Pearls have been there to answer those questions. Using the Bible as their foundation along with wisdom and bluntness, they certainly have a wonderful way of getting their point across. If you have ANY questions about what the Bible says a proper help meet should be, you must read this book. I learned so much from this book and also learned that I still have so much to learn. I wish someone had given me this book 15 years ago when I got married, and I believe it would make a wonderful gift for any newlywed or soon to be wed lady. I recently shared this with a lady whose marriage was at the point of divorce. She called me a few days later and was thanking me for letting her read this book. I was relieved. This is one of those books that you will either love or hate - I don't think there's room for any in-between. I love it, and I think I will need to read it at least once a year - if not twice.
3. Passionate Housewives Desperate for God - While not on the level of the Debi Pearl book, I thought this was a good read also. It didn't speak so much about being a help meet but more about our God-given roles as women. It was definitely a book against feminism, which is fine with me, and I pretty much agreed with everything they said. I was working full-time when my first child was born, but at that time I told my husband "I would be willing to sell my car and drive a Pinto (the car not the bean - although there's probably not much difference) if that's what I needed to do to quit work and stay home with my child." We didn't have to carry it that far, but we did make adjustments. I even had an early morning paper route for the first few months until we got adjusted. I knew I wanted to raise my children, and I was and still am willing to do whatever it takes to do that. I can honestly say that I love what I am doing and have never regretted that decision. The worldly things we gave up in order for me to stay home with my children do not hold a candle to what I've been able to experience these past 11 years. All glory and thanks be to God! All in all, this book just sort of reaffirmed what I just said.
4. The last book I want to mention is one that I'm reading right now. Could it jump to the top of my list for 2007? It's possible, although it is on a different subject. The book is Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, Jr., and it is AWESOME! I'm out of time for today, but over the next few days or weeks, I already see points that I'm going to have to bring up as a result of reading this book. If like my husband and I, you sense that something is just not right with today's typical modern church, you must read this book, and you'll understand what it is.