June 7, 2013

The Fruitful Wife

The Fruitful WifeLast year Crossway surprised me with an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of The Fruitful Wife.  I began to read it, and quickly realized (in the introduction) that I wanted to devote more time to reading it, so I set it aside.  I'm glad I did, because this is a book that I appreciated reading slowly and carefully.

Quite honestly, there were many times while reading The Fruitful Wife that I thought the book should have been written for a wider audience of all women because so much of the fruit of the Spirit applies to all of us.  Yet, I needed to read it in reference to my marriage.  Hayley DiMarco wrote about the fruit of the Spirit in general terms but gave much application for relationships, and especially the husband and wife relationship.  Though written for wives, I do not think you need to be married to gain perspective and wisdom from The Fruitful Wife.  If you are a married woman wanting to honor your husband and God, I definitely recommend you read The Fruitful Wife.  Add it to your wishlist right now!  And then leave a comment to enter the giveaway!

The Fruitful Wife dedicates a chapter to each parts of the fruit of the Spirit named in Galations 5:22-23, along with an introduction and conclusion.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Each of the chapters has more information than I expected about each topic (and it's relevant, too).  As I have been recommending this book to others since I began reading it, I offer to lend my copy (when done) telling my friends that my book is heavily highlighted.

The Fruitful Wife emphasizes that the fruit of the Spirit is not natural to people.  In fact, the fruit of the Spirit is only possible through the enabling of the Holy Spirit when we deny ourselves and giving glory to God.  That takes love and self-control!    Sounds tough, huh?  Hayley DiMarco writes in the introduction something I could have written:
naturally resort to self when tested; it’s my habit, my nature, my flesh. When I’m misunderstood, I get defensive. When I’m uncomfortable, I complain. When I’m tired, I’m cranky. When I’m at the end of my rope, I lack all self-control. So the descriptive, “Fruitful Wife,” does not come naturally to me. (p. 11)
I am sharing just a few quotes that I really appreciated.

The Fruitful Wife on joy:
The joyful wife is a blessing to her husband and family. She blesses him with a home that is a pleasure to come to, not because of its cleanliness but because in it there is cheerfulness, optimism, playfulness, and delight.  (p. 56)
The Fruitful Wife on patience: 
Complaint, most often, expresses the inability to endure suffering (2 Tim. 4:5), even of the most inconsequential kind. And when complaint seems most warranted, as in the case of unfair imprisonment or torture, patience bears with mankind as it sees not chaos and loss but order and hope. (p. 88) 
and
But the fruit is really just the outpouring of another work—the work of clinging to God. That is the primary work for fruit to be produced. As we cling to him, as we worship him, pray to him, study his Word, and spend time in his presence, his Spirit animates our lives. (p.99)
The Fruitful Wife on self-control:
Self-control is necessary in the life of faith. If we can’t control ourselves—in other words, subdue our flesh—then we are no 
longer controlled by our love for God.  (p. 193)

And a few more thoughts from the book.  Peace with God comes from our acceptance of our suffering, not the exemption of suffering and pain.  Joy is not denying suffering but seeing God's providence through it.  When Big Sister was just two weeks old and we weren't sure if her heart rate would ever get under control or if she would go into cardiac arrest again.  During those long days at the hospital I remember repeatedly sharing two things with others.  1) Parenting is not for wimps.  and 2) Throughout all of the questions and uncertainties God would bring us through it.  We said the same things all over again when Brother had a three hour seizure.  You can read more about the SVT, epilepsy, and even apraxia if you like.  (I suppose another hardship we dealt with as parents was the screaming for months of our youngest...and it was not just colic.  It was pain, but not in the form of colic.)

I did appreciate all of the Bible references in this book and the honest writing.  I definitely recommend this book!  Improvements though?  Sure.  I would have liked an in-depth topical index which may be in the actual book (verses the ARC).  Twenty-three notes/resources are included, but a reader benefits from an index in a book like this.  Another note for readers is that the book has blue text.  I suspect some would like this while others may find it difficult to read.  (The ARC had standard black text.)

Personally, I have recently been challenged by the non-fiction women's books I have been reading.  Though they are not easy to read, at times, and even harder to change my ways, I appreciate when I read a book that challenges my thoughts and ways, especially when it leads me away from sinful habits and toward glorifying God.  Below is a list of books that may interest you that I recommend.  Only the first title is specifically for wives; the others are for women in general.  From the prompting of the books I have been reading, I created a Daily Gifts gratitude journal free printable.  Please let me know if you are recording your blessings, too!

I also have a free fruit of the Spirit printable for you!

More books for Christian women that I highly recommend and linked to my reviews: 
The Beautiful Wife, by Sandy Ralya 
Choosing Gratitude, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
God's Priorities for Today's Woman, by Lisa Hughes
A Woman's Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything, by Lydia Brownback
The Girl's Still Got It: Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World, by Liz Curtis Higgs (This is a study of the book of Ruth.  Deep yet light-hearted.)
and of course The Fruitful Wife by Hayley DiMarco

I thank Crossway for sending me the ARC of The Fruitful Wife.  Very exciting for you, too... One reader will also win this book.  (And if you don't win it, I hope you will buy or borrow your own copy!)

GIVEAWAY   Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations, Shonda!
Enter
Please leave a comment below if you are interested in reading The Fruitful Wife.  Be sure to leave your email address (at least once) so I can contact you if you win.  

Extra Entries Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.
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~ Share about this giveaway and leave a link in a comment.  You can have two comments/entries for this! (You can tag me with This Simple Home on FB and @thissimplehome on twitter...of course you could blog about it, too.)  Thanks for spreading the word!

Giveaway will run through Friday, June 14th.  The winners will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.  Random.org will help to choose the winners.  Winners will be announced on Facebook and on this post.  This giveaway is limited to the US and Canada.  Thanks for entering!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through a link, I will earn a small percentage. Thank you!

12 comments:

  1. Don't include me in the giveaway, because I already have a copy, but I just wanted to say thanks for the reminder about this book. I have been wanting to study the fruit of the Spirit (and in my own home is where I am often most tested, not because my family is hard to live with, but because that is where my selfishness is so easily provoked), and here I have a book about it right on my desk that I'd forgotten about.

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  2. Oooh, I really want to read this. Here's hoping that I win!

    Kate

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  3. I would love a copy of this book. I remember you sharing about this book earlier and I bookmarked it on my Book Depository wishlist. Enter me!

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  4. Shared this giveaway on FB.

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  5. That seems interesting to read. I'd like to mention that having a fast index for a book is easy using a program like PDF Index Generator

    The giveaway idea seems very interesting :)

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  6. Thank you for reviewing & sharing this book with us! I'd love to win a copy :)

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!