Some of us are feeling a little… well… not like the rest.
Some of us Christian women like to read hard theology, Puritan authors, or Piper, Sproul, Ryle, Ferguson, Keller, Spurgeon, and Pink books along with our husbands. Or heck, by ourselves.
We love to listen to the really hard sermons by Paul Washer or Albert Martin or Stuart Olyott.
We attend conferences designed for the Christian instead of for women because the preaching tends to be more hard-hitting.
And then we attend women’s Bible studies or women’s get-togethers.
And we love our sisters in Christ, we really do.
But most of the conversation focuses on what it means to be a Christian wife. Or a Christian mother.
And we know that these things are important! We know that we need constant reminders, if we are wives or mothers, of what it means to be a biblical woman.
We enjoy the books by Mrs. Pierce, Mrs. Mahaney, Mrs. Piper, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs. DiMarco. They’re fun. They’re easy to relate to, because we, too, are women striving to be more like Christ in our marriages. These books are always helpful for me, but especially right before I married Mister and shortly after the honeymoon when the reality hurricane hit.
But in most women’s church groups, this is as far as the biblical training goes.
Most of today’s women have never read J.C. Ryle’s Old Paths or Charles Spurgeon’s A Defense of Calvinism.
They have never delved into Jeremiah Burrough’s truthfully and beautifully written but hard to read Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.
They’ve never attempted to read John Murray’s Redemption: Accomplished and Applied and inevitably gotten a headache.
They’ve never picked up the heftiest, most Puritan looking book in a bookstore and said, “I’m gonna try and read this.”
And, honestly, I feel out of place.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the fellowship of female believers. It’s good for women to join together in the word and encourage each other in the fight for biblical womanhood and motherhood in today’s backwards feminist society. It’s great, it really is.
But my sole purpose in life, as a child of the living God, is not as a wife. And if I am blessed with children, it will not be as a mother.
True, I am a wife who needs constant reminders to keep me on track in loving, respecting, and serving my husband.
But, first and foremost, I am a Christian. Before I can expect to stay on track as a wife, I need to align my life as simply a Christian to the desires of my Lord and Savior.
Before I can expect to submit to my husband, I need to scrutinize my life and dig out the areas in which I am not submitting to my God.
Before I can expect to love my husband, I need to grow in the love of Jesus Christ.
Before I can expect to extend grace to my husband, I need to realize that I need grace most of all.
And while books written by wives for wives are helpful in being a wife, being a Christian involves so much more.
Which is why, when I get together with other biblical women and all they seem to talk about is their struggles as a wife or their sanctification as a mother, which are all good things to learn and pray and talk about, I feel like the conversation barely scratches the surface of the Christian life.
I feel unwelcome to talk about something as unwifely or unmotherly as my struggles with contentment in God’s will, or my revolting pride, or my seemingly constant inability to see the log in my own eye first.
I feel unwelcome to mention these things, to slice open my soul and spew my need for prayer in these often horrible things, when all the women in a church or small group can bring themselves only to talk about the kind of wife or mother they were the past week.
The Christian woman’s life is so much deeper than simply as a wife, or a mother, or a future wife or mother. The Christian woman is an individual. In God’s eyes, our sanctification is no different than a man’s. While most of us will go on to become wives and mothers, and our lives will be consumed with our families, our spiritual standing with God does not change.
I don’t think He wants His daughters to stay within the confines of learning how to be a godly wife or mom.
I think He wants us to delve even deeper, to find the heart of our sins, the sins that are hindering us from being a godly wife or mom, and yank them out by the root.
You can’t control the weeds in your garden by clipping the ends of the branches or flowers. You have to seek the root, grab a firm hold of it, and pull it out completely.
While books on being a good wife and mother are beneficial, and often fun, reading hard books (many of which mostly only pastors or older men read) in concordance with the Scriptures will truly convict the Christian wife or mother of the root of her besetting sins.
Some books I am either currently reading or planning to read in the next several months, Lord willing:
- Stop Loving the World, William Greenhill
- The Cross of Christ, John Stott
- The Defense of Calvinism, Charles Spurgeon
- The Mortification of Sin, John Owen
- The Christian in Complete Armour, William Gurnall
I’m not saying I have it all figured out. But I want to be more than just a wife. I want to grow as a believer in Jesus Christ, and I want to encourage my spiritual sisters to join me in expanding our spiritual palate. Let’s graduate from baby food to steak. Let’s set aside our Mrs. books for just a season, and try a Burroughs or a Reisinger or a Pink book. I guarantee you won’t regret it.