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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

Book Reviews

A Hausmutter Reading List


There haven’t been a great number of books written from a Lutheran perspective about women being, well, wives, mothers, and keepers of the home. And since most of the Lutheran women I’d trust to write such a book are busy being wives, mothers, and keepers of their home, we may just have to wait a few decades until such books exist! In the meantime, however, if you are looking for some encouraging and stimulating literature to fuel you in your vocation, may I suggest a few of the following?

Help Meet:

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs  (previously reviewed for the Hausvater Project by Jonathan Conner)

Dr. Eggerichs describes the relationships of husbands and wives as cycles: you can either live in the ‘crazy cycle’ of husband treating the wife without love and wife treating the husband with disrespect, or one spouse can choose to step out of that trap and into the ‘energizing cycle’. The ‘energizing cycle’ takes place when one spouse chooses to love or respect regardless of how their spouse treats them. This book is empowering because it places the power to change squarely on the readers’ shoulders, through the help of Christ. My husband gave it to me as a birthday present several years ago, and it was such a great blessing to our marriage that we regularly give it out as a wedding present.

Motherhood:

The Power of Motherhood, by Nancy Campbell

In twent-four mother-sized chapters, Mrs. Campbell tells, from Scripture, what a mother is. She insists that mothers do not “just” stay at home and raise their children because they have nothing better to do, but rather because there is no more important job! Bible study questions at the end of each chapter will get you searching God’s Word about motherhood, and valuing this calling in your life. Be prepared to dig deeply into Scripture and learn some Greek and Hebrew!

Raising Godly Tomatoes, by L. Elizabeth Krueger

Mrs. Krueger elegantly weaves Scripture, real-life stories, and questions and answers into a helpful manual on rearing children. Rather than merely spouting a philosophy, Mrs. Krueger goes the next step and applies her ideas to real-life situations with consistency and God’s good grace.

Homekeeping:

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald

Exposing the heresy of andogeny, former feminists Mrs. Chancey and Mrs. McDonald uncover the hollowness of the cultural messages telling women they only have worth because of their career, body-shape, or money. They encourage women to lose their life in Jesus by serving their families, and thus find a fulfilling life of homemaking.

Managers of Their Homes, by Teri Maxwell

Useful for mothers who realize that their homes need a little more order, Mrs. Maxwell details how to go about setting up a schedule for your family. Some may think that a schedule dictates what the family can or cannot do, but Mrs. Maxwell explains that by setting up (and sticking to!) a schedule, you make the most of your time and prioritize the values of your family! Children also know what to do when, and much more can be accomplished in your home to the glory of God. This might not be a system that works for every family, but it is something to try if you feel your family may benefit from it.

Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

This book is both a healthful food primer and a cookbook. It is based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who studied indigineous people who consumed only food prepared in the traditional way of their ancestors. He found that not only did they have excellent dentition, but they also had excellent health. The authors give credence to the mother who carefully prepares nourishment for her family, acknowledging that the world would be a better place if more mothers did so.

Hope:

1,000 Gifts, by Ann VosKamp

The Biblical wisdom in this book has helped me turn the “sighs” and “moans” of daily tasks, into smiles and joys. After practicing some of ideas in this book, my children spontaneously told me that they didn’t know why I had become more pleasant lately! The premise is this: by naming the gifts God surrounds you with, you are better able to recognize them and thank Him for them. And the better you become at thanking God for all things, the more you see His grace in all things. Jesus gave thanks before His miracles (and even the night before His crucifixion!); When we give thanks in all circumstances, God gives us the miracle of transforming our lives- not as magic formula, but by opening our eyes to the blessings that are already there.

Heaven, by Randy Alcorn

Pastor Alcorn thoughtfully dives into what God’s Word has to say about Heaven. He argues that Heaven is described in much deeper detail than the typical standing around and singing for eternity. He shares many of those passages, and gives possible flesh to the skeleton of them. While he himself says that Scripture doesn’t answer all of our questions on the matter, he does well to describe what Scripture DOES say, and comforts all people (and I think, especially wives and mothers who put to rest so many of their own ambitions for the sake of their husbands and children) with the hope of a full, gratifying world to come, by the merit of Christ.

 

I hope that you can gain nuggets of wisdom from these books, reading with your “Lutheran” lenses on. There is much to be gained from the scholarship of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that these books with encourage you in your vocations. And maybe someday, you’ll be writing the Lutheran books on Biblical Womanhood!

 

Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018) and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).

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TAGS: Motherhood, Wives

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