Wednesday January 17, 2007

     “How does life in each room of your home manifest the Gospel?  The Christian gospel isn’t just a spiritual reality.  The Word became flesh and bone, and the gospel becomes our porch, dining room, and kitchen.  The driving desire of the gospel is “my life for yours.”  Our desire should be to have this love transform everything we do, room by room”.

     This quote, from the back cover of My Life for Yours, gives just a hint of what is detailed in the pages of this book.  Our lives in our homes – where we raise our children, where we entertain our friends, where we spend the majority of our time as stay at home mothers – are important to the Gospel!  Living our lives with the idea of serving others (my life for yours) can, and should, reshape your entire home.

     The author takes us through the typical home, room by room, from front porch to woodshed, and even into the bathroom, detailing how our everyday lives at home should reflect his theme, “my life for yours”.  Realizing that what we do in our homes has real meaning, should cause us to live our lives more deliberately.

     For example, in his chapter on the dining room, Mr. Wilson points out that making food an idol can be more than the sin of gluttony.  He brings forward the point that many folks sin in this area by making their particular “diet” an idol.  He reminds us that while gluttony is, indeed, a sin, that the Bible frequently equates “fatness” with abundant blessing!  I’m not saying that this is a reason to be overweight, and neither is Mr. Wilson!  This chapter also discusses the importance of the conversation that takes place at the table.  Mr. Wilson continues in this manner throughout the various rooms of the home.

     Douglas Wilson is a popular author and is pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho.  He is also the editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine.  Others books written by Mr. Wilson include: Reforming Marriage, Federal Husband, Future Men, and many others.  Mr. Wilson’s style is straightforward and sometimes gritty and humorous.  I have heard people mention that they think that his humor is misplaced in writing books of this nature, and that he should remain serious while discussing such serious topics.  I do not share that opinion.  I believe that his humor is never used in excess, nor is it flip.  In fact, his infrequent use of humor keeps the reader on track with the seriousness of the subject matter, while still allowing us to chuckle with him form time to time.  After all, family life can be pretty funny!

This book, as with others by the same author, can make for meaty reading.  The subject matter is not light, but his manner of dealing with his topic make this book a comfortable read.  However, I found that I needed to break at the end of each chapter to reflect back on the content of the chapter and think and pray over what the Lord might have for me to do with what I had just read.

     My Life for Yours is a book that I will return to again. Too many times I find myself so wrapped up in the “dailyness” of living, that I become selfish in accomplishing my “to do” list.  Remembering, daily, to tell myself “my life for yours” when it comes to my husband, my children, my church family, etc., is something I need to do more often.  This book helped me to see the very practical side of doing this on a daily basis.

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