Subtitled, "Establishing and Enjoying a Peaceful
is written to Christian moms with guidelines for every area of their home lives. The twenty chapters are divided into five parts: personal identity, marriage, family relationships, discipline of children, and home atmosphere.
The first section has four chapters discussing how mothers set the tone for
the home, and author Ginger Plowman points out how Jesus himself is a "homemaker", referencing John 14:2b: "I am going there (heaven) to prepare a place for you." Here
you will also find practical ideas for nurturing your spiritual life while
in the trenches of being a mom. Then there are more ideas on how to meet your
husband's needs by getting to know him better. The final chapter in this section
discusses ways to help your children grow closer to Jesus.
Part 2 focuses on unity in marriage, sexual intimacy, facilitating your husband's leadership role, and suggestions for getting along better. There is also a chapter on sibling relationships with some excellent strategies on how to handle tattling (worth buying the book for this alone).
The section on family relationships has chapters on what to do when your husband won't lead, getting along with in-laws, friendships outside the home, and encouraging your children in their spiritual walks.
As with other books published by Shepherd Press including Shepherding
a Child's Heart
and Don't Make Me Count to Three
, the section on disciplining children promotes spanking as the Biblical method. The Biblical role of parents is spelled out, and specific examples of how and when to train children in obedience are given. A very interesting chapter entitled, Demonstrating Grace in Parenting, is a good reminder to rely on Christ--not ourselves and our agendas. The last chapter contrasts ineffective discipline methods with effective ones.
The last part talks about your home as haven for your family. Here the author discusses the benefits of having structure in your day and in your children's day, maintaining a clean home, and opening your home to others. I was a little surprised to find the suggestion of computer and video time for toddlers and those two activities plus television time for preschoolers on up, but I am admittedly Spartan in regard to screen time for my children.
Although Heaven at Home
is written by a homeschool mom, her suggestions throughout the book cross over to all Christian wives and mothers. This book transcends the usual homemaker book on many levels, dispensing much wisdom and out of the ordinary tips for Christian women, and I heartily recommend it.
The title of Ginger Plowman's latest book left me somewhat skeptical of its
claims. Is Heaven at Home really possible? However, after reading
the book twice, the author's heart and purpose are clearly seen. Not only
is heaven home possible, but establishing and enjoying it is for God's
glory- our ultimate life purpose. Heaven at Home challenges our motivation
at every turn asking the reader, "How can I radiate the peace of Christ so His character
might be glorified in and through me?", "How can I bless God in the way I treat
my family?", "How can my mind be transformed that I might become more pleasing
Mrs. Plowman offers practical, biblical wisdom for women who desire God's presence,
a little taste of heaven, in their homes. Each chapter is filled with appropriate
counsel from God's Word. Scripture is well-chosen, not haphazardly thrown in
or used as an after-thought. Time and again, we are reminded of the heart of
the gospel, to bring glory to God whether it is in tackling endless mountains
of laundry or disciplining a child for the hundredth time. It's not about us,
it's about God. The benefit, however, to focusing on Christ, is a home where
joy and peace abound.
The book is divided into five parts of four chapters each. Each section begins
with the words, "Home is heavenly when..." 1) When the Woman is Happy, 2) When
Unity Prevails, 3) When Relationships are Right, 4) When Children Obey, 5) When
It Serves as a Haven. Chapters under these sections address everything from "Delighting
in who you are", "Letting your husband lead", "Getting along with in-laws", "Demonstrating
grace in parenting", to "Keeping your home clean and organized". Don't believe
that you can read this book and set it back on the shelf unmoved as a Christian
woman. God will prick your heart as He did mine to act on His Word. My rebellious
heart often balked at what I knew to be wise ways in creating heaven at home.
But I also began to recognize my self-centered motivations for a peaceful
home. Mrs. Plowman offers hope, Godly motivation, and real-life suggestions
for establishing heaven at home. She reminds us that we cannot adhere to
Scripture in our own strength, nor should we despair in our failures. When
we fall, we push forward because Christ has already won the battle of sin
for us. He can more than fill our inadequacies.
Reading the book with another woman or group of women is highly recommended.
The added accountability would make implementing ideas easier as well as provide
encouragement. While no book can replace God's Word in teaching us how to live,
Mrs. Plowman's practical application of His Word can help us grab hold of our
role as wife, mother, or friend and the part we play in creating Heaven at
Home--"a haven where spirits are renewed, dreams are nurtured, and the
best of life is lived."