The Dancing Puritan

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Housewife Theologian: Aimee Byrd Interview Pt. 2

We are pleased that Aimee Byrd, author of Housewife Theologian, is joining us again today. Learn more about Aimee by reading yesterday's Dancing Puritan.

DP: Aimee, thanks for visiting with us. Lets open with you sharing a few thoughts for ladies who read your book.

AB: There seems to be a lot of confusion in our culture about femininity and womanhood. What does it mean to be a woman? 

These days it seems that womanhood is defined in terms of what we can or can’t do. This is troubling. There is so much diversity among all the women God has created, and that is a beautiful thing. As we are distinctly different from men, we also share in the source of our meaning, value, and dignity. Both men and women are created as bearers of the image of God. This is truly wonderful, and it is worth investigating our particular roles in glorifying God.

Aimee Byrd
DP:  Aimee what do you think is the single most important way that a woman can honor her husband?  

AB: Whenever I’m asked about the “single most important” or “most influential” (see below), I get scared. What a big question! I never picked a favorite color until my son forced me when he was a toddler. (It’s orange, in case you are wondering.) There are so many ways to honor my husband, just like there are so many ways for him to treasure me. But, I will say that there is an overarching respect that I have for the responsibility God has given him to love me as Christ has loved the church. This kind of self-sacrificing love laid out in Eph. 5:25-33 makes me want to ease his role as his helper rather than sabotage him with my own self-seeking efforts.

DP: Aimee, you have been influenced by C.S. Lewis. I have personally found that Lewis helps me to think in a more imaginative way. John Piper refers to Lewis as one of the four people on the planet that has most impacted him. What is it about Lewis that you find so fascinating and helpful? Who are others (past or present) that have helped to shape your thinking?

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AB: Lewis was an artistic thinker. He had a creative mind that was able to make perceptive observations about God, people, and the world. His writing glorifies God in a unique way. While I don’t fall in line with all of his theology, reading Lewis just makes me a better thinker and a better writer. There are so many others that shape my thinking; it would take too much space to write! But let me mention an unlikely theologian, Mary King. She was the cook in one of the schools that C. H. Spurgeon attended as a very young man. Spurgeon talks about her in his autobiography, and I write about her in Housewife Theologian. “Cook,” as they called her, is an example of just how far-reaching the influence of an ordinary person can go, and why each one of us should take care to be good theologians. You’ll have to read to find out!

DP: What are a couple of ways that a husband can show that he values his wife? 

AB: This short video that a friend sent me demonstrates perfectly how not to value your wife:

DP: That is a painfully funny video and indeed reflects wrong thinking about the value of women.

DP: Aimee, I appreciate the way you emphasize and value the Lord's Day.  Sometimes a woman is in a situation where she is a Christian married to an unbeliever. Perhaps the unbeliever does not want her to attend church. What counsel would you offer that lady?

AB: I actually have a friend in a similar situation. Ultimately, our allegiance is to Christ. The church is his bride. The preached Word and the sacraments are the means that God has promised to bless us in Christ. We cannot disobey God in order to please our husbands. And yet, this is a very difficult circumstance for some women. Jesus challenges us that our affection for him should be greater than any other relationship and that we are to count the costs of being his disciple (Luke 14:25-33). The details of this could be another whole book!

DP: All of life is to be lived for God's glory. Obviously one should wash dishes, bake cakes, program computers, build buildings, write music, and play basketball to the glory of God. How can we best capture the "other 6 days?"

AB: Martin Luther taught that God is hidden in our vocations. In his providence and common grace, God provides the means for food, shelter, and entertainment through the vocations of many. As Christians, we know that we are not trying to earn salvation by our service. In the covenant renewal ceremony of the worship service, we are given Christ and all his blessings. We can then go out into the world and truly love our neighbor in gratitude. We are to be as salt in the world God is preserving until he has called all those whom he has foreordained to his kingdom. While we labor alongside unbelievers in the civil kingdom, we look forward to the tasks we will be doing on the new heavens and the new earth, where everything will be holy.

DP: Aimee, you have written a wonderful and helpful book. Thank you for joining us today on the Dancing Puritan. What final words would you like to offer our readers?

AB: My final words are, thank you for this invitation and interaction, and thanks to your readers for sticking around! My hope is that my book will serve as a good tool to stimulate more theological thinking and conversation to the glory of God.

Ray Rhodes, Jr. writes for The Dancing Puritan. He is the author of Family Worship for the Reformation Season, The Marriage Bed, and other books on the family. Ray is the President of Nourished in the Word Ministries and serves as Pastor of Grace Community Church of North Georgia. Ray is married to Lori and they live in North Georgia with their six daughters, one son-in-law, and one granddaughter. To contact or schedule Ray to speak for your next event contact him here. Check out the blog of Lori Rhodes here.