Yesterday, several of the Piskie bloggers met to tend the SEC stall at Nexus — the somewhat unfortunately named child of The Christian Resources Exhibition and the Clyde Presbytery. It was very much a meeting of the good, the earnest and the lonely, and it was sometimes hard to see why we were there, except that it would have been wrong not to be there. But the lack of crowds left plenty of time for thought.
Across from us was a stall for Banner of Truth publishing. And all around they had large glossy posters advertising their wares. They were for cheery books like Raising Children God’s Way, Temptation: Resisted and Repulsed, and Truth’s Victory Over Error. But the one that fascinated me — and seemed to be carefully angled in the SEC’s direction — was for a book called Her Husband’s Crown.
All day I wondered. At one point when business was slow, I went to chat to the young man who was standing there. But no matter how gently I trod, he was clearly terrified of me, and I could not be so cruel as to bait him about the books. Later, I was the one left alone on the stall, and the older braver man from Banner of Truth came over to talk. Eventually, I summoned courage:
‘Tell me, what is ‘her husband’s crown?’
(clearly surprised:) ‘Why, it’s the minister’s wife.’
‘What is the book then? Is it a novel?’
‘No, no. It’s a book for minister’s wives. Let me show you.’
And he snatched it off the shelf, in all it’s water-coloured glory.
I indulged in a tiny bit of baiting. ‘So, I’m not sure who the intended audience is, but is the idea that a woman’s vocation is expressed through her husband’s work?’ At his point he was saved by the return of the Provost and Mother Ruth. We wound down our conversation, and he was let off the hook. But before he was, we had learned that the pages of the book had not been cut properly. He therefore gave me a copy, and no doubt resolved to pray for my soul.
So Ladies, here it is. The Guide to Christian Living you have been waiting for. Don’t worry if your husband is not a minister. We are assured there is treasure here for each woman’s vocation. Chapter headings will suffice, though I include a short quote from chapter one since it provides the central theme of the book.
1. Provide a Quiet, Peaceful Home for you Husband.
‘According to Scriptures, God formed the first man, and after declaring all created things to be very good, stated that it was not good that we was alone… It was our gracious God who saw the need and provided what was lacking in Adam’s life. God made a woman and brought her to the man to be his companion and wife. Eve’s purpose was to complete Adam.’
2. Fulfil Your Responsibilities as a Mother Before Seeking Other Ministries in The Church.
3. Be a Sympathetic and Confidential Listener to Your Husband.
4. Be Gentle in Analysing Your Husband’s Sermon for Him.
5. Always Speak Well of Your Husband in Public.
6. Be Courteous to All Members of The Congregation, Showing a Christ-Like Spirit to All.
7. Don’t Gossip.
‘A high school student once took a great delight in telling me about the three ways of communication:”Telephone, telegram, and tell a woman.”!’
8. Freely Disagree in Private About Church Policy with Your Husband, But Be Tight-Lipped with Other Church Members.
9. Through Encouragement and Prayer, Be Your Husband’s Chief Supporter.
10. Remember that Your Husband is Judged in Part by Your Behaviour — Be and Asset, Not a Liability, to Him.
‘When pondering our Christian responsibilities it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer size of the task facing us. However, it is the Lord who has given us to our husbands and his grace will enable us to be the Christian wives he calls us to be. ‘
Her Husband’s Crown, Sarah Leone
Banner of Truth, 2007