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Freedom from the bondage of perfectionism

I think as wives and mothers, we have a tendency to fall in to the trap of perfectionism rather easily. It starts with a very good and noble desire to set a godly example for our families, our fellow Christians, and the lost. But, before we know it, we start comparing ourselves to others and feeling we fall woefully short. Jennie Chancey, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, page 70.

One of my favourite parts of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald is the chapter titled “Too Good to be True: Freedom from the Bondage of Perfectionism”. One of the first pages I flipped to when I opened the book contained Jennie’s description of the way she loads herself with goals, when her husband would rather she did less and relaxed. After only a few months of marriage, I’ve worked out that this is the case for me as well.

“God has created me to be my husband’s helper – not a slave to my own whims or wishes.” Jennie Chancey.


This fact is so important to remember. I am sure that husbands do exist who load their wives down with unrealistic expectations. However, the majority of Christian men would greatly prefer a relaxed, happy wife than one who was constantly trying to perform at her unrealistically high standards!

“God gets all the glory when weak and frail sinners succeed.” Jennie Chancey.


When we are weak, we are reminded of our need for God. He is the only one who can make us holy, or enable us to succeed in any way. Jennie does not advocate laxness or laziness, but she does help readers to have realistic expectations of their own abilities. God does not wait for us to be perfect before he uses us to accomplish great things through our homes.

I particularly need to learn to trust that God can accomplish what he desires in my home despite the limitations of my chronic back pain and even my sin. If I am very sore and need to sit or lie down, instead of trying to do housework and ending up in tears, that is OK. If I become weepy because I let sinful emotions rule, this serves as another reminder of the fact that I need to continually repent and come to Christ. God is perfect and I am not. That is why he sent his son to die on the cross for my sins.

I’ll end with a final encouraging quote:

“But however noble our goals may be, they are utter fully if we do not keep foremost the greatest goal of them all: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30). It isn’t about me. It doesn’t depend on me. I will never be “good enough”, but God will always be gracious enough.”


Thank you, Jennie, for writing a wonderful chapter in a wonderful book!

Faith  – (December 15, 2007 at 10:44 PM)  

Great post! Love the verse from John. I heard of this book but haven't purchased it yet..now I think I will! sounds excellent!

Sherrin  – (December 17, 2007 at 12:29 PM)  

Hello Faith,

I think that it is well worth reading. I know that you hold the position that it is fine for a woman to work outside the home. The authors hold the more conservative position that it is generally not a good idea. However, I think that you would still find most parts of this book very edifying, and would gain a lot from it . . . as long as you are the type of person who can overlook some differences in opinion with the authors.

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