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Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God (Courtney Reissig)

Posted On June 19, 2017

I understand very little about what it means to be a homemaker, and even less about what it means to be female. One might perceive that a book such as this one, with its floral cover print and cursive title font, is not the kind of downtime read I would spend time wading through. But, while it’s perhaps not my natural impulse, I recognize just how valuable it is for me to read a book like this one. In Glory in the Ordinary, Reissig, a self-described “wife, mother, and writer,” invites the reader (male and female) into a world of ordinary, God-glorifying work. This is the world I have been invited to observe and take note of, and I’m better for it.

There is a struggle, fierceness, a spirituality, an extraordinariness to the kind of work Reissig writes about that a male pastor like myself has never experienced. And, perhaps surprisingly to you, Reissig’s gleanings about work in the home sound deeply theological, as the journal entries of a well-read preacher. All of this to say, in Glory in the Ordinary we find just that: a work that is culturally deemed simple and inferior, but in reality, some of the most God-honoring work around.

Reissig touches on a host of strands of “ordinary work,” ranging from raising children to cleaning the house, to being a wife, to sleep. To bring it even closer to the ground level, Reissig includes a “Getting Practical” section to cap off the ends of each chapter, giving time-tested wisdom laden in experience and study.

At the core of this book’s message is the call to love one’s neighbor, and to love the mundane work which we find ourselves participating in. “God is glorified in the mundane work as much as he is in the magnificent” (25). This extends beyond the online wall. Reissig spends a major amount of time addressing the need for face-to-face community, from a woman’s perspective. Yet this is a word even men can benefit from.

A final word on the gender disparity and on the book itself. I encourage especially men to pick up this book. Many of you reading this review are likely men in church leadership of some sort, and it is likely your wives have a similar vocation as Reissig. What perspective this can offer you in ministering to and shepherding your own wife, or to the women in your church body! It helps us see the ways in which men lead poorly. It is also a no-fluff resource for women’s studies and groups that you can recommend, as I will, without hesitation. Glory in the Ordinary has the intention to honor Christ in the routine, the normal, and the bland. Men need these lessons just as deeply.

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