Reviewed by Bethany Spears
Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four young children, doula, and blogger. In 2008 her family moved tot the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She blogs regularly at The Gospel Coalition, Domestic Kingdom, and Desiring God, and is author of the forthcoming book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Mediations for Busy Moms.
“Theology is for homemakers who need to know who God is, who they are, and what this mundane life is all about.” Gloria Furman’s purpose in writing Glimpses of Grace is evident throughout every chapter. She points women to the gospel and the importance of living that gospel out inside the comfort of one’s own home. This book is genuine, Christ-focused, Scripture-saturated, and at the same time entertaining. While Gloria’s stories are written from the perspective of a mother, Christian women who are not mothers as myself will find this book helpful in striving to be more like Christ in everyday “mundane” life. In the introduction she states, “The biggest questions I want to explore in this book are these: What does the gospel have to do with our lives in the home? How does this grace change the way we live?” By the end of the book, she answers these two important, life changing questions. Living out the gospel in every part of life is the major focus of this helpful book.
Each chapter contains personal stories that go along with the spiritual concepts being taught. Gloria shares her responses – good and bad – to her own personal trials and every day events. For example in Chapter 1, she shares the simple story of her response to her husband leaving food in a cup overnight. “He knows how much work I do. The least he could have done was rinse out the cup. Rude….” She takes this situation and shows her readers how to respond in light of the gospel. She gets her readers to think about honoring God in every single part of homemaking. She asks the question, “Does God rule your mundane?” Everything the homemaker does should glorify God – including the ordinary, everyday routine. How often do we perform household duties, and yet our hearts are far from having God-honoring attitudes? Gloria helps her readers to see how important it is to use everyday routine chores that do not seem important to focus on God and the gospel. Gloria gets her reader to think on the gospel and how it should change our lives. She starts with the heart. “Our hearts must be transformed by Christ.”
The Gospel Applied
Gloria shares her personal testimony and spends time explaining what the gospel is and what it is not. She accurately states that to treasure the gospel in our homes we must understand the gospel and its ramifications. “The gospel is the news of what God has done in Jesus….” The gospel is not “self-justification,” the “good-life formula,” or “making your own rules.” I appreciate her focus on the gospel and how important it is to allow it to change every part of life – even home life. She reminds her readers to spend time in God’s Word and allow it to change their hearts and minds. I also appreciate her reminder to make God the source of my personal joy. It is not about the circumstances He places you in or the gifts He gives. “The source of our faith, hope, love, joy, and gospel-grounded optimism is God himself.”
I enjoyed reading Glimpses of Grace, but I was disappointed in two specific areas. Gloria states that her purpose in writing this book is to show how theology impacts the homemaker. I found it disappointing that Gloria does not spend more time on the importance of women studying theology. While Gloria uses good sources and Scripture passages which can be referenced for further study, she does not spend time encouraging homemakers to dig deeper when it comes to studying God’s Word. Yes, she encourages Bible reading and prayer, but I believe that homemakers will find studying theology to be a huge help in living out the gospel in every day life.
The second area of disappointment was Gloria’s writing style. Many times I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to be reminded of the specific topic. Her writing style is disjointed and choppy. While her writing style is at times difficult to follow, I also found it to be refreshing. Her writing style points to exactly what she is – a devoted Christian, pastor’s wife living overseas, busy mom, and homemaker striving to live for God’s glory. I believe that many Christian homemakers will find Gloria to be a woman they can relate to and learn from about pleasing God in everyday life.
As a whole, I recommend Glimpses of Grace. I would specifically recommend this book to Christian mothers, but I believe that any adult female reading this book could also benefit from it. It is just as Gloria says, “As homemakers who are made in God’s image and desire to live for God, we need to know what God’s intentions are for us and for the work we do in the home.”
Bethany Spears teaches at ESL, history, and discipleship for girls at Calvary Baptist School. She has a two year appointment to teach ESL at PTS College and Advanced Studies in Cavite, Philippines beginning next year.
Buy the books
Glimpses Of Grace: Treasuring The Gospel In Your Home