Ministry of a messy house (book review)


Grace in place of guilt
By Amanda Robbie
IVP. 137 pages. £9.99
ISBN 978 1 783 590 056

(view original article here)

In this book, Amanda Robbie gives us an honest, humorous insight into her own messy life. She takes each area of life in turn, exposes the mess, then ‘chats with us’ about how we should think biblically about it.

It is written for Christian wives and mothers. As a mother of three boys, reading it was like drinking a cup of hot chocolate. Comforting. I felt as though I was sat at her cluttered kitchen table while she peeled the potatoes for lunch.

Her main message is that only God’s grace gets us out of the mess of our sin. God’s grace is seen most clearly in our weakness and mess. God’s grace is leading us to heaven where the mess will be gone.

She, very helpfully, challenges us to get our heart motivation right. For example, our motivation for tidying our house should be that those in it can rest and relate to one another.

She reminds us that the Bible is full of mess – messy people, messy family situations, messy mealtimes. Problems become opportunities in the providence of God.

She encourages us just to have a go and not to wait until everything is perfect. Even a single Bible verse snatched while semi-comatose with a breast-feeding baby, is better than waiting for the perfect moment for a perfect quiet time.

This book didn’t really go beyond comforting, but it made me laugh (‘God does have a view on the state of my skirting boards: his command to me is to subdue them’ was my favourite line!). It helped me to press on, imperfect as my attempts are. I can trust God that his word will do his work, even though I missed a few days of the daily Bible reading plan! She points us to Jesus on every page, which for me is a good book.

Linda Allcock,
pastor’s wife at Bush Hill  Park Community Church, Enfield


This article was first published in the May 2014 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit our website or subscribe for monthly updates