The Way Home: Beyond Feminism back to reality by Mary Pride

the way home, mary pride the way home

At the onset, let me inform you that this is not a book on homeschooling, and if you’re delving into this book hoping to receive some advice on how to plan a home based curriculum, toggling home duties with education, etc. then you’re in for disappointment.  However this is a book for those who are confused, lost and are seriously evaluating what God wants of a woman, and as the author rightly titled the book, it shows you the way Home. As it did to me.

I, for one, am greatly indebted to Mary Pride and admire her boldness  in being a  prophetess of Scripture (no, I’m not a charismatic) at a point in history when women were stomping and smothering men to take their place in the world. This book is fantastic on two fronts:

  1. Being a once-deeply-entrenched feminist, Mary Pride crushes feministic presuppositions with Scripture, giving us an inside view into their ultimate agendas.
  2. The author then goes on to build biblical foundations for a woman’s calling rightly dividing Titus 2
In the first half of the book, Pride spends some time trying to set the picture right, discussing matters concerning marriage, wife’s roles, sex, babies and education. Attacking popular feminists’ positions on these matters she concludes that “if you buy into a teeny-weeny portion of their doctrine such as birth control and baby sitting, soon you’ll buy into the whole heap of lies”. In my opinion, she’s right in calling what is leaven as leaven. This first half would either turn on or turn off the reader based on how he or she is able to size up to her well-referenced thesis and biblical exegesis. Of course, there were some points at which I believe, her exegesis was sloppy, as in the case of Romans 1:26. But for most part, she was bang on. Once you’ve surrendered to scriptural warrants, she begins to sow good seeds for the home, thoughts and ideas that radically change your view of what the home really is. I will let you read the book and not spill the beans!

However, as with any other book, this one too requires caution. One would argue from her book whether women were made wives only to have babies. In order to draw readers into an understanding of the divine preciousness and privilege of begetting children, she (unintentionally) outcasts barren women by calling motherhood and fruitfulness as the primary purpose of marriage. Instead of looking at companionship, fruitfulness, sexual intimacy as necessary facets of the marriage-kaleidoscope, she argues for one over many and finally eclipses, even overlooks, the supreme purpose as reflecting Christ and the Church’s mutual love, for the glory of God. I vouch for her outlook on unkinky sex and the effect of cultural stereotypes in the bedroom, although a lot of her readers were turned off by her suggestions of what constitutes “biblical sex”. Half way through the book, you find her rambling random thoughts and her hazy outlining didn’t help collect thoughts either. Her straightforwardness with a streak of black-and-white conservative analysis on birth controls, sex, babies and working women have labeled her in the minds of many, true to her name. I’m not saying that the concluding sentiments are my thoughts ditto, but this is a review -remember? I think it’s only fair to present the sensitive spots of the book which have provoked many and share my two cents on how I view them.

At Amazon, her book is flooded with hate reviews. Perhaps readers couldn’t handle her blatant truthfulness on many issues, particularly some men and feminists. This book, in my read, was meant primarily for women who are younger and needed to hear the resounding clarion call on the clear biblical teaching of a woman’s calling in the Lord. I must give her due credit for some excellent analysis on socialism, the concept of oikorgous (home-working) as penned in Titus 2:4,5,  home as a greenhouse, exposition of the Proverbs 31 woman and for sharing some practical exercises for the home.

In short, I would highly recommend this book to every woman, especially in India, where feminism is taking roots and we are at that juncture where America was in. when she first wrote this book. At first, you’ll find it hard-hitting. Forget the tone, focus on the essence. You’ll greatly benefit.

On the 25th anniversary of this book, let me raise a toast to the author for her courage and obedience to God, for showing the way home by getting there first.

5 thoughts on “The Way Home: Beyond Feminism back to reality by Mary Pride

  1. Sarmishta, thank you for reviewing my book. I could quibble about this and that, but the one point I felt needed response was this: “she (unintentionally) outcasts barren women by calling motherhood and fruitfulness as the primary purpose of marriage.”

    This is simply not true. I explicitly stated that in The Way Home physical barrenness (as opposed to deliberate practices that prevent conception) isn’t anyone’s fault, and that a marriage without children of one’s own can be just as godly. In the “Afterthoughts” to the 25th Anniversary edition, I address this even more specifically, in the section on “Sex & Fruitfulness.” Here are a few excerpts:

    “…sex is not solely for reproduction any more than it is solely for unity. As designed by God, sex should be confined to legitimate marriage, and, in the way that it is practiced, it should be open to reproduction — e.g., not performed in a way which would make reproduction impossible — even if the likelihood of reproduction is vanishingly small (as in the case of age or of physical handicap) . . . We are also not supposed to be militantly seeking to conceive. For example, to confine sex solely to a woman’s optimal fertile dates is clearly unbiblical, violating 1 Cor 7:3-5 . . . Christian marriage is not a ‘baby derby.’ We are not trying to have as many babies as possible through our own efforts. We are certainly not proud about how many children we have — as if we created them ourselves. Rather, God wants us to humbly and gratefully welcome all the children He gives us, to relax and trust Him in this area, and to take no steps to prevent our children from being conceived or born.”

    Due to the time period in which The Way Home was written, in which Christian women were being urged by all major Christian media to get their tubes tied and put their kids in daycare, my major emphasis had to be on why children are a blessing. However, I never said the converse — that LACK of children (in spite of complete openness to conception) is a curse in our time. The point I was making, over and over again, is that God wants us to surrender control of our fertility to Him. Thus, He is responsible for the results, which might well include barrenness in some instances.

    Physical barrenness, however, does not have to mean spiritual barrenness. If you have access to the old Disney movie “Follow Me, Boys,” you’ll find a great fictional example of a “childless” couple who actually had a huge impact on the children in their town. Many more such examples abound in real life.

    P.S. For the convenience of overseas readers, The Way Home: 25th Anniversary Edition is also available in Kindle format.

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