Passionate Housewives author interview: Jennie Chancey

The winner of last week’s drawing for a free copy of Passionate Housewives is Sarah.
The winner of this week’s drawing is Mrs. Mordecai. Congratulations!
And a second winner, courtesy of an anonymous donor: Bethany!
If both of you will email your shipping address using the contact form, I’ll see that you get your book.

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, by Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancey, is a new Vision Forum book aimed at Christian homemakers who need encouragement in their role and calling.Jennie runs the website Ladies Against Feminism, a site dedicated to promoting beautiful womanhood. I had the privilege of spending some time with Jennie and her family several months ago, and was delighted when she found time to answer the questions below.passionate.jpgYour book is already getting quite a bit of favorable attention from a wide variety of sources. Did you expect this kind of reception?I really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest with you! I knew the message of dying to self wasn’t very widely popular, so I rather expected more negative reviews than we’ve received. I’ve been so blessed and encouraged to read all the positive reviews and emails we’ve received. To God be the glory! All Stacy and I did was try to point back to God’s Word and His ways, and it’s been our prayer that women who have struggled or felt overwhelmed would be lifted up and drawn closer to Christ. God’s ways are best for us!What motivated you to write this book?I was disturbed by the trend I saw sweeping through Christian publications (online and off) that urged women to put themselves first, have more “me-time,” and find ways to wiggle out of the clear Scriptural commands for women. I contacted Stacy to let her know how upset I was that these views were gaining traction, and she told me she’d already outlined a book to encourage women to crucify the flesh and live for Christ. When she sent me the chapter outline, I was stunned. She had put down everything I wanted to address. That’s when Stacy asked if I’d be willing to co-author the book. After talking with my husband and praying, I accepted. From the beginning, Stacy and I wanted to issue a clarion call for women to return to the Scriptures and obey them–to stop listening to the siren song of the world, which is the old lie of the serpent. Putting self first is not biblical; dying to self is. Insisting on being first isn’t Christian; serving others is. My motivation was to draw women to the simplicity and clarity of God’s Word and encourage them to embrace it again.

Who did you write this book for? Do you think it will go beyond your intended audience?

I really wanted to reach out to the women who have already given an ear to the lie or been tempted to drop their duties as wives and mothers to pursue more time for themselves. After all, I’ve been there myself! I came out of college a “Christian” feminist, determined to make it on my own and do God’s work my way. I prayed that this book would reach weary women, discouraged women, and women who were looking for answers from Scripture. But I also wanted to encourage and bolster women already walking in the right path. I hope the book reaches all of these women wherever they are in life.

Did you learn anything new in the process of writing and researching Passionate Housewives?

This question makes me smile! What I learned over and over again is that my timetable isn’t always God’s timetable. Stacy and I fully intended to knock out this project during the summer of 2005, but the Lord had other plans! So many real-life happenstances cropped up that kept us from writing on any kind of “schedule.” In fact, it took us two and a half years to finish the book! I got most of my chapters done on the laptop in the car while on long family trips–or late at night when my husband was over in Sudan. The Lord taught me how to use odd moments of time here and there to get the writing done. So real life goes on, and book chapters have to take a back burner! Another thing I learned (or re-learned) was just how pervasive feminism is in the Church. It has been “baptized” and cleaned up, but it’s still feminism. I was really amazed to see how insistent evangelical feminists are about negating the clear commands of Scripture. It is very discouraging that so many pastors and elders have just fallen into lock-step with egalitarians in the church, but I am encouraged by the numbers of women waking up and saying, “This is not biblical. This is not the gospel.” I pray the Lord will continue to purify His Bride and help us to cling to His Word.

I love how you refer to “the fanatical sock-matching wonder woman” in chapter 3. In our house, if 2 socks are the same color, they match. If they fit you, they’re yours. Do you think some housewives discourage themselves by maintaining unnecessarily high standards in the wrong areas?

Oh, totally! I say this as a “recovering perfectionist” myself, so I know! It is very easy to look at unrealistic standards in magazines and elsewhere and feel like a failure. But I remind people that I live in “House Full,” not “House Beautiful!” Sure, there are times when my house looks fantastic, but real people live here, so we’ve got our share of Legos, puzzles, crayons, and stray shoes scattered around–not to mention all the fingerprints on the walls! But a house can’t be a home if we don’t get our eyes off the stuff and focus on the people. My mom always told me, “People are more important than things.” You can always wipe fingerprints off and mop the floors; you can’t always sit down and read a book with your toddlers. We need a holy perspective on what’s important. Do I like a clean house? You bet! But I’ve learned not to make it into an idol. It’s no fun bowing down before the shrine of household perfection!

In chapter 4, you indicate that quiet time is not necessary. I know you are talking about quiet, personal one-on-one time with God, but you have me worried. What about afternoon quiet time, when all the children rest quietly whether or not they need a nap? I know a lot of moms feel a need for some peaceful time to recharge during the day; are we being selfish?

Great question! We definitely have daily quiet time in our household when the littlest folks are down for naps and the older children need to work on quiet projects, read, or simply rest. My mom did this with my siblings and me when we were little, and it really taught us to take time to be still. There’s nothing wrong with scheduling quiet time! The point we wanted to make in the book is that, in reality, quiet time doesn’t always mean total silence and seclusion, and that’s okay! Many afternoons I curl up on the couch with my oldest boys, reading (in snatches) while they read or rest. Interruptions are par for the course, but the time is still restful. I think a spiritual “quiet time” has been turned into an unbiblical idol for many women. They feel guilty if they don’t take an hour to read and pray before starting the day (or before going to sleep). They wonder how God can expect them to have this one-on-one time with so many little folks needing them and so much going on in the household. Our point is simply that God is looking for a quiet heart. He wants us to rest in Him even when the toddlers are in our lap or we’re nursing a baby. It is possible to read His Word with the children all around or while nursing or even while folding laundry (put in the Bible on audio!). And we can truly lift up our hearts to Him and “pray without ceasing” throughout the day. No closet required! πŸ˜‰

Sometimes it’s easy to neglect your husband because the children have so many needs; but (to borrow a phrase from your book) we also have to avoid falling off of the other side of the horse. How do you recommend that women find the proper balance between being a wife and being a mother?

Scripture is clear: We are called first and foremost to be helpers to our husbands–not mothers to our children. Christ must be at the heart of the home, and a godly marriage built around Him must be at the core. Our children thrive when they see how Mommy and Daddy love each other and make time for each other. And putting our husband’s needs and priorities first teaches our children to honor and obey their father as well. Children need to see that, when Daddy asks Mommy to do something, she gladly does it right away. Mommy is modeling for her children the kind of response they should have to their father. So nurturing our marriages is absolutely a top priority. Our mothering will naturally flow out of a strong, godly marriage. While it is obviously very important to be faithful in child training (Deut. 6), we do have to be careful not to become child-centered and dance attendance upon our children’s every whim. Children need to learn that they are here to die to self and serve others, too! Sometimes when I have a child who is being very insistent on having what he wants right now, I place him in a chair and tell him that he now has to go to the back of the line and wait until I have served everyone else. Insisting on being first guarantees you’ll be last in our house (unless you’re bleeding or on fire!). Children actually gain security from boundaries, so we need to give them good ones (biblical ones) and help them learn to honor them.

Are you working on any other books right now?

Nope! LOL! I think book writing is over for me for the time being. I loved this project and am so glad the Lord saw it through to completion, but I don’t have any new books on the horizon. The newest “chapter” I’m working on is the birth of our eighth child, due in April!

Now it’s your turn to weigh in: Have you heard of the book? Have you read it? What did you think? What questions would you ask Mrs. Chancey? Bonus: I’ll draw another winner from among the commentors on this post to win a free copy of Passionate Housewives! Be sure to include a valid email address when you comment. The winner has been announced at the top of this post. See Stacy McDonald’s interview here.


  1. The winner of this drawing is Mrs. Mordecai. Congratulations!

    And guess what: a very kind anonymous donor has offered to send a 2nd copy to another winner. Don’t worry. I know her in real life. She’s not a stalker. πŸ™‚

    That makes Bethany a winner too!

  2. I am so looking forward to reading this book.

  3. Thanks for posting these interviews Kim. I’ve enjoyed them a lot. The book was a wonderful breath of fresh air, and I’m learning to put it into action. Thank you so much, Jennie and Stacy, for taking the time to encourage us!

  4. Questions from Caroline: “Jennie, I read the book immediately after I bought it a few days ago and it has been so helpful to me. I am planning to re-read it right away! I just have a few questions:
    ~Do you and your husband ever argue?
    ~What advice do you give to a woman who suffers from chronic depression (trust me: it is not merely the blues, it is not made-up, it is not because I am not spiritual enough or because I don’t trust the Lord for my healing; Yes, I do take medication and I see a Christian counselor. It is a mental illness exacerbated by the stress of having been the victim of a violent crime) which makes it difficult for me to keep up with housekeeping?
    Thank you and thanks, also, for the previous answers you gave. Your second answer helped me with a question I had asked Stacey. God bless both of you for caring about other Christian ladies. Your book is so encouraging!”

    Dear Caroline,

    I am so glad the book was an encouragement to you, and I pray the Lord will continue to strengthen you in the midst of difficulty.

    First off, can count on one hand the number of real arguments I’ve had with my husband, and every single one occurred when I was pregnant and feeling overwhelmed. I’m not trying to blame hormones here (which can become a convenient excuse for bad behavior), but I’ve learned that I really have to work hard to govern my speech when I am at my weakest! When it comes down to it, I’ve always found it a waste of time to argue. It’s not that we never disagree, but my husband loves to discuss things with me (as I do with him), and we don’t see any need to turn it into an argument. My mother always told me that if I had a really serious disagreement that unsettled me, I needed to pray hard and turn it over to the Lord. My husband solicits my opinion on pretty much all major decisions, and I’ll give my opinion calmly. If I’m concerned about a decision, I’ll present my concerns calmly as well. If he still decides to go ahead with the decision, I just submit, rest, and pray. The few times I’ve gotten upset never helped (and what’s a poor husband to do when his wife dissolves into tears?). Ultimately, arguing is neither helpful nor biblical. Far better to control the tongue and learn to trust in the Lord (speaking as one who still has to bite her tongue from time to time!).

    For your second question, we actually have some articles on LAF about keeping the home while battling disability or depression. See these links:

    Finally: here is a link to an important article about nutrition:

    Someone above mentioned cutting out refined sugar. Let me second that! After the birth of my second daughter, I really struggled with health issues, including weight I could not seem to lose. Although I considered myself a healthy cook and a healthy eater, I decided it was time to get really serious and investigate what was in my pantry. I ruthlessly purged the refined flours and sugars and processed foods, then (after my daughter weaned), put myself on a natural cleanse of fennel and flax seed. I lost thirty pounds in two months and found energy I’d thought I’d never get back! My husband also lost weight and found his immune system strengthened to the point that yearly allergies hardly affect him any more (he used to be absolutely miserable when pollen season hit–to the point of having to stay in bed). Simple changes to diet can have a profound effect on our well-being. I’m not promising any cure-alls, but I would very strongly encourage you to read as widely as possible about the depression-diet connection. I think you’ll be very surprised at how the bad foods that bog down our systems can also depress our minds and spirits.

    I hope this helps, and God bless you!

    In Christ,

  5. Caroline says:

    Jennifer H., thank you for your kind response. I have had a particularly rough day and your kind, encouraging, sensible words have really given me a boost. Yes, my husband and I decided tonight that I need to see the doctor about changing my medication. My husband also wants me to cut out sugar as he has noticed a big improvement whenever I do. Your idea about a timer is a good one as I tend to get very overwhelmed and distracted when doing chores. Thank you for caring. You are in my prayers, as well. In Christ, Caroline

  6. Have you heard of the book? Just last week on your blog πŸ™‚
    Have you read it? no
    What did you think? It looks practical
    What questions would you ask Mrs. Chancey? I am not sure!

  7. Count me in for the drawing!!

  8. Jennifer H. says:

    Jennie, may I ask what blogs you have bookmarked on your google homepage? If you are able, thanks for sharing!

    Caroline, I’m a different “Jennie”, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone!! I’ve got obsessive-compulsive disorder and struggle with clinical depression and anxiety. I take medication (what a relief, for me and everyone around me!!) and have been in therapy in the past. If you have trouble ordering your day, it may be that you need a change of your medication, either in dosage or in type. When I started on Zoloft, all of a sudden, I could organize my thoughts and plan out my days. It was a miracle sent by the Lord!

    Mental illness is real and is most often not a result of a lack of faith or a spiritual issue. I would encourage you to take baby steps in ordering your day and cleaning your house. Set your timer for 15 minutes and start in one corner of your kitchen. Listen to the Bible online. Pick up a CD of hymns and learn them so you can sing along throughout your day. Keep up on your meds and keep going to your counselor!!

    You are in my prayers!!

  9. Caroline says:

    I just wanted to add that the Christian counselor I see is better described as a biblical counselor. Her counseling is by the book!

  10. Caroline says:

    Jennie, I read the book immediately after I bought it a few days ago and it has been so helpful to me. I am planning to re-read it right away! I just have a few questions:
    ~Do you and your husband ever argue?
    ~What advice do you give to a woman who suffers from chronic depression (trust me: it is not merely the blues, it is not made-up, it is not because I am not spiritual enough or because I don’t trust the Lord for my healing; Yes, I do take medication and I see a Christian counselor. It is a mental illness exacerbated by the stress of having been the victim of a violent crime) which makes it difficult for me to keep up with housekeeping?
    Thank you and thanks, also, for the previous answers you gave. Your second answer helped me with a question I had asked Stacey. God bless both of you for caring about other Christian ladies. Your book is so encouraging!

  11. I would like to enter again, after this week, I would be thrilled to have this:)

  12. Put my name in the hat again! πŸ™‚

  13. Thank you, Kim and Jennie! I would love this book!

  14. Yes, please add me in again as well! πŸ™‚
    Thank youfor these great interviews!

  15. Please add me again as well! We went to two Christian books stores here in East Texas and couldn’t find the book (they could order it), but definitely still wanting a copy! πŸ™‚

  16. Putting my name in again!!

  17. Thank you for the great interviews! Jennie and Stacy are so gracious! The Lord has used their book and lives to truly minister to me! Thank you Jennie and Stacy! In Christ, Jen in al

  18. I tell you, it is such a blessing to know that there are other folks as “weird” as us!!

    I haven’t read the book…almost ordered it the other night, but didn’t.
    So if I don’t win, guess I’ll head to Vision Forum here pretty soon!


  19. I have not read this yet, but intend to once I have access to a copy. I’m commenting here for a chance to win one.

    I do not have a specific question for Mrs. Chancey, but have enjoyed reading her responses to those of others.

  20. I have not read this book but the more I read from the author here the more I want to.

  21. Thank you so much Jennie! We are trying, we really are. We have seen the Lord’s hand in so many ways soften some individuals hearts but one is a big TOUGHIE and it is a grandma…..which sometimes makes it sting a bit worse. I really appreciate your words or wisdom, thank you for responding!

  22. Oh, Ashley, you are so very sweet to think of me! I think our comments must have passed in cyberspace, because I did not see your post until after I had posted a reply to Jennie.

    It is funny you want to give the book to me…I was just thinking that if I win, I would like to give it to Jeri, who is working on her adoptions! It makes me think that we all must sound a little bit like the chipmunks who are so polite to eachother :-). If you agree, if I win (which would be amazing), I would like the book to go to Jeri.

    I am thankful to be in the midst of so many loving women posting at Kim’s blog!

    Have a great day, everyone,

    wife to my best friend and mommy to 7 sweeties

  23. Jennie,

    Once again, God is good. In the first comment above which you left in answer to a question, the Lord used you to answer a serious issue my husband and I are dealing with right now. Thank you for using your time to answer, for relying on the Lord for your reply, and for blessing me and my family in the process. And special thanks to you, Kim, for using your blog to bless me as well!

    With love in Him,

    wife to my best friend and mommy to 7 sweeties

  24. If I win would you send it to Sarah E? I really want to read this book but I think I’ll just buy it. πŸ™‚ I never win anything, either, so I can really relate, and I was just thinking how cool it would be to actually win something for somebody else . . . πŸ™‚

  25. Congrats to Sarah, and I’d love another chance to win the second book. Thanks.

  26. Erin M in MO says:

    This was a very good interview – same as Mrs. McDonald’s! I am very interested in reading this book, so please count me in for the drawing! Thanks. πŸ™‚

  27. Ooops- I forgot to mention that I LOVE Jennie Chancey. I have been encouraged and bolstered up so many times by her (through LAF, her pattern company, as well as hearing her on various broadcasts). I am thrilled that the Lord is using Jennie and Stacy to impact so many women and families for His glory.

    (Does this extra comment enter me twice??!! Ah, shucks, I didn’t think it would, but I thought I’d try!)


    wife to my best friend and mommy to 7 sweeties

  28. Ahhh….I saw the announcement of the winner was “Sarah” and my heart leapt into my throat, for I never win ANYTHING! Well, the Lord is good all the time…the winner is another Sarah. I’m glad she is getting the book. However, please enter me one more time :-). And by the way, as a child, I never knew ANY other Sarahs….I’m so glad to meet some online now!

    Have a great day, Kim. And may you be blessed in all you do.

    wife to my best friend and mommy to 7 sweeties

  29. I would love to read this book! So far, it hasn’t been in the budget, but I keep hoping I’ll have a chance to read it. I have really enjoyed reading these interviews. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  30. Question Two: “Where do you go for encouragement when there is no one around you living life as you do, or rather, as we are called to? and no godly older women around for encouragement?”

    Number one source: my husband! We’ve lived in some very dry deserts in our time, far away from regular church fellowship and any like-minded families. There were times I felt so weak and hungry that I didn’t know how I could continue to run the race. I’d pour out my heart to my husband and ask him for his prayers (asking the Lord to help me not to whine and complain at the same time!). My husband always grieved with me and prayed with me, and I saw so many amazing answers to prayer come through those lean times. I talk about this at least once in the book — how the Lord sent two godly young women to clean my house when I was recovering from the birth of our fourth child. God did it again when we lived in another “dry gulch” and I was expecting my fifth. My husband prayed with me one night for help and encouragement and we literally had a knock on the door the next morning from a young homeschooled gal who wanted to serve me in my home a few times a week and talk about the things of God! I was blown away.

    I think we so often have not because we ask not or because we ask from wrong motives. Do I just want someone to fill ME up and make ME happy, or do I sincerely want the love of the Body of Christ and the joy of the Lord? If I seek myself, the Lord will inevitably take me through a dry spell, teaching me again to die to self and live to Him. I’ve found that when I pour myself out “like a drink offering,” as Paul wrote, the Lord brings the relief. It seems counterintuitive, but it really does work. No fellowship? Go out into the highways and byways and start inviting people in! Ask over and over (and over!) again. We have seen hospitality absolutely transform a church in a matter of a couple of years. The investment seems to hard up front (especially if only a few families are hospitable), but the “disease” is catching and will spread as you continue to pursue people. The Bible does literally say to “persecute hospitality!” We have to go at it again and again and again in the face of discouragement. Church folks aren’t responsive? Invite hubby’s co-workers; invite neighbors; invite that widow up the street. God will open up opportunities for fellowship and service that you never imagined.

    And if you’re starving for Titus 2 input, get excellent CDs you can listen to in the car or while folding laundry, etc. Keep good books on hand for those snatches of reading time. Bookmark half a dozen truly excellent, praiseworthy blogs (avoiding the chit-chat gossipy ones like the plague, as they will only bring you down). I have a customized Google homepage on my computer that has all my favorite blogs indexed. I can see at a glance if anyone has a new post and take a moment to read when I’ve got time. I’ve been so refreshed and encouraged through these means. The Internet has really opened up Titus 2 opportunities in a whole new way. Still, it’s important to keep our feet in the real world and not get caught up in the virtual! So keep hospitality and service at the forefront and save the online sessions for “backup” encouragement.

    God bless you as you serve Him in dry deserts as well as in spring-filled valleys. These seasons He takes us through are for our good and His glory. He will see us through them all!


  31. Hello, ladies! Kim asked me to pop by when I could to answer comments or questions as I’m able. I’ll try to do that over the weekend in between the housecleaning and training and meal-making–LOL!

    Okay, here’s the first question:

    “My question is this: Hubby and I are ‘different’ then 99% of our family and we are trying to be more ‘different’ every day, how do you deal with being a ‘different mom/wife’ in the face of criticism?”

    Here’s my number one solution: loving hospitality! I truly do wholeheartedly recommend that you make sure you don’t let those antagonistic or disagreeing relatives fall off the map. If we isolate ourselves, then their suspicions (however crazy) are confirmed in their own heads — that we’re cultic or obsessive or intolerant, etc. But when we greet them in love and reach out to them even in the midst of disagreements, we disarm them. This is true with neighbors who look at us funny as well! We’re here to be salt and light, and opening our homes in humility and reaching out in love is one way we keepers at home can make sure people know that we’re not cutting ourselves off or becoming Christian snobs. Even if the friends and relations say “no” to invitations, you just make sure they know the door is open. Smile. Hug. Find things to sincerely compliment whenever you can (“I see that Johnny is really reading and enjoying books. That is so exciting! I bet our son would love to share some of his favorites with him!”).

    In some rare instances, there will be people with whom you cannot fellowship for conscience’s sake. These are ones who are openly antagonistic, critical of you in front of your children, or who actively seek to win your children over to their point of view. In those cases, you’ve got to gently tell those relatives or friends that you’ve made decisions as a husband and wife for a reason and that you’d appreciate them not attempting to persuade your children to disobey or walk a different path. Those are toughies, but there are times when you have no other choice. Just learn to speak the truth in LOVE and “be at peace with all men” insofar as you are able.

    And, when it comes to criticism, learn to let things roll off your back even as you sincerely thank the critic for her concern. Learn to smile and continue to walk on the path the Lord has set you on. But do also keep in mind that the Lord can sharpen and sanctify us even through misguided criticism. Humility is key. Not one of us has arrived, and we all have a long way to go. When we keep this foremost in our minds, the criticism loses its sting as we thank God for another opportunity to grow in grace, patience, and gentleness.

    I hope this helps!

    Jennie Chancey

  32. Oh, I’m trying to get my library to buy this but so far it hasn’t worked. I would love to read this book.

  33. Amanda T says:

    There are so many distractions that take my focus from husband and family. I am constantly having to put things in front of me like this book to help me stay focused. I will admit that I feel disconnected from friends and acquaintances. I have to work on becoming more hospitable. I think this would remedy that feeling. This book is on my list of books to buy, unless of course I win the giveaway ;).

  34. Please Please Please choose me! Oh please Oh please Oh please! I so want to read this book, but spending for us isn’t even an option right now. We’re in the middle of our 3rd & 4th internation adoption (totally us to 4 at the moment and counting) and God led us to a 12 pass van this week so we took on a car loan, and money is coming in short supply. Oh please Oh please pick me! I loved reading these interviews and am quite intrigued to learn more, that maybe just maybe I am choosing the right thing since I rarely have “me-time”!

  35. oh i so want this book! since i didn’t win the first time maybe i can the second!
    i’m enjoying the interview!

  36. Would LOVE a copy! Sounds wonderful!

  37. Thanks for taking the time to interview these gals Kim. It is certainly a timely message!
    I’d love to read the book.
    If I don’t win this drawing I’ll soon be forced to go buy it:-)

  38. I do have a question:

    Where do you go for encouragement when there is no one around you living life as you do, or rather, as we are called to? and no godly older women around for encouragement?

  39. I have not read it yet, but would love to win a copy! Thanks for doing these interviews. It makes me want to read the book and spread it around to others who will benefit from it too!

  40. I would love to read it, as I have heard several wonderful things about it.

    My question is this: Hubby and I are “different” then 99% of our family and we are trying to be more “different” every day, how do you deal with being a “different mom/wife” in the face of criticism?

  41. Another chance to win? Awesome! I’m in!

  42. Thank you so much for promoting a worldview that is not popular these days. We need the encouragement so much!

  43. I’ve not read it yet and would love to win a copy! Thanks for the interviews with them – it makes me want to read the book!

  44. I’ve not read it yet, but I’m so eager to get a copy!!
    Great interview!

  45. I think I was actually in the middle of reading your blog when you posted this 2nd interview on March 27. Well here it is after midnight. You don’t by chance stay up very late at night? I seem to have compulsive tendencies to go to bed late but I’m currently fighting the urge so goodnight. Congrats Sarah (1st book winner!) And thanks for another chance to win.


Don't just think it: say it!

%d bloggers like this: