Book Review: The Ministry of a Messy House

Author:
Susan Harris
Date:
December 23, 2020

Amanda Robbie

Review by Susan Harris

What is the book about?

This book was recommended to me as I was investigating running an event with the theme of Hospitality. Did the state of my home prevent me from being hospitable? Did my meals have to meet a certain standard? This quote on the inside cover was enough for me to read this book: “This is a must read for all…. who struggle with the desire for tidy, clutter-free lives and homes, and yet face daily guilt of things not done and the mess of existing in a fallen world.”

Entertaining is NOT hospitality!

What was enjoyable about reading this book?

Robbie writes well and uses humour very effectively. There are many relatable and practical examples given. I also loved the Biblical and theological references...

“If my house takes up all my energy and my concern, it could be that it has become my idol.”

“So be encouraged: it is through our messy lives that God’s perfect power can be seen.”

This book has a relaxed writing style, with helpful chapter topics, making it hard to put down. There are some helpful, practical suggestions/ideas throughout the book to encourage hospitality in the home.

Brickbats and bouquets

The bouquets are many. It was easy to read, relevant and theologically helpful to see hospitality in a theological context.

Who would like to read the book?

Anyone who wants to be hospitable and needs to be encouraged that entertaining is NOT being hospitable. Try it!


Susan Harris is now retired from the education profession. She has enjoyed a productive and fulfilling working life in schools, while also enjoying a loving home life with husband Roger and, together, parenting 3 daughters.  Susan is now Nanna to 8 grandchildren. One of Susan’s loves has always been reading. Retirement has allowed more time and she has joined a Book Club. She also volunteers at Engage Work Faith and is a member of Rotary.  Reading allows her to experience worlds beyond her own. Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: “We clung to books and to our friends; they reminded us that we had another part to us.”

Additional Summer Reading Guide Book Reviews

Metanoia: A memoir of a body, born again Anna McGahan. Book review by Simon Hill

Stay Salt: The World Has Changed, our Message must not, Rebecca Manley Pippert. Review by Bec Giuliani

Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine, Gail Honeyman. Review by Susan Harris

The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman. Review by Craig Broman

Recent Posts

November 23, 2022
Churches Urged to Fill the Mental health Gap

Anne Lim reports on the presentation of senior clinical psychologist Gavin Brown, at a recent online mental health summit. "Brown was one of a panel of church leaders, mental health practitioners, lived-experience advisers, and theologians who led over 100 participants from across the country in a conversation about how churches can respond to Australia’s mental […]

Read More
November 23, 2022
How Do I Pray the Bible?

In this podcast and short audio transcript, John Piper explains the importance and value of praying from Scripture. He gives a clear explanation of ways to do this using biblical examples. This provides a helpful guide to the practice of praying the Bible. "If we don’t form the habit of praying the Scriptures, our prayers […]

Read More
November 21, 2022
Making the Christian Life More Complicated than it Needs to Be

This short article provides a wise reflection for living each day as a Christian. Tim Challies reminds us that in every situation, whether good or bad, God has purpose for us all. "There is no circumstance in which God has nothing for us to do, no situation in which we cannot be faithful to his […]

Read More

Categories