I am an avid reader of Aimee Byrd’s blog Housewife Theologian. Her book of the same name captured my attention and really fuelled my passion to become a housewife who pursued knowledge of God and relationship with Him. Aimee’s latest book Theological Fitness- Why We Need a Fighting Faith (P&R, 2015) aims to encourage men and women to pursue God through persevering in the Christian life by actively reading God’s Word; for this leads to the grace and gift of faith. I hope you enjoy reading about Aimee below and being inspired to pursue God, keeping at it day by day through exercising our faith.
Pursuits of God- How would you describe your relationship with God?
Aimee- I grew up in the church and do not remember a time where I did not know of God’s love. But unfortunately, that did not stop me from sinful living. My relationship with God is that of a sinner who has been saved from the reign of sin and, by his Son and through his Holy Spirit, brought under the reign of grace. As I strive to live a life of faith and obedience, he is amazingly transforming me into the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ. I look forward to Christ’s return, when his church will reign with him on the new heavens and the new earth.
Pursuits of God- What are some ways that you pursue a relationship with God?
Aimee- First of all, my family is part of a great church, New Hope OPC. It is vital for us to be under the preached Word, partake in the sacraments, and the fellowship of God’s people. This is the context in which God promises to bless us in Christ. I also love to learn about God in personal Bible study, group Bible studies, and by reading Christian books full of good teaching. Along with this of course is constant prayer. I also find that in regular life, simple obedience to his Word is an act of faith that is a vital part of my relationship with God. Doctrine and life go hand and hand, always leading to doxology!
Pursuits of God- How does your relationship with God affect other relationships in your life?
Aimee- My relationship with God helps me to love others with his love. The more I reflect on God’s great love for me, the easier it is to offer love and forgiveness to others. The desire to share the gospel and live in response to it enriches the friendships that I have, and motivates me to step outside of my comfort zone and interact with others whom I wouldn’t typically get to know. Christ’s work enables us to fulfill the great commandment and truly love our neighbor. What a blessing!
Pursuits of God- You are author of the new book “Theological Fitness” – what are the reasons you see theology and persevering in this as so important for all, especially women?
Aimee- Well, the book isn’t just for women, but I do hope many women read it because we seem to be a target market for bad theology books. The exhortation to persevere in Hebrews 10:23 says “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews is a sermon-letter full of meaty theology. The pastor tells them that the Christian life is like a marathon, it requires fitness and determination, and in order to persevere to the finish line, they need to hold fast to their confession of hope and not let go! It seems imperative then that we know what this confession is! We need to be trained in the faith and conditioned in it to persevere to the end.
Pursuits of God- In the Bible, the Christian life is often likened to running a race (Acts 20:24, Hebrews 12:1, 2 Timothy 4:7). What are some principles that correspond between physical fitness and theological fitness?
Aimee- To finish a race, one needs endurance. Endurance takes stamina. Stamina takes conditioning. Faith is a fighting grace and we should never mistake it for and easy believism. Having a confession is not enough. We must hold fast to it. And so we fight to hold fast to our confession no matter what. The beginning of Hebrews 12 shows us we must persevere in holiness to reach the crown at the end of the race. This requires a theological fitness because we are required to hold fast to the gospel. It is one thing to say I am a Christian and make a profession of faith. But it takes a level of conditioning to hold fast to it because something is always working against our fight to hold on. I define theological fitness as a persistent fight to exercise our faith by actively engaging in the gospel truths revealed in God’s Word.
Pursuits of God- From your personal experience, what strategies did you use to pursue a growing knowledge of God?
Aimee- The sermon-letter to the Hebrews has a forward- looking focus. The writer emphasizes where Christ is now, at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf, and what is to come. As sure as Jesus paid our ransom and won the victory for his kingdom on the cross, he will return to consummate that kingdom. If we neglect his message of salvation, how can we escape apostasy and judgment? How can we possibly approach the almighty God? If we pay attention to what is to come, we will be encouraged to endure the trials along the way. We will love God’s Word and be serious students of it. And so we need to encourage one another to not just go through the motions, but to be actively engaged in the Word. One key way to be engaged is through prayer. Hebrews 2:1 says “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” As our focus is strengthened to the glory of God, our intensity to hold fast will also strengthen. And when faced with sin and adversity we will find that perseverance to get back up again and stay the course.
Pursuits of God- What advice would you give to women, in allowing God’s Word and his Spirit to shape and define their purpose and focus for life?
Aimee- The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. What a great honor and blessing to be called to this! What we believe about God shapes our everyday life; we act according to our theology. That is why I have been compelled to write about in both of my books, Housewife Theologian and Theological Fitness. I am trying to help demonstrate the importance of knowing God according to his Word and the implications of that in daily living. But my first piece of advice is to be connected in a solid church. There is no substitute for that.
Pursuits of God- Finally, you are a woman of many gifts- you are a wife, mother, write and blog, how do you manage your time and how do you prioritize how to use your time and gifts for God’s glory?
Aimee- Well, this is the challenge for us all, isn’t it? I am constantly reevaluating the best ways to manage my time. I think the logistics look a little different for each one of us, but all of our roles fall under our overarching identity in Christ. The big picture helps me to organize my priorities each day. My family schedule can seem overwhelming at times, and of course being a mom takes priority over writing. Practically speaking, I like to set goals. I have larger goals for reading and writing, and then smaller ones to help me get there. I like to set goals with my kids as well. Some thrive better with a rigid schedule, but I am more flexible with my time. I read throughout the day, plodding along whenever I have an opportunity. Sometimes that may be in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and sometimes it gets to be outside on my patio. I try to have a morning time for writing, but sometimes it works out better for me to do in the afternoon or evening. This is a topic that I am often in prayer over!
Thank you Aimee for sharing with us at Pursuits of God!
Image courtesy of P & R Publishing.