A Year of Biblical Womanhood

Despite owning my Kindle for over two years, I have a stack of books waiting to be read. In fact, I have a stack in my office, another in the bedroom, and now an electronic stack on Amazon. There is an abundance of free and discounted books online. Add to that the lending capability of friends and libraries and it’s no wonder that our list of books-to-read grows exponentially faster than the ones we manage to finish.

When I share a book review here, I hope to help you decide if the book is worth those precious moments each day and week which might otherwise help you cross off items from your daily to do list.

A Year of Biblical WomanhoodA Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans was the perfect follow up for Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life. In Graceful, Emily is asking us to consider what we are doing in our lives because of the pre-conceived notions or labels we’ve put on our lives as women. In Biblical Womanhood, Rachel asks where the labels originated.

What you will find in this book:

  • Hysterical stories about camping in the front yard, letting bread rise in the hall bathroom, and caring for a computer baby
  • Why men are the ones in Jewish culture that memorize Proverbs 31
  • Questions that make you think about the meaning and purpose behind scriptures instead of arguments about superficial issues
  • Deeper consideration of the lives of women in the Bible, whether you know them by name or not
  • Constant references to take verses which are often used in a controlling and hurtful manner, and put them back where they belong {in the context of God’s Word}

What you will not find in this book:

  • Excuses for disobeying clear commands from the Bible
  • A call to live a life of extremism or one particular denomination
  • A comfortable place for your pre-conceived notions

I highlighted well over fifty passages in this story about her year-long journey through life according Scripture and tradition. Rachel challenged some of my long-held beliefs, particularly the role of women as leaders in the church.

"It continues to amaze me that some evangelicals believe that Fred
Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church, who was ordained at seventeen
without a seminary degree, is more qualified by virture of being a
man to spead to the Church than someone like Jackie, who received
top honors at her seminary"

She affirmed some of the things I have known for years.

"From contraception, to spanking, to family size, to the decision
of a mother to work or stay at home, there is perhaps no arena
in which women of faith are more subjected to the expectations
of biblical womanhood than in their capacity to bear and raise
children"

She put words to some of the things that frustrate me with legalism.

"I've heard dozens of sermons about keeping my legs and my
cleavage out of sight, but not one about ensuring that my
jewelry was not acquired through unjust or exploitive trade
practices."

Are we truly looking to live our lives more like Christ or more like tradition?

I have not wanted to laugh, cry, or dig into God’s Word while reading a book this much since One Thousand Gifts. This book is going in my top ten book recommendations ~ I would love to hear what you think.