Thursday, March 12, 2015

Becoming God's True Woman by Susan Hunt and Mary A. Kassian, 2012

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Have you ever wondered why God made both Male and Female? Have you thought about His purpose for you as a female? Have you considered the fact that God has intentionally planned everything about your life? Yes, yes, and yes?!
Then, join Bible teachers Susan Hunt and Mary A. Kassian in this 35-day devotional digging deep into God's Word, hearing what He says about your womanhood, and learning how to live as a "true woman" day by day. Each day begins with a short devotion and then A Time For You section -- a time for you to read...to think..to pray...to live for God's glory Interspersed throughout are personal stories and thoughts from girls like you.
(176 pages)

My number one New Year's Resolution this year was to spend more time reading the Bible. My number two resolution was to be faithful to developing my blog. That's why I chose to review this, a girl's devotional. I don't really use devotions very much because I'm a very lazy person who doesn't like writing things out longhand, but I decided it would be good both for my spiritual health and my handwriting to try this out.

On the whole, I'm glad I gave this devo a try. I spent a week doing it every day on top of my regular Bible reading (In January I set myself the goal of reading the entire Bible in two years. I'm in Leviticus.), and I found that it broke the monotony of the laws of Moses very nicely. The devo is full of little stories from real-life girls, messages about God's love and our duty to obey, and lots of space for jotting out your own thoughts and prayers. The pages themselves are very pretty, with various shades of pink backgrounds and beautiful flowers winding their ways across the pages.

After doing about a week's worth of the devotions and reading through the rest of them, I am a little conserned about some of the content. It's written in such a positive, affirming manner that I really have a hard time taking offence at anything written in the book (it would be like arguing with my grandmother!), but I did still want to mention that the book skates dangerously close to some controversial issues a few times. For example, it states that women are designed to be men's "helper," but then goes on to define the word "helper" in terms of equality. They state that men and female are created equal but for different purposes, which makes me wonder just what exactly they mean by that. Is the "purpose" of women to sit at home and watch the kids while the "purpose" of men is to go to work and earn money? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that (in fact, that's how it works in my family!), but I didn't exactly like the subtle suggestion that we women must remember our place, and refrain from becoming too masculine. In fact, at one point they even say that a "True Woman" always dresses appropriately - which I agree with - going on to say that clothes should "suit your . . . femininity" as one of the conditions inherent in dressing properly. Are they saying that they believe girls shouldn't wear pants? Because I definitely disagree with that.

Now I'm not a huge feminist, but I do believe that women should not be restricted to wearing pretty frocks and taking care of the children. The kicker is, the authors of this book may or may not believe that either. Everything is phrased in such positive, reaffirming tones that it's impossible to know for sure whether they're really condoning what I'm hearing. Still, if I had a teen I probably wouldn't give her the book just because of their support of gender roles and a few other minor issues. Like I said, though, it's all couched in such gentle and positive terms and mixed in with so much real, good, important advice that it might be okay. Plus, as a teen myself, I know that one devotional isn't going to change the way I think. I for one will likely go through at least most of the rest of the devotional, shaking my head at it every now and then but mostly just appreciating it for its gentle, loving messages about keeeping a level head and living to please my loving God.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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