I’ll never forget the words of some well-intentioned adults in my life when I was a teenager. What they intended as a compliment always felt like an insult. They would tell me over and over what a great SINGLE missionary I would be…what they really were saying is you definitely are gifted and called but we’re not sure how someone like you can fit in the traditional role of a wife/woman.
Lucky for me…there were people throughout my life that didn’t fit into the traditional role. I was fortunate to see these women embrace who they were in ministry and in marriage throughout my college years and in several of my first ministry jobs.
Wait….what does this have to do with A Year of Biblical Womanhood?
Well, Rachel Held Evans takes a good hard look at the traditional ways we have defined womanhood. She challenges readers to truly explore and evaluate our use of the word Biblical as an adjective.
Evans spends the year exploring the Bible and what it says about woman. She attempts to live out a majority of the instructions directed at women. She does this in order to better understand what exactly biblical womanhood is in action. She is funny and insightful. I enjoyed reading the book…it made me laugh at her and with her…especially when she carried a stadium cushion during her period to keep things from becoming unclean. She made me cry as she wrote about the suffering of women from the Bible and those suffering today.
The book and Evans have gotten lots of criticism from people who believe that she doesn’t value the Bible or that she minimizes it’s power. I didn’t pick up on any of that as I read…in fact, I felt the opposite. She seems to really love the Bible.
Why should you read it?
You might not agree with everything Evans write…I am not sure I do at this point. But each year, I sit down with numerous girls who feel like they don’t FIT in church. They can’t find their place in the church based simply on what they have heard in the church. They struggle as they read some troubling passages about women in the OT and NT and wonder- is this the gospel I am suppose to follow? And if it is, can they do it?
Evans voices all those questions and walks away a lover of Jesus and his word. She’ll help you into the mind and thought behind these questions and you just might find some solid ways to answer these questions.
Check it out and let me know what you think!