Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review: Courageous Women of the Bible by Latan Roland Murphy

From the Back of the Book

Learn to live, love, and lead courageously--as you boldly choose to trust God.

Whether you're facing struggles with singleness, the mounting challenges of marriage and motherhood, health issues, a financial crisis--God has equipped you to walk in freedom and confidence as you abide in Him, strengthened by His power and provision. Through the stories of eleven brave women of the Bible who made faith-filled choices that positioned them for success, LaTan Roland Murphy exhorts, encourages, and empowers women of all ages. With warmth and wit, she illustrates how you, like Deborah, Jael, Mary, and others, can look beyond your circumstances and lay hold of the courage needed to 

  • draw closer to Jesus when facing illness, isolation, or rejection;
  • live and give generously, even amid financial hardship; and
  • step out into faithful, fearless living as a wife, mother, friend or coworker--no matter the season of life or what lies ahead.
Thought-provoking study questions and an interactive journaling section will help take you even deeper in your quest for a more courageous, confident life, either on your own or with a group.

My Thoughts

I like the idea of this book. I like how the author highlights one woman in the Bible in each chapter, how she shares something personal in each chapter, how she includes lots of scripture, and how she offers encouragement at the end of each chapter.  However, I struggled to get through this book. What I didn't like was how the author was imagining how the women she highlighted might have been thinking or feeling. I think there are some people (maybe a lot of people) who would enjoy this speculation and might be nodding along with the author, but that style just isn't for me.

I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had done it as part of a group and only read one chapter each week in preparation for a study as opposed to trying to read it on my own as part of my quiet times. The questions at the end of each chapter are pretty personal and the Bible study I am a part of is pretty intimate so we would be able to discuss them, however I don't think they are suited for a group of women to discuss who don't know each other well. They are good questions to contemplate.

I disagree with one point in the book about giving as much or as little as the Lord impresses upon you. I believe tithing is scriptural and means giving the first ten percent to God.

I was most inspired by the chapter in this book that was about the Shulammite woman in Song of Solomon. I thought the author made very good suggestions about how to protect your marriage. I've only been married a few years, however I could see myself in some of her examples and I want to correct that. I plan to revisit this chapter. I also really liked how the author shared a story about a single woman she met who was content in her singleness. After being single myself for 40 years, I still love hearing stories about women who are content being single.

I also liked the chapter about the Shunammite woman. I thought the author did an excellent job of tying her story to hospitality and focusing on God and others even through our own heartbreak and disappointment.

While this isn't a book I am raving about, it did make some great points and I think women could grow from reading it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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