I want to tell you all a little bit about my new book coming out on Mother’s Day. The writing of this book has been a super personal adventure. Having grown up in the conservative American church, most of the teachings I heard about women only happened twice a year, around Christmas and Mother’s Day. Most of the Mother’s Day messages centered around Proverbs 31. The list of what was required of women was long, and on top of that, you had to have a pure heart!
I remember a few things that changed my perspective on things. I was a kid full of big dreams. I had so many interests, and I knew I was going places. So, instead of pursuing those things, I fell in love and eloped! (13 years going strong!) Suddenly, everything changed for me. Instead of being looked at as a woman with big ambitions, I was now looked at as a project for other women to turn into the best wife I could possibly be. I was handed many books, and invited to many women’s Bible studies that studied up on how to be a good wife. The books gave good advice on house tending, cooking, being respectful, and how to spice things up, but the problem was, I still had ambitions. The message I was now receiving was that my only goal and purpose in life was to housekeep and rear the children. Anything that didn’t center around those two things was frivolous.
These teachings started to pile up in my heart. To many people, my only value lay in my ability to be a wife and mother. If I had to value myself on those things, I probably wouldn’t have ranked very high at that time (Did I mention I was married young?)
So, I embarked on a quest, a quest in my Bible, to find out what the women of the Bible were really like. I had heard of the main players like Mary, the other Mary, Esther, Rahab, Eve, and Deborah, and even attended many studies that centered around their major downfalls. I read the Bible through cover to cover, picking out the women hidden within its pages. I did it again and then again. These women’s stories came alive to me! What I found the most shocking was that the accounts of these women’s lives, didn’t really line up with what was being taught as the most important virtues for a woman: quietness and submissiveness. These women were world changers! They were bold, fierce, strong, loving, and compassionate! They were confident in who they were! They were confident in their God!
Much of the evangelical church in America has elevated this idea of appropriate “roles” for men and women in the church. I’m sure much of what I was taught came out of this idea. It is truly a spin on Proverbs 31. What I found in this study was love and freedom! I found out that God loves me, truly loves me, as a woman, and hasn’t designed me to forsake all that He created me to be, to fill someone else’s idea of what I should look like. I also found freedom! I get to choose what life choices I make! Once I understood that the choice was mine, as opposed to a mandate from church leadership, I was able to gladly and joyfully fill the role of wife and mother not AS all that I am, but WITH all that I am! I love my husband, not because I have to, but because I love him! I love and enjoy my kids every day, not because I have to, but because they are awesome!
“Redefined: Curbing the Spin on the Proverbs 31 Woman” is my journey through the Bible (and no, it’s not a memoir). Each chapter takes a verse from Proverbs 31 and matches it with a woman in the Bible. The chapters tell these women’s stories in a new light. Taking a look at these woman can slow the spin that has been put on the ideal Proverbs 31 woman. My hope is that you would read it and find freedom. My hope is that you will celebrate these women as amazing women of God. My hope is that you will celebrate yourself and each other through the legacy they have left us.
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