LadyLike is a collection of essays. Written with passion and purpose, these essays both challenge and encourage women to live out their purpose as God's female children. As a collection of writings, this volume is powerful in its entirety while also very readable as individual pieces of prose.
Never have I read a book that addresses so many different facets of womanhood and topics that are an integral part of who we were created to be in one title. These pages contain essays about motherhood, marriage, infertility, miscarriage, vocation, submission, widowhood, celibacy... too many topics to list fully. Yet each of these is essential to understanding how God created the female to live out her life on earth. We may not ever experience every of the situations covered, but we learn from them. Perhaps equally important is that we learn how to live alongside those who are in each season, and need specific things from the church as a body of believers. This book teaches how to love as much as it teaches how to live.
I think the thing that stands out to me most about this book (well, when I wasn't chuckling at the dry wit and interesting word choices... ahem, is "ghettoizing" a word? Apparently spell-check confirms it is!) is how these two brave authors, Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle, say so many things that I have been silently thinking but rarely speak aloud. This book doesn't dance around ideas, and it is that upfront sharing of Biblical truth that often made me squirm as I read it. Sometimes it was because what I read challenged me as I recognized areas of my own character that needed attention. Often, though, I was taken aback because of how I agreed with what I was reading. Ideas about biblical womanhood are often quite counter-cultural. While I feel led to live that way more and more, I still shy away from talking about it. I am not sure I would say I completely agree with every statement in this book, but I loved being encouraged to examine what I do believe as I read each section.
I will say that there were particular sections that I read faster than others. In my own self-absorbed way of thinking, I of course focused in more on the pages that applied to my particular season. However, that doesn't mean I wasn't learning from the rest of the book. If anything, it means that this book is one that is very likely to be reread over and over as I go through different seasons of life. I appreciate books that I can pull out when I need to examine specific topics or ideas, and this is sure to be a resource I reach for often. For example, the essay titled "She Respects Her Husband" is one that I literally want to tear out of the book and carry around in my pocket.
The style of this book is unique not only in structure and variety of topics, but also in the writing style it employs. I appreciate the blend of intellectual and conversational. I absolutely love the fact that the essays are often rich in scriptural references to provide further study. I will say that there is a limit to how conversational I like my nonfiction titles. There are times when this book hovers right around that limit for me. I also am someone who can appreciate that "pop culture" references will help many readers connect to the material in a relevant way. I am not necessarily one of those readers. I get thrown off sometimes by talk of pinterest and the world's fascination with coconut oil and bridezillas... but this is not anything that would keep me from reading and enjoying this book. I like how these women kind of have a style that speaks to many different varieties of readers. In the end, the strength of the content is what makes this book so hard to put down. It is a remarkable blend of substance and style!
This is a book I was eager to read for many months before I finally got to dig into it, and I will say that it is everything I expected and more! I keep thinking that this would be a really good title to cover in a small group setting with women you were comfortable getting really honest with. I think the ideas that are brought into focus in this book are ones that we need to be talking about more, even if it is hard. We need to have conversations about what it really means to be a woman in today's "feminized secular society" (to quote the author of the foreword.) This book could easily provide the basis for these conversations among church groups, friends, mothers and daughters... I pray that as the book continues to find its way into homes and libraries that it might encourage women to really examine what it means to be created female and how we can fully live out God's design for our gender according to His will!
I definitely encourage you to pick up this title for yourself. You can find it in print or in ebook version on amazon or iBooks. As you read, I pray that the Spirit would open your heart and mind to seek truth, whether that is found within the pages of this book or in further study stemming from what you read. When you do get around to reading it, be sure to let me know what you think! I would love to hear how this book changes the lives of other women even as it is changing mine!
*Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of this book so that I could read it and offer my honest and unbiased review. I may have jumped for joy when I received it, though, because it had already been on my "to read" list for quite a while, and my thoughts in this review are entirely my own!
Tuesday, December 29