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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

God's Priorities for Today's Woman, by Lisa Hughes

I adored this book. To be honest and fair, I was suspicious of it at first. The title, God's Priorities for Today's Woman: Discovering His Plan for You (published by Harvest House Publishers) made me wonder how much this book would be shared through the lens of the modern evangelical feminist. The title was deceptive, as far as I'm concerned, because it isn't a message for Today's Woman. (It is that. But it is also a message for women of the past and women of the future.) Lisa Hughes offers solid Biblical advice, focusing specifically on the following verses:

"[T]he older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5


The entire book focuses on these few verses, which are backed with "the priorities" (in relation to the title of the book) that God has for women. I have so many pages bookmarked that I'm not even sure where to start in the discussion of it. As I mentioned, I thought that Hughes was going to focus on the modern woman but she puts these fears to rest right from the get-go.

" . . . [F]requently people dismiss the Bible's commands as being old-fashioned and irrelevant for today. And many women would like to believe God would change His mind if He really knew and understood our modern culture and their personal situations. Yet God truly does know the issues we face. He didn't make any mistakes giving us His word exactly as we have it in our Bibles today. God knew precisely what He wanted to communicate for all time, for our time, and it is recorded in Titus 2:3-5." (Chapter 1, page 19)

She had me at hello, to put it another way. I find it so disheartening to open books about "today's woman" and hear them trying to suggest that it's hard to apply Biblical truths to our lives because we are so different than the early church. Not so. We're all human with sin issues and we struggle to follow after the commands of Christ. We can try to make excuses but they will not be valid ones. It is better to accept that we are imperfect, that God is perfect, and that His word is God-breathed, useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16) For all time.

Hughes teaches through Titus 2:3-5 in the following chapters (I think listing them will help you best figure out how this book is laid out):

  1. The Art of Growing in Holiness
  2. The Art of Speaking Pleasant Words
  3. The Art of Self-Control
  4. The Art of Sharing and Seeking Wisdom
  5. The Art of Loving Your Husband
  6. The Art of Loving Your Children
  7. The Art of Living Sensibly
  8. The Art of Pursuing Purity
  9. The Art of Caring for Your Home
  10. The Art of Showing Kindness
  11. The Art of Loving Submission


Every single chapter will cause the reader pain in some form or fashion - which is a good thing. I had my "pet" topics, of course. It is hard to grow in holiness. I don't always like seeking out advice from older women. I don't always love my family effectively. Well, Christianity is HARD WORK! Anyone who says that following after Christ is easy, or that you can expect blessings upon blessings (without any struggles, mind you) is selling you something. It's a tough row to hoe!

But what is the point of all of this, ultimately? Is it to learn how to be a better Christian so that other people will like you? Is it so that you'll develop good habits that will cheer and enthrall those around you? No. It is to bring glory to God. That's why we press onward in the faith, isn't it? To learn more of who God is, what He has called us to and to learn what He has for us and how we might know best how to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

Naturally, if you pursue these "arts" as listed above, your family will benefit. Your friends will enjoy your company just a little bit more than before. You will be able to set your life priorities and pursue them more wholeheartedly, with less distractions. The closer we grow to Christ, the more we become like Him. The more that we become like Him, the more effective we will be in glorifying Him and enjoying Him.

Hughes speaks wisely and well in God's Priorities for Today's Woman. She is patient and loving, yet firm in her belief that scripture is healthy and good for Christian women of today. Scripture - and its truths - have not changed over time. Rather, it is designed to help instruct and change us and I appreciate Hughes conviction in this.

I highly, highly recommend it and wish I had more time and space to talk about it. I may pick a topic or two on occasion to talk about as the "inspiration strikes" but in the meantime, check out this book!

Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for sending me a copy to read. I am very happy to say that Harvest House has offered a copy to one of my readers here at Reading to Know! Would you like to win? (Well, maybe you wouldn't because it will convict you!) Simply leave a comment below. This contest is open to U.S. Residents only and will be open through Tuesday, May 10th.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER, AS SELECTED BY RANDOM.ORG IS #3 - AMY at Hope is in the Word.

Congrats!

31 comments:

Annette W. said...

Yes, I'd love to win!

This sounds worthy of our next Bible study....which will be soon. I will recommend it as an option. I see that there are questions at the end of of each chapter, too...another bonus!

Katie said...

I would love to win! So often books for women don't focus on anything but submission and caring for the home, so I was encouraged to see that this one has chapters that go beyond those aspects.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Sounds like a book I could use right now!!

Cowboy mom said...

Very impressive review. You've definately sparked my interest.

mary bailey said...

This is a book I would love to read! This is a book I NEED to read.
Count me in!

Shonya said...

Wow! Your review makes me want to go out and get it right away. I skimmed over it at first because I've read so many books along this line. . .but I still have tons of growing to do, and focusing on it again would certainly be good for me. sigh, conviction and all! :) I really appreciate the tone as well as the message.

Cheryl F. said...

I enjoyed your review and would love to read God's Priorities for Today's Woman :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!
theluckyladybug[at]gmail[dot]com

Lisa said...

This sounds like a good read.

Lisa
lmw@friendlycity.net

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I'll risk the conviction and say I'd love a chance to win this. Speaking pleasant words? Self-control? Um...yeah. I see conviction aplenty waiting there for me. :) Thanks for the review and chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing us to this book. I'll certainly like to win one!

raquel at rgomez2012@gmail.com

Soozie4Him said...

I'd love to read this book, and I've got 3 grown daughters to share it with! Thanks for reviewing this!

Susan
moot96 AT aol DOT com

Beth said...

I have been pondering Titus 2:3-5 for a couple of months. This sounds like something that would greatly help my pondering!

apple blossom said...

please include me in this giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

JC said...

Thank you for the opportunity. I would really like to read this book... and then share it.

AndreaG said...

I'd love to read this book.

AndreaG said...

Forgot to include...

agreer65@yahoo.com

Beckie B. said...

Although conviction is way down on my priority list (lol), I would like a chance to win this book! Thanks for the giveaway.

Beckie B. said...

Although conviction is way down on my priority list (lol), I would like a chance to win this book! Thanks for the giveaway.

msudawgtoo{at}comsouth{dot}net

Alicia said...

I'd love to read this!

Alicia said...

I'd love to read this book! We want to start a Titus 2 ministry at our church and this sounds like a good reference book.

Barbara H. said...

I don't think I would have reacted that way to the title at first -- it seems to me just to indicate she's applying Biblical truth to current times. But so much written along this line these days is so tainted with feministic views, I can see how you'd be wary.

At first I wasn't going to enter for the drawing because I have so many books along these lines already -- but after a second look, yes, I'd be interested in the drawing. No matter how much we hear or read about these topics, we still need constant convicting and tweaking and readjusting our attitudes and actions to be more in line with Scripture.

Anonymous said...

i am trying so hard to be a better christian woman...this sounds like it would help me a lot
dianam167@sbcglobal.net

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker said...

I could use a little help in every area! Count me in :).

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great book! I have been looking for a book to work through with a young lady at our Bible study/discipleship times...I will definetely check into this book!

Thanks for the giveaway-
Jen N
artandjen at juno dot com

Page Turner said...

I agree that this sounds like a great book for a women's bible study. Thanks for the giveaway!

karenk said...

would love to read this inspirational book....

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jennifer Ekstrand said...

It sounds like a book worth reading.

Mikaila said...

This sounds like an amazing book and one I would be incredibly interested in reading.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I am very curious about what the modern "evangelical feminist" is. I would be interested in this book as well.

Did you ever read Elizabeth George's Woman After God's Own Heart? I think that's what it's called. I read it when I was a younger mom, and it sounds similar. Really changed my perspective.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

So, in other words, another book that I should read. :)

Alison said...

Sounds like an interesting book.

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