Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Woman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
NOTE: Our Bible study group agreed to abandon this one about 3/4 of the way through
Do you know where Dorothy Johnson was when she went to heaven to meet her Lord face to face? She was in her favorite chair, with her table lamp lit… crocheting during yet another evening alone. She was thinking of others, doing for others, and, knowing Dorothy, probably praying for others as she worked with her hands.
The author of this book works one by one through each verse of Proverbs 31 in order to construct for the readers a picture of what a woman of noble character may look like in today’s world. Each lesson contains short stories, descriptions, or musings from the author designed to help the reader reflect on God’s Word in this chapter of scripture.
Each lesson is rather short, and especially in chapters where there are few verses to look up, it was easy to finish two or three of these in a thirty-minute sitting. Each lesson also contained a section entitled “Developing Godly Excellence,” which would ask questions for each woman to ponder in her own heart, working towards actions characteristic of a woman of noble character.
About halfway through this book, though, the lessons started becoming more tedious and repetitive. The proverb, though full of wisdom, because if its poetic nature often repeats ideas and concepts within the chapter, and micro-analyzing each of these verses often led to the question “Didn’t we already talk about this?” The entirety of the Bible study could have been contained in perhaps ten or a dozen lessons, rather than twenty-five. The questions worked well for individual reflection, but weren’t particularly well suited for a small-group study — they didn’t particularly ignite discussion on the topics, even among our chatty group.
The author also seemed to have a fixation about sewing. Although Proverbs 31 does refer to sewing, the author really seemed stuck on this example, to the point where I felt guilty about my own Brother machine collecting dust in a closet. In this, I think she missed the point that there are MANY ways to serve God, besides sewing, quilting, and crocheting. In the same way, she makes statements about getting up early, working late, growing food, and doing business as if they should fit universally into everyone’s lives, rather than as an example of how one godly woman used the gifts God gave her. I can assure you, if I wake up early and stay up late and don’t get enough sleep, I’m NOT going to have an easy time feeling “Godly” in the morning, regardless of what hours this hypothetical woman kept.
On a similar note, although this book could be inspirational to someone looking to kick-start their sanctified living, it was sorely lacking in the Gospel message — that even when we fall short of what we should be doing, and don’t live up to God’s expectations for His people, we are forgiven because Christ lived perfectly in our place. You don’t have to stay up knitting beanies for the homeless by candlelight in order to win God’s favor. After a few chapters, the book ended up feeling more like an endless “to-do” list rather than a way to bring me closer to God and live my life out of thankfulness to Him.
Overall: Decent theology, okay layout, but too much law and not nearly enough Gospel.