Monday, December 03, 2007
That's right, folks! It's book review time!
I recently finished Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, which came highly recommended from both Ashley Kinnard and Kelli Williams. I really enjoyed it! I actually blew right through it. After reading Heaven it seemed like such a short read. As a matter of fact, I've already finished another book by Noel Piper, Treasuring God in Your Traditions, which will be the next book review (hopefully in the next 12 days or else it could be Jan!).
Back to the task at hand. Feminine Appeal focuses on Titus 2, which says:
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."
Here's a quote from Elisabeth Elliot regarding mentoring:
"It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke of teaching younger women. He meant the simple things, the everyday example, the willingness to take time from one's own concerns to pray with the anxious mother, to walk with her the way of the cross - with it's tremendous demands of patience, selflessness and lovingkindness - and to show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart.
These lessons will come perhaps most convincingly through rocking a baby, doing some mending, cooking a supper or cleaning a refrigerator. Through such an example, one young woman - single or married, Christian or not - may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood."
I've had the privilege of mentoring several college and married girls and I feel like I have grown and been blessed all the more for it! I treasure those girls and have had the honor of seeing them grow into biblical womanhood and what it means to be a wife and mother, possibly way before they will ever be a wife or mom. They LOVE playing with Taylor Joy, bathing her, and putting her to bed and it blesses me to watch how much she loves them. They step in for me at HOPE group and take care of her so I don't have to. They are getting it. They are going to be much more prepared for motherhood than I ever was because they are learning about sacrifice and selflessness NOW.
They are also learning about training children. Allen and I are far from pros, but we admit that and attempt to teach, train and correct in a way that is biblical. These girls witness it firsthand and are able to see the full picture of motherhood if we allow them into our lives.
Here's a quote from Charles Bridges:
"Far better that children should cry under healthful correction, than that parents should afterward cry under the bitter fruit to themselves and children, of neglected discipline."
"He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." Prov. 13:24
"Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe." Prov. 29:25
(fearing our children, by giving into them)
Our thoughts should be always for our children. In other words, in every schedule, plan, activity, we should ask, "how will this affect their souls?" and let that guide us. After all, salvation is the end goal we have for our children.
"I seldom feel like and adventurer - standing in this kitchen, pouring cereal into bowls, refilling them, handing out paper towels when the inevitable cry comes: "Uh oh. I spilled." But sometimes at night the thought will strike me: There are three small people here, breathing sweetly in their beds, whose lives are for the moment in our hands. I might as well be at the controls of a moon shoot, the mission is so grave and vast."
Sometimes I feel the same way. I wonder how doing dishes (the same dishes) everyday could possibly be God's plan for me. But then I look down and see that little face watching me, asking to "hep" and I hand her a spoon to put away, thank her and see her beautiful smiling face looking back at me. I feel so blessed to train her, to spend everyday with her.
The book goes into much more detail on Titus 2, like planning, husbands, self-control, submission, purity, kindness, etc., but I haven't the time or energy to go into it. Just buy the book and read it! It's wonderful. I can fully recommend this book from beginning to end. Oh, and there's a study guide in the back if you wanted to make a small group study of it, which I may do in the future if anyone is interested.
Happy reading everyone! Let me know if you read it, have read it, what you think of it!