January 22, 2013

Eshet Chayil! ("A Year of Biblical Womanhood" Review)

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans may seem like a strange experiment making a mockery of the so called "biblical woman," but I assure you, it is nothing of the sort.

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As she dedicates each month to a different discipline (gentleness, domesticity, obedience, valor, beauty, modesty, purity, fertility, submission, justice, silence, and grace), she takes you on her thought provoking, challenging, and even humorous spiritual journey of literal interpretations on what it means to be a "biblical woman."  Her time spent hosting dinner parties, sleeping in a tent, wearing head coverings, calling her husband "master," and spending time with monks and Quakers is enough to keep you turning pages.

And though what she decided to take part in for a year was interesting, it was what she learned about herself, about being a woman, and, most importantly, about God that was truly inspiring.

As I was reading about a woman facing her Susie Homemaker fears and shattering her once held judgments of women living out God callings different than her own, I began to feel a Holy prompting to face some fears and judgements of my own.  And although our fears and judgments may be very different, I was resonating with her earnestness to let God take her out of the shoes she had been wearing, and by doing so, taking her down her road less traveled.  For her, that road was pots and pans, babies, and needle and thread. For me, that road is my new job, a masters degree, and independence.

Through other women, God can show us more of His grace, His goodness, His Truth, and how the notion that we can keep Him all for ourselves, wrapped in our pretty little boxes, is ridiculous. I think if we're honest with ourselves, we all have roads God yearns to lead us down, and maybe not even for our own benefit. Maybe trusting God to take us down our "road less traveled" is for the sake of other women. For the sake of understanding those who are different and realizing in the end, we are all the same to Him.  When it comes right down to it, He calls us all to be, as Evans would say, "Eshet Chayil," A Woman of Valor.
"The Proverbs 31 woman is a star not because of what she does but how she does it--with valor. So do your thing. If it's refurbishing old furniture--do it with valor. If it's keeping up with your two-year-old--do it with valor. If it's fighting against human trafficking...leading a company...or getting other people to do your work for you--do it with valor."
And may I suggest getting your hands on a copy of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and reading it?...
...With valor, of course! ;-)

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