Strong-willed and independent, Rachel Held Evans couldn’t sew a button on a blouse before she embarked on a radical life experiment - a year of biblical womanhood. Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year.
Evans learns the hard way that her quest for biblical womanhood requires more than a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). It means growing out her hair, making her own clothes, covering her head, obeying her husband, rising before dawn, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church, and even camping out in the front yard during her period.
With just the right mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation. What does God truly expect of women, and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? Come along with Evans as she looks for answers in the rich heritage of biblical heroines, models of grace, and all-around women of valor.
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Humorous yet thought-provoking book
The author's humor, mixed with her own deep desire to understand what it means to be a biblical woman helped me think about this complex and often controversial issue.
The author made intentional decisions to explore various examples of women from the Bible, including sleeping in a tent in her yard during her period (seriously, read the book to see why) and visiting with Amish women.
One of my favorite scenes is when she describes cooking a dinner, doing it entirely from scratch, trying to follow a perceived biblical ideal. She tries to do it entirely without her husband's assistance, but then is frustrating that he's not helping. It's a comical and realistic portrayal of the conversations that happen in many homes, mine included, whether or not we're trying to follow an ideal of biblical womanhood.
At the end, the author discusses the various positions that are held within Christian circles regarding the role of women, and identifies her own conclusions based on her experiences and study that was part of the book project. Overall, I would highly recommend the book for those who want to think about this issue in a light-hearted but challenging way.
- Karen A. Wrobbel
I love this book! I love the humor Rachel uses to describe her year. I love her voice that comes across! This book is a MUST for everyone- especially those who grew up in a staunch religious environment!
I have listened to Rachel's "Evolving in Monkeytown" read by herself and it was terrific and humorous! It didn't take long listening to Shannon's performance for me to forget that it wasn't Rachel herself reading. Shannon did an OUTSTANDING job! LOVED it!