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Summer reading list for women

June 12, 2012

[Note: Gender Blog presents its annual summer reading list for men and women this week, beginning today with the reading list for women. The reading list for men will appear on Thursday.]

By Courtney Reissig

Summer affords many of us the opportunity to spend more time doing things we enjoy, like reading. Longer days, vacations, relaxing by the pool, and a slower pace of life all present the perfect environment for settling down with a good book. As many have said already, summer also is a perfect time to spend concentrated time growing in godliness. God has a lot to say about what it means to be a woman, and thankfully he has equipped a number of godly women (and men) to further expound on these precious truths. If you are looking for a few recommended resources on issues related to biblical womanhood, here are a few to get you started.

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. What kept running through my mind as I read this is how the struggles women face do not really ever change. The culture changes and the manifestations of it look different, but when it comes down to it we really have been dealing with the same sin issues, the same struggles, and the same emotions since the beginning. I found this refreshing and encouraging. Prentiss follows the life of a young woman through courtship, marriage, and family life. In her story we see growth, passion for Christ, and her learning to wrestle with what it means to follow the Savior in every season God gives us.

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller. A lot has already been said about this book since it came out late last year, but if you read one book on marriage in the coming months this should be the one. What makes this book unique is how accessible it is for even single people looking for a biblical definition of marriage. Often many marriage books deal more in the practical, day to day aspect of marriage. While this book does cover those areas, the Kellers spend a great deal of time unpacking marriage by countering the cultural norms with Scripture.

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. No summer reading list for women would be complete without the timeless Elisabeth Elliot, in my opinion. This book is a collection of some of her most popular articles from her newsletters. It includes a chapter on submission that I have found to be really helpful.

Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lyn Severance. For the church history fans out there, this book provides a conservative, balanced approach to women in the history of the church. JBMW reviewed the book earlier this year and the review can be read here.

The Feminist Mistake by Mary Kassian. This is an older one, but if you are interested in how feminism has left its mark on the culture and church in the last century this is a good place to start. Kassian is a true scholar and has provided a valuable tool for women (and men) helping us understand how we got to this place and where to go from here.

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic. If this book applies to you, you might not even have time to read it. As I heard from one young mother, it is a book she needs to read over and over again because of the rich, biblical encouragement found on its pages. Written by a mom in the midst of those little years, Jankovic understands the discouragement mothers face on a regular basis. And she provides hope for the path forward.

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