Reading a book by someone you know is very different than reading a book by an author whom you have no personal connection with. You read the book with an insight into the author, eyes from seeing the author in action, and know a little bit of her heart and stories that she displays in her book.
Thanks to Crossway for sending me Courtney Reissig’s new book, The Accidental Feminist, and I have loved it and been so praying that the Lord would search my heart while reading this book. I’ve known Courtney since moving to Louisville in 2007 when we both worked at SBTS, then our husbands were on staff at local churches in Little Rock for about 2 years. I’ve seen her handle marriage and motherhood with more grace than most people I know. Grace is not saying she does it perfectly, but she understands her need for the Gospel and dishes out the Gospel with such poise. That is also what comes through in this book.
I’ve taken to doing something my husband does when he reads books: he starts with the last chapter. So, for this book, I read the first, then the last chapter, then went back to chapter 2. I think doing that in some books gives the reader such a proper perspective. She starts with what she aims to do – then in the last chapter declares our need for the Gospel to do any of what she just wrote – and the in the middle pointed us to what godly womanhood in today’s world looks like (in light of our culture and our need for a Savior).
What I think Courtney does better than most authors who are seeking to write a womanhood book – is she taps into whatever stage of life you are in. I think its because she realizes two things: she has struggled with biblical womanhood and God’s ideal plan for it in singleness, marriage, and motherhood (and infertility and miscarriages), and also she knows that she is writing to a wide audience and many women in different stages need the truth of God’s word for their lives right now.
In every chapter she gives practical and theological and cultural implications for what biblical womanhood looks like. She focuses in on relationships, church life, home life, work life, our relationship with our physical bodies,
I loved how she did end it. Talking about restoration. As Eve, the first woman, was called by her husband the mother of all living (before her kids were born), there is something restorative and life giving about being a woman. This world needs so much restoration. And ultimately we are not the ones that give restoration – but we, uniquely designed by God as women who bear his image, can bring life and restoration and healing to this world.
Court – thank you for your personal insights and your living out such a beautiful picture of grace to your boys, husband, church family, and readers.