Here is another book review that is (sadly) long overdue.
I really wanted to devour this book and soak up spiritual wisdom I hoped would be offered there, learning from the women who have come before us in faith. And I did enjoy it, to an extent. However, I was a little turned off by the rather strong overtones of feminine empowerment. I do not mind that theme, but I would rather learn of God’s love and how He worked through women who fearlessly trusted Him. The book didn’t fit with what I was expecting it to be.
The book opens with a touching description of the author’s love for his daughters and how he wants them to live the lives God wants for them, for them to be strong women who follow God fearlessly. Each chapter deals with a different woman of Scripture, detailing her difficulty which she overcame with God’s help, and how women of today often face the same troubles. This is all great and I was moved at several of the things which Grady said. However, I was uncomfortable with the almost unfailing mentioning of how men tried to keep women down and how society during that time — and this time — tells women that they can’t do everything that men can. It felt like he was using a spiritual medium to make a political point.
Most likely, this is due to some of my own biases (and I’m sorry that I can’t be a more impartial reader; I did my best to detach that part of me when reading once I recognized this, but still found it difficult). I find that I prefer a focus of God’s redeeming work in our sin-filled lives than looking at how God breaks victims from their prisons. Not that there are no victims; of course there are, to others’ depravity and their own addiction and even to the devil’s control. However, we cannot ignore our own sinfulness and the part it plays as well.
That said, I do not mean to imply that victims of crimes or abusive relationships or anything of the sort are to blame in any way. I personally struggle a great deal with the guilt of my sins, failings, and shortcomings, and I know that skews the way in which I read and see things. I cling tightly to the grace extended to us in the person and work of Christ and I find that it bothers me when Bible Studies focus on anything else.
I would like to close with two more points about the book: one more thing I wish Grady had done differently, followed by something I really liked about the book. Each chapter closes with “A Message from Your Heavenly Father.” I really like this idea, but he just wrote it himself. I would have found it to be much more meaningful had he used Scripture rather than his own words, as the Bible is God’s Message, His Word to us. On a more positive note, Grady uses modern examples of women who act fearlessly for God, which really ties the theme together nicely. He shows how being fearless in following our Lord really makes an amazing difference in the world in which we live.