Last week I asked this on my FaceBook page and was pretty floored by the response:
“Besides the Bible, what ONE book do you think every Christian woman should read?”
You can read other’s responses here. Today I’d like to share my 10 “must read” books. These are books I consider essential reading for any Christian woman. They have all changed me in some profound way.
Although I would like to be able to list them in order of “profoundness,” I, of course, cannot. So here they are pretty much in random order. P.S. I welcome you to share what ONE book you recommend in the comments!
My husband and I met Bro. Yun in passing one day in a parking lot. Imagine that. At the time, we had no idea who he was. Jackson turned to me afterwards and said, “I felt the presence of God in that man like I’ve never felt before. Did you feel the same thing?!”
About a year later, we saw this man’s face on his book and knew.
I would describe Bro. Yun as one “poor in spirit.” We know what scripture says about those. And reading through this book? Can I just say that reading through it is amazing, convicting, profound, faith building, and life changing. You will not regret reading this book. That’s a guarantee.
Admission: I’m not much of a fiction fan. I can’t remember the last time I read a fictional book but Francine Rivers? And this particular title? Oh my goodness, it truly is a must read, fiction or not. Francine tells the story of Angel, a young girl sold into prostitution and hardened by years of abuse.
But then an upright and kind farmer marries her and redeems her from the life of a prostitute. He gives her a chance for a new life.
Nice ending, right? Not so fast. She stays for awhile, then leaves him to return to prostitution. Repeatedly. Until finally, she runs so far that Michael Hosea can’t possibly find her.
But God does.
My guarantee with this book? It will open your heart and show you God’s love for you… and unless you’re a brick wall will move you to tears in doing so.
Is there any one who hasn’t read this book? Just in case that person exists, I’ll give a quick summary: Childhood of grief. Doubted God. Wooed back. Marked by Grace. Challenged to give thanks. Invitation accepted. Life changed. Told in a riveting, poetical way.
I believe Ann delivers a God-given message in this book. I know I’m enriched for reading it.
Have you ever had mediocre expectations starting a new book only to be absolutely blown away by how God shows up and moves you through it? That’s what happened to me while reading this book. Particularly when I read Bridges description of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20) and the skill he used to describe the grace based system God operates on. It isn’t often that I cry reading a non-fiction book, LOL! But I did on this one. It’s that moving.
Two things stand out about this book. First, the simple truth that we women are susceptible to believe lies while thinking they are truth.
Not only are we susceptible to being deceived, it is probable if we aren’t carefully examining the messages we are hearing. Until reading this book, I had never really questioned any of my internal dialogue. Never questioned what I’d been taught in church. Never questioned what others said about me. Never questioned my internal chatter. I never realized that I was probably, in some way, listening to lies.
This book changed all that.
The second thing about this book is Nancy’s ability to pin point and state common lies we believe as women. She has done so much legwork in helping us identify common darts of the enemy (who is out to deceive us.) He’s been doing it a long time~ it started with Eve in the garden. This is a book you’ll appreciate more with time and will mark, underline, and dog-ear.
Speaking of lies, many of the lies I’m prone to believe are in some way related to/ produce shame. I am very susceptible to false shame and think many women are. When shame has it’s nasty tentacles deep in your spirit, you don’t need some humanistic “You’re good enough!” message piped into your ears day in and day out. I know our current Christian culture loves to give these empty accolades and tells us to just believe these pithy little statements about ourselves and we’ll be okay.
But as one who really struggles with the sinful temptation to listen to shame and let it silence me, I can say that many of the messages we hear are fluff. They are empty. They are devoid of any power to truly slay the spiritual force of darkness behind ungodly shame… and there is a godly shame, by the way, the sort that leads to repentance and cleansing.
This book by Ed Welch gave me solid biblical truth to deal with shame, both the godly kind and the ungodly kind. It gave me truth to know how to differentiate between the two. It is not a quick gloss-over message to just love yourself because you are great (Whee, smiles, hooplah!!!) Rather, it is solid truth rooted in the work and words of Jesus.
Now that’s a weapon we can do some business with.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, really. Sometimes we can get so bogged down by life and by our own issues (like shame, lol) that we forget to enjoy simple things … like kid’s books and Dr. Seuss and snuggles on the couch with our favorite people.
And sometimes a kid’s book can be therapeutic. This particular one is a favorite because of it’s message. It reminds me that there WILL be hard things in life. There WILL be times of great loneliness and times of facing my deepest fears. There will be hangups and mess ups and dark alleys and long stretches. There WILL be times of waiting…and waiting.
But Truth still stands and truth is, Jesus has Overcome. As Dr. Seuss says, “Kid, you’ll move mountains.” And not because Dr. Seuss says so, either. Because Jesus says so and He’s bigger. And just in case that isn’t enough for you, check out this scripture from Isaiah 41:15.
So this little book reminds me of great spiritual truth and does it in a delightful, colorful way. Yes, I recommend reading it and letting it remind you of Truth… especially with a little one in your lap.
So Chuck Black writes for young adults but a little secret? His writing is riveting for all ages. My younger kids enjoy his books and my husband and I do too.
We first listened to this book on dramatized audio while taking a road trip. No one wanted to stop for bathroom or lunch breaks!! Now that’s an idea for saving money while trekking across the US!
Chuck has a way of using story to communicate deep spiritual truths. What I found so profound about this particular book is the topic of self-doubt. We all struggle with it to varying degrees and Chuck does an incredible job of showing how we are trained to battle it through the Word of God. I highly recommend this book… and if you can’t tolerate the idea of reading through a YA fiction book, get the audio version. Drama at it’s best!
I was undoubtedly late to the party on this one. I wasn’t interested in reading this book until God began to transform my rigid, moral, legalistic version of Christianity with taste after taste of His grace. And no, I had no idea I was rigid and legalistic! Then this book ran free on Kindle. Yep, you guessed it. I grabbed it, started to read it and ended up devouring it.
This book gives glimpse after beautiful glimpse of God’s Amazing Grace. If your soul needs healing from religion, this book is balm for your soul.
Maybe this one sort of doesn’t count? I don’t know, I’ll let you decide. This book has a morning and evening scripture compilation reading. Each one is only a couple paragraphs long and the content is pulled from all over the Bible. This one little book has perhaps ministered to me most out of all books other than the Bible itself. I guess that is to be expected since it is the Word of God, just in a different format.
Okay, that’s it for now (although there are many more I love!) Tell us what ONE book you would recommend every Christian woman read?