Book Club: Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home
I (Kari) have been reading Courtney Joseph’s blog, Women Living Well, for several years. I appreciate so much how she shares her heart and I especially love how she shares about the struggles that a Christian woman face. When I heard that her first book was coming out soon, I was so excited and was blessed to be selected as a member of the launch team for the book! Her new book, Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home, is available now and is a wonderful read for women who are seeking to draw closer to God and navigate the difficult road of being a Christian woman.
The book is mostly divided into four main sections about your walk with God, your marriage, parenting and homemaking. She also includes lots of tips and challenges to help improve those areas. I had some struggles with some items in certain sections; I learned some new ideas and had old concepts impressed again.
Walking with God- I appreciate Courtney’s acknowledgement that social media or the Internet themselves are not evil, rather it’s the content that we see and how it effects us. I love social media because we have received so many prayers and have had the chance to pray for others. I learn things on the Internet all the time about keeping my house, cooking, and all sorts of things. The Internet has even been a big tool in helping us understand God better as we’ve been able to compare different translations via Bible Gateway and learn from great preachers like Charles Stanley and Billy Graham. She does give good tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of the Internet and social media.
I also enjoyed her tips on the necessity of solitude with God. This is something that I’m learning to make time for and appreciate the encouragement and suggestions she offers.
Marriage- While the book may at first make you cringe, occasionally (what do you mean I’m always supposed to fill my husband’s drink?)- don’t let that stop you from reading it. Courtney does affirm that not every marriage looks the same, although perhaps not strong enough to override that somewhat jarring declaration. It took reading that section a few times on a few different days for that to permeate. But, I can agree that I know what RJ likes and I’m always trying to learn more. I want to take care of him not because I’m less of a person than he his, but because I love him. He takes care of me and I want to take care of him because outside of my salvation, RJ is my most precious gift from God.
I was also bothered by the fact that she voices the opinion in the book that I’m supposed to let RJ make bad decisions, even if it could hurt us and even if I know it’s a bad decision. While I understand that sometimes people have to make their own mistakes so that they can suffer and learn from them, I don’t agree that I have to suffer, too. If RJ were to ever want to do something that could hurt us and would be a sin (this is a big hypothetical), I would not stand by and allow it. She mentions bathing the situation in prayer and while I would pray, I would not allow an egregious sin that would be detrimental to our family occur to the fullest extent of my ability to stop it.
At the end of the section on marriage she posts a challenge about how to get closer to your husband. I scoffed at first, but then I begin to wonder why I acted that way. I think our culture doesn’t prize women who love their husbands in a selfless way. I had no interest in doing the challenge at first, but now I’m excited to start it because I remembered a verse that’s very dear to me:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galations 1:10
I love that! I’m not supposed to be worried if the world thinks that I’m dumb or not a good feminist because I want to love and care for my husband better. God gave me RJ and he made us a family. There’s nothing wrong with seeking to be more kind and helpful and we wives should feel no shame in trying to love our husbands more and more.
Parenting- This section was the hardest for me, especially because I read it while I was going through the miscarriage of our dear Taylor. I can appreciate that it has lots of good tips on how to raise children in a Christ following home, but it was extremely sad to read right now. I hope to revisit this chapter someday when it will be more personally applicable.
Homemaking- I appreciated most the affirmations of rest, especially on the Sabbath. I used to be so run ragged trying to deal with everyone’s expectations of what a Sunday should look like. Yes, we are to serve God and we are supposed to worship him. But, I think some churches go overboard today with so many activities and then demand so many volunteers. Before you know it, your day of rest isn’t the most restful day of the week- it’s the most stressful. I have been trying to purpose to have what we call quiet Sundays, so that we can actually recharge, absorb the teaching and worship freely. After reading this book I’m definitely going to be pursuing peaceful and restful Sabbaths for our family. She also makes some great suggestions as to how to set the atmosphere in your house and make it more inviting.
Reading this book was a positive experience. I would definitely encourage women who want to get closer to God, closer to their husbands and create a more peaceful home atmosphere to read this book. Any mother who is seeking to raise godly children could benefit from the parenting section.
At the end of the day being a Christian is hard. I think being a strong Christian woman is really, really hard. I want people to see me as strong and wise and I don’t want them to see my as a doormat. While I may not agree with every particular detail of this book, I do I appreciate Courtney for stepping out and sharing about her experiences and look forward to trying several of the tips and challenges that she recommends in the book. I think that all Christian women need to be strong together in living lives that are supported by Scripture and supported by each other. I’ve taken some of the worst teasing and insults about staying at home, packing RJ’s lunch and matching our outfits from Christian women. Ladies, we need to remember that we are sisters in Christ, and as long as a woman isn’t being mistreated by her husband who cares if they want to match clothes or don’t like girls nights out. What I enjoy most about this book is reading about Courtney’s desire to help women to live their best life for God and for their families. While I may not agree with every little detail, I relish this help from a fellow sister, in hope to walk better in step with the Lord each day.
Kari’s Rating- 8
(I was provided with an advance pdf. copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and promotion of this book.)