One of the pleasures of working at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has been to meet and interact with professors and authors. Mary Kassian is one of those. She has been a joy to get to know. She has provided such wisdom in my life both in conversation and through her writings.
Girls Gone Wise (in a World Gone Wild) is definitely no exception. I marked my copy profusely with notes to myself and underlined key quote that I've been sharing with women.
Kassian has no trouble hitting her target audience: women - of all ages. She wrote this book so that any woman: single, married, in college, 3 kids, high schooler, grandmother, would be able to pick it up and apply it to her life. One of the reasons this is accomplished is because Scripture applies to all of us: no matter what stage of life we are in.
Mrs. Kassian takes the sage advice from the writer of Proverbs and compares the two women he identifies in the book: the "Girls Gone Wild" and the "Girls Gone Wise". She creatively illustrates the devastating contrasts between the women in Proverbs, mostly in chapters 7 and 31. When looking at the two women side-by-side one notices the stark difference between the two. One following the ways of the world, foolish, and heading to a life of destruction. The other following the Spirit's leading, wise, and walking daily in the fear of God; her life gripped with the power of the Gospel.
The author brilliantly weaves cultural anecdotes, Scriptural characters and life lessons to make this a book you do not want to put down. Kassian knows the culture to which she is writing. Her years of ministry, teaching, and being a mom/wife have prepared her more than adequately to write this book.
Mary speaks to gender roles in one of the chapters (taken from Prov 7.13, 22 and 1 Peter 3.4-6). This is a great chapter for a well-done and qucik overview of issues concerning submission, male and female roles in relationships, created equal, and other key points. She speaks of the unique relationship that God started in the garden by the order of creation and the commands that God gave to each person. This is very helpful, especially if this is your first time encountering biblical foundations for gender roles.
The three parts you can find in each of the 20 Points of Contrast Mary highlights are: the dangers of following the ways of the world, dangers of ignoring the counsel of God, His Word, and the Spirit, and the promise of a life well-lived for the glory of God. In this compare/contrast style of writing, it is more clearly seen than if she had chosen to write it a different way. Each chapter you see the dangers and the folly and you are convicted by the Spirit to take account of your own life by the scales of comparison.
The only thing I would say that I would have liked better is if it were shorter. Especially if leading this with a group of women, 20 chapters is a long book. You would definitely need to split it between semesters (Fall/Spring) or do 2 chapters a week in the summer. This book would be amazing to go through in an accountability group of trusted women.
Mary: thank you for writing this wise counsel. I look forward to not only re-reading it, studying it more in depth as I've seen God point out areas in my own life that need working on by the Spirit; but also sharing it/leading it in small groups in the future.