This past week I've spent much of my time reading Mary Kassian's new book Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. As most of my close friends know, I'm not a huge reader of "women only" books because I find them to be only geared to certain women or I find them to be fluffy. I am not a fluffy girls' book reader.
This was not a fluffy book and it was geared toward all women - no matter the stage of life she is in! And, it was AMAZING (only better if it were shorter). I was convicted by this book many times. And it seemed as if I thought of one thing - she brought it up in the next paragraph. Very odd - but very cool as well.
Here are some personal thoughts on the Spirit's work in my life through this book. I will definitely be re-reading it - and will hopefully have a chance to lead some girls through it in the future.
1. I am not amenable, at least not in my heart. I like to control a situation, I like to know what is going on, and though I may be "glad" to go along with other plans on the outside, it is a heart struggle. God is working on this in my life. "An amenable woman gladly foregoes personal desires and preferences to honor that authority. (Contrast #4). I think I do that, planning around other's likes and dislikes and preferences, but I still want to be in control. I don't want to be like this: "A brazen, defiant attitude stands in stark contrast to the soft receptiveness that the Lord intended for women." (#4). Like I said, this may be done on the outside, but its the heart that matters.
2. I clearly see the effect of sin in this book on women's lives; it is a sad affair. "So many of us are living with the brokenness, dysfunction, pain, and confusion, that comes from having gone wild." The cure: the Gospel. (intro)
3. "The more a woman's heart is seized with affection for Jesus, the more her life will be transformed to walk in his ways." (#1) It has to start with the heart. I can definitely tell a difference in my life if I have spent way too much time watching TV/movies/internet and not any time reading the Word. My thoughts and contentrations and shortness of temper are definitely off the mark. I saw this marked in a girl's life just last night. You could tell in how she talked about her Jesus that she loved Him and the feelings were mutual! :)
4. "The second adjective describing the Proverbs 7 woman is translated wayward. The Hebrew word means to be stubborn and rebellious. It reflects a defiant, self-willed, obstinate, nobody tells me what to do frame of mind. (#4, Ez 20.38, Ps 78.8). God has already been working this in me. But, I also pick it up in girls more easily now than before. I work in the lounge of the women's dorm on campus here at SBTS. It has given me opportunity to get to know some of them. I can tell though in some of them that they are defiant and loud and not calm and gentle. This makes me sad. Honestly.
5. "Homeward faced, wisdom graced; out to the max, wisdom lacks." (#5) I loved this. I can clearly see that my focus needs to be on home. The past few weeks haven't been that for me in the midst of packing, hanging out with friends, etc - and I have missed that. I love my home (ok, my 800 square foot apt), but I love having folks over, tending to home, being satisfied with being in my quiet apt. This is where God has called women - whether a family, single, kids, etc. We see this in the commands for what older women are to teach younger women (Titus 2).
6. "She's happy when she has a new prospect on the horizon and the hunt is going well" (#6). Mary talks here of a woman's focus. I will admit that when there is a prospect of a cute godly guy in my path, I'm going to get dressed differently in the morning, wear makeup if I'm going out where I might see him, etc. There is an added spring to my step. But, why? Why don't I do this everyday because I'm loved by my Saviour?
7. Body Language - #8. I have seen this all too often in the girls' dorm too - mainly this has been my interaction with college girls the past 3 years. They are playful in tossing the hair, sitting on guys' laps, sitting on the arm of the chair he is sitting in, giggling profusely, sometimes dressing inappropriately. I want to film them, then have a movie night and play it along side the reading of this book. I have also been convicted of watching these same tendencies in my own life and interaction with every male that I come in contact with, work with, see in stores, etc.
8. Roles #9 - if you want a good quick chapter overview of the basics of CBMW Gender Roles - read this chapter. Nuf said!
9. Another one of the big hits for me: "Restraining words means that you don't have to have an opinion on everything. You don't have to comment on everything that happens. You don't have to answer every question. You don't have to constantly make your thoughts known. You don't have to be proved right. You don't have to show off your superior knowledge. You don't have to constantly offer advice." (#17). As most of you know I am quite opinionated. I feel this has also gotten less in the last few years. It is partly due to male leadership in my life the last few years and also the working of the Spirit. I noticed a few times this week even that I practiced this - and you know, it was ok that I didn't express my opinion but instead kept my mouth shut.
I started to get discouraged in my actions and heartitude by page 105. Then I read the next paragraph:
"Given my own strength and willpower, my ability to life a self-disciplined life is extremely limited. That's why I need to depend on my Helper. Success is a matter of depending on the Holy Spirit and not on my own capacity." (#5). Remember, living a life pleasing to God isn't done on your own merits - but on the merit of Christ. That's why we celebrate EASTER!