What 5 Devoted Women Teach Us About Faith
Some lessons are best learned through story.
In our spiritual growth, we often tend to seek out direct instruction, a list of dos or don'ts, or counsel that tells us what to do - it's easier to be told than to search for answers, easier to follow a command than understand an illustration. But consider Jesus' teaching with parables, the narratives that line Scripture, stories touch us in the deepest ways, not only in teaching us, but in how they affect us.
In 5 Puritan Women: Portraits of Faith and Love, Jenny-Lyn shares with us the stories of five women, devoted to the Lord, with a spiritual maturity that imprints the relationships in their homes - both their physical and spiritual homes - developed through their commitment to abiding in the Lord. For each woman, she highlights a spiritual practice that influenced their life and influence.
“As mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and wives, these women discipled their loved ones by using spiritual practices that enabled them to devote themselves to God and bring his word to bear”
On Agnes Beaumont - A Daughter as Evangelist, Using Memorization:
“Though it seemed the world, and even her own father, were doing everything they could to set her desire to love God at odds with her desire to love people, she strove to be simultaneously bold in the faith and at peace with those who did not share it.”
On Lucy Hutchinson - A Mother as Theologian, Using Fellowship
"Borrow a page from Hutchinson’s story and not give up when its proving difficult to learn and teach or become hateful when it feels like the world is against you, but take the initiative to fulfill God’s call of spiritual parenting on your life and maintain love for all believers, no matter their tradition, and even all of humankind, with whom you share the many blessings of life on this earth."
On Mary Rich - A Countess as Philanthropist, Using Meditation
"What Rich teaches us is that when we sincerely and intentionally apply our whole selves in times of devotion, we will be led to a true spirituality, one that makes room for a daily repenting of our own sin, finds a reason for gratitude around every bush and creek, enjoys intimacy with God, and loves others instead of despising, coddling, or looking down on them."
On Anne Bradstreet - A Grandmother as Homemaker, Using Prayer
"When Bradstreet was penning such praises and laments to God about her life, she was not only writing them to express her own emotions—they were also meant for her family."
On Lady Brilliant Harley - A Matriarch as Physician, Using Spiritual Conversation
"While we might feel tempted to devalue the thousands of acts of care we do for our many loved ones because, in and of themselves, they seem small, we must remember that the love that is given through them will live on in the ones who receive it."
I hope you will enjoy meeting this women as much as I did! Jenny-Lyn's writing is engaging, drawing you easily into these women's lives and experiences. I highly recommend this title!
# of pages: 160
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
*A big thanks to Netgalley and Crossway for the ARC and for the opportunity to post an honest review.