It’s virtually impossible to turn on the television or open a magazine without seeing some discussion on women. Whether it’s the rights of women, the abuses and problems women face, the roles women should or shouldn’t take or some other topic, women are the focus of much attention today.
There is a false narrative out there that because God created some differences in men and women, He is somehow anti-woman. Yet, God reassures us constantly we are all equally loved by Him. A quick examination of scripture will also reveal God placed women in many critical and important roles throughout history. Even some women, in what might be called stereotypical roles, had a major impact on their world and ours.
So, I was interested when offered the opportunity to review the book Courageous Women of the Bible by Latan Roland Murphy. Murphy examines the lives of eleven different women in the Bible from Deborah to the woman who was hospitable to Elisha. Although each story is different, each woman showed a different kind of courage – the same types of courage women still need today.
One might expect this would be some sort of Christian feminist manifesto. I really didn’t notice though, discussions that would upset women who have either a liberal or conservative view of the role of women. Instead, it focuses on how to have the courage these women had in the face of often incredible challenges. The author breaks down their behaviors and anything they may have said to draw what I would say are rather logical and fair conclusions.
Murphy also shares personal stories and insight to help readers capture the same courage in similar situations in their own lives. In fact, each chapter ends with several thought questions designed to help readers process what they have just read and attempt to apply it to their lives.
The women studied are well known to readers who know their Bible stories well. A new Christian or someone who isn’t familiar with more obscure stories like Jael, will be introduced to some women in the Bible from whom they can learn an important lesson – courage ultimately comes from faith in God.
While I have studied all of these women in numerous studies over the years, I believe this may be the first time I have seen them all viewed through the lens of the courage it took them to do the things they did. It wasn’t a surprising perspective, but it did allow opportunities for considering familiar Bible stories in a slightly different light.
This would make a great study for a group of women. You could easily add other scriptures if you wanted, but each chapter does cover quite a bit of material from the Bible. God and courage are definitely important topics for discussion in this increasingly scary world.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.