I haven’t handed in a book report lately, so here’s one for you:
For the past several weeks, I’ve been reading Carolyn Mahaney’s Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother.Â Basically, Mahaney applies Titus 2’s first few verses to our maturity as women – as individuals, wives, and mothers. It’s one of those books that I plan to read every year-or-so to keep my heart soft and my perspective clean.
This book has easily become one of my “Road Maps“.
(And at a good time, too. Remember my “I’m 30 Years Old!” plan to focus on being a good wife? Well, apparently God took that plan seriously and He’s been goin’ to town in correcting, encouraging, and strengthening me in this precious area of my life.)
Here are the Top 5 Things that I’m still mulling over:
1.The Good News that I know about Jesus Christ is most powerfully communicated through my behaviors.
“Can you conceive of anything that sets forth the beauty of the gospel jewel more brilliantly than the godly behavior of those who have received it?”
2. Self-control is a grace; a gift.
“Self-control is what we need to guard our hearts against sin. And a well-kept heart will beget joyful feelings – the kind of feelings that God intends for us to have.”
3. The home that I make can inspire others to think about God.
“Lord, help me to build the kind of home where all who enter find it ‘impossible to keep from thinking of God’.”
4. When you think of me, I want you to instantly think of the good that I do.
“Scripture has defined what our reputation is to be. It says that we are to be known for our good works…and this, not to garner attention for ourselves, but to show forth the compelling power of the gospel.” (Check out 1 Timothy 2: 9 – 10, 1 Timothy 5:9)
“In order to achieve a reputation for good works, we must plan good works.”
5. The greatest thing I can do with my life is to deliberately love God and other people with my whole heart.
The last chapter is a brief biographical sketch of Carolyn’s mother, Margaret, who poured her heart into honoring her husband, enjoying her children, and serving her church and neighborhood. Despite the failings, needs, and ingratitude she inevitably met in the people God asked her to live for, Margaret persevered.
Margaret’s story of perpetual joy, service, and love was my favorite part of the book. I found myself praying, “I want to be like that!”
(By the way, Carolyn and her daughters write a fantastic blog called Girl Talk. And, guess what? Carolyn has been posting thoughts on how to “do your husband good and not harm all the days of his life” (Proverbs 31:12). Start reading the first post and catch up on the series.)
“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant… even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26, 28)