Thursday, March 27, 2008

Book Review: Girl Talk

It is rare that I read an entire non-fiction book, unfortunately. I wish I read more. But in the past few weeks, I read the book Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughter Nicole Mahaney Witacre. The book is about the mother-daughter relationship, and is written to mothers and daughters specifically in the pre-teen/teen years. Hope and I are not quite there yet, but I still really enjoyed the book, and was challenged by it. There are many heartwarming and inspiring stories about Carolyn and her three daughters. The stories are true, and shows how a mother-daughter relationship based on God and His plan for that relationship can thrive and produce a youngwoman of godly character.

The book begins by explaining the "language of Biblical womanhood." Granted, because of our culture and time, the language of Biblical womanhood sounds outdated and much different than what our culture says a young woman should be. But I found the descriptions of Biblical womanhood, a Godly woman, to be beautiful. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the book:

"We find this language scattered throughout the entire Bible. Tucked in Titus 2:3-5 is a summary of some of the qualities of a godly woman, such as purity, self-control, kindness, love for husband and children, skill in homemaking, and a heart of submission. But we find more traits in passages such as Proverbs 31:10-31, I Timothy 5:9-10, and I Peter 3:1-6 - steadfast faith, good works, strength, and wisdom, united with a gentle and quiet spirit.

Together theses characteristics comprise the language of biblical womanhood. They provide for us a composite sketch - to imitate and copy like an aspiring artist would copy a great masterpiece. Throughout this book we'll attempt to trace these lines, to discover what biblical womanhood looks like for a mother and daughter in the twenty-first century."

And then at the end of the book:

"This is why it is vital to forge strong mother-daughter relationships. Together we must prove that purity is possible and that homemaking is honorable. We must parade a beauty that does not rely on outward adornment. We must put good works on full display.

In so doing, we will silence the opponents of the gospel. Mothers and daughters, whose conduct is consistent with the message they profess, put the critics to shame. Scripture says they will have 'nothing evil to say about us' (Titus 2:8). We give them no opportunity to dismiss or ignore the gospel. By speaking the language of biblical womanhood, we disarm the enemies of God's Word.

And what's more, the language of biblical womanhood presents the gospel as attractive. It says to our hostile culture, 'Come and see the beauty of the gospel.' When the world catches a glimpse of a mother and daughter enjoying their friendship or gazes at a girl who dresses modestly and does not strive for attention, when they observe a young woman ambitious to serve in the home and do good works in the church, when they detect the heart of a true friend or the lovliness of purity, these qualities will provoke their curiosity."

The book is full of insights and encouragement for the mother-daughter relationship. So, if you have a daughter I would highly recommend this book. But even if you don't, it is still very worth the read, just to think on the qualities of biblical womanhood and their importance.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review Stephanie! Sounds like I should read the book and encourage some of the mothers in our church to take it up. I wonder what it will look like to see a 27 year old guy in Starbucks reading 'Girl Talk' while sipping a non-fat soy latte.


Melissa said...

Nate's comment cracked me up!

Personally, I love non-fiction. Right now I'm reading a book called "Three cups of tea",and I'm finding that it's quite inspirational. Another book I recommend, "The Know it All", is incredibly hilarious, and good for providing you with random facts to store in your brain.As you can see, I like quite the variety. I think I might pick up this "Girl talk" book. I don't have daughters, but insight into life (others or mine) in general is good.
I'm looking forward to seeing you next week!

Stephanie said...

Nate- you cracked me up too - we are so looking forward to seeing you soon!

Melissa, thanks for the book recommendations. I'll check them out. I'm looking forward to seeing you as well!

thetafaofamily said...

I just went to the Women of Faith Conference in San Antonio and had the privelege of seeing/meeting Anita Renfroe. She has some pretty funny and enlightening books on the mother/daughter topic as well.