This morning as I’m sipping some hot coffee, having made my husband’s lunch and prayed with him upon his departure to another busy day at the office, I’m reading in my favorite comfy chair. I’ve been enjoying reading more and more. While I enjoy reading, I have to work it into my schedule, which has to be a conscious choice made by me. You see, I’ve been convicted lately of spending too much time on social media. For me, it has become a means of escape. You know, mindless distraction from a busy, stressful day at home raising a little person. My point is not to rant on social media, rather convey how I’ve been striving to make better use of my time.
I started reading another of one of my favorite author’s books, Beautiful In God’s Eyes, by Elizabeth George. By no means is this a new publication. To me, new or old, it is timely wisdom for the season I’m in. Quite honestly, this book would apply to just about any season I’ve found myself in! It is about the treasures of the Proverbs 31 woman. Such wisdom is found within the pages of this book. I find myself wanting to read more and more of it even though the attributes of this Proverbs 31 woman seem difficult to ever attain. This woman is someone I’d aspire to be, a true heroine.
By no means is it an easy read, but a convicting one. However, I believe as women we all fall short of these attributes described here. You might be thinking, why read about someone you’ll never feel the satisfaction of becoming, only to be disappointed time and time again? My answer to that question quite simply is this, I realize that there is no way this side of heaven I could ever come close to having this woman’s attributes and character; however, with God’s help and transformation in my life, it is possible. My part is to partner with Him, allowing His Holy Spirit to transform, shape, renew and fix my mind on the things of Him. A tall task for sure, but thankfully, our God is in the miracle business!
Whether you read this book, or another, I’m encouraging you (and me, for that matter!) to choose to put uplifting and encouraging truth in your mind, to invest in bettering yourself as a wife, mom, and woman of God. From this, everything else will flow. More importantly, though, is to read God’s Word; His book trumps all other reading. Within its pages can be found topics on parenting, being an excellent wife and mother, guarding your heart, as well as learning of the Lord’s wisdom and knowing His heart.
Sure, God inspires authors to write, encourage, inspire, and even teach us. What I’ve learned though is that we must be discerning (something else to pray for!) in what we read and who has authored it. I’ve come to understand that just because a book has been recommended to me by someone I admire, or just because I find a book in my local Christian bookstore, doesn’t mean that this book is something of value for me to read. Why, you ask? There is value in researching an author. Look at and read the endorsements given for his publication; do you know these people and their teaching? Research who this author is, his beliefs and his teachings. You certainly don’t want to put false doctrine into your mind. His writing will flow from his teaching and beliefs and if his values and belief system are not in line with God’s teaching, then this book you are considering is probably not going to be something you should read.
In closing, fill your mind with God’s Word and know His truth and teachings well so that you will be better equipped to discern whether something you are considering reading is of value or not. Believe me, there is plenty of unbiblical teaching written, published and housed on many a shelf at even our Christian bookstore. I witnessed this first-hand having worked in a Christian bookstore for many years. I had so much respect for the owners of our store who, despite flack and lost sales, chose not to carry books by certain authors. It is sad, but so very true. We have to remember that there are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing…even in our local bookstores.