Reading Reflection:

Practical Theology for Women, Wendy Alsup (Crossway, 2008) This is a good little introductory book written for women who need to learn more about God. It is also very motivational. I love Alsup’s apologetic for writing the book:
Perhaps you ask, why write a theology book specifically geared toward women? Is this theology different from what should be in a book for men? Absolutely not! But for some reason, most theology books are written by men and aimed at a predominately male audience. With this book, I hope to fight the unspoken mentality that theology is for men, while parenting, sewing, or dieting classes are for women. I have heard some women argue that they don’t want to know more theology than their husbands know. They seem to fear that studying theology will turn them into theological Amazon queens who naturally relegate their husbands to some second-class position in the home. But this is a terrible way to think about theology. God forbid that women should avoid studying the deep things of the Word lest they surpass the understanding of the men in their lives! Studying theology—such as the Holy Spirit’s role in convicting man of sin, and God’s sovereignty over all creation—will curb, not enhance, a woman’s sinful tendency to nag and manipulate her husband. My husband can bear witness to the fact that a better understanding of God’s character, that is, theology, makes me a better wife. No matter where our husbands, fathers, or pastors may be in their spiritual journey, when we ladies grow in our understanding of God’s character and attributes, it can only be a blessing for our homes, our marriages, and our churches (21-22).
I think of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus while her sister, Martha, is fuming with all the chores (Luke 10:38-42). In telling Martha that Mary has chosen the "good portion," Jesus isn’t releasing her from all housework from here on out. He’s telling Martha that she is more than the keeper of the house. She also needed to be served—by him. After all, he is our husband. It isn’t a rebellious thing to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his Word. My husband, Matt, would be terribly offended if I responded to his love and care for me only by feeding him dinner and doing his dishes. Those are ancillary tasks to actually spending time with him, and getting to know him deeply. Women do have some different roles than men, and we are to have a godly disposition of submission to our husbands. But this means that we need to be sharp in our theology. To better serve my husband as his helper, and to be submissive “in the Lord,” I need to have a strong theology and intimate understanding of what “in the Lord” means. And thankfully, my Matt is happy to have an active, sharpened mind to come home to--one that compliments his own. Not one that needs to be filled.