Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women
Book review: a book that shows how women are “not incidental characters but key figures in the unfolding of God’s plans” – a challenge to both men and women.
If I’m honest, reading the book Worthy has called me to repent, weep, and hope.
I’ve had to repent of the ways I have underestimated the incredible value of women in the church. And to repent of the way I’ve hidden behind male headship as somehow getting me out of engaging with Bible study and theology.
To weep at the ways women often do not see how God has made us to be creative, caring, godly, wise, strong leaders and teachers.
To hope that if we dare to seek out and regain God’s perfect view of what women are and the roles that he’s designed us for, then our churches and our ministries will be so much sweeter and richer.
God’s View of Women
Having read through Leviticus and Numbers recently I’ve got to admit I was starting to struggle with how women were treated. Trying to believe that the God who allowed these laws was the same God who, through Jesus in the New Testament, loves and honours women, was a hard thing to do.
But in Worthy, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher show how our God has never changed in his view of women. As they write:
“The ultimate evidence that the Law was not misogynistic is the fact that Jesus, who fulfilled the Law, was no misogynist.”
The book takes us through creation, the history of Israel, the Law and the prophets and shows how women are not incidental characters but key figures in the unfolding of God’s plans. Then we come to the New Testament and see how Jesus interacts with women in surprising and counter-cultural ways, including the Samaritan woman in John 4.
Our Theology Matters
That is one of my favourite passages in the Bible. I love the way Jesus gives the woman what we all want – to be seen and known, and yet loved anyway. But reading Worthy showed me another layer of how Jesus honours this woman: he has a theological conversation with her. That would have been scandalous in Jesus’ time - but it was such a challenge to me.
Our theology as women matters, even if we don’t preach every week. Our theology matters in how we face suffering or sit with others who are. It matters when we face loneliness in relationships, disappointment in friendship, or temptation to find satisfaction in anything but Christ. It matters as we go to work, or bring up kids, or serve in church.
Worthy is a book that should be read by men as well as women; large parts of it are a challenge to male leaders to think about how they’ve used the gifts of women in their church. I’m really glad the elders and their wives at Beeston Free Church are all reading it.
This book has shown me just how incredible it is to be a woman, deeply loved and wonderfully honoured by God. I hope it does the same for you!
Worthy - Celebrating the Value of Women can be purchased from 10ofthose.com for £9.56 (RRP £10.99).