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A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World

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The managing editor of Christianity Today and founder of the popular Her.meneutics blog encourages women to find joy in vocation in this game-changing look at the importance of women and work. Women today inhabit and excel in every profession, yet many Christian women wonder about the value of work outside the home. And in circles where the traditional family model is highl The managing editor of Christianity Today and founder of the popular Her.meneutics blog encourages women to find joy in vocation in this game-changing look at the importance of women and work. Women today inhabit and excel in every profession, yet many Christian women wonder about the value of work outside the home. And in circles where the traditional family model is highly regarded, many working women who sense a call to work find little church or peer support. In A Woman’s Place, Katelyn Beaty, print managing editor of Christianity Today and cofounder of Her.meneutics, insists it’s time to reconsider women’s work. She challenges us to explore new ways to live out the Scriptural call to rule over creation—in the office, the home, in ministry, and beyond. Starting with the Bible’s approach to work—including the creation story, the Proverbs 31 woman, and New Testament models—Beaty shows how women’s roles in Western society have changed; how the work-home divide came to exist; and how the Bible offers models of women in leadership. Readers will be inspired by stories of women effecting dynamic cultural change, leading institutions, and living out grand and beautiful vocations. Far from insisting that women must work outside the home, Beaty urges all believers into a better framework for imagining career, ambition, and calling. Whether caring for children, running a home, business, or working full-time, all readers will be inspired to live in a way that glorifies God. Sure to spark discussion, A Woman’s Place is a game-changing look at the importance of work for women and men alike.


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The managing editor of Christianity Today and founder of the popular Her.meneutics blog encourages women to find joy in vocation in this game-changing look at the importance of women and work. Women today inhabit and excel in every profession, yet many Christian women wonder about the value of work outside the home. And in circles where the traditional family model is highl The managing editor of Christianity Today and founder of the popular Her.meneutics blog encourages women to find joy in vocation in this game-changing look at the importance of women and work. Women today inhabit and excel in every profession, yet many Christian women wonder about the value of work outside the home. And in circles where the traditional family model is highly regarded, many working women who sense a call to work find little church or peer support. In A Woman’s Place, Katelyn Beaty, print managing editor of Christianity Today and cofounder of Her.meneutics, insists it’s time to reconsider women’s work. She challenges us to explore new ways to live out the Scriptural call to rule over creation—in the office, the home, in ministry, and beyond. Starting with the Bible’s approach to work—including the creation story, the Proverbs 31 woman, and New Testament models—Beaty shows how women’s roles in Western society have changed; how the work-home divide came to exist; and how the Bible offers models of women in leadership. Readers will be inspired by stories of women effecting dynamic cultural change, leading institutions, and living out grand and beautiful vocations. Far from insisting that women must work outside the home, Beaty urges all believers into a better framework for imagining career, ambition, and calling. Whether caring for children, running a home, business, or working full-time, all readers will be inspired to live in a way that glorifies God. Sure to spark discussion, A Woman’s Place is a game-changing look at the importance of work for women and men alike.

30 review for A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Book Riot Community

    Katelyn Beaty, the youngest managing editor ever of Christianity Today, writes a strong call to Christian women to reevaluate their place in the workplace, the home, and the Church. Beaty examines how women are viewed in the Christian church and by the world at large, then examines work and how important it is in preserving dignity in all people, and then commissions women to embrace their ambition. This book has been so encouraging to me, and I have gobbled it up with a lot of underlining andYE Katelyn Beaty, the youngest managing editor ever of Christianity Today, writes a strong call to Christian women to reevaluate their place in the workplace, the home, and the Church. Beaty examines how women are viewed in the Christian church and by the world at large, then examines work and how important it is in preserving dignity in all people, and then commissions women to embrace their ambition. This book has been so encouraging to me, and I have gobbled it up with a lot of underlining andYESes andFINALYs. This book is a must-read for for any Christian, man or woman. — Jesse Doogan from The Best Books We Read In July 2016: http://bookriot.com/2016/08/01/riot-r...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Boyd

    This book resonates deeply with my life and experience. I appreciate Katelyn’s research and clear description of the difficulties women experience as they steward their lives. We have so far to go if we are to reflect God’s heart and value of all image bearers. Katelyn calls us to that higher standard. Thank you, Katelyn.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah K

    I'm sure I will have more thoughts on this book the more I think about it. But for now, the morning after I finished it... all I have to say is wow. Though I didn't agree with all of the author's conclusions and thoughts, this is a MUST READ. I am a working mom with a toddler -- so the portions about work/life balance and motherhood really spoke to me but I think it is applicable for all Christian women, whether they are in the workplace or not. Men who love them will benefit too. The author isn I'm sure I will have more thoughts on this book the more I think about it. But for now, the morning after I finished it... all I have to say is wow. Though I didn't agree with all of the author's conclusions and thoughts, this is a MUST READ. I am a working mom with a toddler -- so the portions about work/life balance and motherhood really spoke to me but I think it is applicable for all Christian women, whether they are in the workplace or not. Men who love them will benefit too. The author isn't married and doesn't have children, but even so the book was powerful and thoughtful in that respect. She interviewed many women in various life stages for this book and reading their stories, in brief or in detail, was life giving. It reminded me that I am not alone and that there are many other women struggling/dealing/thriving with their work day in and day out, and trying to follow Christ through it all. This conversation is not one that takes place in formal settings very often. The thread of privilege was present throughout the book -- again, something that is not discussed very often, but it is a necessary part of the conversation about women and work. Finally I did want to mention that scripture was used heavily throughout the book to support her arguments about calling, work, and feminism (such as it is). Again, I appreciated that as much as the interviews... maybe even more. I borrowed this book from the library but may purchase my own copy to reread and loan to friends. Please, please, please... read this book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kaci Kennedy

    4.5 stars, this book was unlike any other Christian book directed towards women book I read. I was challenged to have a perspective shift in many different areas. Several times I wanted to stand up and cheer her on. Could a friend of mine please read this too so I can discuss it with you? Please and thank you ;) A couple of little parts started to drag a bit thus why not a five star.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Greco

    One of the key questions Beaty addresses in A Woman's Place is, "Do we, women, really believe that femaleness is a gift? Do we experience it as a core part of ourselves to express freely at the job as much as at home or church?" She skillfully splices out the distinctions between cultural and Scriptural norms which expose our ethnocentrism with regard to women and vocation. The truth is, through history, women have always worked (see Prov. 31)—it's only those family units who come from privilege One of the key questions Beaty addresses in A Woman's Place is, "Do we, women, really believe that femaleness is a gift? Do we experience it as a core part of ourselves to express freely at the job as much as at home or church?" She skillfully splices out the distinctions between cultural and Scriptural norms which expose our ethnocentrism with regard to women and vocation. The truth is, through history, women have always worked (see Prov. 31)—it's only those family units who come from privilege (and often white privilege at that) who have the option of women not working for pay. Beaty is not writing a manifesto that demeans those women who choose to and are able to stay home, but rather aims to help readers explore what the Bible actually says about the essential participation of women in culture, church, and family. It's a liberating and encouraging book that relies on Scripture and includes pertinent examples and experiences of women. It's a book that gives us, as women, permission to dream big and does not shame us for having ambition.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I really wanted to like this book. But I found it frustrating and disheartening. I felt it brought nothing new to the table--maybe I wasn't the target audience. But the overall message I got from this book was: "Hey women! It's OK for you to not find your value by being a wife and mother--you can get your value from your work, too!" I really wanted her to offer solutions to the challenges facing women and our society in general that she talks about, but she didn't offer any in a satisfying way. I really wanted to like this book. But I found it frustrating and disheartening. I felt it brought nothing new to the table--maybe I wasn't the target audience. But the overall message I got from this book was: "Hey women! It's OK for you to not find your value by being a wife and mother--you can get your value from your work, too!" I really wanted her to offer solutions to the challenges facing women and our society in general that she talks about, but she didn't offer any in a satisfying way. I felt like she rehashed things I've heard before and didn't adequately bring the conversation back to how we ultimately get our value from God, not from our roles and tasks. Meh. Saving grace: it prompted a lot of conversations and discussions, even if most of them started because I was annoyed about something in the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    A helpful, balanced introduction to an important topic. Some of the chapters were excellent, others I wished had been fleshed out more. It is foremost a challenge to women that as humans made in the image of God, we are people with work and calling. Whether we are in the home, out of the home, or a mixture of both, we ought to work and find the talents and passions that God has gifted us with. Her chapter on the history of women's industry in America was brief but a highlight, and I'd love to re A helpful, balanced introduction to an important topic. Some of the chapters were excellent, others I wished had been fleshed out more. It is foremost a challenge to women that as humans made in the image of God, we are people with work and calling. Whether we are in the home, out of the home, or a mixture of both, we ought to work and find the talents and passions that God has gifted us with. Her chapter on the history of women's industry in America was brief but a highlight, and I'd love to read more on the topic. I also appreciated her points on fathers being present with their kids as equal participants, not as glorified babysitters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    I think this book addresses issues from a working perceptive in terms of receiving payment however many women do services for free such as volunteering, parenting, tending to elders, etc..which wasn't addressed as much as I'd hoped. Also the long term unemployed such as myself was only briefly mentioned. In my own situation I married, had children, and raised our children alone while my spouse ( 11yrmarriage) resided 5 states away with only weekend visits to see me and our 3 kids( 1 med disabled I think this book addresses issues from a working perceptive in terms of receiving payment however many women do services for free such as volunteering, parenting, tending to elders, etc..which wasn't addressed as much as I'd hoped. Also the long term unemployed such as myself was only briefly mentioned. In my own situation I married, had children, and raised our children alone while my spouse ( 11yrmarriage) resided 5 states away with only weekend visits to see me and our 3 kids( 1 med disabled). I did all the work myself, including tending to our rentals , our home, and our family alone. We agreed at the time that working was counterproductive as childcare costs were too expensive, and pay scale for women was far less than male counterparts as well as flexibility with working hours. As a matter of fact the salary is the same it was prior to 15 yrs ago before I had our 3 children yet costs of living has increased substantially. I read in Economic Snapshot by David Cooper - July 25, 2016 and I quote, " That means that workers at the minimum wage today are paid roughly 25% less than their counterparts 48 yrs ago. While I wish I could say I would love to work for less than I receive to stay home it's simply not economically feasible especially after already filing bankruptcy and lacking credit necessary to be employable ( yes workers check credit). I can barely raise a family now at 18k below poverty yet the jobs pay less than this after taxes. Many jobs do not offer paid maternity leave, flex schedule, and many are part time /temp/grant funded/seasonal positions putting adding pressure upon women. Many employers don't take into account abused women who leave for safety escaping toxic situations with very little than the clothes on their backs. I had no home, no income, no credit, no employment yet I felt like a was dropped on Mars and asked to make it in society without the basics for survival. I lived the american dream. I graduated from college with honors, raised a family, tended to my spouse, volunteered in my community (awarded national recognition Ie. Point of Light recipient this February) and yes put my career (achieving my masters on hold indefinitely) unselfishly for my family. After raising my 3 kids now ages 15, 13, and almost 10 I find myself divorced, bankrupt, at one point homeless, without income, assets, savings or credit. I was left 15 k in arrearages for child support, left w/o income for over a year to raise my family, and had our utilities turned off even after requesting help. I don't want a handout but a job that pays enough to raise a family and having not been overlooked simply because of being long term unemployed and female would be a great start. While I realize I've not worked in nearly over 16yrs I also have much to offer and I'm not sitting and simply being a stay at home mom as I was labeled by our master judge. Women are looked down upon for raising a family yet as stated in the book , men are applauded for the same work women perform daily. Nepotism and corruption run rampant in my area so there's also that too consider when hiring. It's no longer what you know but sadly who you know and how wealthy you are to buy your spot in line. If I donate too my local colleges or universities I'm told I'd have better chance to get employed with them. I'm now over 40 and returning to the workforce has been unsuccessful even after begging ( yes I literally did this as well as cold calls, job fairs, referrals, handing business cards to strangers,etc). I was turned down for my age, my requirement for family benefits, my request for wages to be high enough to raise a family alone. I was told I'm overqualified with masters yet lack prior work skills. I'm a 15 yr volunteer, have obtained continuing ed courses and credits and have updated my resumes and online social media including business accounts like LinkedIn,Twitter, WordPress. I now work for free creating blogs/facebook posts with over 22k followers across 45 countries worldwide in just 2 short years. Life is about following your passion and helping others and whether I receive payment or not I'm still working and following God's intention and my own purpose. Do what pleases you, follow your dreams, and let go of the past w/o regret. I may never be "qualified" enough in the eyes of some simply because I live below poverty while I help others to heal from narcissism yet I wouldn't change my experiences including being homeless, now living below 18 k a yr family of four, and living like a vagabond for anything. I have experienced so much since divorcing and being single. I have met some very strong individuals who never give up. I continue to search for employment yet I also know that doing the same with the same results is insanity. So I take everything with the idea that as long as I try I can never fail. It's when I stop trying to better myself in my own eyes that I fail to honor God. So for now, I'm happy to know that I'm making a difference in the lives of many and that brings joy and peace to my heart. If I can prevent one person from experiencing what I have it's worth it. So yes I gave this book 3 stars because while it's a book that brings to light issues surrounding women and working I'd hoped for more about the nearly 4 million long term unemployed and those of us who'd give anything to work yet are unable through circumstances not of our choosing. Thank you

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Sell

    “I don’t want to feel like a burden. Try to imagine a man saying this—especially about his career—and it’s almost humorous. Try to imagine a woman saying it, and it seems like a mantra of femininity” (page 215). If you’re a working Christian woman, you’ve probably felt the tension. I know I have. There’s a sense in many Christian circles that for women, work is just a temporary thing you do until you get married and start having babies. Last fall, in a mostly good conversation with my older broth “I don’t want to feel like a burden. Try to imagine a man saying this—especially about his career—and it’s almost humorous. Try to imagine a woman saying it, and it seems like a mantra of femininity” (page 215). If you’re a working Christian woman, you’ve probably felt the tension. I know I have. There’s a sense in many Christian circles that for women, work is just a temporary thing you do until you get married and start having babies. Last fall, in a mostly good conversation with my older brother, he challenged my super-single self by telling me that being a wife was a calling, so if I had a strong sense of calling in another arena, that might be an obstacle to having a relationship. While I know his intentions were good in telling me that, the underlying assumption of his statement—that being a career-oriented woman is inherently incompatible with being in a marital relationship—is a symptom of a cultural paradigm that devalues the work of women out in the world and limits women to work within the home and family. Enter Katelyn Beaty’s A Woman’s Place. This book has been on my list since it came out in 2016. I follow Beaty on Twitter and I found the book’s premise compelling. The premise: That God calls all women to work in some way and that work is a way of embodying the image of God. A Woman’s Place tackles the cultural and historical factors that influence how we in the church see women and work in today’s western society. Key to her discussion are the Industrial Revolution, which separated work from the home (previously, men and women performed their trades out of their houses), and various philosophers and theologians who’ve reinforced the idea that women are somehow less than men. She also makes the point that the ability for a woman to not work for pay and instead just stay at home, keep house, and raise children is dependent on a certain amount of socioeconomic privilege. If you’re poor, you do what you have to do to survive; poor women have always worked. At the same time that she elevates and supports the work of women outside the home, Beaty also affirms the work of wives and mothers within the home. Work is not just what we do to make a living. “Work happens whenever we interact with the created world, laboring to make it fruitful and beneficial to ourselves and others,” Beaty writes on page 89. I love to work. I always have. Since my first summer job as a teenager, I’ve enjoyed going to a workplace (or my computer) to accomplish specific tasks. I’m the rare person who doesn’t light up about the weekend and dread Mondays. I look forward to getting back to the office or wherever it is I’m working. Ambition could easily be my middle name, and it has nothing to do with the paycheck. It’s the sense of purpose and the ability to look back at a job well done and say, “I did that.” Because I enjoy working, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a Christian in the workplace, though not necessarily what it means as a woman—that question comes more into play within the context of the church (Beaty touches on this phenomenon). Beaty’s book wasn’t groundbreaking for me, but it put many of my thoughts into words while highlighting a lot of different people, groups, and initiatives that have done or are doing good work in the arena of faith and work for women Christians. If you’re a working Christian woman, I highly recommend that you read this book. If you’re a Christian man who wants to better understand your own call in the workplace or the different obstacles that working Christian women face in the church, you should read this book. If you’re a church leader who wants to better serve women, you need to read this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy Morgan

    This was a book I didn’t know I needed. I have read so much on women in the church, home, and leadership in the past few years, but I didn’t realize that I still had some nagging questions about whether the desire to work, in and of itself, was good or selfish. Beaty gives an unapologetic apologetic for the goodness of work—and the goodness of women working. She points out the primacy of work in the lives of women in Scripture, rooting everything in the creation command given to man and woman to This was a book I didn’t know I needed. I have read so much on women in the church, home, and leadership in the past few years, but I didn’t realize that I still had some nagging questions about whether the desire to work, in and of itself, was good or selfish. Beaty gives an unapologetic apologetic for the goodness of work—and the goodness of women working. She points out the primacy of work in the lives of women in Scripture, rooting everything in the creation command given to man and woman to fill the earth and subdue it. Work is for everyone, and work is good. Beaty writes to and for all women. Her words and kind and affirming to women who desire that their primary work be in the home, raising children, and to women who desire to do other kinds of work. I really appreciated her affirmation that part of the purpose of work is to bless all people, not just those closest to us. She also points out that child rearing was only in the last century or so considered to be a full time job and primarily the responsibility of mothers. This perspective is really helpful in readjusting what we think is normal and helping us remove the cultural glasses through which we tend to read Scripture. I didn’t agree with everything in the book, primarily the encouragement of ambition. Ambition is generally used in a negative context, implying a desire for position and ladder-climbing. I don’t think ambition is something we should aspire to, since it generally opposes everything Jesus taught us about leading—which is, that leading is serving. Another word that may better communicate what Beaty was getting at us aspirations—it generally has a positive connotation and is less about achievement than about goals. Overall, I highly recommend this book. I think that stay-at-home moms, working moms, and non-moms will find encouragement here.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Beaty happily calls herself a feminist and an egalitarian. Here's an article by Jonathan Merritt at The Atlantic. Fiery response here. Beaty happily calls herself a feminist and an egalitarian. Here's an article by Jonathan Merritt at The Atlantic. Fiery response here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I wanted this to be a great read. It just didn't materialize for me. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the Biblical character Lydia being called a 'sugar mama'; actually yes, I am sure how I feel. I wasn't a fan of it at all. I understood the point - she funded the ministries - but she didn't have the rest of the characteristics that go along with that particular term. This was just one of the many reasons I eventually put the book down without finishing. I wanted this to be a great read. It just didn't materialize for me. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the Biblical character Lydia being called a 'sugar mama'; actually yes, I am sure how I feel. I wasn't a fan of it at all. I understood the point - she funded the ministries - but she didn't have the rest of the characteristics that go along with that particular term. This was just one of the many reasons I eventually put the book down without finishing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jill Robinson

    So often books like this seem to me to be pushing an agenda. Beaty makes it clear that her agenda is to glorify God. Her insights into women and work are thoughtful, Biblical and encouraging. I wish this book had been around when I was in my 20's! So often books like this seem to me to be pushing an agenda. Beaty makes it clear that her agenda is to glorify God. Her insights into women and work are thoughtful, Biblical and encouraging. I wish this book had been around when I was in my 20's!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessie LaBelle

    I think it’s an important read for any Christian (female or male) regardless of where they fall on traditional gender role views. I did appreciate her bold proclamation that all women should work but did feel that she had to somewhat tip-toe around women who specifically feel called to work in a church (preaching or teaching) because of her largely evangelical/complementarian audience. I know she wanted to honor both sides of that but as an egalitarian I would’ve appreciated a little bit of a pu I think it’s an important read for any Christian (female or male) regardless of where they fall on traditional gender role views. I did appreciate her bold proclamation that all women should work but did feel that she had to somewhat tip-toe around women who specifically feel called to work in a church (preaching or teaching) because of her largely evangelical/complementarian audience. I know she wanted to honor both sides of that but as an egalitarian I would’ve appreciated a little bit of a push for women who want to preach.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Hinkle

    This books purpose was to convince you that humans are meant to work and that since women are humans we are meant to work too, whether that be at home or out in the professional world. There were lots of good takeaways in this book and encouragement but also some concern over the acceptance of some overly feminist tendencies. Otherwise, it was an encouragement and thought provoking!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Reading this book was like having coffee with a sister. My favorite book I’ve read so far this year. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Ambition. 5 stars for this smart, thoughtful author!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    The author of this book is the managing editor of Christianity Today, and as such writes from experience. As a man, the book sheds some needed light on the experience of many women (the author and others she has interviewed) in their efforts to glorify God with the gifts they have been given. Katelyn does a great job of nailing down the history of work. A lot of our problems in our age stem from simply not having a very good grasp of history to properly put things in perspective, and this was an The author of this book is the managing editor of Christianity Today, and as such writes from experience. As a man, the book sheds some needed light on the experience of many women (the author and others she has interviewed) in their efforts to glorify God with the gifts they have been given. Katelyn does a great job of nailing down the history of work. A lot of our problems in our age stem from simply not having a very good grasp of history to properly put things in perspective, and this was an excellent place to start. Particularly within the conservative arm of the church we appear to have lost a real understanding of what life has been like for the majority of human history. That even having the option for a wife not to work outside the home is a pretty radically new thing. Even the business aspects of the woman described in Proverbs 31 seem to get completely lost in this blind spot. I personally have always seen this as a choice. My own mother worked, and it certainly didn't have a negative impact on me. She worked really hard and did (and does) great work, leveraging her unique gifts to bring order to chaos first in municipal courts and then in a church office. However, I always thought it was preferable not to and a pressing need to make it possible to ensure that if my wife worked that it would always be a choice, and never a mandate -- and because of that, in retrospect, have really discouraged this choice out of that view. I share all of this because one of the positive aspects of this book is bringing to bear that like men, women were created to work, to leverage the gifts that God has given them for the beautification and improvement of the world that He made. For some women, motherhood and keeping the home is itself a calling. Not in some 'participation prize' way, but in the many opportunities that opens for local work and ministry. Their talents are well used and they are fulfilled. But that is not universally true of women. While this would seem obvious, the response of some in the church to women working and even our failure to minister well to them would say otherwise. I dare say the examples resonate with anyone who has spent time in the church. When leaders in businesses gather to mentor and encourage each other, they tend to be men's groups. When women's groups meet, they tend to do so during the workday, or on Saturdays, both of which are difficult or impossible for working women to pursue. And I think we all know how difficult our churches find it to minister to and encourage single people generally, but particularly women. While some small suggestions are given, for the most part this book shies away from prescriptive answers, opting instead for seeking to encourage women trying to forge a path in the midst of this. There are some inspiring stories of the work being done by some of the women interviewed sprinkled through the book to this end. However, I suspect a lot of encouragement will come simply through reading a book where you can see that someone else also sees and understands the challenges and writes about them in a compelling way. Overall I liked an appreciated the book. I work in leadership roles that often include women, and the insights on ways I can encourage them and improve their work experience alone were worth the time investment. Beyond that there was much in the book that was thought provoking for us as a church and for how the church engages with the world. The recommendation does come with some qualifications however. There is some poor exegesis, some bad hermeneutics and definitely (at least in my view) errant views on economics and political theory. There are also quotes from people that run the gamut of what labels itself as "Christian" - from Roman Catholic Mystics to mainstream liberal protestant denominations and many stops in between. While some of it might undermine individual points, none of it is foundational to the larger work. This is one of those works where you need to eat the meat and spit out the bones, because to do otherwise is to miss a great opportunity for new insights, correction and encouragement over what are generally minor disagreements. ()That isn't to say the points on their own are minor necessarily, but in terms of their relevance to the real thrust of the book.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie M

    Balanced, diverse perspective on women and work (and purpose) from a Christian perspective. EXACTLY what I needed to read right now! Though it may not help me find a job at my age, it’s making the search a little less daunting. LET ME AMEND: This is an excellently written book that has me looking at author’s website, searching the footnotes for additional resources on the topic, and wanting to reach out to other women in a similar search for meaningful work.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kuhn

    This book centered on the premise that humans are made by God to enjoy, thrive and be fulfilled by work- and the radical notion that women are included in that calling and not relegated to the realms of home and family. I’m being a bit inflammatory, but in Christian subculture there are gender norms surrounding professional work that are not biblical or helpful for women who are striving to use all of their gifts to help the world around them, as well as raise a strong and loving family. It is i This book centered on the premise that humans are made by God to enjoy, thrive and be fulfilled by work- and the radical notion that women are included in that calling and not relegated to the realms of home and family. I’m being a bit inflammatory, but in Christian subculture there are gender norms surrounding professional work that are not biblical or helpful for women who are striving to use all of their gifts to help the world around them, as well as raise a strong and loving family. It is in the subtle messages we send through programming (women’s bible studies only in the middle of the day; professional groups and mentorship only being offered to men); it is in the onslaught of guilt-inducing questions and comments working women have to endure (how do you balance it all? I just couldn’t miss that formative time with my children). Men in the church (and larger American culture) are not being discipled to be equitable caregivers, and not only are expecting too much of wives, but are also missing out on the work God has for them of caring for family. Beaty, editor of Christianity Today, takes a different view of how women are celebrated and encouraged to work outside of the home in scripture, and also leads us through brief timelines of how women have worked differently post-industrial revolution, when the concept of stay- at-home motherhood and the middle class emerged. She critiques this lifestyle as leading to what Betty Friedan (considered the leader of second-wave feminism) called “the problem that has no name”— That capable women were feeling purposeless and depressed staying at home under society’s constraints. Beaty encourages women to be ambitious, and refers to secular books (Lean In and Unfinished Business in particular) that are challenging the accepted practice of marginalizing women who have lofty professional goals; for the Christian, she is grounding the larger culture’s discussion about the “how” of work in a biblical interpretation of why we need to work, and how doing so not only helps us live out our imago dei (being created in the image of God) but also helps our neighbors and the world around us. Beaty does a good job walking the hard line of not condemning the decision to stay home with kids; but this book is more meant to empower and alleviate guilt in women who feel the calling to professional work. I have endless conversations with women in my life about the concept of “women can’t have it all” and I think this book helped me to think about that differently. No, we can’t have it all if prescriptive gender norms and unequal division of domestic labor persists. But with an equitable and supportive partnership and two parents who are impassioned and inspired by their work in the world , it’s possible that he Christian family could be more healthy than ever. As far as the writing goes, it was conversational and occasionally humorous which I enjoyed. The book is riddled with personal anecdotes and stories of women doing amazing work in the world; but after a while all of the stories got a little cumbersome to read through, although I did read the book in less than 24 hours so it could have felt repetitive because of that reason. I obviously have a million more thoughts on the ideas of the book. Men and women- read this book and lets chat about it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Thoughtfully argued, although it's a shame it needs to be. One would hope that making a case for women thriving in the workplace would be utterly unnecessary in 2017, yet in the church it's still a highly debated issue. What nonsense. One problem I did have with Beaty's approach is her unwillingness to include motherhood as a profession. I now have an MBA, am an adjunct professor at a small liberal arts university, own a boutique marketing agency specializing in brand management and executive spe Thoughtfully argued, although it's a shame it needs to be. One would hope that making a case for women thriving in the workplace would be utterly unnecessary in 2017, yet in the church it's still a highly debated issue. What nonsense. One problem I did have with Beaty's approach is her unwillingness to include motherhood as a profession. I now have an MBA, am an adjunct professor at a small liberal arts university, own a boutique marketing agency specializing in brand management and executive speaker coaching, and am the co-owner and sixth-degree black belt master instructor of a mixed martial arts studio. Never in my life, however, have I worked as hard as I did as a stay-at-home mother of three children. I taught them all how to read before they entered kindergarten. I took them to museums and parks, and taught them how to cook. I was their room mother, their team mother, and their driver to various activities. I actually started martial arts at 32 years old to have something fun to do with them at 8, 10, and 13. My own mom stayed at home with my brother and me and she loathed the "housewife" moniker. She would instead say, "I am a homemaker." It was her proudest achievement. The fact that we were neither paid for our labors nor received performance reviews is inconsequential. My "kids" are now 36, 32, and 30 and I am well into my career. I don't see the two sections of my life as pre-profession and professional. I'm just me...a woman who loves Jesus, who uses my gifts every chance I get, and who is proud of what I've achieved, both with a paycheck and without one. Christians who think I should never have left the home are silly, as are those who think my years at home are somehow "less than." God can and does use me in a lot of places and I'm eager to see where He sends me next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catherine McNiel

    This is a book worth reading and discussing! I wholeheartedly agree with her egalitarian, pro-woman perspective, and she does an excellent job outlining the Biblical and historical trends that have led us to where we are today. I heartily agree that the current messages implying that women are best suited for domestic work and men for work that impacts the larger society is dangerous to all and in no way "Biblical." My one confusion is that throughout the book she argues that women are made to w This is a book worth reading and discussing! I wholeheartedly agree with her egalitarian, pro-woman perspective, and she does an excellent job outlining the Biblical and historical trends that have led us to where we are today. I heartily agree that the current messages implying that women are best suited for domestic work and men for work that impacts the larger society is dangerous to all and in no way "Biblical." My one confusion is that throughout the book she argues that women are made to work, because humans are made to work (and she clarifies that much of the work that needs doing is unpaid, so that stay-at-home women, for example, can feel included). My experience of inequality is not that women are sitting around watching television because they are not empowered to work, but that women are doing a highly disproportionate amount of work (paid work, unpaid work, care-giving, housekeeping, kin keeping, emotional labor, invisible labor, etc) while not being empowered with autonomy. So, this led to a disconnect that I had trouble shaking throughout the book. I'm sure another reader could find the interpretive frame that I'm missing. Otherwise, excellent, and I recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    As a woman who left her career to raise and ultimately homeschool her children, I felt bashed and devalued by this book. The only reason I persevered with it is because I was reading and discussing it with a group of women from my church. (You can't discuss that which you have not read.) While many "godly womanhood" books bash the career mom, the pendulum swings the other way here. It is quite possible that a woman may find great fulfillment---and be following God's plan for her and, thus, buildi As a woman who left her career to raise and ultimately homeschool her children, I felt bashed and devalued by this book. The only reason I persevered with it is because I was reading and discussing it with a group of women from my church. (You can't discuss that which you have not read.) While many "godly womanhood" books bash the career mom, the pendulum swings the other way here. It is quite possible that a woman may find great fulfillment---and be following God's plan for her and, thus, building His Kingdom---through selfless giving to her family, neighbors, and friends. But the message I came away with here is that such giving is wasted, that it's certainly not work, nor a proper use of a woman's intelligence. I would suggest that we women recognize that there is more than one way of living a God-honoring, Christian life. For some of us, home may be where God has called us; for others, His calling may be the workplace. Neither job is better or more godly than the other, and we gals would do well to extend grace to those who are on a different path than we ourselves are on.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melisa Blok

    This book was meh. I wanted to like it, but I hated the title and the cover art (or lack thereof), so this book and I were already off on a bad foot. The argument made in the books seems like it's too late to the table. It assumes that readers are skeptical that women should work outside the home, and so it makes an argument for the importance of work for all people (because God is a worker/creator and we are all made in the image of God). This argument feels dated to me, but perhaps I am not th This book was meh. I wanted to like it, but I hated the title and the cover art (or lack thereof), so this book and I were already off on a bad foot. The argument made in the books seems like it's too late to the table. It assumes that readers are skeptical that women should work outside the home, and so it makes an argument for the importance of work for all people (because God is a worker/creator and we are all made in the image of God). This argument feels dated to me, but perhaps I am not the ideal reader. There were some interesting historical bits in here, but other than that, I found a lot of it to be behind-the-times and even occasionally sexist, though I hope that was unintentional. Oh well.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Payne

    I think very highly of Katelyn in both a personal and professional capacity, and was so impressed by this work. I couldn't put it down. For my stage of life, this book was not only encouraging, it was concretely helpful (ie. saying 'work/life integration' versus 'work/life balance'). It was also very motivating as we women in the workforce-- single, married, with kids, without-- are really charting a new course, and we have great opportunity ahead of us in our jobs and in our churches. Made me m I think very highly of Katelyn in both a personal and professional capacity, and was so impressed by this work. I couldn't put it down. For my stage of life, this book was not only encouraging, it was concretely helpful (ie. saying 'work/life integration' versus 'work/life balance'). It was also very motivating as we women in the workforce-- single, married, with kids, without-- are really charting a new course, and we have great opportunity ahead of us in our jobs and in our churches. Made me more excited to be here now, as opposed to feeling frustrated, confused and overwhelmed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Many of the issues Ms. Beaty touches on in this book are worthy of discussion and further engagement. That said, she seems to have a limited view of what God's call to work can mean for individual women, especially for those who prioritize a role as homemaker. I understand the ditch she is pointing to and yet she doesn't find middle ground here. Could be a good read along with other on-topic books in a book group setting. Many of the issues Ms. Beaty touches on in this book are worthy of discussion and further engagement. That said, she seems to have a limited view of what God's call to work can mean for individual women, especially for those who prioritize a role as homemaker. I understand the ditch she is pointing to and yet she doesn't find middle ground here. Could be a good read along with other on-topic books in a book group setting.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Cargill

    Absolutely loved this book! It was so encouraging learning we as Christians can find purpose in whatever line of work we choose to pursue. As women, we do not hear enough that it is okay to pursue a career outside of the home and that it is equally okay to stay home and care for your family. I think Beaty’s message has been misunderstood but she truly does take us back to the roots of feminism which fight for mutuality among men and women in every area of life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Doogan

    This book was such an encouraging and challenging book for me. Beaty takes a biblical look at a woman's place in the world, examines calling and vocation, and gives women permission to have ambition. I think this is such an important book for the Church, and you should probably read it. This book was such an encouraging and challenging book for me. Beaty takes a biblical look at a woman's place in the world, examines calling and vocation, and gives women permission to have ambition. I think this is such an important book for the Church, and you should probably read it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Great, accessible book with hopeful promise of bridging some of the divide between contemporary evangelism and egalitarians and uplifting the power and impact women working alongisde men can have on the world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Halsey

    This book is fabulous for anyone looking to resolve conflict between feminism and "traditional Christian values." I love how well this author uses the Bible to show that women should pursue careers. It's a refreshing viewpoint!! This book is fabulous for anyone looking to resolve conflict between feminism and "traditional Christian values." I love how well this author uses the Bible to show that women should pursue careers. It's a refreshing viewpoint!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Ard

    This book is so incredibly needed. Ms. Beaty addresses several cultural and theological issues about not only women's role in the workplace, but the human role in the workplace, and theological issues surrounding work. I recommend every Christian of both sexes read this as soon as possible. This book is so incredibly needed. Ms. Beaty addresses several cultural and theological issues about not only women's role in the workplace, but the human role in the workplace, and theological issues surrounding work. I recommend every Christian of both sexes read this as soon as possible.

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