Book Review: Girl Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird is a book I think every woman (teen+) can benefit from reading! For one, it’s very easy and enjoyable to read – I continually wanted to return to its pages. And it truly speaks to the heart! Girl Defined explores issues we as women are facing everyday, and gives Biblical advice, eye-opening truths, and encouraging/challenging stories.

It speaks to younger girls (around teen years) as well as married women, or even middle-age/older woman. There are stories about teens, young moms, 30-year-old singles, and older widows. I can’t wait to share this book with my younger sisters (14 and 16)! I loved it! Girl Defined speaks to WOMEN and calls for us to find our identity in Christ and embrace God’s plan for womanhood.

As with every Christian Living/Self-Help book I read, I didn’t agree with absolutely everything said in Girl Defined … word for word. Some things I thought, “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say it that way.”

But this book really hits the nail on the head when talking about Biblical womanhood. Sisters Kristen and Bethany have the Word of God, life experience, statistics, and well-known Christian speakers/writers (such as Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, Dannah Gresh, and Mary A. Kassian) to back up what they’re teaching.

So many things clicked for me when reading this book. It just makes sense, what they’re saying. Even if it is TOTALLY against the cultural norm, totally against what the world tells us to do/be … when you read about femininity, beauty, and identity the way Kristen and Bethany see it, it makes sense when you think about how God designed us. Men and women were created to be equal, but different, for specific purposes. This book embraces that, and I LOVE it! Ladies, we are going to be so much happier and fulfilled if we embrace GOD’S DESIGN! If we embrace femininity. If we embrace womanhood and the “nurturing”, “helping”, and “life-giving” that comes with that role.

Girl Defined also talks about living purposefully, with eternity in mind, which is a message for ALL Christians, no matter where you are in life. It was both challenging and encouraging! Exciting, even! ^_^ Let’s live, my friends! Let’s live a life that we can look back on and not regret. A life of fulfillment. A life of honoring God.

I really liked how Kristen and Bethany quote authors like Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth in this book. They have such powerful things to say! One of my favorites from Mrs. Wolgemuth is: “Being created “for someone” indicates that God created the female to be a highly relational creature. In contrast to the male, her identity isn’t based on work nearly as much as on how well she connects and relates to others. Forming deep relational bonds is at the core of what it means to be a woman.” (pg. 91)

And from Mary A. Kassian: “A wimpy woman gives up on biblical femininity when life gets hard. A wimpy woman quits when she has to stand alone. A wimpy woman caves in when the culture pressures her.” (pg. 169)

They also share thoughts from some of the past top models in the industry, such as Kylie Bisutti. She say that models are some of the most insecure women she’s ever met! Have you ever thought about that? We simply cannot place our identity in our outward appearance, because we’ll never measure up.

Yes. Overall, I feel Girl Defined is full of Biblical truth and has the potential to make a big impact on women today. I want to share this book with all the women I know – young and old! It reminds us of our beautiful identity, purpose, and femininity. This is so much more freeing than what the culture is telling us! So priceless! I would strongly encourage you to read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity, women! *smiles*

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For the Sake of Love

I’ve met many a Christian person who is quite “religious”. They go to church every Sunday; perhaps on Friday as well. They pray at each meal. They give to the needy. They speak of God and the Bible with solemnity and reverence.

But something is missing. As I watch, these same individuals often treat people in their day-to-day lives badly. Sometimes, women are treated as less; possessions almost. In other instances, men are mocked. Children are viewed as burdens and nuisances. Unbelievers, as idiots. The authorities are scorned. Servers are ill-treated if they don’t give them what they want. People who’ve made some big mistakes or had a rough past are looked down upon. The girl in the scanty clothes, or even the Christian rap singer, condemned.

And these are Christian people acting like this to others. If I asked them, “Do you love God?”, I’m sure they would respond, “Of course!”

But there is another question. Do you obey His commands? It says in John 14:15: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

And that is more than going to church and praying before a meal. John 13:34-35 says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Galatians 5:14 solidifies it with these powerful words: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Romans 13:8-10

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

So if you are continually hurting those in your life (because of bitterness, insecurity, pride, fear, past wounds, selfishness, etc.), you are willfully living a lifestyle of disobeying God’s commands.
 
Do you love God? Do you even really know Him?

God is love.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” {1 John 4:8}
He is love, my friends. Do you think you can go about life being harsh, condemning, tearing down, bitter, grumbling, quick to lash out at others … yet somehow claim to follow the Author of love?

Don’t you see? All that religiousness, all those rules, “good deeds”, eloquent talks about God – they mean nothing without love.

1 Corinthians 13 says: 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I AM ONLY A RESOUNDING GONG OR CLANGING CYMBAL.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I AM NOTHING.

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I GAIN NOTHING.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I have read this passage a hundred times. I even memorized it. But I think only recently did its meaning really sink in.

We are nothing without love.

Religion. Good work. Knowledge. Ability. Generosity. Fine words. They mean nothing without love.
You can be an upstanding citizen. A respected church member. An admired worker.
But if you are going through life always treating your spouse, your children, your parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, in-laws, your fellow man, poorly, you’ve utterly missed the point. All your “righteousness” means nothing.All those people you’re hurting, they are God’s creations. They’re God’s children. What right have you to claim to follow God and then abuse your fellow man?God is love.Can’t you see? It’s all about love! It’s all because of love. Love is the most important. God loved us, and that is how we are offered redemption. Everything we do should be because of love.

Discipline your children because you love them; you care about their lives and for their eternal souls.

Dress and behave modestly because you love your brothers in Christ; because you love your future husband enough to save all for him; because you know God loves you and you should love yourself enough to protect your body and purity.

Go and talk to a friend who has fallen into sin because you love them; you care about their relationship with God.

Do good things, strive for righteousness and godliness because you love God! Because He loved you first and you want to follow Him, to be like Him, to please Him.

I write this blog post because of love. Because I know people who are trying to make things work without much love, and I love them. I fear for them. I sorrow over them because I know they’re not who God made them to be, and surely their hearts are a bit sick.
I write this post because I love those who are being hurt by the unloving-ness of some people in their lives.
I write this post because I love God and His truth.

I write this post because my heart aches because of all the hurting in this world.

Darkness has crept into the Church. In a broken world where we are supposed to be shining a brilliant light, we are often only adding to the already intense pain.

What a wretched people are we!

But praise be to God! He can change a sinner from the inside out! He can heal a shattered heart. He can give us incredible strength to stand up and love selflessly. HE IS ABLE. Darkness has not won. Turn back to the Light!

Love is real. Love is powerful. Love is the greatest.

To those who have not yet chosen love, I will never stop praying for you. You might think you’re at the top, angry with the world, clinging to your pride, your fear, your bitterness and hurt; but I believe, I know, that God can change your heart.
To those with pain and scars from people like mentioned above, I will never stop praying for healing. You can be different. You can choose love. And relationships can be healed and restored by the power of our mighty God.
It’s time to let love win.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”


(All pictures found on Pixabay.com)

**Originally published on Between the Pages of this Bookish Life April 23rd, 2016**