I’ve just finished reading “SHE – Safe, Healthy & Empowered” book by Rebecca St. James & Lynda Hunter Bjorklund. It’s such a great book, which reminds me of how beautiful I am, how special I am in God’s sight, as D. always says so. I am now writing this review on what I have understood and learnt from this book, which will requires me read again and again this book together with Bible study. After this review, this book will be circulated around for other sister in Christ of mine, hopefully it will help them realise what is valuable to Christian women like us, as well as the objective/ purpose of our life in this world that God has created.
Part 1: SAFE
This part includes 3 smaller chapters such as Protected: Safe & Sound, Intimate: Unravelling the Lone-ranger mentality (very important), and Feminine: The new femininity (it really knocked me out). Overall, this part reminds us that we’re saved when Christ died for us and we must cherish the safety we have spiritually and hence, take good care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
God will protect us as He promised to but we ourselves must be aware of the risks lurking around, coming from all sources. Double protection is always better than one, at least. We also need to guard our hearts in order to prevent emotional damages and avoid growing rough on others as God always wants us to care about the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit as beauty of a Christian woman is not defined by fancy hairstyles or makeup, by expensive jewellery or branded accessories, by beautiful clothes or shining cars but by a glowing image resulted from good health, joyful spirit and happy lifestyle.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful” – 1 Peter 3: 3-5
We also need to be careful with all the relationships we are in and always seek for God’s intimacy before getting to be more intimate with other people, especially the opposite sex. The line is thin and more difficult to judge and women usually are more vulnerable than men and tend to suffer more for emotional damages. That’s why women need to put God’s intimacy on top of everything because when we understand, enjoy and cherish the love of God for us, we’ll be able to bless others with our love fruited from His.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me” – Revelation 3:20
We do love to hang out with friends and every woman has a desire of having a man for her to lean on, as a pillar of strength. But we sometimes grow to be rushing into relationships that may cause us soul or emotional damages, which subsequently drive us to seek for other damaging substitutes and we keep repeating the damages and slowly, we will own possessive & distrustful attitudes as we always feel unsafe, hurt, doubtful and jealous. And here it comes the lone-ranger mentality, with which we choose to push away those we love as we are scared of being hurt and face the truth that we’ve made mistakes in developing people-intimacy before dwelling into God-intimacy.
As written by Theology A.W. Tozer, “Deep inside every human being there is a private sanctum, a secret place where only God can dwell. He has planted something of Himself (eternity) in every human breast… a divinely implanted sense of purpose, which nothing or no one but God can satisfy”. We need therefore not hide anything from God as He knows us by name. Rather, we should share with Him more often about what we’re facing in our daily life in order to have peace, to be more confident and most important, to have wisdom granted by Him to overcome all the obstacles.
“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” – Psalms 91:4
“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house” – Matthew 12:29
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” – John 8:32
Women are well equipped with conscience, intuition and self-defence and with these gifts from God, we will be able to sense risks that Satan puts around us, including false intimate illustrations, possible physical attacks, possibly hurtful situations, etc… Controlling all these tools, Holy Spirit is the one that helps us avoid all the harmful forces that can ruin us. We therefore need to pray often and listen to what Holy Spirit tells us. Believing in the Holy Spirit is a way to let God know that we trust Him totally. By that way, the relationship and the intimacy between God and us are further strengthened and we won’t be afraid of taking risk as we have been prepared for facing and handling the risks.
Taking up and handling the risks are something that modern women usually do today. We tend to be more aggressive and step on others, especially men to achieve our desires. This mindset exists thanks to the appearance of the new feminism which has shaken the balance between 2 sexes for almost a century. Personally, the new feminism has brought women both the goods and the bad since we do not accept not to have what men are having or doing. We don’t want just to be a staying-home wife. We don’t want just to be a secretary or administration clerk or accountant. We want something much more. We argue with our husbands or boyfriends and push it hard just to prove that we’re equal to them. Relationships are broken; see what we get in the end. Rougher image and attitude towards other people, emotional damage from broken relationships, more difficulties in bringing up our children since our boyfriends or husbands ran away from us for a softer woman. What’s good for us? God did not stop us from staying equal to men but we need to balance our toughness and femininity in order to live a joyful life with peace and happiness together with respect from our male counter partners. Household chores should be fairly divided between men and women in order for all of us to cherish each other’s appearance, contribution and opinions. In other words, we need to be submissive to each other because marriage, in the end, is the union of the male and female, a beautiful picture that God wants us to be in after all.
(to be continued with part 2 and 3)