I am very much continuing to enjoy the challenge on which I embarked in January — reading 13 non-fictional Christian books this year. That said, the last few months have been more challenging than the first few, as evidenced by the unfinished Keller work I began but didn’t finish, and the *cough* novel *cough* I read in May. Oops. Back on track! And boy, did this book do the trick.
Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women in Building Healthy Cultures, by Darrow L. Miller, was one of the most thought provoking books I’ve read in quite some time. I want to sit down and page through it with each one of you, pointing out every bit that struck me and hoping it strikes you, too. It is timely. It is needed. It is ancient truth that has never been more relevant. So yes, I think you should read it!
It is written very much seminar-style, with graphics and regular reiteration of big ideas. Broken into three sections, Miller first explores the heartbreaking statistics of exploitation, abuse, and murder of women the world over — and also explains the underlying worldviews that result in a devaluing of the feminine identity. I looked at my daughters through new eyes, so grateful for a redeemed perspective that allows them to be received with joy, loving them for who they are.
Amazingly enough, however, the other side of the spectrum was just as illuminating, as he demonstrated the modern worldview in which — wait for it — maleness continues to be valued, the female discounted, and in fact, there is a pressure for all femininity to disappear in a world that values only male! In our efforts to be liberated and equal, but our absolute resistance to a Creator and His design, we have simply exchanged one oppressor for another.
He does not make these arguments in a void, however. I deeply appreciated the layers of theology he takes you through as he presents the nature of God as our model, the laws of first mention (which speak so much direction to a world floundering in a sea of sexual identities), and ultimately, the liberation and beauty promised through the gospel — which in turn affects all cultures, as they value and embrace a huge portion of their population, whose innate giftings and contributions have heretofore been trampled or dismissed.
(Is it just me, or do you get excited just reading that little chart? Isn’t it beautiful?)
What does it mean to be female? Male? A person made in the image of God? And does knowing that potentially change the world? Actually, yes. Read this book and be freshly awakened to the fabulous design God had in mind before the beginning of the world.