Same Life, New Story - Women of the Bible
Same Life, New Story by Jan Silvious is billed as a “10-Week Bible Study for Women” covering stories of women in the Bible and how they apply to life for women today. It’s not so much as a Bible study as it is a self-help coaching book for Christian women. It could also be used by spiritual-but-not-religious women who may be interested in applying Christian concepts to their personal growth.
I went to church weekly as a child but never really knew much about women in the Bible. I guess our church never covered them that much, for whatever the reason. So I was interested in this book because of its focus on women in the Bible. I was curious to read their stories and hear how they might apply to me today. Would women of the Bible be inspiring to me? I wanted to find out.
I have to be honest - many of the Biblical women Silvious did not inspire me so much as make me feel pity for them. Boy, did women have hard lives back then! Dying children, having to share your husband with your sister, all sorts of horrible sad stories. However, I did find their stories interesting, and that in and of itself made this book a worthwhile read.
The tie-ins between the Biblical women and present life in the book are somewhat helpful, if not completely applicable. It seems that with some of the tales of woe, the author had to find the silver lining somewhere, and that happened to be, for quite a few of the stories, the fact that these women had descendants who became important people. Personally, as a woman with no children, I could not relate to this as an inspiration. I also don’t totally gibe with the idea that a woman’s life only has meaning because she happened to carry a lineage where someone three generations later became important. What of her life?
As for the rest: The self-help advice in this book is standard stuff mixed with a generous dose of surrendering to God. None of this is mindblowing if you’ve read a lot of self-help books, but I always like to get new perspectives and reminders about personal growth for reinforcement. I would have liked more action items - it seems much of the ideas in the book are a bit repetitive.
What this book is probably best for is a book club or Bible study group. Each chapter has group discussion questions at the end, and there’s plenty of food for fodder here. Otherwise, as a personal self-help entree, I feel the book will appeal most to those women who are very much into the Bible and want a Biblical self-help framework.
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