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The Proverbs 31 Woman: Being Biblically Correct in a Politically Correct World Review by April Elstrom

Shawn Lamb
Allon Books
209 Hickory Way Court
Antioch, TN 37013

The role of women in society is a sensitive subject. Traditional roles of wife, mother, and homemaker clash with all that feminism has sought to achieve for women’s rights. Where do Christian women fit in the discussion? What does the Bible say, and how do we apply that to our lives in a 21st century world?

Shawn Lamb was raised in the 1960s and 70s, when feminism really took flight in America. She watched her own mother move from a traditional homemaker to a feminist working woman, following the dissolution of her parents’ marriage. As Shawn entered into her own marriage, she struggled to find a balance between the feminist beliefs her mother had taught her, and the Christian image of a submissive wife. She took her confusion to the Bible, seeking out what God had to say for women. This book is a result of that study and its application in her own life.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is a paperback book that is 130 pages in length. It is written in a conversational tone, with Shawn sharing from her own life experience, as well as her study into Scripture. The book is approachable, not overwhelming to read, although the chapter topics and the self-examination she encourages can be uncomfortable.

Shawn Lamb has divided this book into eight chapters. She begins the book with a verse-by-verse exegesis of Proverbs 31, studying the meanings of the words and the historical context of each phrase. In the next two chapters, Shawn examines the husband/wife relationship in light of Scripture. She reveals the attempts of the feminist movement to portray men and religion as repressing women. The second of the husband/wife chapters focuses on money and the division of roles in the home, specifically provider vs. manager. This chapter tackles more than just whether women should work or not, it also addresses the wise use of our family’s income.

The next chapter addresses the topic of children, parenting techniques, and the family. She then moves on to the topics of ministering to others outside our home, setting boundaries for our family regarding the influences we allow in our homes, and mentoring other women in our lives. The book then wraps up with a conclusion chapter. This final, short chapter urges women to prayerfully consider the material covered in the book and take action.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is well-researched and focused specifically on comparing the feminist movement and its agenda to Scripture. This book is written for Christian women who want to better understand their role as a wife and mother in a world that is giving them mixed messages. Although she does not overtly state that married women should not work outside the home, Mrs. Lamb does challenge readers to examine their motives for working and the benefits vs. costs of a woman’s career.

Each of the seven chapters that tackle difficult topics end with a Points to Ponder section. This section asks questions of the reader, leaving space to write your answers. These questions are meant to challenge you to examine your life in light of the Scriptures Shawn has shared and make an action plan for change. And no, it’s not just about whether you work or not, so every reader will have something to consider in their own life.

I appreciated reading Mrs. Lamb’s expose’ on the motives and tactics that the feminist movement has employed to undermine marriage. I also greatly appreciate Shawn’s exegesis of Proverbs 31. I was challenged to improve myself and be more like the Proverbs 31 woman, rather than being discouraged as I have sometimes been when reading Proverbs 31.

As a Christian, stay at home mom, I didn’t find myself in complete agreement with Mrs. Lamb. I was challenged to consider changes in my own home, and my own life, though my results may not align with her personal preferences. Every family is different, and I do believe God makes allowances for that variety. However, the tone of her book is generally meant to be encouraging and not condemning. She encourages women to carefully consider their roles, their motives, and their family’s spiritual well-being.

I believe that The Proverbs 31 Woman is an excellent book for helping Christian women understand what submission means and how it plays out in marriage. It also challenges every wife and mother to look at the example of a godly woman in Proverbs 31 as a role-model and measuring stick, not an impossible dream. It may not always be a comfortable book to read, but anyone who is struggling with the decision to work outside the home would find this book helpful in making their decision.

-Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016