A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master" - Rachel Held Evans Biblical womanhood is a concept that any religious woman inwardly cringes at. It's this ephemeral picture of the ideal woman that seems to change depending on whom you are talking to. From my experience, it usually consists of the following:

+ Proverbs 31 woman (of course)

+ Submitting to your husband

+ Not taking a position of leadership in the church (elders, pastor, etc.)

+ BABIES! FAMILIES! WIFEHOOD!

+ Don't show too much skin! Don't want the boys to slip and fall into the abyss of their lusts!

+ Sex before marriage? One way ticket to hell!

And more.

I found Rachel Held Evans blog through Fred Clark, the Slacktivist who has been ripping the Left Behind series a new one for years. (I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I liked those books--though I absolutely HATED the way the authors treated Chloe. And Hattie. And pretty much any female. Though it took me until recently to figure out WHY it bugged me so much.) It was through her blog that I found out about her yearlong mission to tackle the feat of embracing "biblical womanhood". This book is the results of her study.

And I adored it. I bought the book on Thursday during lunch and immediately read 70 pages. I then read up to page 250 yesterday, reading for probably two hours solid (which I don't typically do). I finished the book at 10:30 today. My mind is still in shambles from the awesomeness of this book.

There are a ton of reasons I love this book. Rachel is witty and funny and doesn't take herself too seriously. She never comes off as judgmental or holier-than-thou. She is open about the fact that she took some of these verses to their extreme (such as sitting on the roof of her house).

But more so I love the conclusion: Rachel Held Evans realizes that there is no way to make a one-size-fits-most biblical woman because women don't come in one-size-fits-most. Some women love to sew; others adore sports; some have a way with words; others are blessed with money or talents that they willingly give to those in need.

This is a brilliant book, a book that is desperately needed in this changing world. I plan on passing it on to my mother, who always encouraged me to embrace my gifts and not be held back by the restrictions placed on my sex (Thanks, Mom :) ). If you are willing to come into this with an open mind, if you are ready to put aside your preconceptions about what the Bible says, then you should read this book whether you are male, female, young, old, married or unmarried. Highly recommended.