I am always on the look-out for a new spin on the Proverbs 31 woman and how I can strive to be a woman of excellence. So I confess- I bought this book with high hopes. The authors are the leaders of Proverbs 31 ministries- a nation-wide ministry to women.
First the positive- Jaynes and Terkeurst discuss seven principles for women to organize their lives around. In summary, these principles are:
1) Your faith
2) Your marriage
3) Your children
4) Your home
5) Your resources (time, money)
6) Your friends
7) Your ministry
I found these to be a very easy non-stressful way to think about the various areas of my life. Frankly, as 21st century women, we have so many competing priorities in our lives! I think they've provided a helpful framework for us to help prioritize what is truly important in our lives.
The drawbacks to this book is that
1) the authors really do not delve deeply into Scripture. A lot of their reasoning is based on personal experience and anecdotes. These can be helpful examples- but personally I would have liked to see the authors explain biblically why each of these principles is important and is a mark of a godly women.
2) Sometimes I left a section of the book without a clear understanding as to how I could make these principles work in my life. For example, in the section on making God our number one priority, the authors gave a short acrostic about setting apart time with God, but really left things at that. There was no explaination about how to set up a quiet time, how to read your Bible, or pray.
3) I thought one area that was lacking is that really, the Proverbs 31 woman would also take care of herself. Chapters on exercise or diet would have been beneficial.
All in all, the authors have a good message. This book is a good starting point for those who want to pursue being a woman of excellence. I would recommend following up on each of these principles by reading various books in those arenas for further study.
Other recommended authors on this topic: Elizabeth George, Cynthia Heald, Carolyn Mahaney, Pat Ennis, Elaine Getz, Martha Peace, Barbara Hughes, Anne Ortlund, Susan Hunt, Nancy Leigh DeMoss