Book Review: Good News For Weary Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Book Review: Good News For Weary Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick

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Good News for Weary Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick


I am always giddy when I see Elyse Fitzpatrick is coming out with a new book. Her ministry to me in the gospel over the past few years is immeasurable. This book in particular though, I was most excited to read. This book in many ways, is a megaphone echoing what I’ve been through over the course of my Christian life. Frankly, if I could put it into words, this book for me, is like being the little kid getting kicked around on the playground, only to have your big sister show up and set everyone straight. Her bold explanation of the gospel dispels every inclination in our hearts that we have to prove ourselves by a list of rules. I find myself standing behind her, feeling a bit braver now to jump up and down and shout, “YES!!!! AMEN!!!! THIS is the gospel!!!” to every burdened woman that I meet.

Elyse says in her introduction: “My heart aches for all of the weary women who are desperate for good news. My heart aches because I’ve personally spoken to countless women who are burdened and exhausted and on the verge of either giving up on what has been passed off as Christianity or are nearly killing themselves trying to keep up with impossible demands. I’ve wept with women who are shocked by the freedom and grace of the gospel message- women who have trouble believing it, who can’t get over thinking that God is mad at them.”

One of the first things Elyse mentions right out of the gate, is how we have muddled the law with the gospel and how it is the inability to differentiate between the two that gets leads us to the guilt ridden, burden of legalism and moralism. She says: “The problem comes when women (and men) haven’t learned how to differentiate between the law and the gospel- when we don’t understand how the good news of Jesus’ perfect life, death, resurrection, ascension, and reign is meant to impact us. When we don’t see the connection between the righteous life Jesus lived and our standing before a holy God, we are setting ourselves up for bondage Many women don’t understand that freedom has been purchased for us and we often get tangled up in legalism or moralism. We don’t know what it would look like for obedience to be motivated by gratitude.”

One of my favorite things about how she tackled this topic is that she didn’t just list the things that she has been told by other women, instead she took to Facebook and focus groups giving Christian women a voice. She allowed us to say what it is that has been burdening us. The lies we have been told by the world, the church, and our own hearts. The responses that she collected are throughout the book, and she ends each of these sections by setting us free with the gospel.

 

Here are a few examples of burdens women shared from the book:

*You must always be joyful as a mother/wife/woman.

*Never say no to sex with your husband.

*Don’t talk about your sin, it gives Jesus a bad name.

*Never question God.

*Do your best and God will do the rest.

*Submit without question to church authority, especially if you are a single woman. It’s not appropriate to share a different viewpoint or express disagreement.

*Don’t pursue any activities you might enjoy that do not involve your children or your husband.

 

One of my favorite scriptures Elyse used to combat these burdens:

“{Jesus said} come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

 

The truth is, since the fall mankind has constantly been running to lesser things to make ourselves feel “right” with God. We just naturally gravitate towards manufacturing our own self-salvation tools out of fig-leaves, we don’t even realize we are doing it most of the time. To this Elyse says: “If we’re trying to assure ourselves that we’re okay and that God is happy with us because we’ve been good, we’re actually denying Christ. Our pursuit of self-perfection is a denial of Christ because it is His work to make us okay, to justify us. And when we try to do it ourselves, we’re basically saying that His work isn’t enough; it isn’t sufficient.

As with all of her books, Elyse is real and honest about where she has trusted in rules instead of the gospel in her own life. She is candid and hilarious as usual, which is always refreshing and relatable. With each chapter she provides questions for reflection and in the appendix you’ll find a whole section of “Scriptures for Weary Women” that will serve you well in moments of discouragement.

If I had the ability to purchase this book for every woman that I know, I would. I also encourage men to read it as well. While it is written specifically to the burdens that women experience as we pile rules on top of rules for ourselves, it is bold with the gospel proclamation:“It is finished” that each of us need daily. I think men will get a real sense of the way their sister’s in Christ are burdened by these things and will be able to come alongside and encourage us back to the gospel. To my sister’s who are struggling with to-do lists and rules that you can’t possibly keep up with, who, like me, know they are failing daily, this book will be a breath of fresh air to your weary soul.

You can view the official book trailer here.

You can hear Elyse speak about the book via the Resurgence here

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