Item description for Precious In His Sight: The Fine Art of Becoming a Godly Woman by Pat Ennis...
Overview Every Christian woman wonders...'How do I know if I am pleasing my heavenly Father?' and 'What is God's will for my life?' Did you know that the answer to both questions is found in 1 Peter 3:4? We are to do whatever is necessary to cultivate "the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." Explore the three key areas of a godly woman's existence-her spiritual life, relationships, and emotions-with topics like: * Understanding Your Physical and Spiritual Nutritional Requirements * Choosing to be a Victor in the Midst of Tests * Joyfully Using Your Spiritual Gifts * Practicing Biblical Hospitality * Choosing to Win Over Worry * Detonating Discouragement
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Pat Ennis (EdD, Northern Arizona University) is the distinguished professor and director of homemaking programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She previously served as the establishing chair of the Home Economics/Family and Consumer Science Department at the Master's College. She has authored or coauthored several books, resides in Burleson, Texas, and blogs at theEverydayHomemaker.com.
PAT ENNIS and LISA TATLOCK have also coauthored Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God and its companion volume, Designing a Lifestyle That Pleases God. Dr. Ennis chairs the Home Economics department at The Master's College, and Dr. Tatlock has taught home economics at The Master's College since 1988. Both authors regularly speak to women's groups and write articles on various topics.
Dorothy Kelley Patterson (DTheol, University of South Africa) is professor of theology in women's studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where her husband, Paige Patterson, is the president. She is the author of many books, an active homemaker, a frequent speaker and Bible teacher at women's conferences, and a mother and grandmother.
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Precious in His Sight Aug 2, 2007
"God's will for your life and mine is found in 1 Peter 3:4. We are to do whatever is necessary to cultivate `the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God' (NASB)." (pg. 9)
So begins Pat Ennis' book, Precious in His Sight: The Fine Art of Becoming a Godly Woman. I originally picked up this book because I very much enjoyed and benefited from the practical, biblical encouragement in her two previous books (co-authored with Lisa Tatlock). This book contains the same gentle, but straightforward style of biblical exhortation, as she encourages women to "spend time in your heavenly Father's company, cultivating character qualities that contribute to the development of a gentle and quiet spirit." (pg. 9) Dr. Ennis addresses topics common to all women - spiritual life, relationships, and emotions. Though the pursuit and cultivation of this type of character is a life-long endeavor, this book is definitely a good place to start.
The Godly Woman and Her Spiritual Life: Dr. Ennis begins by addressing the principle of spiritual vitality in the life of a godly woman. She shares, from Scripture, principles and habits that need to be part of our everyday lives if we are to be adequately prepared for unforeseen circumstances that may come into our spiritual lives. The very first principle listed is an example of her refreshingly honest, direct style, as she points out, "Ultimately, I have only two choices in life: obedience or rebellion to my heavenly Father's instructions." (pg. 28) She then goes on to address the importance of reading, memorizing, meditating on, and applying God's Word on a daily basis. "The more I internalize God's Word, the more its contents will influence my daily life. (Psalm 1:2-3)" (pg. 28)
Chapter 6 was one of my favorites, as it dealt with the topic of modesty. She poses a difficult question: "Will you choose modesty or fashion?" (pg. 47) She explains that these two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but there are times when a choice must be made. This chapter challenges women to reflect biblical standards of modesty and beauty in their clothing choices and in their character. 1 Timothy2:9-10 "likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works." (ESV) Dr. Ennis clearly addresses the question of whether biblical standards for modesty are obsolete in the world of twenty-first century fashion by saying, "...the immutability (changelessness) of God would be in question if the Scriptures that provide you with a standard for dress are not timelessly relevant. If you think that God changed His mind about one passage of Scripture, how can you be sure that He has not changed His mind about others?" (pg. 48)
The Godly Woman and Her Relationships: In this section of the book, Dr. Ennis describes several types of relationships that are necessary and beneficial to our spiritual growth. Though the chapters on the mentoring relationship, spiritual (and physical) mothering, and honoring fathers are full of biblical wisdom, it was the chapters on friendship that stood out to me.
Chapter 15 points out our need for friendship and companionship. Dr. Ennis offers a list of 18 different passages of Scripture that reveal the impact that true friends can have on one another. However she closes her chapter by asking why, in light of the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of female friendships, we find it so difficult to carve out the needed time to develop these relationships. She ends this chapter with a "Point to Ponder" that reminds us that "Precious in His sight is the woman who acknowledges that she needs to cultivate female friendships." (pg. 105)
In the chapters that follow, she addresses characteristics of the various phases of friendship, from getting to know one another, to an enduring, committed friendship that stands the tests of time, emotions, and circumstances. She offers biblical solutions for identifying, and then eradicating common problems that arise over the course of a friendship. She also urges women to carefully examine themselves, and evaluate the quality of friendship they offer to others. Each evaluation question is taken from Scripture, and she offers practical suggestions for taking these passages and questions to a deeper level of Bible study and self-examination.
The Godly Woman and Her Emotions: Dealing with, or controlling emotions is a problem that most women face at one time or another. The last section of this book deals with some very common emotions - stress, worry, discouragement, fear, and forgiveness - and the issues that may arise if these are not dealt with in a biblical manner. I found the chapters on stress (planning, organizing, and prioritizing) and discouragement particularly helpful.
In chapter 20, Dr. Ennis begins by asking, "Do you ever feel like the hurrier you go, the behinder you get?" (pg. 135) I often consider myself to be somewhat organized. But, I had to laugh when I read that, because that describes my daily routine all too well. In this chapter, Dr. Ennis offers several practical suggestions for managing our time, and God-given assets wisely. She reminds us that, "A Christian's priorities should reflect an eternal perspective and follow the model of the Lord, who glorified His Father while he was on earth by finishing the work His Father gave Him to do (John 17:4)." (pg. 136)
Chapter 22 deals with the topic of discouragement. This emotion is probably not unfamiliar to anyone, but it must be dealt with correctly to avoid the trap of self-pity. In this great description, Dr. Ennis explains where discouragement comes from, and calls it what it often is - sin. "Discouragement's roots are planted in the soil of idealistic expectations, such as holding perfectionist standards for yourself and others, embracing impractical outcomes for the institutions you are associated with, and anticipating unrealistic benefits from work, leisure time, education, or marriage. The greater the discrepancy between hope and fulfillment, the greater the potential for discouragement. In many instances the emotion of discouragement is actually anger without enthusiasm. Anger for selfish reasons is sin." (pgs. 147-148)
Using the life of Elijah, the cycle of discouragement is clearly illustrated in, what she calls, the "Elijah Effect." She then offers biblical principles that can be applied to put an end to this cycle, and cause us to exhibit true contentment, regardless of our circumstances.
Conclusion: At the conclusion of each chapter, Dr. Ennis offers several opportunities for further study, as we pursue this gentle and quiet spirit. She also offers practical tips for, not just study of this book, but personal devotions (quiet times) in general. Her suggestions for character studies throughout Scripture, personal plans of action for "putting off" sinful behavior, and verses/passages to memorize and meditate on are all extremely useful tools in this pursuit. This would be a wonderful resource for any woman who truly desires to be "Precious in His Sight."
"...but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:4 (ESV)
Lover of Good Books Oct 4, 2006
I highly recommend all women, including teens to get Dr. Ennis's book. It's highly practical but also a joy to read. This book doesn't bring on any guilt, but has such applicable information, that all of us will find, in no time, results in our growth with the Lord.