(A)typical Woman - Resource Review

LILYA SANTORA
Atypical Woman was written by Abigail Dodds, a mother of five children, an elders wife, and a graduate of Bethel University. Her goal in writing this book is to have women, “feel at peace as women, to be grateful for being made women, and to see it all as an essential part of Christ’s mission and work.” The book is written in three sections: Women Through and Through, Women In All We Do, and Fearless and Free Women.

Dodds begins by explaining how Christian women are to be grounded in their identity as Christians in order to best understand and live out their womanhood. After this foundation, she addresses specific life circumstances and how Christian women can live faithfully within those circumstances.
Whether you are a single woman, mother, or a working woman, each stage of life can be used to fulfill the biblical calling of Christian women. Dodds explores the opportunities and dangers of each stage of life. The book concludes with a section discussing what it means to be fearless and free women in Christ. Whether you are strong or weak, dependent or free, all circumstances are part of God’s plan. Women have a choice to either be crushed by the weight of envy, dissatisfaction, and despair or to live out their circumstances, trusting that God is using them for their growth. Atypical Woman is a book any woman would find useful because it is biblically based, relatable, and easily applicable.

Biblically Based
Atypical Woman is written with scripture as its foundation and that is evident from the first chapter. Dodds begins by defining the terms “Christian” and “woman”. Our ideas about these terms are often informed by culture rather than Scripture. She seeks to establish the reader’s belief in Biblical reality. Ultimately, the book refocuses your thinking on the purposes set out for all believers in the Bible rather than a checklist of actions that we oftentimes think legitimizes your womanhood. From the stay at home mom to the businesswoman, women in all circumstances are called to submit to the authority of Scripture. So, rather than asking, “How can I live in every circumstance as a woman?” The better question according to Dodds is, “How can I live by faith as a Christian woman in every circumstance?” Each chapter is saturated in Biblical truth encouraging the reader to live out the commands of Scripture for believers. There is a greater vision for womanhood and Abigail Dodds makes it clear that it begins in the Word of God.

Relatable
It can be daunting to pick up a book about Christian womanhood. You may be left with a theoretical understanding but lack the ability to apply this understanding to your life circumstances. Atypical Woman is different. Dodds illustrates how the concepts she is writing about can be implemented in your life. The second section of the book has chapters devoted to many different stages of life including singleness, marriage, motherhood, and career. In these chapters, she discusses the unique challenges and opportunities of each stage. Each chapter has examples of how to live as a Christian woman in each stage. The examples give a good idea of what Christian womanhood can look like, without claiming that these are the only ways to be a Christian woman.

Applicable
Finally, Atypical Woman is a great book to read on your own or share with a group of friends. Each chapter contains discussion questions that are insightful and challenging – helpful for personal application or group discussion.

Atypical Woman is for anyone interested in learning more about Christian womanhood. This book will reset your focus on the gospel and the call to live in submission to God and his Word. Abigail Dodds shows that being a Christian woman is not a list of things we cannot do but a unique way of living out our lives as image-bearers of our Creator. It will leave readers challenged but also greatly encouraged.
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