Reviewed by: Jocilyn Warren
Date posted: 05/27/2007
Disciplines of a Godly Woman, by Barbara Hughes. Published by Crossway Books, 2001. Hardback, 272 pages, list price $17.99. Reviewed by Jocilyn Warren, the wife of Rev. William Warren.
As Barbara Hughes (wife of pastor and author Kent Hughes) takes you step-by-step through the disciplines of a godly woman's daily walk, you will find that she gives neither a legalistic set of rules nor a laid-back, I'll-do-whatever-I-can-whenever-I-can attitude, but an organized plan to live a life that in every part brings glory to God. So, women, if you have a desire to love God more and serve him better, here is encouragement to do so.
The author begins with the true heart of discipline, a relationship with God. Under five main headings - soul, character, relationships, ministry, and grace - she weaves the disciplines of prayer and worship, of contentment and perseverance, of singleness and marriage, and of witness and giving, to name a few. Her closing chapter is entitled "Grace of Discipline." She recognizes that all that we are, all that we do, and all that we have are the result of God's grace in Christ.
The book is well referenced and footnoted with over 300 verses of Scripture and quotations from J. I. Packer, Augustine, Jeremiah Burroughs, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Susan Hunt, and Elizabeth Elliot, as well as others unfamiliar to me.
Helpful resources listed at the end of the book include Hymns for Your Devotional Time, M'Cheyne's Calendar for Daily Readings, a recommended reading list, and Mary Duvel's "What I Do with the Hard Things in My Life," which is a helpful restating of ten facts we all know, but which often elude us in the midst of trials.
I wish I could introduce the author to GCP's Sunday school material as a healthy alternative to the Sunday school publications she advocates. However, I do think that Christian women will benefit from Barbara Hughes's call to discipline our "flabby souls," to "throw off every hindrance and the sin that so easily entangles," and to direct our energy toward godliness. I know it was a great benefit to me.