Let’s start with an important question. Who is Aimee Byrd?
“Aimee Byrd is a Bible Study teacher and author of Housewife Theologian and Theological Fitness. She also speaks at women’s retreats, blogs about theology and the Christian life, and cohosts The Mortification of Spin podcast. She is married with three children, lives in Maryland, and is a member of New Hope Orthodox Presbyterian Church.”
I wanted to read No Little Women because Aimee has a strong desire (one that I share) to see women in the church grow as disciples by becoming serious students of the Word of God.
You may be wondering where the title of the book comes from in the first place? Here is your answer.
For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:6-7
Byrd explains that weak women could be translated literally as “little women.” What Aimee seeks to do through her book is to encourage women to become such serious students of the Word of God with the result that this verse never applies to them!
Here are five things that stood to me from No Little Women.
- The book is a challenge to Christian women to see themselves as theologians and to work hard to know the Word of God. Aimee writes this, “What we may be missing isn’t so much a better philosophy on home and work. What many of us need is better theology. No matter what our different circumstances and vocations may be, every woman is a theologian. We all have an understanding of who God is and what he has done. The question is whether or not our views are based on what he has revealed in his Word about himself.” p.53 I love the fact that Aimee is not pulling any punches and is encouraging women to read, study and to push themselves to become better students of God’s Word.
- The book takes some serious shots at the Christian publishing world and Christian book stores. Well needed shots I might add! “Christian women’s book studies have become quite popular, and many women in your church are also shopping for Christian books to read on their own. Because of this, Christian women have inevitably become a valued target market in the so-called Christian publishing industry. It is pumping out Bible studies, devotionals, customized Bibles, and personal growth books for us to buy (along with Christian candy, mugs jewelry, and artwork.) But the sad truth is that Christian book stores can promote some of the worst doctrines (and their candy can be quite inferior.)” p. 47 Again, I agree. I can’t hardly stomach going into a Christian book store any more because of all the knickknacks and books filled with bad theology.
- The book needs to be read by all leaders (men and women) in the church. Overstatement? I don’t think so. Aimee makes a strong, biblical case that women in the church need to be equipped and trained so that they can help fulfill the Great Commission. This is very challenging for me as a pastor. What are we doing to train women in the church? It’s simply not enough that there is a “Women’s Ministry” in the church. Are we investing in the women leaders of the church? Are we listening to them? Do we see them as allies in the work that God is doing?
- The book properly elevates women and helps us to see that the Bible has a lot more to say about women than their roles as wives and mothers. There is more, Aimee argues, to being a woman than just these two roles. “Where is all the teaching on the women who left their households to follow Jesus and even provided for his ministry? Where is the teaching on Phoebe as a model of Biblical womanhood, a prominent woman in society, and a patron to Paul and to many others? And, while we love the “do not be a Martha” message, much of the teaching on biblical womanhood emphasizes our domestic roles in the household. Much of my life is spent serving in domestic household roles, and I am happy that the church has worked to maintain the honor and calling of working in the home. But much less effort has been put into equipping women to be good theologians, which Jesus emphasized as the better portion.” p. 123
- The book is asking us to be very discerning about the Christian writers that we read. This includes warnings about some of the most popular Christian writers out there (Beth Moore, Lysa TerKeurst, Joyce Meyer, Jen Hatmaker to name a few). It appears to me that Aimee is most troubled by the idea that God has spoken directly to any of these Christian writers. “Unfortunately-and we’ll see this more in chapter 6-much of what is marketed to women appeals to a desire to hear a special voice from God. Life is stressful. We have so many decisions to make that take wisdom and sometime downright risk-taking faith. It would be wonderful to have direct revelation telling us the direction that God would have us take. But that is not the way that he has ordained for us to grow. No, he wants us to count on the sufficiency of the Word that he has already given us and the wisdom to apply it rightly, in dependence on the Spirit. This is a lot more difficult. It requires prayer, discipline, reflection, seeking godly counsel, and stepping out in faith.” p. 59-60 Instead of just waiting around for God to speak to us audibly let’s focus on knowing God through his written Word. I must confess that I still need to process this a bit more. I do believe that the Spirit of God indwells every genuine believer and he is able to guide, lead and nudge us in ways that can only be explained as supernatural. Yet I agree with Aimee that we cross into dangerous territory when we claim that we have been receiving special revelation from God. John, the writer of the book of Revelation, leaves no doubt that the canon of Scripture is closed when he writes, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” -Revelation 22:18-19
I really enjoyed No Little Women and I would encourage you to read it as well. It seems obvious to me that Aimee has a love for the local church and for women and that is what motivated her to write this important book. I pray that No Little Women will go a long way when it comes to encouraging women to know, love and treasure the Word of God with the result being a much stronger church of Jesus Christ.