In the post on Pink Fluffy Bunny Women’s Studies, I mentioned my burden for women’s Bible studies that do 2 things. First–that walk straight through Scripture. I believe we are in danger of selling women in the church a lie — that the stuff specific to them in Scripture is made up of a piecemeal compilation of small sections of Scripture from a few select places in the Old and New Testament. Ephesians 5:22 isn’t the only Scripture particularly applicable to women in Ephesians. The WHOLE BOOK of Ephesians is written to women. Men too. But don’t make the last part of Ephesians the only part we speak particularly to women.
Second, I am burdened to see studies that go straight through Scripture that also relate Scripture back to the real issues facing women. Right now, the majority of books that go straight through Scripture are either heavy commentaries written by men or middle weight commentaries also written by men. There are a few examples of what I would like to see more of.
The first study I ever read like that was How to Overcome Evil by Jay Adams, a study of Romans 12. For some reason, studying Romans 12 in that format was really helpful to me. Adams gave a concise explanation that was right at the level I could handle. It wasn’t fluff by any means, but it also wasn’t overwhelming in its detail. And he wrote it in a way that was pointedly relevant to my daily experience.
All that to say, I have written a study of this nature on Ephesians. In my discussions with experienced authors and publishers in an effort to get this published, I have realized that mainstream Christian publishers do not have a nook for this type of book. I think these types of studies have not done very well in the past. Commentaries written by men with degrees do well. A study of the same Scripture written by a woman with a lot of personal application, not so much. And yet, I believe that there IS an audience who will never read Martin Lloyd Jones’ 6 volume commentary on Ephesians who still would benefit greatly from studying through Ephesians.
I have been turned down by 3 mainstream publishers. And in terms of self-identity and my need for affirmation, that was initially crushing. Is this God saying no to me on future publishing? Is my writing not of the quality that a mainstream publisher needs? I really want to write Christian studies for women. It’s my burden. I grow so much when I do it. Is God completely shutting the door? Then I stumbled across self publishing. It has over time become an attractive option to me. But I struggle to get past the impression of self promotion. I could never be a used car salesman (no offence to those who are). It doesn’t sit well with my psyche to promote myself. I won’t publish anything until my husband and pastor approve it, but I still miss the feeling of an entire corporation putting its stamp of approval on the cover with their own publicity person that promotes me to others. However, my options now are to file it all away or attempt self publishing. And I think I am going to try it.
Unless God shuts the door, my goal is to release By His Wounds You Are Healed: how the message of Ephesians transforms a woman’s identity in March. Here is the tentative cover.
Who are you? How do you describe yourself to others? For what do you want to be known? And in the stillness when no one else is around, how do you view yourself? If you (like most of us) struggle with your identity or security, this study of Ephesians will point you to answers that will sustain you for a lifetime.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul defines our identity and security in Christ. He tells us in detail of the real benefits we have as daughters of God. He shows how these benefits equip us to reclaim our identity in Christ. And he draws a straight line from all these truths to the heart of our insecurities today.
This study of Ephesians walks straight through the Scriptures and shows how each truth presented is particularly applicable to the struggles we face as women at every stage of life.
This post isn’t a lecture to myself. It’s simply self disclosure to my audience of my burden and struggle. If you have a comment on the value of such a study or the issue of self publishing, your feedback is appreciated here.