Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes
Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes is a book that challenges women to seek renewed minds, and, by God’s grace, become powerful women of the gospel. What more could we hope or pray for as we celebrate women’s day in South Africa on 9 August?
The book starts out by looking at 1 Tim 4:7 – “Train yourselves to be godly”; emphasising that godliness is something we must work for; it doesn’t just happen. If we’re willing to eat properly to stay healthy and exercise to keep fit, how much more should we be committed to our spiritual workout? Hughes assures right from the start that true discipline is a far cry from legalism. She explains: “The difference lies in motivation: Legalism is self-centred; discipline is God-centred…the disciplined heart says, ‘I will do this because I love God and want to please Him.’”
Let the workout begin
With this in mind, the book works through fifteen areas for discipline, across the four main sections of soul, character, relationships and ministry; touching on everything from prayer and contentment through to marriage/singleness and witness. I found the chapter on the discipline of the mind particularly insightful, as Hughes uses colourful anecdotes and biblical truths to enlighten us as to our brain’s capacity, and encourages us to focus our minds on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8).
I read this book together with some of the women at our church last year. Our pastor had encouraged us to start meeting once a week before work, and this meant an early start as most of us had to leave for our respective workplaces by 7:30am. With much difficulty, we got into the habit of setting our alarms for the crack of dawn, and hauled ourselves out of bed to meet and read together. In midwinter, it was especially painful. But, as we’d sip strong coffee together and share and laugh, and as the sun would gradually start to rise over the city, we’d realise how richer we were for the experience. Discipline is always a bit like that isn’t it…and with grace to help us along we’ve no excuse to be spiritually flabby, do we?
We have two copies of Disciplines of a godly woman to give away (hardcopy or Kindle as preferred). All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and an area of spiritual discipline that you’d like to grow in this year. We’d love to hear from you!
Follow www.radiantmag.co.za for more giveaways in the weeks leading up to our 1 September launch.