Friday, February 22, 2008

Essential Reading for Ministry Wives

My sweet friend Sharon asked me for some book recommendations to take to the field. She and her husband David, are preparing to leave this spring, and she left me this comment on a past post:

"I'm mainly writing to ask you for some book recommendations. Several missionaries have told me to make sure I take plenty of reading material because resources are limited once you're on the mission field. I would like to go buy some books and just put them in one of the boxes we're shipping down and it will be like a little Christmas for me throughout the year."

I am doing my recommended reading in two parts -- "Essential Reading for Ministry Wives", and "Just for You". This list is specifically designed for women, wives and moms to be applicable to their lives as they minister in a church in the US or abroad. There is no way this list is exhaustive, but I do want to give you enough options in case I list things you've already read. I'm focusing, for the most part, on books specifically designed for women. There are many others, that I would encourage you to check out, but I know your husband most likely has those! Most of the parenting books I am recommending based upon hearsay -- I've read very few of those. :) But good people have told me how wonderful they are, so I'll pass them on to you.

This list is for Sharon, but I know my dear readers have been wondering when I would write about books and reading again! So here you are, a true post in Gret Reads 24/7 fashion:

For All Women:

1. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Charmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
2. The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
3. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
4. Discipline, the Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
5. How People Change by Tim S. Lane
6. Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney
7. A Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God's Mercy and Our Pain by Elisabeth Elliot
8. Idols of the Heart by Elise Fitzpatrick
11. Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot
12. Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison
13. Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands by Paul Tripp
14. The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith
15. Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
16. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
17. Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes

Books on Marriage:

1. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
2. The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
3. Sacred Marriage by Gary L. Thomas
4. Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson
5. Fearlessly Feminine by Jani Ortland

Books on Parenting:

1. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (I'm reading it right now with Christen!)
2. Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman
3. Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay Clarkson
4. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson (I've had this recommended by several friends)
5. Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond (a woman I really admire tells me this is very practical and helpful. She buys it for all baby showers!)
6. Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
7. The Shaping of a Christian Family: How My Parents Nurtured My Faith by Elisabeth Elliot
8. In My Father's House by Corrie Ten Boom

Books for Your Ministry in the Church and to Women:

1. Free Grace and Dying Love by Susannah Spurgeon
2. Ordinary Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
3. Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
4. Girl Talk by Carolyn Mahaney
5. Women's Ministry in the Local Church by Ligon Duncan III
6. The Path Through Suffering: Discovering the Relationship Between God's Mercy and Our Pain by Elisabeth Elliot
7. Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor
8. Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick

Merry Christmas, Sharon! :) To save time and space, I simply listed the titles, but if you want more info on any of these, leave me a comment, and I'll let you know why I recommend it!


David and Sharon Taylor said...

Wow, Gretchen! You're awesome! Thanks so much! I know that took a lot of time and thought for you to post and I really appreciate it. I've read a few of those books, but not even close to all of them, so I'll have plenty to choose from. Thanks again!

Sara Mincy said...

Thanks for this list Gretchen! When you post like this, I just open a new tab to my library account and start requesting. I just did this and have 5 on request that I am excited to read...I have not read enough of E.Elliot, and I can't wait to read the 4 Loves.

Morning Rose said...

Great list! I still haven't read any of Elisabeth Elliott's books but really want to.

Devin said...


I wanted to suggest another one for the marriage column--don't know if you have read it, but Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (goes much deeper than the title suggests) is a wonderful book, full of knowledge on the relationship between husband and wife. Didn't know if you've ever read that one or not!


Gretchen said...

Thanks, Devin! I actually have read portions of that book, but I left alone the chapters that were specifically for husbands. (I find it better to focus on what I need to be doing, you know? :)) Good addition. The chapter in that book by Carolyn Mahaney is also in Feminine Appeal.

Paul Sr. said...

I was wondering if you ever read a book called "Created to be his helpmeet"? The author is Debi Pearl. It is a must read for every christian wife. I require it in my pre-marital & marriage counselling. I use 'Reforming Marriage' for the guys. I believe we have an extra copy of Created to be his helpmeet. I'd be glad to send it to you.

James and Christen said...

Don't forget Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper! I am already pulling my copy (yours really) out and making plans for how to teach my children to honor God as we celebrate Christ's death and resurrection!

Great list. Several I need to add to my list.

Love ya - Christen

Josh said...

Paul, my dear friend Christen has lent me that book, and I did think it was good. Debi is pretty much right on. Thanks for the offer!

Chris -- thanks for the extra input. I'll add that to the "Just for you" list.

Josh said...

The last comment was Gretchen posting while I was logged in. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused. I, unlike Gretchen, have not read "Created to be His Helpmeet." However I do consider Christen to be a dear friend, as Gretchen does.

-- Josh