We are living in a kind of golden age for Christian “mommy bloggers” (as my wife likes to call them). More Christian women than ever are taking their private journals public to talk honestly and creatively about all the various intersections between Christian spirituality and the feminine life. I think this talented wave of wordsmithing women is a good thing for a few reasons:
- They reinforce the fact that theology is not just a man’s sport. Christian men and women alike are to have their lives shaped by “sound (or healthy) doctrine (Titus 2:1-15). Women in the church should be just as passionate as men about learning to think theologically.
- They’ve demonstrated a strong ability to apply powerful gospel truths to ordinary life. The gospel aims to transform every area of our lives. To not apply the gospel is to not rightly understand the gospel.
- They are able to help women grow in their ability to disciple others with God’s Word (especially other women—Titus 2:3-4). Biblical truth is meant to pass through us to others, not get clogged in us. Some of the “mommy bloggers” (MB) are excellent examples of what it looks like to care not only for their own spiritual well-being, but that of others as well.
- They’re not just for women! Many of these blogs are also useful in helping men (husbands and pastors, especially) better learn how (and when) to speak the truth of God’s Word into the lives of women with sympathy and wisdom. Husbands and pastors would be wise to subscribe to a handful of gospel-centered blogs written by women so they can better love and lead their wives and their churches.
However, blogs written by Christian women (as with all things) should be read with discernment. There are some good blogs out there, and there are some really, really not so good ones. Remember that good writing skills do not a good theologian make! Nor do a large swath of followers or “shares”, “retweets”, or “likes” guarantee the truthfulness of a writer’s content. Church history will attest that some of the most deadly and soul-shriveling heresies come eloquently packaged by popular people. Therefore, spiritual discernment is required. In other words, you and I must grow in our ability to understand and apply God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong. Much can be said about this brand of discernment, but I’ll offer one exhortation for my mommy-blog-loving sisters in Christ:
Be careful not to equate empathy with truth.
It seems to me that a great strength of the MB is an ability to whimsically tap into the emotional realities of women and provide a strong sense of empathy—“I know exactly what you’re going through! I’ve felt the same way! I’m a hot mess just like you are!” In many ways, they serve as good models for how to speak tenderly and compassionately (all areas in which I would love to grow as a husband and a pastor). The ability of another person to understand and share our feelings is powerful thing! When God brings a person into our lives who is able to empathize with us in truth (or allows us to be that kind of person for someone else)—man! It’s so sweet, isn’t it?! Yet this powerful thing, as sweet as it may be, must never become an ultimate thing. Empathy alone is not enough.
Just because our feelings are real and affirmed by someone else does not mean that our feelings are true. In fact, the Bible teaches that our hearts are terrible guides (Jeremiah 17:9)! When disconnected from God’s Word, our hearts are like a de-magnetized compass leading us in confused circles. Finding empathy that’s divorced from sound doctrine may simply mean you’ve found someone to join you in your confused ramblings. As one author wrote,
“We live in an age where too many who profess to be Christians rarely consider their spiritual maturity—an age when many consider spiritual immaturity a mark of authenticity, and when people associate doubt with humility and assurance with pride.”
Empathy is a good thing and a blessing when tempered by the truth of God’s Word. But our own lives reveal that the truth you and I so desperately need is often not packaged in this way. In fact, if we only receive spoken truth from the lips of empathizers, we’ll rarely, if ever, receive truth! Simply, empathy is not a pre-requisite for others to speak truth in love at appropriate times. In fact, it’s always better to receive truth without empathy than empathy without truth.
“Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it (Psalm 141:5).”
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6).”
“It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:5).”
You and I must trust that what God says in His Word is always…always…always more true than what we feel in our hearts—even when other people affirm our feelings. The Word of God searches us and knows us better than we (and our empathetic partners) know ourselves (Psalm 139:23; Hebrews 4:12)! In fact, you and I can be confident that we are growing in spiritual wisdom and understanding when more and more, “I feel” is being confronted by and conformed to “God says”.
Some of you might be wonder, “With all the stuff out there on the interwebs, where can I find quality blogs for ladies that is both relatable and truthful?” Below is a list of very good blogs written by women for women. I subscribe to some of them. Others came recommended. I have spent time reading each. Certainly, there are more good blogs out there than are listed, but there’s more than enough good stuff here to get you started.
- Aimee Byrd, a.k.a. “Housewife Theologian”—Aimee’s blog should be appreciated both for its depth and its spiritual discernment.
- Amy Medina @ “Everyone Needs a Little Grace”—Amy is a missionary and mostly writes about her life in East Africa. Nevertheless, you’ll be encouraged.
- Jen Thorn @ “Adorned”—Jen is an amazing writer and the wife of one of my favorite pastors and contemporary writers, Joe Thorn.
- Gloria Furman—Kathy and I have known Gloria since she was in college. She and her husband, Dave, serve Redeemer Church of Dubai, UAE. Her writing mixes personal stories with biblical truth as well as anyone we know.
- Jen Wilkin @ “The Beginning of Wisdom”—Author of “Women of the Word”, Jen is passionate about helping women apply God’s Word to their lives. She is a member of The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX.
- Melissa Kruger @ “Wits End” (The Gospel Coalition)—Melissa is the only fully sponsored blogger at TGC, but there are tons of posts written by women for women that are regularly posted at the site.
- “Practical Theology for Women“—Most blog posts are simply a lecture from the author to herself, but you’re invited to read along and participate.
- Lore (pronounced Lor-ee) Ferguson @ “Sayable”—Lore Ferguson provides gut-honest and theologically-rich insights on all kinds of important issues.
- Melissa Edgington @ “Your Mom Has a Blog”—Melissa is a creative writer who always connects the truth of the gospel to every life as a woman, wife, and mom.
- Counsel of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW)—Both men and women contribute to the CBMW blog which are always theologically rich, ministerially useful, and personally relevant.