Book Plunge: Stop Calling Me Beautiful

What do I think of Phylicia Masonheimer’s book published by Harvest House? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This book was not what I expected. I honestly thought with the title it would be more about helping women to realize they’re beautiful. It’s really the opposite, and that’s a good thing. Masonheimer wrote this book about being tired of women’s conferences that seem to be entirely all about self-help.

She argues that women need something deeper than being told they’re beautiful. Ultimately, they need Jesus Himself. They need to find their comfort in God. Women bounce around from thing to thing, or in a sadder case from man to man, hoping to find something that will fulfill them when Christ is waiting there for them the whole time.

Masonheimer goes after this whole fake culture. One chapter is even about the Instagram Bible. How many women (And men) try to make their Bible study times look really good on Instagram or Facebook (The cup of coffee supposedly making it extra holy), but then they really neglect Bible study? When they do Bible study, they do it for the hopes that they will learn something about themselves and not really to learn about God.

The next part of the book is about different false beliefs for women in the church. Legalism is the first one where much is made for women about things like skirt length. Even if the rules are good, the rules can often seem to be equated with Christianity.

Next come chapters on grief and anxiety and how to handle them. This can be a challenging one for women who are usually emotional creatures, more so than men, and yet are told to not be emotional. Women need to know how to handle serious loss and how to handle anxiety.

Thankfully, there’s a chapter on sexual stigma which is needed. Pornography is no longer just a man’s problem. Many women are watching porn as well. Many women are also told if they have sex before marriage that at that point they are damaged goods since most guys want a virgin. Masonheimer deals with all of these.

She then goes on to talk about community. Women need a place where they can be women. They need a place where they can be accepted and be safe. I also want to stress in my opinion that online friendships are great, but women and men both need face to face relationships where they can get comfort as well.

After that, she talks about the fear of man. This isn’t man in the sense of the male of the species, but in the sense of worrying about what everyone thinks about us. We do that so much, that we don’t focus on what God thinks and getting to live a life that He approves of.

There are other chapters on shame and how to live now, but I think I’ve said enough to let people know this is important. Women don’t just need pablum. They don’t just need self-help. They actually need something deeper.

So if I would actually change anything in this book, I would say go deeper still. I would like to see some information on the doctrine of God, Christ, how to do Bible study, and other such things. That could be for another book. In essence, a sort of apologetics for women would be good.

Still, I agree. Women, and men as well, don’t need pablum. We need something real. We need Jesus.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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