2 December 2011

Review: Work Love Pray by Diane Paddison

In Work, Love, Pray: Practical Wisdom for Young Professional Christian Women, Paddison draws on her experience as a senior executive to outline the problems that Christian women face in the workforce, and to suggest ways to maintain and grow as a Christian. She has a chatty and personable style which makes the book easy to read, and each chapter has real-life examples from Paddison’s own life, and from the lives of other Christian women in business. One of her main points is how few churches adequately cater for Christian professionals, especially professional women, as the church still has this (conscious or unconscious) expectation that women ‘only’ get tertiary education in order to get a ‘Mrs. Degree’. Readers are encouraged to use the talents God has given them, and challenged to grow spiritually through reading Christian books that make us think.

Work, Love, Pray would be an excellent book for a young Christian woman starting her career. As someone a little older, I found the problems to be consistent with my own experience, and the advice and suggested solutions to be sound. However, I would recommend other titles for women with children (such as Women Who Do Too Much, by Patricia Sprinkle, which was quoted in Work, Love, Pray).

There are a series of questions at the end of each chapter which challenge the reader to think through their own situation and expectations for career, marriage and family. These would make an excellent basis for a small group discussion, either for young professional women in the early stages of their career, or perhaps for high-school and college-aged students, as the questions might help them determine their own calling and future direction.

While little of the material in Work, Love, Pray was new to me, I always find it interesting to read how Christian women combine a career with family and church responsibilities. They reinforce that the endless juggling act is normal, that women have to carefully prioritise in order to maintain their relationships with God, family and friends. While this might not exactly seem encouraging, it is in a perverse way, in that you realise your struggles are not unique.

Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

Paddison challenges women to read not just their Bibles, but Christian non-fiction books that make them think. I should therefore add the occasional serious non-fiction book to my reading pile. Does anyone have any suggestions for good Christian non-fiction? Please leave a comment!

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