Book Recommendations for Spiritual Growth

“What books are you reading right now?” and “What books should I be reading?” are two recurring themes in reformed circles. We talk about books all the time. We have book clubs, discussions, and podcasts. Some of us are more immersed in the topic than others, and we all have different ideas on what’s helpful regarding books. What authors are good? Are the books the men read just as helpful to women? What role does fiction play in our becoming “well-read” and benefitting from what we’re taking in?

If you want to read more but aren’t sure where to turn next, or if you read a lot and are looking for ideas of where to go next, here is a list of books for you.

Keep in mind, however, that we can read day in and day out without deriving any benefit from the words we’re seeing or hearing. Let’s not be “weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:6-7). We need to read with intention and prayer that we would use what we read for God’s glory, that what we see and hear will spur us on to good works.

We’ve provided Amazon links for these books, but many of them are available as e-books and audiobooks (including free ones on library apps) or are already in the home libraries of the women at church and available for borrowing. Just look around.

Virtuous: A Study for Ladies of Every Age by Nancy Wilson: A short, concise, Scripture-rich book about feminine virtues and their practical application.

Learning Contentment: A Study for Ladies of Every Age  by Nancy Wilson: Another short Nancy Wilson work about what contentment is and how we may go about achieving it.

Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women by Nancy Wilson: Even shorter, organized into homemaking categories involving housework and family relationships.

Single and Satisfied: A Grace-Filled Calling for the Unmarried Woman by Nancy Wilson: A practical help for women navigating the often awkward space that is singleness in the Church.

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman: A Bible Study by Martha Peace: A practical Bible study that teaches the character of a mature Christian woman so that you may disciple other women and be accepting of others’ discipling you.

The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective by Martha Peace: Details and application of the Biblical principles surrounding being a wife–a good book for wives at any point of marriage, but especially helpful for those looking forward to or new to marriage.

Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes: A list of godly disciplines with the wisdom of growing your relationship with God so that those disciplines become desires rather than drudgery.

How to Be Free from Bitterness: And Other Essays on Christian Relationships by Jim Wilson: A collection of excellent, eye-opening essays about finding and uprooting bitterness in our hearts.
 You Who?: Why You Matter and How to Deal with It by Rachel Jankovic: A wordy but engaging book about how our Christian identity fits in (or rather, does not fit in) with the world’s ideas of identity.

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic: A sweet assortment of Rachel’s stories, methods, and tips and tricks regarding being a mom of young children.

Broken Bread: How to Stop Using Food and Fear to Fill Spiritual Hunger by Tilly Dillehay: Insightful thoughts on gluttony and other perversions of our intended relationship with food.

Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot: A series of letters Elisabeth wrote to her daughter when her daughter was engaged, wise thoughts and advice on femininity.

Eve in Exile: and the Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah Merkle: How feminism has sought to tear down the God-ordained household and our job in building it, i.e., “The Restoration of Femininity.”
 The Fruit of Her Hands: Respect and the Christian Woman by Nancy Wilson: How respecting your husband builds your house.

Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs by J.I. Packer: Scriptural concepts explained simply, with no fluff or complicated language. A great book for those new to the faith and for those seeking to explain our faith to others.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul: An explanation of God’s holiness as we can understand it, told through the stories of ordinary men’s encounters with the Creator, along with what that means for our views of God and ourselves.

A Call to Prayer by J.C. Ryle: A short book of exhortation to prayer as the most important part of the Christian life.

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions compiled by Arthur Bennett: A collection of well-thought-out prayers by devoted Christians, given not just for repetition by believers today but to spur them on to a better prayer life and a closer relationship to God.
 The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children by Lou Priolo: Digs into the roots of anger in both parents and children and offers Biblical correction for our sinful behaviors regarding anger.

The Helpful Marriage Book: Biblical Wisdom for Husbands and Wives by Tim Bayly with Mary Lee Bayly: Advice resulting from over forty years of marriage about working our way through marriage’s difficulties.

Psalms for Trials:Meditations on Praying the Psalms by Lindsey Tollefson: Short reflections on Psalms along with practical recommendations for praying through them and living them out in everyday life.
 Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth: A breakdown of common lies among women, what believing them means for us, and how we can stop believing them.

Side by Side: Walking with others in Wisdom and Love by Edward T. Welch: Equips Christians to share their burdens with one another and discusses what a huge difference it can make in their lives.

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dan Allender: Examines the issues sexual abuse brings with it and exhorts believers to seek their healing through Christ.

The View from a Hearse: A Christian View of Death by Joe Bayly: A meditation on death and grieving, written for people who are anticipating death (either loved ones’ or their own) and people who are grieving the deaths of loved ones.
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones: The title summarizes the book well (the “cure,” of course, being the Gospel).

Look out for more book-related blog posts about children’s literature and fiction books for women.

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