post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Blessing Bentley
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Marriages of Conviction, book 1
Major Themes: Christian Fiction, Christian Living, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Synopsis: When Bentley discovers a truth in the Bible about one way we are supposed to glorify God, she must decide if it’s worth the risk to follow through with it or not.
I love books that speak to me, even if the stories themselves have little (or nothing!) to do with my own life. Blessing Bentley was one of those books. I’ve read a lot of Havig books; not as many as Mom, but I’ve appreciated every one I’ve read so far. This one, though, rates a bit higher than some of the others for me. Bentley is a relatable woman with a relatable problem—and the outworking of her faith is something that both encouraged and challenged me.
Bentley is content with her life—well, as much as can be. She’s just bought a new house when she receives the devastating news that she’s lost her job. Now, with a home loan to pay off and the need to find a new job, she doesn’t have a whole lot of time to waste. However, her troubles seem to be multiplying. An offhanded comment at Bible study has sent her on an in-depth search into what the Bible says about marriage, and her results are rather discouraging. The Bible seems to be saying that marriage was intended as a means to glorify the Lord, but she is rather content in her single state—and none of the single men she knows seem to be in any way inclined toward the idea of getting married. What should she do? Would it be right to pick the best partner out of her acquaintances, and propose to him? Or could she just conveniently forget this Bible study, and move on with her life?
I’ve never read such a unique romance before. I’ve read romance novels—the broad spectrum (or close enough to it for my comfort!)—but haven’t ever read one that is quite so intent on the Biblical perspective of “romance” as this one. Blessing Bentley is all about one woman’s discoveries in the Word of God, from careful studying over a number of months. The unique part is that she didn’t only study the Bible—she felt compelled to act on it, and that action is something many people today would be shocked at. But sometimes, novels can do something real life can’t—they can reflect truth in a setting we wouldn’t always expect to find a portrait of truth. This book is a gem.
I think my favorite part is that this book isn’t only about a woman choosing to glorify God with her marriage. The application is so much broader—it may be mostly implied here, but the point is clear anyway: EVERY little thing we do ought to be done with the goal of glorifying the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small; our purpose on earth is to praise and honor the Lord. Period. This book has both simultaneously raised my bar for expectations of romance books several notches and challenged me to live my life more for the glory of the Lord. Thinking about my actions through that light is pretty sobering.
Like I said, this is a good book. If you have a chance to pick up Blessing Bentley, I think this would be an encouragement to you, too!
“I’m realizing that marriage was intended to be another way to glorify God, and, in doing so, mankind was blessed as a byproduct.” —Bentley
I requested a free review copy of this book from the author, and this is my honest opinion of it.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy Blessing Bentley:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
Keywords: Women’s Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Christian Living, Books for Women
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