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.
following review written by Esther Filbrun
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.
following review written by Emma Filbrun
The typical romance book follows a fairly set formula. You know what that is. Woman sees good-looking man, gets to know him and he falls for her, soon they are both in love and can’t live without each other. They get married. Most books are pretty predictable, and I get very tired of that. Blessing Bentley does not follow this kind of formula. I found it very refreshing, and loved all the truths that were brought out in it.
Bentley had her eye on one of the men in her singles group, but it seemed like he was happy with the way things were, just hanging out together with the group most of the time. She was happy with it, too—until one day, she was challenged to study the Bible and see what God said about marriage. What she found changed her life, and she found herself asking a man to marry her so they could glorify God together in that way. Of course, his reaction was predictable—but what would he conclude after study, prayer, and counseling with his parents?
Life did not go smoothly for Bentley and her new husband after their unconventional wedding (which you just have to read about!). All those little things that happen to test every couple’s love came up—how could she cope? Would she ever find herself in love with him?
A couple of passages really stood out to me. At one point, Bentley and her husband appear on television because their story caught the attention of someone. Bentley was challenged about submission, and replied,
“People think Biblical submission means you no longer have opinions; preferences and things like that—totally not true. It’s about preferring others over ourselves.”
A little later in the same interview, her mother says,
“How many people in divorce court would tell you that they were ‘in love’ when they got married?”
Good point! Since love is a choice, we must choose to love the one we marry. This book is full of truth, and I can hardly recommend it highly enough.
In a way I could identify with Bentley. When I said “Yes” to my husband’s proposal, I could not have said honestly that I was in love with him. I knew he was the one I wanted to spend my life with, and that he was a man of integrity that I could trust with my life, but “falling in love” came later. So much of this story rings true to me—I love it! It’s actually hard for me to write this review because I love Blessing Bentley so much. If you like a story that has Biblical truths woven all through it, give this book a try. Chautona has explored what marriage is intended to be, and what love really is, and made it into a wonderful story. This is my newest favorite book! I have read the digital version, but I fully intend to get myself a print copy as soon as I can get one without paying international shipping!
I was given a copy of this book by the author, and chose to write a review.
WARNING: Someone swears in ch. 5. There are kisses in ch. 21, 22, and 27. Women’s cycles are mentioned in ch. 32. The word “drat” is used in ch. 34 and 35. Pregnancy is mentioned in ch. 35.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
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Keywords: Marriage, Women’s Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Christian Living, Books for Women