Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity
Author: Rebekah Merkle
Major Themes: Feminism, Women’s Roles
Synopsis: The history of feminism is traced over the course of 350 years, showing how women got to where they are today and what Christian women ought to be.
Wow. Eve in Exile is an amazing book. I’ve rated it as one of my top ten for the year. I had never even heard about it before my daughter heard of it from a friend and got it while it was free on Kindle. I was in the mood for a nonfiction read at that point, so downloaded it onto my Kindle (we share accounts), and started it. I could hardly put this book down! No, it’s not a mystery or even really a story, but it certainly caught my attention and held it.
There are four sections to this book. After the introduction, which discusses the confused, muddled-up mess women find themselves in today, in which people don’t even seem to know what gender they are, the first section talks about two different ways women react to this mess. Some women virtually live a pretend life, trying to go back in time to when things were different. Others spend their lives chasing after fulfillment in the ways society tells them they will find it.
The second section was fascinating to me. It traces the history of feminism from the earliest roots of today’s movement, in the mid-1700s, to the present. It was amazing to realize that, from the very earliest days, the feminists were trying to destroy the family structure. They hated marriage, and they hated that men could have sexual freedom, while women had to deal with the consequences. That, of course, led to birth control and abortion. Another point that stood out to me was the constant anger and discontentment among the feminists. They were never happy with what they had, but always wanted more and more. One quote I marked says,
“Whenever someone begins issuing demands to the universe about what is owed to them, we ought to be dubious. This is fundamentally at odds with biblical teaching on what is an obedient (and effective) response to injustice.”
The author goes on to point out Christ’s reaction, and how He told His followers to respond, when things were not done fairly to us. After you read this section, you will never think of the feminist movement in the same way again.
The third section is the opposite of the second one—it is positive! What are we, as women, designed for? What is our role? We are to subdue and fill the earth, be a help to our husbands, and glorify God! Another quote:
“Eve was created to help, not to be the commander in chief. Adam was not brought into the picture to be her sidekick, and she was not brought into the picture to live an independent life….”
These four chapters are full of amazing thoughts. I appreciated this quote, which concludes this section, as well:
“It’s worth noting, since conservatives have been known to miss this, that nowhere in Scripture are women, as a group, required to submit to men, as a group. Women are commanded to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord, nowhere are we required to submit to “men.”
The author finishes with a couple more sentences about the beauty of true submission.
Section four, then, gives practical ideas for carrying out our role. Throw yourself into your job—caring for your husband, children, and home! Determine that you will learn to be good at what you have to do anyway, and challenge yourself “to use the task that’s been put in front of you as a way to learn more about God and the breathtaking world He has put us in….” Change the world by making the good attractive! Be the glory of your husband, and in doing that, bring glory to God. Wow. So much to live up to, to think about and put into practice.
I was blown away by the wisdom in Eve in Exile. It is one I believe every Christian woman, married or single, should read. Reading this book has opened my eyes to some of the ways I have been affected by the culture that surrounds all of us, and given me a renewed vision for my life as a wife and mother. This is a book I want on my shelf in print so I can share it with other women! If you are discouraged or discontented with your role as a Christian woman, read this book and be encouraged.
Links to buy Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Keywords: Books for Women, Feminism, Women’s Roles