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Book Review of How to Have it All by Imani Ackerman
If you know me at all, you’ll know that I enjoy a good book. I could sit on a beach and read all day. Now that I have kids I don’t get as much time to read, but I still read when I can. I was very excited when the opportunity came up to read and do a review of Imani Ackerman’s book How to Have it All: The Secrets of a Proverbs 31 Woman.
Ah, Proverbs 31! The ultimate of all ultimate lists of a what a Christian woman strives to be. There are entire ministries, books, Bible studies etc. dedicated to this one chapter in the Bible. It paints a beautiful picture, it really does; a hard working, respected woman. She runs her own household and her own business. She’s a great mom, wife, daughter and friend. She would probably have a million followers on Instagram of women who want to be just like her. Imani refers to her as “Martha Stewart + Beyonce + Oprah with more kids than Angelina Jolie and a husband who rivals Barak Obama in administration. And she loves God!” (pg14)
But, there’s the problem. It’s so easy to look at her as this picture of perfection that we want to be. So, what do we do? We do all the things she does. We get up earlier than the dawn, we work with our hands (and we’ll make ourselves enjoy it because, after all, she does!) we start trying to make our own clothing for crying out loud! All because of the Proverbs 31 Woman.
Is this what God intended when He included this book in His Word? I don’t think so. Comparison and jealousy are not of God. “I think God wants to use this woman to inspire us to be all that He has made us to be.” (pg 25) “Proverbs 31 is not a formula for how to redeem your past. God did not put this chapter in the Bible to give us a recipe for successful women that would prove the world wrong for the way they hurt us, abused us, used us and cast us aside. God did not put this chapter in the Bible to show us how we could make our lives better than it was before… We are going to dig even deeper into the purpose for this Scripture and how it can help us see the things God has for us come to fruition.” (pg33-36)
Did you know this passage is actually an acrostic poem in Hebrew? Each verse starts with a letter of the alphabet. It’s not even about a specific woman, but a woman this mother thinks her son should marry. “She lists one quality of this woman for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.” (pg 32).
I learned so much from reading this book (and if you know me, you know I like myself a good book!!) I can’t encourage you enough to read this book. Especially if you are one of those women, like me, who tend to read Proverbs 31 as a “to do” or checklist of things to do to be a godly woman. You can purchase How to Have it All for just $9.99 on Amazon. It’s worth every penny in my opinion! It’s great to read on your own, or with some girlfriends in a Bible Study or Book Club. Imani has some very thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter. The chapters are short, so you could easily do 2 or 3 a week.