Every woman faces challenges that only another woman can understand. In a culture that is oftentimes antagonistic to biblical values, Christian women are desperate for a daily dose of spiritual reality and a focused time for critical thinking and reflection. TheNIV Real-Life Devotional Biblefor Women is the consummate aid to help a woman gain divine perspective in her quiet moments alone with God. Mature Christians will applaud the depth and character of the devotional content while novices may use the new Bible to institute a fresh start or mark a new beginning in their lives.
Q & A with Lysa TerKeurst and Glynnis Whitwer
What was the motivation for the Real Life Devotional Bible for Women and how did it come about?
While our devotions subscriptions have steadily grown since we started them in 2003, in the past few years we’ve seen phenomenal growth. We believe this is because we’ve identified and focused on what makes our writing unique – which is our commitment to being transparent with our struggles while introducing the hope and power of God’s Word to make a difference in our lives.
Although our devotions are based on specific verses in the Bible, we believe their impact will be exponentially increased when nestled in the books of the Bible. Readers will immerse themselves in the context of the devotional verse and grasp a greater vision for God’s heart and purpose for them.
What makes this bible distinctive from other devotional bibles?
We know what it’s like to struggle in our marriages, as mothers and in the workplace. And rather than give advice on the right way to solve problems, or set ourselves up as experts, we’d rather pull up a kitchen chair, grab a cup of coffee and enter into our readers’ lives as a friend. That’s the feel of the devotions you’ll find in this Bible.
It’s one mom sharing with another how she overcame her feelings of inadequacy. It’s one wife confessing to another how she overcame resentment of her husband. It’s one friend telling another how God helped her stop gossiping.
This devotional Bible is filled with real women writing about everyday issues – but always pointing to the extraordinary God who brings hope, comfort and healing in the midst of our struggles.
How do you see the bible best being used?
Women will enjoy using this Bible as part of their personal devotion time and we hope it encourages women to read more of the Bible for themselves. It can also be used as a launching pad for small group discussions. Also, women who are teachers can use the devotions as examples in their own ministry.
Are the devotions geared more to the mature believer or the new Christian?
We eliminate insider language so a woman who has never set foot in a church will understand the message of our devotions. And yet, the themes and biblical truths are deep enough that a mature believer will be challenged.
Both new and mature believers will enjoy this devotional Bible because we deal with issues specific to women - and churches don’t always address those types of issues. For example, how often do churches talk about a wife losing her sexual desire for her husband?
What are some of the particular issues or challenges for women that are addressed?
How to not be offended by a friend, how to have greater intimacy with your husband, how to weather the storms of life, how to stop gossiping, how to pray for your children, how to control your words, dealing with hormones, discovering who we are in the midst of parenting, overcoming the shame of our pasts
Are all of the devotions related to the Proverbs 31 passage?
No. The devotions are based on verses from Genesis to Revelation.
How much of what is shared in the devotions come from your own personal experiences “in the trenches of life”?
Our greatest lessons come from what God is doing in our own lives. We are just ordinary women who share the vulnerable spots in our lives and invite another to walk along side us. We’re willing to share our mistakes, our regrets, and our pain so we can point others to our Source of our help and hope. In doing so, we find purpose in the hard things we’ve experienced. 2 Corinthians 2:3-4 says it well:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 2:3-4 NIV)
Glynnis Whitwer is on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries as Executive Director of Communications. She is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 e-mail devotions, with over 600,000 daily readers, and served as the general editor for the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible featuring 366 Proverbs 31 Ministries’ devotions. She is the author of I Used to be So Organized, When Your Child Hurts, andwork@home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home. She is also co-author of a Bible studies series entitled Kingdom Living.
Glynnis has a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Arizona State University and worked as a PR writer before joining the staff of Proverbs 31 Ministries 14 years ago. Glynnis and her husband Tod live in Glendale, Arizona. They have five children, ranging from mid-teens to early 20s. She blogs regularly atwww.GlynnisWhitwer.com.