Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review: Fashioned by Faith

book cover

Fashioned by Faith
by Rachel Carter

ISBN-13: 9781400316922
Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: May 3, 2011

Source: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Everyone knows that we live in a “skin-is-in” society, heavily driven by media and immodesty. So how does a young Christian woman reconcile a fashionable wardrobe with maintaining her integrity?

Written by international professional model Rachel Lee Carter, Fashioned by Faith offers a cutting-edge approach to the concept of beauty with a Biblical foundation that will attract moms and daughters alike. Readers will love hearing about Carter’s exciting story as she leads them on an engaging study that touches on a huge felt need for young women: real beauty has nothing to do with looks.

Offering three valuable perspectives—teen boys, a professional model, and God’s Word—Carter explains her standards of modesty in a way that will make readers acquire a specific understanding of the author’s wardrobe choices and the impact those choices can make on others. Readers will also learn to season their self-image with daily quiet time with God. A tour of Scripture will reveal the value of heart issues like modesty and why they’re important to God.

Never compromising her sense of style or her faith, every young lady can discover what it means to be Fashioned by Faith. Moms and girls will love this book!

My Review:
Fashioned by Faith is an excellent Christian living book about modesty and true beauty. At the back of the book, there's also a quick-to-do 45-day Bible study on the same topics.

At the beginning of each chapter, a teen boy gave his perspective on what girls wear (though the boys all said the same sort of things). The author then talked about what modesty is, the heart-issues behind wanting to get attention from boys, some useful guidelines for clothing that will help you not show too much while wearing and moving around in clothing, and a few style tips for using stylish clothing in a modest way. She also quoted Scripture and explained what God has told us about modesty, beauty, and our bodies.

This book was written in an easy-to-understand level for teens, but the author made some great points for adult women as well. I was expecting a little more about how to dress "in fashion," but it was mostly about how to wear "in fashion" clothing in modest ways (layering, etc.). Also, much of the book focused on the motives behind wearing immodest clothing, why Christian women should wear modest clothing out of consideration for others, eating disorders, and trusting God. She described various incidents in her life that illustrated her points. For example, God kept providing her with work even when her agents told her no one would hire her if she refused to model underwear, etc. So you also learn some about the modeling industry.

There were several pictures of the author from various photo shoots and from her "normal life." Personally, I thought some of the clothing she was wearing pushed the edge of modest. Ironically, in the only picture where she looks like she wouldn't blow away if the wind blew too hard, her agent was apparently pressuring her to lose some weight because she was "too heavy." Go figure.

I've read all of this modesty information before, but I think this was one of the better books I've read on the topic. I'd recommend this book to girls and women, especially those struggling with why modesty matters.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
he [Seth, age 20] says...

I grew up with two older sisters. They've taught me a lot about women. One of the things I've learned is there is a quiet and beautiful dignity about a woman who dresses conservatively. Any man would be fortunate to have a wife like my sisters, but what makes them really special is that they have too much self-respect and confidence to wear clothes that reveal too much. I use the word confidence because I feel a girl who's covered in all the right places is a girl who lives with the freedom of not having to rely on attention for her sense for self-worth. A girl with confidence is much more attractive to me than a girl who feels she has to exploit her body to receive attention or, worse, love.

My sisters are not ashamed of their bodies, and they wear the most current and stylish clothes. Yet they understand great men appreciate modesty. It doesn't matter how many girlfriends a man has had in his past, when he decides to settle down, his ideal wife will be one who lives modestly. A man who says he doesn't care about modesty or how his girlfriend dresses is lying.

When I marry, I want to find a woman I alone can fully appreciate. I believe young women should learn to value a sense of mystery. The more a woman destroys the mystery for a man, the more he will only be interested in what's going on from the neck down. All men are guilty of it, including myself, unfortunately. When a girl can barely walk because of her tight-fitting or revealing clothes, a man will either pursue her solely out of lust or automatically dismiss her as someone he doesn't want to be with.

There's a saying that goes, "If you got it, flaunt it." This is a lie. Instead, it should say, "If you've got it, protect it." Great women like my mother and sisters took this idea and lived their lives by it. This is the type of woman I'm interested in getting to know, because modesty and confidence in a woman is a very powerful and attractive woman.

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