“What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman?”
These words greet you as you open Matt Chandler’s A Beautiful Design. These questions linger in our lives, in our culture, and have been very present over the centuries regardless of location or religion.
I found myself throughout this study, coming back to Chandler’s initial question through the lens of God’s Word and who He says we are and the definition presented in Scripture.
Chandler’s study allows you to wade into fairly deep waters over a 9 week study, where you look at the Creation story of man and woman, how we are in His image created, and then diving into the separate examinations and study of both men and women. While I was a bit leery of being a single woman doing this study, after having completed it, I would recommend every single and married do this study in the church. Chandler has also adapted this study for teens and I do encourage that as well.
There are parts of the weekly sessions, where you are to be in a group setting watching the accompanying videos (not included in review) and completing the fill in the blank guide. The three part studies following that session are deep in their content and supplement the sessions topics from the larger setting. It allows for conversational insights between couples as well as family applications within the home each week. As a single, that can be adapted, and one I found myself doing with friends as I worked through this study.
As a woman, I appreciated the insight on the design for manhood, and the look into womanhood deeper than the go-to many dwell on in teaching of “submissiveness.” As a believer, it challenged me in some meaningful ways to look at who God created me to be, how the fall has marred that, and how redemption has brought my story back to His crafting.
I have recommended this study over and over again even while I was in the midst of reviewing it to so many. It’s timely, it’s relevant and it is much needed within the dynamics of the church for us to understand what womanhood and manhood truly are in relation to God’s design.
Interested in more from the Chandler’s? Read my review of Lauren Chandler’s book A Steadfast Love.
Reviewer’s Note: This study was provided for free in exchange for a review.