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Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,575 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Carolyn Mahaney identifies with the challenges facing women in today's world and meets them with the guidance of God's Word. The feminine virtues described in Titus 2 have transformed her life and the lives of countless other women. This book will show you the appeal of being a woman who lives for God and helps others do the same. ...more
Paperback, Expanded, 192 pages
Published June 14th 2004 by Crossway (first published July 1st 2003)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Mar 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Note to self: do not ever attempt to read books about being a "Christian woman" with budding roses on the cover. For real.

Ugh! This book was pretty bad. I understand where the author is coming from - really, I do. I'm an evangelical Christian who agrees that the Bible sets standards for men & women, and I also really like the passage in Titus 2 that this book is based on.

There are lots of examples of harmful application in this book, but here's two:
- In the section about older women mentoring yo
Feminine Appeal is a refreshing, little Christian Living book that I feel is overlooked! In a world where true femininity is fading, and being a homemaker, wife, and mother is scoffed at, Carolyn Mahaney encourages us to take another look at our unique design as women. What did God create us specially for, and how can this impact the world? Are we embracing this gift ... the gift of feminine appeal?

Consider the loveliness of a woman who passionately adores her husband, who tenderly cherishes
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book has absolutely changed my view of my purpose as a woman. It is a must read for any Christian woman (married or single). Each chapter revealed sin that was in my life, that I never knew I had. I thought that this book would push that it is sinful to work outside of the home, something that is not necessarily going to be a reality for me in the future. Carolyn Mahaney does nothing of the sort. Throughout this book, she simply shows the biblical call of God to being a wife, mother, and a ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reads
There were some good take-aways from this read, but over-all I had a hard time relating to this book at all. I am a stay-at-home wife and homeschooling mother and I can get on board with the thought that the kids and the house are primarily my responsibility. But I think some of the ways the author chose to apply that were a stretch. Just as one example... the idea that I need to get up before my husband and kids or I'm "lazy." My husband is up at 5:15AM. He has expressed in no uncertain terms t ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent book. However, be sure to read it while giving yourself lots of grace. It could seem like a ridiculous to-do list, though it isn't meant to be that. Also, if studying with others be sure the women are super grounded in the gospel and their identity in Christ. It isn't for new believers. ...more
Kelly Meirik
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
gently convicting. thought it could have elaborated a bit more on the topics- seemed over simplified but a great read on being a godly women.
Nova Fiana
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Easy read. The book discussed clearly the fiminine virtues of women described in Titus 2. The book motivates me to please God in different seasons of life callings." ...more
Megan Wheat
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow did that drag horribly in the beginning, but as I pushed through I found a treasure.
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. I've been searching for a guide to Biblical womanhood, and I would definitely say this is the best one I've read recently. I would put it up with Elisabeth Elliot's "Let Me Be a Woman." Carolyn Mahaney has a simple, refined writing style. It's practical, biblical, and beautiful. Her humility shows throughout the text, but so does her experience. She is clear but gentle, and always firm about biblical truth. You won't find her bashing specific lifestyles, throwing herself headlong into ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Overall, this is a great book. I would recommend it to any Christian wife and/or mother looking for a Biblical perspective and practical tips for applying God's Word to her every day life. In fact, it is chocked full of so many applications that I would advise reading it more than once.

Although other verses are quoted, it is based primarily around Titus 2:3-5 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train
Alexis Neal
A fairly solid entry in the how-to-be-a-wife-and-mother category. Mahaney's perspective on sex is certainly less depressing than the Ricuccis' in Love That Lasts (for one thing, Mahaney seems to actually enjoy sex and delight in her husband). But honestly, a lot of this book was more discouraging than encouraging. The chapter on loving your children might be an encouragement to someone who already has kids, but to someone who is not yet a parent . . . well, it made me all the more terrified of t ...more
Kristen Stieffel
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book has some good biblical wisdom in it, but it is written very much from the viewpoint of a happy housewife and offers little help to those women who have to balance housekeeping with working a day job. The quality of the writing is good, but the message is wanting for any woman living in the 21st century.
Elizabeth Li
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A practical application of Titus 2. I personally enjoyed Hughes' version more but both are practical and biblical. ...more
Jennifer Kidd
A little slow, but it would be a good starting ground for someone who is looking for a biblical example of what it means to be a wife. It walks through seven virtues of a godly wife and mother.
Cedar Lea
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book clearly explains the passages from Titus 2 and 1 Peter 3 in the Bible, and how women are to live out the principles given for how a godly woman is supposed to be. I really enjoyed this book, as it explained these principles in more depth. Overall, most of this book seemed to apply to married women, but I think I can take principles from it and apply it to my life as a single person too.
Mandy J. Hoffman

Feminine Appeal is a comprehensive and comprehensible book on the seven virtues of a godly wife and/or mother as found in Titus chapter two. While the main focus and practicality is applicable to married women, this book is a wonderful read for single women not-yet-married or not-now-married. The message is Biblically accurate and presented in such a loving and gentle way. Carolyn Mahaney is not forceful or "down your throat" aggressive but simply sweet as she walk us through the comma
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2016
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. [Titus 2:3-5 NIV]

I've read Feminine Appeal a few times before, but this was my first read since becoming a wife and mother! I love the p
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Women are to:

love their husbands and children

have self-control

resemble purity

work at home

be submissive to their husbands

Carolyn arranges the above traits into chapters and explains that the Bible is not saying women are to not pursue a career and be treated as a lower being. Proverbs 31 is also quoted where the godly woman finds a way to earn income for the household by planting vineyards, and selling wares at the market. She is also not saying that women blindly submit to their husbands. Ep
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Carolyn Mahaney's illustration of a godly woman based on Titus 2:3-5 is Biblical, practical, but perhaps not as well-rounded as it could be. She provides clear and insightful explanations of difficult concepts such as purity and submission. I most enjoyed how many helpful and practical tips she gave for loving and serving well.

However, I feel Mahaney's teaching fell short in regards to the Biblical command that women "work at home". Women should have making a peaceful and life-giving home a top
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Written by Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal speaks a breath of fresh air and sound truth of the Bible to women who are torn between a career and family.

I remember being in that exact state, while reading this book.. wondering why I was reading it, but knowing I wanted to understand God's design for women.

The main points I caught was that:

1) God created older women to teach younger women (Titus 2) about the little things in life and about following God! This is a discipleship relationship we nee
While many reviewers have objections to some of the things the author suggests for women in this book, I think it is important to remember that she is expounding on the principles in Titus 2. You may not agree with this passage of scripture, however, if you claim to be a Follower of Christ, then scripture should affect and change your thoughts and behavior.

I found this book to be convicting, not in the sense of weighty guilt, but in the sense of there are things that I still need to work on and
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book contained a heartening, honest and balanced viewpoint on how to be a sweet, uplifting Christian mother and wife, while also acknowledging the strains of this profession. I especially enjoyed the practical way in which Mahoney encourages women to be the heart of the home, to thoughtfully care and pray for those in their care, while also creating a peaceful and loving environment for them at home. I also appreciated Mahoney's forthright and positive treatment of sex within marriage, as t ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This book will take you through the ringer if you're honest with yourself. :) If you're not able to heed advice like, "Only work on one or two of the seven listed..." then don't pick this book up. This book is intended to be an encouragement but could quickly turn into a burdensome load if one were to take it upon herself to make adjustments in all seven areas at once.

I loved the way Carolyn Mahaney drew from other authors to make points and clarifications. I have never better understood bittern
Jennifer Wilson
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
If it were possible, I'd give this book 3.5 stars. It's hard for me to find a Christian women's book I give more than that. While it's got some great advice in it, at the same time, I found offense at the part that said if you stay up late and call yourself a night owl, she likened that to laziness.

While the "Seven Virtures" are good, I also was under the impression this was a good read for single women in preparation of marriage. While I suppose that is true, the title and the book is focused o
Shannon Cooper
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent study for women on Titus 2. I would recommend this book to any woman in any stage of life. There may only be one section or chapter that wouldn't apply to every woman. This is definitely a book I plan to revisit often. Mrs. Mahaney does present some hard truths for some women, but she does it in a gentle way, presenting the truth, and why it is imporant that we conform to certain commands of God (like submission). This book has convicted me about many areas in which I lack, but it was ...more
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I find most books on biblical womanhood saccharine and a little patronizing, although I'm wholeheartedly complementarian.

This book, although not all of it was great, surprised me, though, and there were parts that I found very helpful, especially the chapter on homemaking. She raises the status of homemaking, and the status of the home's managers by indicating the authoritative rule over the home affairs (under the leadership of the head, of course) intended in the Titus passage. This is someth
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This one is geared primarily towards married women, though single girls can find a lot of good in it too. I appreicate the fact that it's based on Scripture. Mrs. Mahaney takes the seven directions for women from Titus 2 (love husbands, love children, self-control, purity, working at home, kindness, and submission) and devotes a chapter to each, giving practical and Biblical direction for how to apply them in your life. She also reminds us that we can't do it on our own, but God will enable us t ...more
Kate Sparkman
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
very helpful
not preachy
full of grace
Tracy Zhou
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Second time reading this book after working through complementarianism vs. egalitarianism, I began to appreciate the teaching in this book.

The author provides insights of what it means to be a woman created by God, and with that in mind, how to live a godly life. I think it's an excellent book for wives and moms, because it's super practical.

However, I do want to point out that, even for me (and I can imagine, quite many single girls too) can feel really hard to relate to this book, without a go
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian-lit
I liked this book until the chapter on working from the home. There were some parts that I didn't agree with the interpretation of. I have felt God has lead me towards the career path I have begun and while I don't have any children yet, I always planned on maintaining this career. I like to think that the main focus of the chapter was to put your family first before any career, which I completely agree with. It did make me feel as though if I wasn't being a stay at home mom that I was not fufil ...more
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Femine Appeal 1 14 Nov 09, 2008 04:00PM  

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Carolyn Mahaney is a wife, mother, and homemaker. Having spent over thirty years as a pastor's wife, Carolyn has spoken to women in many churches and conferences. She is the author of Feminine Appeal, Girl Talk, Shopping for Time and True Beauty. She blogs with her daughters at www girltalkhome com, a blog focused on biblical womanhood. Carolyn and her husband, C. J., are the parents of three marr ...more

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