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Let Me Be a Woman

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  7,085 ratings  ·  436 reviews
“In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her.” Working from Scripture, well-known speaker and author Elisabeth Elliot shares her observations and experiences in a number of essays on what it means to be a Christian woman, whether single, married, or widowed.

1. The God who is in charge --
2. Not who am I? but whose am I? --
3. Where
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Tyndale Momentum (first published 1966)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  7,085 ratings  ·  436 reviews

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Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Update in 2021:

Great book. I am editing this because I wrote my original review 8 years ago and now cringe at some of what I said—not because of the book itself, but because of myself 8 years younger! As this is read more and more, and increasingly becomes the highest rated review of this book on Goodreads, I felt the need to say something different. I'm stunned, and a little embarrassed, that people still "like" it 8 years later.

As times and sensibilities change, I imagine this book and its r
Cassandra Noelle
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"We are called to be women. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman." -Elisabeth Elliot; Let Me Be a Woman

This was the most beautiful and encouraging book I've read in a long time. Elisabeth Elliot writes with eloquence and wisdom and her words constantly reflect Christ and the Scriptures. Reading this book made me rejoice even more that God created me to be a woman! It made me thankful f
Leah Cossette
Me, reading this book for the first time in 2017:


Me, coming back to reread and review it in 2018:


I received this book from my mother-in-law-to-be, who told me that she reread it every couple of years. As an engaged Christian woman embarking upon marriage for the first time, I think it’s safe to say that I am exactly the target audience for this little epistle about biblical womanhood and marriage.

Trouble is, I disagreed with most of it. Elliot and I differ greatly in our definitions of basi
Aug 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
This book is what fueled my conversion to feminism.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When my mom was reading 'Let me be a Woman' she said she wanted to underline the whole book (it was so good) I told her that defeated the purpose of underlining, but when I read it I felt the exact same way she did! It was amazing! ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Woman who want to live for God
Recommended to Sarah by: Mom
Age Appropriate For: 15 and up (some marital themes and matter best for older readers)
Best for Ages: 15 and up

Elisabeth Elliot is an incredible woman whom I have looked up to for years. Though I might not always agree with everything she says, I know whatever she says comes from a heart that is devoted to God and is seeking him. As this year I am spending a lot of time reading about Biblical Womanhood, this was high on my list.

One of the things I loved about this book is that it was from a mothe
Jane Maree
Oct 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Really easy to read and it feels like you're sitting down for a cup of tea with Elisabeth Elliot and she's giving marriage tips. ...more
Gabrielle Carolina
Jul 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I am so grateful for this book in the strangest way possible, for without it I would never have begun to confront the strangle-hold sexism had in my life. I would never have struggled against the inevitable fate of becoming a good Christian woman, and later, a good Christian wife had I not found this collection, written by an esteemed, and "powerful" member of the female Christian population.

Within this very anti-feminist work, full of essays on joyful submission, meekness, Holy marriage, and G
Spider the Doof Warrior
Why in hell's holy cacaphonous gonging BELLS did I buy this book from the library? I grabbed a bunch of paperback Anita Blake books from back when the books were somewhat good with the intention of having a lay in bed and read entertaining books sort of weekend.
So I saw this book, read a bit of it and decided to buy it just to pester myself.
Why can't their be a book called let me be the sort of woman I am? Who loves blue, spiders, wearing men's clothes, admiring the aesthetics of people's poster
Donna Ledesma
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
fantastic book.

i am so glad and honored to have it read at this young age of 17. i think every woman ought to read this. it's very inspiring for us who desire to live the way our Creator would be pleased.

Elisabeth Elliot, along with other Christian writers Eric & Leslie Ludy, and Joshua Harris, is my favorite. Elliot has enlightened me in a unique way. at the back cover it's stated that the book is "candidly written". after seeing the word "candid", i wondered how a book could actually be. and t
G.M. Burrow
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How did I go so many years without reading Elisabeth Elliot? This book was pure grace and goodness, entering my life at the moment that I, without even knowing, was the most thirsty for it. Mrs. Elliot's winsome, lovely, godly advice reminded me so much of Nancy Wilson's (such as in "Why Isn't a Pretty Girl Like You Married?"), I occasionally had to check the front cover to make sure I hadn't grabbed the wrong book. Both women have been blessings indeed. Many thanks to my big sister who gifted m ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
"As a bird easily comes to terms with the necessity of bearing wings when it finds that it is, in fact, the wings that bear up the bird--up, away from the world, into the sky, into freedom--so the woman who accepts the limitations of womanhood finds in those very limitations her gifts, her special calling--wings, in fact, which bear her up into perfect freedom, into the will of God."

Elliot's arguments and writing on issues of masculinity and femininity, marriage, submission, and discipline are f
Fairly narrow in scope as Elliot wrote this collection as a set of letters to her daughter when the latter was getting married. As such, most of the essays discuss womanhood in terms of the wife/mother relationship. Certain parts definitely feel dated (Elliot's citing of a statistic that 90% of women marry before 21, for example, as well as her tendency to set up "feminism" as a monolithic entity. [I found most of what she said about feminism fairly reactionary toward one *kind* of feminism, one ...more
Kellyn Roth
Oct 15, 2021 marked it as did-not-finish
Decided not to finish.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Everyone has a right to their opinion, but this attempt to tear down feminism and encourage women to be subservient...aside from being offensive was entirely filled with contradictions, failed to properly support the belief and in fact in the end unintentionally strengthened feminism. She says women are better off subservient, but she proceeds to list "exceptions" to traditional families that worked and expressed how much she enjoyed traveling with a very free spirit. The more she gave examples, ...more
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a delightful feast of wise and loving counsel. Full review coming soon. Thanks to Joy for giving me the opportunity to read this! :) <3
Becky Pliego
So much wisdom to glean from this book. I would urge all young women to read this little book, a book which serves as an antidote against the falsehood of egalitarianism that is creeping in the church. Elliot is a clear example of how strong women can stand firm against this "serious distortion of truth."

A few of my favorite quotes:

"The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived -not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is for
Elisabeth Elliot is always worth reading by, I believe! Great book! What a beautiful design...woman and man, femininity and masculinity. What a joy to be a woman as my awesome Creator and God designed.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wisdom
Living in a culture that screams I should abandon my God given femininity, I found this book refreshing and invigorating. I love Elisabeth’s humility in her submission to and reverence of God’s design when He created man and woman in His image.

I also found the way Elisabeth described her setting as she started writing each letter like essay to be quite charming. It made the book feel like we were enjoying a cup of coffee together.

I know I’m really enjoying a book if I stop to read quotes to Ry
S.G. Willoughby
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While I personally may not have been quite at the point to where I could fully appreciate some of the advice and topics in this book (not having marriage in my near future- too young), it had a whole lot of wisdom! I also really liked the style of Elisabeth Elliot writing notes to her daughter. :) It was very readable, and the profound truths were given very honestly, boldly, and humbly.
Jennifer Auxier
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time. All Christian women need to read this.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is deeply rooted in traditional ('old') Christianity. It is a book written for woman about marriage particularly and as the title says what it is to be a (Christian) woman.
I think as well that it needs to be read with the partner. If there is not mutual understanding of the concept of what the Christian marriage is, it could easily make a countereffect (especially in woman).

But the book makes sure of that as well. No worries.

It was quite humbling and healing experience to read M
Elliot's writing is lovely. Occasionally her arguments are simplistic, but although I personally struggle to accept the "traditional, conservative" Christian understanding of gender roles, I nevertheless find Elliot to be full of wisdom and truth. She may rub my feminist tendencies the wrong way, but she provides such a worthy text for wrestling with. ...more
Christy Stewart
Aug 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Julia Burford
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent. I would highly recommend that all Christian women read this book.
Ari DeBenedictis
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
oooh this book made my blood BOIL. I started adding tabs to pages (for things that I both didn’t like and liked about the book) and made 51 markings. Obviously, I’m not going to go through every one of those notes or this will be a book of its own but I will touch on some things. I’ll start with things I didn’t like or disagreed with and then (hopefully) end it on a good note by writing down some things that I did like! I’m not very argumentative or very articulate, but these are just my thought ...more
Emma Ferguson
Jul 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a long time admirer of Elisabeth Elliot, and have ready multiple biographies about her. But until now, I somehow hadn’t ever read a book written by her. This is a sweet collection of letters from a mother to a soon to be married daughter. I really appreciated her unique perspective of being a wife and mother. While I don’t agree with every single thought of hers, she has a refreshing and wise view of what biblical womanhood looks like.

This quote from the book pretty much sums it all u
Valerie Kyriosity
Jul 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Some quibbles — the less-than-perfectly-careful “gift of singleness” language and the ESS business (which I don't really understand but have been made wary of) — but solid on the basic truths that femininity is glorious and feminism is ichabod.

I know I fall waaaaay short of the ideal. But I do love the standard even if I'm lousy at conforming to it.

It was fun to hear the author address her daughter by name since she is also a Valerie. ☺️

The reader was good.
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book is short and succinct — but life changing. Elliot offers words of wisdom on the meaning of womanhood and shares that in order to learn who we are as women, we must start with the One Who made us.

She unabashedly discusses marriage and singleness, submission to authority and the inherent differences between masculinity and femininity. In an age of feminism, this book is a beautiful reminder of the gift of sexuality, the gift of individuality and relationships. Men and women are not "equa
Joy C.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is truly such a good book! It came to me to start reading it at the right time really, almost providentially I think, especially because in my tentative study of literature and culture I find so much feminism and crude defiance of the traditional, God-ordained callings of men and woman in life, marriage and the home, and this book was truly a refreshing draft of water, an uplifting and challenging reminder of the goodness and glorious beauty of God's perfect Design. It was made especially p ...more
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From the Author's Web Site: My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials. ...more

News & Interviews

For hard-core book lovers, the month of December is a mixed blessing. Those relentless holiday obligations tend to cut into reading time....
20 likes · 2 comments
“This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive.
Love is not possessive.
Love is not anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own ideas.
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage.
Love is not touchy.
Love does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that stands when all else has fallen.”
“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.” 409 likes
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