I tend to either really love devotionals or see them as not worth my time to read. I was curious and hopeful about the Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young WomenBeloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women by Lindsay Franklin from Zondervan. One of the first devotionals that I really enjoyed was from Zondervan, written to homeschool moms. When the devotional leads you to deeper understanding and desire to study further into Scripture, that one will find a place on our shelves. Young women, the target audience for Beloved, are something we have a lot of in our home. With four daughters from ages 11 to 18, surely this devotional would be a good fit for at least one of them. Better change that to all of them. There is so much we have loved about this devotional, it surprised me.
We first started with the youngest two daughters and I reading this together mid-morning – with a cup of something warm, of course. Then the two older girls started sitting down while we were discussing and joining in on the conversation. The youngest gets up much earlier than her teenage sisters, so we would read and discuss together (almost) first thing in the morning. The older girls and I continued the late-morning conversations. Even with the broad range of ages, each of the girls was gaining not only understanding and appreciation of these women in Scripture, but finding similarities and things they could relate to. Yes, this is for young women, but honestly, any age woman will appreciate these devotions.
With 365 devotions, each just a single page, these are short enough to fit easily into your daily routine. Each page begins with a few verses of Scripture, the devotion related to the passage, and a few lines for journaling thoughts or a response. What I didn’t expect was how this made each of us thirsty for more study. Often, devotions can feel like neat, tidy studies. You read, you ponder a bit, you close the book, then get on with your day. The discussions carried on throughout the day quite often. They were starters, not the complete course. Because we were all covering the same passage each day, we could pick up the conversation with each other over dishes, or sorting laundry, or the aisles of the grocery store. This was a first for me, the excitement and relevance for all of us.
Though there is no direct index or reference, we noticed that the first 2/3 or so cover women and Scriptures from the Old Testament, the latter portion from the New Testament. Often, we would spend many days continuing the story, taking a bit at a time and examining it (most notable with Leah and Rachel in our daily readings). I peeked ahead and see that Esther is covered is covered over many days as well. We really like that we aren’t jumping around throughout Scripture and that each day’s reading has a flow into the next and so on. With somewhere around sixty women covered, it just makes sense that we spend more than just a day or two with each one.
While this devotional does relate to things our daughters are likely to encounter in today’s world, I feel comfortable with how sensitive topics are covered. I really, really wish my 11-year-old did not know what rape is, but she does. You cannot help but hear the term if you keep up with current events or turn on the news. I do appreciate the opportunity to discuss this as brought up in the devotional. The days where this is covered from passages in 2 Samuel will perhaps be a bit uncomfortable, but we can discuss them together, at home, and from the basis of Scripture.
This devotional book would also make a great gift for any young woman you wish to encourage in her walk with the Lord. The first page has a nice place to record gifting information. The hardbound book has a beautiful, feminine cover with foil accents. The floral design is whimsical enough to appeal to just about any age. The ribbon marker will keep the place. While each days entry is numbered, they are not dated. This devotional can be begun any day of the year, can be used daily, or just during weekdays (which is what we did).
Many other Crew families reviewed this devotional, too. To read their reviews, simply click the image below.