Growing Deeper into God's Design

Five of the Most Life-Changing Books I’ve Ever Read

The Summer Reading Short List

Every once in a while you come across a book that is more than just good reading material. It’s not just frivolous beach reading, but a life changing experience that you’ll be oh so thankful you read. When I find one of these books, I usually can’t put them down, nor can I help but tell everyone I know about them. These are the books that make my short list of life-changing reading material.

With seven kids, I don’t get to read as often as I’d like anymore, but these books have been profoundly life-altering for me. They’ve pushed my values and beliefs, and they’ve taught and challenged me. If you’re in the mood for some of the best reads of your life, choose one of these for some great vacation reading this summer.

  1. Lies Women Believe, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. If I had to name a single book that radically impacted my life, it would be this one. This book pushed me to think about what I believe, made me examine things I had taken for granted my whole life, and forced me to examine whether or not I was living according to the beliefs I claimed I held. Beyond the lies it called into question, it also taught me how to identify other lies in my life, traditions I blindly accepted as truth, and taught me to examine everything against the plumb line of scripture. This book impacted my life so much I taught this as a Sunday School class at church at one time, and it helped me radically transform my life according to true faithfulness to the God of Truth.
  2. Radical Womanhood by Caroline McCulley. This book was eye opening and educational. I had never studied Women’s Studies or Feminism to any great degree. What I knew, I knew from the news media and I only saw the good side of being a feminist. However, once I saw the inspiration and intent behind the movement, I began to see why certain feminist beliefs were at odds with my faith. Seeing these truths opened my eyes and helped shape the woman I’ve become and the women I am raising my daughters to become.
  3. What Are You Waiting For? by Dannah Gresh, is another fantastic book. While it did not necessarily change my perspective on sexuality by the time I read it, it demonstrated the science behind the boundaries God designed in His creation. God said sex was made for marriage, but why? This book answers the question from a spiritual and scientific perspective and made me think more intentionally about God’s motivation behind the laws he gave us. Beyond merely choosing sex within the bounds of marriage, I began to see that God’s Law is an instruction manual for life, given to us by the one who made us.
  4. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis, was a book that had a profound impact on me. This book is the story of a girl who at the age of 17, felt a call from God to work with orphans in Uganda. She lives a life of love, determination, and sacrifice that very few of us can understand – and at such a young age. Her story is one of God’s provision and blessing in response to her obedience and heart of love for Him and others. This book had me crying, smiling and refusing sleep. It made me wonder what I’ve been doing with my life and gave me a renewed sense that I wanted to be used by God, whatever the cost.
  5. Could You Not Tarry One Hour by Larry Lea, is an older book that overhauled my prayer life. This book sat on my nightstand for years before I finally picked it up and started reading. Quickly, I found this book inspired me to change the way I pray and to transform my prayer life. I always found prayer hard before reading this book, but it has helped me understand prayer and has given me a simple model that I could remember and apply daily. It was a real game changer for my prayer life. Another book, similar in nature, that my husband loves even more and is similar in purpose is Praying with Confidence: 31 Days of Powerful Moments with God, by Jeff Leake. I haven’t personally read it through but my husband and daughter love it, as it offers 31 different prayer models that can offer variety and a roadmap to a better prayer life.

So there you have it! My short list of life-changing books. I hold these books close to my heart. When you have to choose what to read, I hope these short reviews help guide your choices, because, face it, there are so many books out there to read and oh so little time.

Happy summer reading!

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2 Comments
  1. Courtney says

    I haven’t read read any of those but I’ve heard of a few of them. I’ll have to add them to my list!

    1. Sharon Butler says

      They’re super. I hope you love them!

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