The book Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis is everywhere right now. I first heard about it a month or two ago, and started following Rachel Hollis on Instagram. Initially I only heard positive comments, rave reviews, and ladies insisting it will change your life.

So I did what every homeschooling mom on a budget does – I put it on hold at the library. 🙂

My thoughts on the Girl, Wash Your Face Book.

While I was waiting for it to be my turn to get the book, suddenly I started reading comments from ladies who had a different opinion. They were sharing that it didn’t feel like a Christian book, even though it was published through a Christian publisher. I started paying closer attention to Rachel Hollis’s Instagram page and started seeing things that made me uncomfortable.

Still…I wanted to read the book. So I picked it up, started reading it with an open mind, and I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t finished it all the way (because, “Hello! I have a six week old baby taking up my attention right now!”), but I sat in bed and held Emily one night and read chapter after chapter, laughing and relating to all the stories shared.

I even messaged a friend and told her that I was actually really enjoying the book. You just had to go into it with an open mind, knowing you had to wade through some stuff you might not agree with.

Rachel is incredibly relatable. She is brutally honest, and I feel like she truly does have a heart that wants to reach out and encourage women.

But the more I read and pondered the book and read new updates on her Instagram page, the more unsettled I became.

Her whole premise seems to be this:

You are enough. You have control of your own life, so you should chase after your dreams and make them happen. Don’t live your life for anyone else. Do what makes you happy.

At first glance, that made me feel really good!

Finally!

Yes!

We need to stop and give more to ourselves. I knew I that I deserved more me time! I can be so much better if I just stop and focus on myself!

Ladies, this is dangerous water.

Girl, before you wash your face, seek HIS face!

Girl, Before you wash your face, seek HIS face.

It’s not all about ourselves. As Christians, It’s not about how happy we can be.

What makes this so dangerous is that it’s not black or white. Some of what she is saying is true. I just feel like she has taken it to one extreme, and then ladies backlash against it and take it to the other extreme. There is a middle of the road balance approach to her book, and more importantly, to our life.

In the above quote she is saying you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval for your life. I would absolutely disagree with that in certain situations, but totally agree with her on certain areas of life.

We don’t need anyone’s approval or permission to:

Pray.

Read our scriptures.

Study God’s word.

Follow the 10 commandments.

Be a faithful and loving wife and mother.

However if we are married, we should want our husband’s approval (not because we are a doormat, but because we are in a loving partnership with our husband) regarding things like:

Should we homeschool?

Can I try to start a business on the side for some extra income?

Should I spend this much money on groceries each month?

Do you like how I dress…or my hairstyle?

Her book is hard to pick apart, because there is truth there. We do need to be careful that as wives and mothers we don’t burn ourselves out. It’s ok to stop for a bubble bath, to focus on exercising or eating healthier, to occasionally have a girl’s night out. Basically we can think about nurturing ourselves.

But I feel like she totally takes it too far. That her premise is everything revolves around us, but as Christians we know that is not true.

My husband has written about how parents need to keep to the middle of the road on his Character Badges blog, and the same principles apply to our lives as Christian women. We all can swing one way or another, some ladies can give of themselves to others until they are so frazzled and burnt out, they are tempted to walk away from everything. They obviously have swung to the left side.

Other women ignore their husbands and children, their house is falling apart, and they sit on the couch watching tv all day long. They have chosen the right side of the road.

The middle of the road is a blessed place to be. Follow the line that goes straight, and that line will help you keep walking higher and higher in your spiritual walk. You can balance out parenting, marriage, church work, homeschooling, and your own personal needs and justified wants.

Don’t sacrifice yourself on the alter of motherhood. If we don’t ever take time to focus on ourselves, to sleep enough, eat right, exercise, spend time in God’s word, then we will burn out and never have anything to give. If you struggle with never doing a single thing for yourself, maybe you should read this book. But it has to be read with spiritual eyes that can discern the great need for the Lord first, and that without him we are nothing.

We can’t control our life. We all have dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Guess what? Sometimes those dreams are shattered, and it’s not our fault. Sometimes our businesses don’t take off like we had hoped, or we have an illness and we can’t seem to lose the weight no matter how healthy we eat. Some ladies can’t carry a baby to full term or even get pregnant.

It’s not all about having control of our life. It’s about giving up control of our life and asking God what his plans are, and walking in those steps.

If you desperately need some encouragement as a wife and mother, may I suggest checking out Sally Clarkson’s books? I can wholeheartedly recommend her as a godly Christian author, someone that will give you sound advice that is in the middle of the road!

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17 Comments on What I Really Think About The Girl, Wash Your Face Book

  1. I totally agree with you. I got a lot of good stuff out of the book, but was disturbed by some of the things she wrote as well. I think you’re right that the truth is always somewhere in the middle. For me, I struggle with selfishness as a mother, so it’s not good for me to read stuff like that. I actually unfollowed Rachel Hollis on Instagram recently, because I don’t like the vibe she sends. It seems to me to be more humanistic than anything. I personally don’t need any encouragement in that direction!

    • I followed her, unfollowed her, thought maybe I was crazy and went and followed her again, now I’m going to unfollow her. Ha! I agree, I just don’t need that type of encouragement in my life.

      • It is hard to believe it’s posted as a Christian book. Christians seem to be so confused on Biblical lifestyles. You are right to point your readers towards more godly books. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for your honest review of this book. I recently saw it in a Christian book catalog and based on its short description I wanted to read it. Now I will look for something else uplifting that doesn’t encourage my selfish nature.

  3. Thank you for your review. I agree. I’ve read it but I only took away from two chapters. The whole time I was like what!? It confused me because she was raised in the church according to her own words but seemed more wordly than anything. I stopped a lot to say to myself well why didn’t she pray about it or seek out God more? There are some good points but this is not a book I’d reccomend to someone who is easily confused or new/weak in their faith.

  4. Thank you for your honest review. My husband and I like to try to keep a balance with everything because we can end up in the ditch on either side of an issue with extremes. Jesus said in John 15:5 “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” Like you said, we need to seek God first!

  5. I completely agree, as I’m in the depths of reading it right now. I like some of what she says, and listened to some of their ride together podcasts- while I loved the first one I listened to, and really loved parts of the book, there is a little too much of the do what makes you feel Happy. I love this balanced review.

  6. Thanks for the honest review. I was pretty skeptical about the book, so I really wanted to see what you thought about it. I have a hard time getting into the Sally Clarkson books, but a book that has been helping me with not doing things based on other people’s approval (and doing them based on God’s approval) is “When People are Big and God is Small.” My husband is reading it with me and it is a very convicting, but helpful book.

  7. I LOVE this post, Caroline!

    The concept of Biblical submission and serving is such a beautiful thing, and I’m so happy to see someone else take a stand for it, in the right way.

    Beautiful job.

  8. I haven’t read the book, but I agree with what Caroline said about if your in a relationship with a good husband and have kids it’s not just all about “me”. We wouldn’t like it if men took this attitude and didn’t care how we felt and didn’t need our approval, it would turn into a difficult relationship. Also our kids will pick up that attitude sooner or later.

  9. I have not read the book, nor am I planning to. God alone is who can empower us. We can do nothing of ourselves. Funny thing is (and I suspect a contradiction to this book) that we only receive His power by humbling ourselves and seeking His will, not our own. Thank you for sharing your perspective and adding a warning that Satan often mixes truth with fiction. We are priceless in God’s sight…that is where our value comes from. 🙂

  10. We as women do need proper perspective on the lies we are fed every day. However, we must gain our truth from the Bible. Nancy Leigh Demoss Wolgemuth walks us through the Scriptures very carefully in her newly revised “Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free.” Highly recommended, full of Scripture!!

  11. I think she really meant to encourage as she had been through so much in her life. My problem is the “pull yourself up by your boostraps”mentality. The book comes off as if you have a hard life,are struggling,etc just try harder!This line of thinking is so prevalent in self help circles and in some cases it’s true. We shouldn’t wallow in self pity and we should actively try to better ourselves and seek help,but we also have yo acknowledge that we cant do it all alone and that we have to rely on God’s grace as well.

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