Shepherding Women in Pain is a basic handbook for those walking alongside women who are suffering. The first five chapters address basic questions such as: Where is God in suffering? What does healing look like? and What is forgiveness? Then come sixteen chapters addressing particular issues that women face, such as abortion, eating disorders, incarceration, abuse, and infertility, to name a few. The final four chapters look at specific advice, methods, and strategies for building healing communities. The chapters are written by different women who are experienced professionals in the area being discussed.
Since each chapter is just a few pages long, none of the topics can be addressed in great detail, but the authors do well at giving an overview. Each chapter follows a basic outline: Understand the Issue, Shepherding Insights, Helpful Things to Do and Hurtful Responses to Avoid. Each chapter also includes lists of resources and related Scriptures pertaining to that issue.
This book would work well as a resource for a pastor or other “first-responder” who needs quick and concise information when faced with an immediate need. As the title states, the book is for shepherds, not intended to be given to the hurting person. The basic advice of this book is to help women in pain find a safe place, professional help, resources, support groups, etc.; listen and ask good questions; and, be there for the long haul, but have help so you don’t burn out.
This book is a revised edition, previously published in 2010.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Moody) in exchange for my review.