Read this if…

  • you are looking for a resource on gender identity.
  • you desire to understand the biblical roles of men and women.
  • you seek to develop a biblical worldview on sexuality.

Publisher’s Summary

Male and female he created them.” —Genesis 1:27

It’s one of the most important—and controversial—topics of our time.

God created men and women in his image—equal in value and complementary in roles. These distinctive roles are not the vestiges of a bygone era, but integral to God’s timeless good design for humanity.

Designed for Joy includes fresh contributions from fourteen young leaders, casting a unified vision for Christian manhood and womanhood. Whether discussing the significance of gender, the truth about masculinity and femininity, the blessing of purity, or the challenge of raising children in a confusing world, this practical resource challenges us to embrace God’s good design—for his glory and our joy.


Review by Ashlea Swingle – @aelaine0515

The first time I heard of a person struggling with sexuality and gender issues was at a Christian conference designed to train teen leaders. The last day of the conference teens were given the chance to share about their battles. A young lady stepped onto the stage and revealed that she battled with being attracted to other women. What happened in that moment, I will never forget. Teens from all different states prayed over her. I understood then, that these battles  ARE real.

Designed For Joy focuses on how the Gospel impacts manhood and womanhood. Using Scripture, the various authors share their wisdom on restoring the biblical, beautiful vision of men and women. In a world that endorses the freedom to choose your gender based on how you feel, these writers biblically debate that gender identity has nothing to do with how you feel and everything to do with God as our creator.

Owen Strachan summarizes the book well with his introduction. He writes:

“The gospel is our fundamental marker of identity.” His thesis shapes how each writer approaches different areas of identity and practice.”

Joe Rigney addresses the practice of man’s sacrificial responsibility in his chapter, “Masculinity Being Handed Down.”  Rigney synthesizes the chapter by stating, Manhood is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.”  Throughout this short chapter, Rigney uses the previous statement to expose the deep roots of selfishness and launch into the beauty that is found in Christ’s willing choice to be our sacrifice.

Later, Trillia Newbell’s chapter, “The Feminine Focus,” explores the nature of a woman’s identity.  She sketches her section by concentrating on a woman’s complimentary role. Newbell praises women’s unique role as a “helper,” one who supplies strength in the area that is lacking, because doing so magnifies that specific aspect of our Lord’s character.

Designed For Joy has quickly become one of my favorite resources. It challenges me to compare the world’s view of gender and identity with what the Bible says about sexuality.  These authors reinforce the essential need of claiming biblical truth about manhood and womanhood to thwart the lies threatening to misconstrue God’s unique design.

My only critique of this book is that I wish there were more chapters. This is a helpful resource for people who are married and have families but it didn’t fully address the sexuality of single people. This book answers many questions and is an excellent launch pad to tackling the subject of God’s design for men and women.





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