4 Must-Read Books for the Discontent Woman

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You could drown in all the spiritual growth books on the market today.  There is even a sizable mound of resources specifically on finding joy and contentment.  But here I reveal my precious gems—the books that have transformed my thinking, my priorities, and my passions.  They have fueled my journey seeking a content heart.

Are you discontent?  Constantly anxious about your circumstances?  If you and I sat down over coffee and you asked me for help with this, these are the books I would say you should have in your hands.  Maybe there is one in here for you, sister.

4 Must-Read Books Discontent Woman - Growing a Content Heart

4  Must-Read Books for the Discontent Woman

The Bible

If you are not reading, studying, meditating on, and any way you can internalizing God’s Word… you will not learn to be content.  I mean, truly content.  There are states of mind that the world calls contentment or happiness, but they are not founded in Scripture, so they won’t last when storms really come.

Because what we’re going for here is to be able to say with Paul, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

Whatever.  State.

Meaning, contentment is unrelated to circumstances.

Can you say that?  Not me.  Not yet anyway.  I am still growing a content heart

Psalm 1 has this to say about the person who meditates of God’s Word day and night:

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

A solid, fruitful, nourished, healthy life.  Standing firm planted in God’s Word.  This is the foundation of any growth in your spiritual walk, including learning to be content. Period.


I won’t belabor this one.  In fact, this is the one you could probably come up with on your own, and I will be writing more about Scripture and the habit of being God’s Word.  For now, I leave you with the words of one of my favorite pastors: “You will never grow spiritually, if you do not read the Bible.”  Period.


Streams in the Desert by Lettie Cowman

The Cowmans were missionaries in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917.  This 365-day devotional was a product of their many trials and difficult days…those times that feel like you’re in the desert.

Mrs. Cowman offers refreshing words of hope for discouraging, hopeless days.  She quotes Scripture, as well as other authors who have walked this road of faith before her.  She has challenged the very thoughts I think about the “bad things” that happen to me.

Do you need to be shaken out of the pit you are whining in?  Or a reminder of God’s character when you can’t sense His hand working? This may be just what you need. They’ve even created a version for kids and an updated, modern-language version.  Me?  I’ll stick with my 1940’s printing that’s falling apart.


Here’s one of my favorite—and by that I mean, convicting—passages from Streams in the Desert, “September 7”:

The question often comes, “Why didn’t He help me sooner?” It is not His order.  He must first adjust you to the trouble and cause you to learn your lesson from it.  His promise is, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver and honor him.”  He must be with  you in the trouble first all day and all night.  Then He will take you out of it.  This will not come till you have stopped being restless and fretful about it and become calm and quiet.  Then He will say, “It is enough.”

The restless and fretful woman must read this book, friends.                 


The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

If you are NOT a married woman reading this post, try the other version of this: The Power of a Praying Woman.  As for me, the Praying Wife version is my go-to.  Either way, learning how to leave your requests at the feet of God is a must for contentment.

This book saved my marriage. I’m not being dramatic.  Just stating facts.  To be literal, God used this book to save my marriage. To make my marriage a thing of joy.  I give Him all the glory for the existence of this book.

We were never on the verge of divorce.  But it is completely possible to stay married as a Christian couple, and let your marriage die.  So many Christian women are discontent in their marriages.  You can be completely committed to staying married, but let discontent build walls between you and distract you from what God teaches about relationships in His Word. (It keeps coming back to Scripture.)

The 30 short chapters makes this an easy one-a-night month’s read.  BUT… this is the kind of book you can soak up for years, it’s so challenging and heart-transforming.  And I have.  Repeatedly.  Each chapter consists of solid teaching and encouragement on a topic, as well as a sample prayer to pray. Let me tell you, I used those sample prayers.  Because in the beginning of this journey, I didn’t even know what to pray.  I still come back to these prayers, because they are so good.

How do you pray for your husband?  Or do you?  Praying for your husband is one of the best marriage-saving tools you can use.  And if you need specific help and encouragement for that, this is THE book, in my mind.

In the first chapter called, “His Wife,” where you pray for the kind of wife you are (yeah, it gets personal), she challenges you to pray like this:

“Tear down the wall of hardness around my heart and show me how to respect my husband the way You want me to. Give me Your heart for him, Lord, and help me to see him the way You see him.”


Are you discontent in your marriage?  Or even considering divorce?  No matter where you are on this spectrum, you can try praying through The Power of Praying Wife and see what God does. “When you have God’s heart for your husband, you will be able to see through new eyes,” Stormie says.  Get ready to be transformed.


Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

Have you met Elisabeth Elliot?  I mean, read her words or listened to her voice?  She’s a woman of God, another missionary wife, who touches the deepest parts of your soul when you spend time with her.  Keep a Quiet Heart is a collection of articles from “The Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter,” which ceased publication in 2003.  Elisabeth says, “Mostly they are about learning to know God.  Nothing else comes close to being as important as that.”  She guides those who walk behind her to a deeper and more restful walk with God.

While her words are deep, her writings are accessible and brief.  This book consists of more than 100 short reading portions titled things like this:

“Does God Allow His Children to Be Poor?”

“Lord, Please Remove the Dilemma”

“Interruptions, Delays, Inconveniences”

“What Do You Mean by Submission?”

We often think that a change in our circumstances will lead to peace and contentment.  As Elisabeth says, “The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

Contentment is unrelated to circumstances.  Have you learned to say with Paul, I have learned in whatever state I am to be content”?  I am on a purposeful journey, but I definitely have not learned this.

Be in God’s Word.  That must come first.

Then choose another of these gems to soak up.  Learn from strong Christian women who have gone before you.  I know I am.  We are in this together.


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Sharing the goodness:


  • Jennifer

    I have not read three of these. Your post has encouraged me to pull out my power of a praying wife perpetual calendar and add that to my daily prayer time. Thank you for your encouragement!

  • SandyT

    Thank you Susan for sharing your ❤️, your journey…your hope, confidence, joy in Jesus. He remains Faithfully Present…nourishing, purging, comforting, protective in this season…preparing-equipping us for coming fruit bearing. He is Worthy, Trustworthy..❤️🙏 Your 4 must reads are GREAT suggestions, aids to our obedience-victory …praising Him we get to journey together.

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