Different By Design

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Different By Design

God's blueprint for men and women

Carrie Sandom

Pages: 240
Trim: Large trade paperback (216 x 138mm)
Isbn 13: 9781845507824
List Price: £9.99
Imprint: Christian Focus Adult Catalogue
Category: Christian Life > Practical Life > General

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Featured Reviews

Different by Design traces God's specific design for men and women in the Bible from its revelation, rejection and masking, to its restoration in the lives of those who seek to apply it. With practical insights and scenarios, women especially will find this resource both biblical and culturally relevant.

Margaret Elizabeth Kostenberger, Adjunctive instructor of Women's Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina

"Different by Design is an impressive outline of the Bible's teaching on the sensitive subject of gender. Carrie's faithful handling of the Biblical text and its application today combines depth and clarity with simplicity and grace. She argues convincingly that the differences between men and women go much deeper than the biological and, far from being oppressive, the complementary nature of their relationship is part of God's loving design for human flourishing."

Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe's, Oxford and Director of Proclamation Trust

"Throughout the book, Carrie gives practical encouragements to live out our God-given roles, particularly in our families and churches, liberating us to be who God created us to be and inspiring us to do the work he created us to do. Males and females, whether single or married, will benefit from reading this book. May it help women, in particular, see the beauty and wisdom of God's design for our lives."

Keri Folmar, Pastor's wife from Dubai


Men and women are created in the image of God to reflect God's own nature and being to reflect the perfect equality, diversity, and unity of the Trinity. Carrie Sandom presents the Biblical view of gender roles for marriage, the church, and the workplace, and shows how they fit into a modern context.

About Carrie Sandom

Carrie Sandom is Associate Minister for Women and Pastoral Care at St John's Church, Tunbridge Wells, UK. She has served in women’s and student ministry for almost 20 years.


... explores equality, diversity and complemtarionism and she does so by tackling some of the disputed passages on this issue as well as the broader context of the whole of scripture... theological, practical and accessible.

The Evangelical Magazine, Published by Evangelical Movement of Wales

... a welcome addition to the ongoing discussion on issues surrounding the ministries of women... an immensely practical book, as no matter where on the spectrum the reader is in their thinking about how men and women relate, it is likely to help them keep thinking and asking key questions.

Cross Way Magazine

... brings a warm, biblical sensibility to her discussion of male and female roles, especially in the church and home.

World Magazine,

Customer Reviews

My review was originally published on
Carrie Sandom, with wisdom from above, has unraveled this topic in a way that I have not read before. Her handling of rich truths not only edify but the discussion questions at the end of each chapter convict and provide fodder for deep introspection. Carrie does not merely present theology but helps the reader apply these glorious truths to the warp and woof of life.

Do you believe that¦.

We are not made in the image of God? (Or do you despise being made in the image of God?)
The Genesis 1 & 2 creation account is simply a myth?
You would have done a better job as a Creator than God?
God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are not fully God?
God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are inferior to God the Father?
There is no unity, order and love in Godhead but only contention, confusion, and bitterness?

Surely a Christian would answer to the above questions.

Well, our minds may say no, but our disposition and praxis betray us when weak¦

Consider that equality and human worth take their meaning from what we do, the roles that we take on, and our titles.
Despise our gender differences or say things like why can't a woman be more like a man /a man be more like a woman?”
Equate submission with inferiority, door-mat treatment, and a sign of weakness and authority with superiority, dominance, violence, and harshness.
Deny the creation of men and women with different roles in marriage (that God created the husband to be the head of his wife and the wife as a suitable helper to her husband) which are complementary.

Sandom argues that when we do this, we profane the very nature of God and his perfect character.

Are you curious enough to read more? Sandom has dedicated three solid chapters in her book to explaining precisely these things.

In chapter 4, Sandom reflects that Adam and Eve's rejection of their God's ordained order and design for them constituted the very core of their curse. This is thought provoking and deserves our attention. Her argument reminded me of Romans 1:24 where God gives us over to our own sinful desires as an act of judgment.

Sandom argues that the rebellion that started in Adam and Eve has not only intensified the battle of the sexes in marriage but has also ruined relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, extended family and by and large within the society in an extreme manner.

Chapter 5 talks about how our rejection of God's design advances the curse and its effects on our lives. This sin has not just brought about the emasculation of men or enhanced male dominance and promoted de-feminization of women, but carries with it vast and horrifying implications. It is shocking to see how the sin of rejecting God's design for men and women contributes to homosexuality, objectifying women, polygamy, abortions, child abuse, abdicating loving discipline of children, female infanticide, genital mutilation, pornography, adultery, abuse of women, sex trafficking, rape, incest and more.

Just when the book begins to get depressing, Sandom shows us light at the end of the dark tunnel of this sin.

God’s design for men and women was revealed in creation and rejected at the fall, but it is wonderfully restored in Christ.

The long-awaited serpent crusher has come and the effects of the Fall can now be reversed. (pg 101)

Jesus Christ paid the penalty of death for this sin on the cross!

Jesus was a man like no other man. He perfectly represented God's image in the world and remained obedient to His Father's will. He was the last Adam, our perfect representative, whose perfect life now brings new life to all who trust in Him. (Pg 119)

In chapters 6 through 9, Carrie presents the Gospel and explains how the Gospel works in us to restore God's design for men and women in marriage, in singleness, the church and the workplace.

As a married woman, this book has renewed and strengthened my desire to pursue godliness by the grace of God which enables me to say no to the worldly and sinful idea that submission is a sign of weakness or timidity and embrace the truth that being a helper in submission to my husband is indeed an act of faith and courage.

It takes courage to live like this, but women who do will bring honour to the Lord (pg 143).

The final chapter is dedicated to the age of perfection, the very thing we long for and so look forward to! No more sin, no more rebellion, no more ruined and broken relationships, no more battle but perfect unity and order in Christ, eternal life " in its fullest sense.

This book is one that is full of hope and will be a balm for many men and women who are struggling to understand God's design for them and help them work through difficult relationships.

Posted by Priya D. Samuel at 17:12 on Friday 18 May 2012