Rachel Held Evans describes herself as being strong-willed and independent. But she didn't know if she was living her life as the Bible would want her to be.
The Dayton, Tennessee, author and blogger decided to take part in an experiment – to live a year of “biblical womanhood.”
“I set out to follow all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year to show that no woman, no matter how devout, is actually practicing biblical womanhood all the way,” she said.
Over the past 12 months, Evans lived her life as she believed the “good book” would want her to be. She took up baking and knitting, she made her own clothes and grew out her hair. Although she and her husband don’t have children, Evans cared for a computerized baby named Chip to get a taste of motherhood.
During her menstrual period, Evans followed the Bible’s rules of not being near any men, including her husband. That meant no handshakes, no hugs and no sex. She even camped out in a tent during her period.
At one point in her one-year religious journey, Evans even referred to her husband as "master" and stood on the roadside with a sign that read "Dan is awesome."
"You'd think it would be a turn-on but … it just wasn't," Dan said on the " Today" show. "You live in a small town, rumors can get started if she's out in public calling you master."
Evans' book about her religious experiment, "A Year of Biblical Womanhood," comes out on October 30. It has already generated some controversy as some Christian bookstores refused to carry her book because she declined to take out references to the term vagina.
"[My publisher] won't let me use the word "vagina" in my book because we have to sell it to Christian bookstores, which apparently have a thing against vaginas," she wrote in her blog. "I make a big scene about it and say that if Christian bookstores stuck to their own ridiculous standards, they wouldn't be able (to) carry the freaking Bible."
Evans said her book is not intended to make light of the Bible, but is meant to start a meaningful conversation about gender roles and religion.
"My hope is that the book will generate some laughs, as well as a fresh, honest dialogue about common assumptions regarding women, the Church and biblical interpretation," she said.
You can follow Rachel on Twitter. Tell us what you think? Do you think you can live biblically for a year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Hear more from Rachel Held Evans when she joins HLN's Evening Express Tuesday 5-7 p.m. ET.