I had to read this book for Health class in high school. This might sound kind of strange, but it’s not when you understand that I attended a Christian school. They chose to split up the boys and the girls to talk about purity, as was common with youth groups at the time. I remember enjoying the study at the time since I was doing it the girls in my class. As I look back, I realize that there were good things I learned from this study and some things that had a negative impact on my perspective of purity and relationships. As was common of many Christian purity books and studies, there were many things that were taught during the purity movement that were not helpful or biblical grounded, while there were also other helpful that have been overshadowed by the negative impressions of this movement. As I look as this book and other books like it, I hope to identify the positive and negative elements to discern what still be useful for parents and youth leaders to teach students today ~ Bethel
In her book And the Bride Wore White, Dannah Gresh helps teen girls break down lies that many of us believe about sexuality and reveals seven “secrets” for living a life of sexuality purity. Through understanding these lies and presenting these keys to pursuing purity, Gresh is able to offer foundation truths about the way that God designed sex. The updated edition includes additional information on understanding purity, “celebration stories” of young women successes or redeemed failures in their pursuit of purity, and some letters directly at readers with specific struggles. While this book does have some great content and biblical truth, it falls into some of the pit falls of many of the teachings of the purity movement of the 90’s/2000’s. This book does a great job of helping readers understand that sex is a beautiful gift from God that we should wait until the right time and place to use. It also does a great job at addressing lies many of us believe about sex and offering practical tips to help readers live in purity. One of my favorite parts is its emphasis on purity embracing the wise guidance of parents, grandparents, and mentors, since that is something that many young people struggle to do. Overall, it has some great insights to help young women pursue sexual purity.
However, this book does have some issues. One of the “secrets” she suggest to achieve purity is to envision a godly husband, even suggesting that you should write down in a journal a description of your future husband. While I believe a young woman should figure out the qualities he wants in a future husband, the way that she suggests doing the exercise implies that you should even write down exactly how you expect him to look. Doing this exercise as a teen fueled different lies than addressed in the book. First, God often surprises us by doing things in His time and His way. It often doesn’t match up with what we picture for ourselves, especially when we get caught up in trivial details like his eye color or favorite movie. We aren’t even guaranteed a husband. We should instead be teaching young women to look at young men for their godly characteristics, like how responsible they are with money or how they treat their family.
This book also tends to struggle with leaving those who have failed in their pursuit of purity feeling like unforgivable because of the high emphasis on virginity. We need to make sure that young women understand that premarital sex, other types of sexual immorality, and abortion are not unforgiveable sins that make you “damaged goods.” Instead, if you do the work of repentance in those areas, they can can become scars that God can redeem for His glory and even turn into your greatest ministry to help others. One of the reasons young women struggle with confessing sexual sin is because there is so much shame associated with other people know their struggles. They will be more likely to open up about their struggles if we help them understand that redemption is their sexual past is possible.
I am grateful for what I learned from this book as a teen, and believe that even though some of the content has flaws, it could still have value for teens today, especially as a way to introduce purity to older pre-teen girls. Get your copy today.
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
Author Bethel Grove
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