This book is one I’ve appreciated from the first time I heard about it. I’d been a fan of Dannah’s work for quite a while when I got this book last in my college years. This book is the next level to her most popular book on sexual purity, And the Bride Wore White. It was released toward the end of the purity movement (2011) and while it falls into some of the pitfalls of the purity movement, it still does a good job of remaining biblically grounded and not shying away from difficult questions that some Christian authors used to dance around. It may be one worth checking out ~ Bethel
In her book What Are You Waiting For, author Dannah Gresh addresses many of the difficult questions that teen girls and young adults have about sexuality, including the most significant question: Why should we wait until we are married to have sex? This question is addressed by exploring the meaning of the word that the Old Testament uses to talk about sex – yada. This word describes a deep and intimate knowing that not only is used to a married couple having sex, but also the deep knowing and trust that God wants to have with us. Seeing sexuality through this lens helps us to see God’s plan in a new light and illustrates the problem with doing things our own way. She then dives deep into the questions that many want answers to but most are afraid to ask when it comes to what is appropriate with our sexuality and how to repent and start over if you recognize that you have fallen short of God’s plan for your sexuality. It goes deeper and is intentional about addressing many girls’ questions about sexuality while remaining grounded in Scripture. It even gives biblical guidelines for qualities you can look for in a man who honors Him.
However, this book does have a few minor problems. This book was released toward the end of the purity movement and it does share a few of the same problems as many of the books that were part of that movement. In Dannah’s attempts to be honest and blunt, her wording and methods for resolution have the potential to cause guilt or shame for anyone who has struggled with sexual sin. Even the title indicates that you should be a virgin when you get married, which was one of the purity movement’s most faulty goals. As she has done in several of her books, she defines sin as “to miss the mark” and uses an archer’s target to illustrate that anything that doesn’t hit the bullseye on the target is sin. While I agree with the premise of this definition, it can come across as legalistic when you start pairing it with man-made methods of how to walk away from sin, which can lead to guilt and shame. As Christians, we have to be careful about the way that we define sin and make sure that we carefully explain God’s ability to redeem our sins for His glory so they can feel free to come into the light.
Secondly, this book encourages young women to find a godly older woman to confess their sins to and hold them accountable so that they can overcome their sins. This method was a common remedy of the purity movement and is largely based on common misconceptions about confessing our sins to others as it’s encouraged in James 5:16. That verses says that we should confess to one another and pray for each other, not to confess and then rely on them to help you get out of your sin. In my opinion, seeking an accountability mentor should not be a catch-all solution to overcoming sin, especially sexual sin.
Please understand that I am not saying that younger women shouldn’t learn and be taught by older godly women. Titus 2 encourages older women to teach younger women and I am not trying to discredit that. I also understand that when sin becomes any sort of addiction, a person probably will need outside help to overcome it, such as programs, support groups, or counseling. What I’m trying to communicate is that the Bible doesn’t talk about mentorship the way it is described in most Christian circles today (when a younger and older person meet for coffee once a week while the mentor does a colonoscopy on the young person’s personal life). Asking another sinner to hold you accountable in many cases diminishes the power of self-discipline (or self-control) God had already given to each one of us (2 Timothy 1:7). If you want to stop any sin, you have to be fully convinced in your own mind that it is a sin that you want to leave behind and never return. Once you have determined to walk away from your sins, then you can confess your sins to someone you trust, not to tattle tale on yourself out of guilt, but to give you other Christians in your corner praying with you through the battle.
Lastly, there were some assumptions made about a few of the specific sins addressed that were clearly assumptions that could not have been backed by readers, especially in Chapter 10 (which I am avoiding mentioning by name for the sake of younger readers).
Aside from these issues, this is a good book that could be a good tool for helping teen girls and young adults develop a biblically grounded view of sexuality. If this appeals to you, it’s worth checking out.
Personal Rating. This is a good resource. I especially enjoy the discussion about the word “yada” and the use of Ephesians 5 to find traits for admirable men. However, parts of the material are dated and have a few problems with making assumptions, potentially creating guilt, and blunt terminology. It’s good for adult women and older teen girls, but I would struggle with recommending it to anyone else.
This was a book that I needed. Like many of us, I struggle with finding peace when circumstances are not ideal or things don’t go according to plan. I was considering a few different books on peace or anxiety and landed on this one. This book ended being exactly what I needed and more. It connected the dots between many subjects and many obstacles to finding peace in a way that I had never considered. It revealed that the true key is to choose contentment in all the areas of our lives and surrender our uncertainties to Him. If you are a woman who struggles with anxiety, fear, or discontentment, then this is the book for you ~ Bethel
Contentment is something that Christian women want but often struggle to find. We know Paul’s declaration that he found contentment by doing all things in Christ’s strength, but wonder how that is even achievable. We tend to get caught up in the disappointments and fears that result when life doesn’t go the way we planned it. Uncertainty fills our hearts and gives way to other struggles, such as discontentment, grumpiness, bitterness, and even anxiety. We wonder if we will ever find our peace. It makes us ask the question: How do I find contentment in all circumstances?
In her book Calm My Anxious Heart, author Linda Dillow walks women through the biblical and practical tools they need to find contentment and overcome struggles with anxiety. She acknowledges that every woman deals with worries and “what-ifs” that threaten to still our joy and contentment. However, when we learn how to see our difficulties through the lens of trusting God with what He’s given you, it allows you to find peace in situations you never thought possible. You will discover the areas of your life that may be holding you back from contentment, such as body-image, self-image, bitterness, and even the questions “what-if”, “if only” and “why”. It’s when we get these areas in order when we learn to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross and be content with who we are and what we have.
I only have one minor criticism of this book. She frequently uses the phrase “Blessed Controller” to talk how we should trust that God is in control of our circumstances. While I understand what she was trying to communicate, I am not fond of this description of God. I think it can be misinterpreted to imply that God somehow takes away our free will when we surrender to Him, which is not the way He works. I wish she had chosen a different phrase to help us grasp God’s sovereignty and how our choice to trust Him completely can help us find contentment.
Linda speaks with strength and wisdom to the heart of every woman’s struggles with finding peace and contentment. With many Scriptures to study, stories to inspire, and a study guide to help you dig deeper, this book is a great Bible study for any woman who struggles with discontentment or anxiety. Aside from these issues, this is a book that I highly recommend.
Singles Friendly Rating. While this book relies heavily on illustrations applicable to married women, it also does a great job at addressing contentment in singleness. Chapter 4 specifically addressing being content with your current role, including single, married, and even widowed. Even the illustrations using married women feel relatable to singles. Definitely a worthwhile read for single women.
To read my review of Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery's book, Surprised by the Healer, click here
Although I have enjoyed and been inspired by all of the books released by Kristen and Bethany, I believe that this book is by far their best yet. In certain respects, I feel like this book was both written for me and could have been written by me with my life stories inserted into it. I don’t know if I have ever experienced that while reading any book written by other authors. The challenge of trusting God with the twists and turns of your story is a message that will resonate with every reader that chooses to take its message to heart. Being a part of the launch team and helping plan the launch of the book has just been the icing on the cake. This is a book I cannot recommend enough ~ Bethel
Change. Disappointment. Rejection. Worry. All of us have experienced these detours from the narratives we had planned for our lives. No matter how well we plan things out or how good our intentions may be, life is bound to throw us some curveballs. Knowing how to navigate these changes is hard and often painful, especially when we are dealing with major life changes. We want to believe that God is good, but it can be hard to understand His plan or feel His presence when we feel the rug ripped out from under us again and again. It makes us ask the question: How can I learn to fully trust God when life doesn’t go the way I expected?
In their book Not Part of the Plan, authors Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal dive deep into helping their readers navigate the twists and turns of their story while trusting God fully. Kristen and Bethany open up in a way they never have before about their stories not going according to plan. Through Bethany’s years of unfulfilling longings for marriage and Kristen’s years of struggling with infertility, they discovered that even when life doesn’t go according to plan, God is good, ever-present, and can bring us hope and peace amid heartache and disappointment. Pairing their stories with Scriptural and practical truth, this book is designed to help young women to work through past and present detours in their stories. Each chapter includes prayers, reflection questions, and challenges to help them dive deeper. This book is honest and real in a time in history when everyone has faced challenges due to changes from a worldwide pandemic. This is a book that every young woman needs to read. Get your copy today!
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Note: This is an affiliate link, which will allow me to earn a small commission from every sale made at no cost to you
Check out my reviews of Kristen and Bethany's other books:
Sex, Purity, and the Longings of A Girl's Heart
To learn more about my next book, Redeeming the Beast, click here
When I heard that Kristen and Bethany were coming out with a devotional, I was so excited. Having been a part of the launch of their three previous books, I know how well they do at helping young women understand the beautiful design and powerful purpose behind their womanhood. Even before I read this book, I knew that combining this strength with plenty of Scripture in a devotional would be a great combination. This prediction was proven to be accurate. I was excited to once again serve on their launch team for this book (which now marks the most book launches I have done for any author!) and recommend this book to any young woman wanting to learn how to “shine bright” ~ Bethel
In their devotional, Shine Bright, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal help young women get into God’s Word with 60 days of Scriptures, journaling prompts, and other spiritual exercises. Sharing stories and insights that are both new and familiar to the followers of their ministry GirlDefined, Kristen and Bethany connect the Scriptures they share with real-life experiences in a way that is engaging and relevant. Through the variety of Scriptures and topics they discuss, you are given a picture of what it looks like to become a woman defined by God’s Word, which will give the readers the ability to “shine bright” for Christ, if they choose to embrace these truths. This book is well-written and well-designed (the cover is so cute!). Designed to encourage the reader to build consistent Bible study habits, this book would a great option for any teen girls or young women that want to develop the discipline of doing devotions. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy from the publisher for the purpose of this review as part of my involvement in the book’s launch team
NOTE: There have been issues with their book distributors and keeping the books stocked. If you are interested in ordering the book to support the launch (which I totally recommend), their publisher Baker Books is currently running a sale of 30% off and free shipping. For more info, click here
Check out my reviews of Kristen and Bethany's other books:
Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart
Project Modesty (e-Book)
To learn more about my book, Beyond Your Wardrobe, click here
In this segment, Josh Taylor of the Blimey Cow YouTube Channel and I discuss my book Beyond Your Wardrobe, how modesty is about our attitude as much as it is our outfit, and how the purity's movement's insistence on presenting a list of rules caused more problems than it solved
To learn more about my book, Beyond Your Wardrobe, click here
To watch the documentary on Joshua Harris' book on Amazon Prime I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye, click here: https://amzn.to/3a3425p
(This is an affiliate link, meaning that I earn a small commission at no charge to you if you rent or purchase any product through this link)
Make sure to go check Josh's channel, Blimey Cow: https://www.youtube.com/user/blimeycow
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".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
Books In Review
Movies in Review
Broadway In Review
To understand the rating used in these reviews, click here
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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