When I first heard that sisters Kristen and Bethany were releasing another book, I was so excited. Since I was on the launch team for their first book, Girl Defined, I knew that this was a book I did not want to miss. I was excited to be accepted onto the launch team for this book as well. Although recent circumstances in my life prevented me from being prepared for the book’s launch day on May 1, I was so compelled when I finally got around to listening to the audiobook version. I basically listened to it straight through. When it comes to explaining the ins and out of singleness, marriage, and everything that comes in between, these sisters have you covered. I once again enjoyed the balanced perspectives of Kristen, who’s married, and Bethany, who was single at the time of writing the book. They are very understandable and relatable in their writing style and in their desire to help women everywhere to pursue God’s plan for finding lasting love. This is a book I would highly recommend ~ Bethel
The methods that our culture tries to present us for finding and maintaining lasting relationships are not working. Everything from infatuation disguised as love to sex before marriage to everything magically working itself out in marriage, Hollywood has tried to convince us this is the recipe for success and societal acceptance. But when you look carefully at the lives of those pursuing those methods, their lives are less than perfect. In fact, the statistics for divorce, abortion, and STDs are higher than ever before, but society won’t admit it because their methods are working. They continues to deceive us into a vicious cycle of infatuation and feelings that always results in our hearts getting broken, but we always go back to the same method. It leads many women to ask the question: How can I pursue God honoring relationships with guy, regardless of what season of life I’m in?
In their book Love Defined, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird of Girl Defined Ministries help us discover the ways that we can pursue God-honoring relationships that led to God-honoring marriages, all while giving hope that God has a plan and purpose for those of us that are single. They help us identify our culture’s “fairytale façade” and “Merry-Go-Round” method for satisfying relationships. They lead you to see that following these methods will result in disappointment and brokenness if we continue to rely on them. Instead, they offer a perspective on love, sex, and romance that is radically fresh and truly fulfilling when compared to our culture’s methods. To counter our culture’s methods, they offer a method to approach relationships that puts God in the center and won’t leave you broken, even if it doesn’t work out. Bethany also takes time to watch through the struggles of singleness, but offer advice on how to live your single years well while learning to be satisfied in Jesus. Kristen also walks through her relationship with her husband, and how they involved God in the process of their relationship. Together they address big questions like how to be just friends with guys, if you should date a non-Christian, or warning signs that its time to end a relationship. They conclude with a challenge to live our love defined by God, regardless of what phrase of life you are in. These sisters are a dynamic pair as teachers and writers, and they will inspire you to redefine what you know about romance from God’s perspective. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review, as part of my involvement in the book’s launch team
To read my review of their first book, Girl Defined, click here
To read my last post (which explains the recent circumstances in my life), click here
From the moment I heard what this book was about, I was intrigued. Loving the LGBT community has been both a serious struggle and topic of significant controversy among Christians for decades. This struggle has been one that I have personally wrestled with every time I’ve heard of a friend or a family member that has chosen to identify with that lifestyle. So when I heard there was a book written by an Ozark Christian College graduate that has gay parents and found a way to love them without compromising conviction, I knew it was a book I wanted to read. But it took recently learning about another close friend making that lifestyle choice for me to determine that this was a book that I needed to buy. When I did finally read it, I was not disappointed. This pastor has a heart for this difficult-to-reach community that is rare, because he was raised in that community. I now have a perspective to help me still uphold the truth of God’s word, but to also love these people as never before, thanks to this book. This is now my first recommendation on the topic of homosexuality for Christians, hands down. ~ Bethel
Giving grace is really hard. We have all received it, but Christians struggle to give to those that need it the most. This seems to be especially true when it comes to a Christian’s response to the LGBT community. When it comes to responding to this people group, they often choose to push on the truth in a condescending way, or they choose to order too much grace, to the point that they ignore what God has to say on the subject. Neither one on its own fully pleases God, but we struggle to find a way to find a balance between grace and truth. Especially they put the label of “hater” on us just as quickly as some will put the label of “sinner” on them. In the end, we are left unsure of how to even begin to approach the subject in a Christ-honoring way. It makes us ask the question: Is there a way to love those in LGBT community in a Christ-honoring way? Can we love them without compromising our convictions?
In Caleb Kaltenbach’s book, Messy Grace, he shares his personal journey of having two gay parents, finding his way to the Lord as a teenager, and eventually learning how to love those in the LGBT community without compromising his conviction about homosexuality. You follow Caleb as he describes how he was partly raised by his mom and her partner, and how he even participated in gay pride parades. He was taught that Christian hate gay people. When he was teenager, he started going to church, and he eventually became a Christian and was baptized. His parents were less than supportive, even his dad who was still in the closet at the time. He eventually went to Christian college (my alma mater, Ozark Christian College) and became a pastor, and has learned about how to minister to the LGBT community. He walks us through what it means for us as Christians to live in the tension between grace and truth, demonstrating that it is possible as he displays in his own personal journey. He shares what this can look like in the context of a church, and helps us to see that in order to love as Jesus loved those who struggle, we have to be willing to get a little messy. You will be inspired and challenged by Caleb’s testimony and biblically grounded insight, if you choose to take these truths to heart. This is a book that every Christian about 13 or older needs to read, especially if you have loved one that identifies as LGBT. This book is available pretty everywhere Christian books are sold, so get your copy today!
DISCLAIMER: The link listed above is an affiliate link, which means that if you make a purchase using this link, I’ll receive a small commission. This will help support my blog, my YouTube channel, and will help me produce more content like this in the future. Thank you for the support!
I have been looking forward to the release of this book ever since I first heard that one of my favorite YouTubers was planning on writing a book with his wife. Since I was on the launch team for Jeff’s last book, It’s Not What You Think and I met Jeff on that book tour, I knew it was a book I didn’t want to miss. And sure enough, I was right. It’s a book with the facts that everyone should know about love and marriage, regardless of your relationship status. It’s a book that came at a time when I needed a refresher about God’s incredible design and intention behind marriage and relationships in general. But this is also a book that brings my journey as a blogger and a book reviewer full circle. I When I reviewed It’s Not What You Think, it was my only my second book review. But since then, thanks to a lot of positive feedback from several people (including Jeff himself!), I have found a passion for reviewing books, mostly books on Christian living. This review is my 19th book review in almost 4 years, which is insane. My desire to do more with book reviews started with It’s Not What You Think. It’s been incredible to see where God has taken a simple interest of wanting to be involved in book launches and has turned it into a way to serve and minster to others online. In light of all this, it’s my pleasure to give this book my highest recommendation to anyone, single, dating, or married, over the age of 16. If you want to know more about it, just ask ~ Bethel
Love is hard. It takes effort, intentionality, self-denial, humility, vulnerability, and many other things that our culture has convinced us is unnecessary or makes us weak. So instead, we revert to the culture’s distorted views of sex and romance, and we unknowingly buy into the lie that we will find lasting love and fulfillment using their methods. They also imply that you will never find fulfillment unless you have your “happily ever after.” However, there is even more unhappiness, un-fulfillment, divorce, and brokenness in relationships and marriages than ever before. And this brokenness is creeping into the hearts and minds of men and women who have never even been in a relationship. All because we have given into the lie that we will never be happy without it. It makes us as the question: Is it possible to find a love that lasts in our world today?
In the latest book by YouTuber and author Jefferson Bethke and his wife Alyssa, Love that Love offers hope that we can find a love that lasts in our world today by sharing their own personal romantic journeys. As they take turns authoring chapters titled after popular songs, they share the highs and lows that led them to each other and that inevitably led them to marriage and a family. As you join them on this incredible journey, they help us see the problems with our culture’s broken and distorted view of love and helps us replace it with one that is full of life, hope, and endurance. They cover so much in the pages of this book, from recognizing unhealthy relationships and bad self-esteem, to seasons of singleness, to healing from breakups, to the beauty of sex in the covenant of marriage. Although this young couple has only been married for 5 years, they speak with a wisdom beyond their years and their experience, as they reflect much of the counsel and wisdom bestowed upon them by those who are older and wiser than them. What results in a radically transforming view of love and romance that could change our culture, if we choose to embrace it. This is exactly the book my generation needs, regardless of their relationship status. As a single woman who has never been in a relationship, I found this book to be powerful, useful, and exactly the insight I need to give me a necessary foundation to build my sexual theology. This book, as well as workbooks and a video curriculum, are available today! Get your copy now!
A Sweet Bogo Deal!
Thanks to an extremely generous publisher, I, as a member of the book launch team for Love that Lasts, am offering you a sweet deal: Buy one, get one FREE, with NO LIMITS! Here’s how it works:
1) Buy the book from anywhere (Amazon, B&N, CBD, etc). I personally recommend you look into ordering from the link below for Christian Book Distrubutors*:
Love That Lasts: How We Discovered God's Better Way for Love, Dating, Marriage, and Sex
2) Either screenshot or take picture of the receipt.
3) Go to jeffandalyssa.com/freebook and fill out the form, using the promo code “Bgrove”
4) You’re all set! You will receive the first copy as soon as it ships from your distributor. The second one will come from the publisher around the end of October.
You will probably only pay about $5 per copy of the book (not including shipping costs on the first one. The second will ship free). Since there is no limit, you will get a free copy for every copy you purchase! This deal only lasts until October 17, so don’t miss out! Get your copies today! (And make sure to let me know how many of you take up this awesome deal!)
* DISCLAIMER: The link listed above is an affiliate link, which means that if you make a purchase using this link, I’ll receive a small commission. This will help support my blog, my YouTube channel, and will help me produce more content like this in the future. Thank you for the support!
This is an incredible book. From the time I first heard about the book, I knew it was a book that I needed to read. I ordered the book the moment it came out in spring 2013. Having just gone through a situation in which one of my guys friends told me he didn’t return my feelings for him (in a very caring and Christ-honoring way), I was struggling with trying to understand why these emotions where so hard to overcome and why I was single. When I finally had to chance to complete the book over the course of that summer, I became a young woman that learned to be lost in God’s love. This book was a game changer for my love life, and I know it can be for you too, if you are willing to apply the lessons from this book. Another great example of how Dannah Gresh’s writings have impacted my walk with God, I’d recommend this book to any young women about 16 or older. If you want to know more about it, just ask ~ Bethel
All women long to be loved. It’s something that many women spend their whole life searching for. We all want our Prince Charming and our happily ever after’s. Many women try to seek out love and affection in men, but they end up doing it for all the wrong reasons. They give into the “violent craving” all women have deep within them for the affection of men, and make that the focus of their emotional health, their self-worth, and even their life. Then, when either men hurt us or we are unsuccessful at earning a man’s affections, we fall apart, often trying to compensate the lack of affection with all the wrong things. It’s a vicious cycle that so many women in our world today are caught in today, because our culture sells it to us as normal. They tell being “boy crazy” is normal. They try to convince us that if we dress the right way and act flirty and attractive, we will get the attention of our Prince Charming and you’ll live happily ever after. In the end, this method doesn’t work, and now most women don’t know what to do to handle these feelings for guys correctly. It makes us ask the question: Is there a way to find love and contentment, even if I don’t have a guy?
“A girl should be so lost in God, he has to seek Him to find her.”
This is the quote that author Dannah Gresh used to inspire the book that asks this question. In Get Lost, she addresses the “violent craving” that all women have deep within our hearts for the affection and affirmation of men, and she explains that there is a better way to satisfy this craving. Instead of trying to find it in men that are flawed humans that will ultimately disappoint us, Dannah encourages you to seek it out in the all-consuming and satisfying love of the Heavenly Father. She then takes you through a “love feast,” a 10-Day devotional journey through the facets of God’s love. You are encouraged to take guys off the table and give the best part of your day to God, so you can focus your heart and mind on Him. In the process, you will find that the call to be consumed in God’s love isn’t always easy, but it is so much more fulfilling that any version of romance and personal fulfillment our culture tries to sell us. Then, after your feast, you learn at the conclusion how to bring guys into the picture in a way that honors God and keeps your heart in line with His.
This is an incredible book for older teen girls and young women, especially if you have been through a break-up or are still single. There is also a great video curriculum available for this book take can turn it into a ten week study. This book is available most places Christian books are sold, so get your copy today!
Since the release of the Fifty Shades movies, I have found myself increasingly frustrated with the lack of movies that really teach what love really is. Most romantic movies today are either inappropriate, because they concentrate too much on the physical side of love, or they are unrealistic, because they concentrate too much on the emotional side of love. Many are in both camps. And from the perspective of a Christian, I believe that many of these films are an insult to the way that God designed love and romance. But we view them as merely “entertainment” or “romantic comedies.” Now, I’m not saying that we can’t enjoy some of these movies within reason, but they should not be where we learn to define love or where we should find edification for our relationships. It's rare to find movies that do either of these jobs correctly.
To help with this problem, I have come up with a list of five romantic movies that do a much better job of portraying love and relationships as God intended it. Each one has different concepts about love that defy the cultural expectations of what it is meant to be. I don’t want to spoil these movies if you haven’t seen them, but I want to highlight the different aspect of love they emphasize.
Old Fashioned – Love that is Chivalrous
Our culture tries to sell us romance that has very little respect or courtesy involved. Love and the fuzzy feelings come first, then you figure out how you relate to each other. This should not be. The respect needs to come first and be part of the foundation on which the relationship is built. If it’s not in the foundation of the relationship, it very difficult to put it in later. Old Fashioned reminds us how to put that into the foundation of a relationship, and is a great movie, especially if you are dating or married. I would recommend it to teens and adults.
The Song – Love that is Passionate and Forgiving
However, it should not be the foundation of what the relationship is about. Movies and books like Fifty Shades portray sex as the primary source of character development. How messed up is that? Aside from inappropriate implications, sex isn't the only way we should get to know someone! If your spouse is only there to fulfill a sexual need, then there’s a problem. The Song portrays the consequences of this, but gives hope in the end about how to restore it.
We also learn that love forgives. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, most people know that Solomon messed up big time when it came to relationships. One point in which the film differs from the original story is that Jed and Rose have reconciliation at the end of the movie. I won’t reveal exactly how for those that haven’t seen it, but it is a beautiful picture of the forgiveness that God gave us through His Son. The Song is a great Christian film that I would recommend (although it may not be as appropriate for children).
Fireproof – Love that Endures the Fire
Those who are married shouldn't have to divorce because just don’t love each other or they can't get along anymore. During those kinds of trials, they have to purpose themselves to love each other, even if the other one don’t deserve to be loved. That’s what Christ did for us. When we are aware of how much Christ loved us, it compels us to love others in the same way, especially spouses and families. Fireproof is an excellent reminder of this truth and I would recommend this movie to anyone.
Love Comes Softly – Love that Grows Over Time
Love Comes Softly teaches its title as the main moral. Despite the popular romances we love in our favorite chick flicks, love develops over time. It does not happen instantly. I personally don’t believe that “love at first sight” really exists in romance. I believe in attraction at first sight, but that is not enough to merit a romance. Love is something that grows over time if you choose to work on it, because its a decision, not a feeling. Sometimes, you might be working on it when you don’t realize it. But it’s something that has to be worked on, not something that you can fall in or out of. It’s a matter a choice. Love Comes Softly is a great example of this and I would recommend it to anyone
The Swan Princess – Love that Endures a Lifetime
What I love about this movie is not the happily ever after, but the fact that they declare that their love for each other will endure longer than life itself. That's powerful! The love they have for each other is not conditional on the other’s actions, but on the vow that they made to love each other, no matter what. The feature song of the film, Far Longer Than Forever, is a powerful reminder of the comfort and peace one can find in knowing that the one you love has an enduring loyalty to you and you alone. You can't find that in the fuzzy romance or the physical intimacy of a relationship. That’s what makes The Swan Princess stand out from all other fairy tales. This is a film I would recommend to anyone.
Our culture has sold us so many versions of love that are messed up, we have brought into them. The couples that are so popular from our favorite chick flicks are usually in relationships that are about the fulfillment of personal needs – physical, emotional, spiritual, or a combination. Even if they are “in love,” it is often more about fulfilling the personal need than about the other’s needs. It becomes a love that is very selfish in its nature. To me, it's very disheartening.
The characters in these five movies are different. They are the ones that learned to give up themselves for the one they loved. They all made mistakes to get there, but through their trials and adventures, they learned to love the other as only Christ could through them, and that is so much more beautiful than any romance our culture tries to sell us. As we watch these and other romantic movies, let us do our best to praise those that portray love as God intended it, and discern when love is not portrayed correctly. Hopefully, it will change the way we see everything.
Living in the Redemption of the price Jesus paid for you and me.
My name is Bethel, and welcome to my site, Princess Worth Dying For, where I hope to share Christian reviews, Christian Spoken Word, and a Christian Insights on everything from modesty to musicals. My main focus on this blog is book reviews, and the main focus of my YouTube channel is spoken word, but I do crossover work with both.
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