Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rules are Broken. Visions are Lived.

Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World

Every woman I know of wants three things: love, acceptance, and commitment.
And every woman I know of imagines finding those things in the context of a romantic relationship, a relationship to share their whole lives, giving and receiving.
Throughout the ages, that kind of romantic relationship has been know for the way it connects minds and hearts, souls and bodies.

It is only recently that the order of romance has been turned upside down: the connection of bodies is encouraged before the union of hearts.

In the last few decades, the media has sold us a vision of romance.
This new vision is often wrapped in a sweet, sweep you away story where sex happens before the characters know each other's last names, where sex comes before they have a history of trust, where sex becomes synonymous with true love, and where sex {as long as it's with Mr. Right} always turns out to be a good choice in the end.

In most young ladies minds, there are only two choices in life: Romance or Rules.
Romance says you find that special someone, you get attached, and you get physical...
Rules say that you remain abstinent, and that you have the TLW ring to prove it.

The problem is that the rules alone are insufficient. We all know that.
Purity is not *less* than discipline and commonsense and knowing when and how to wait... but it is far, far *more!*
It is also far, far more than a level of physical preservation.
Purity is a whole way of life, which is why no sin can take it away forever, because God is in the business of restoring his daughters.

So how, in the midst of the media's messages and our own longing for affection, can we possibly maintain purity and convince others to do the same?
The answer is two fold: To know the battle, and to have a different vision.

In this book Marian Jordan Ellis goes about laying the groundwork for both.

I really like the fact that Mrs. Ellis talked about how the battle for purity is way more than attraction and desire... it is a spiritual battle between God and the devil, fought over the souls of men and women.
The strongest attacks come on God's best gifts, sexuality being one of them.

And then the vision. If you take one foundational concept away from this book to inform your fight for purity, take this one: Rules are broken, visions are lived. Cast a new vision, Biblically informed, in light of the Love of Jesus. Cast a vision where you are treasured and holy and where you are worthy of far, far more than our cheap sexual culture offers. And never think that you are too far gone for this. You are not too far gone to start over clean.
As God said, "Though your sins be as scarlet, I shall wash you as white as wool."

That is another thing that makes this book stand out: Marian can speak to women of all ages, whether they're thirteen or thirty. She can speak to the ones with a sexual past they regret and the ones who have yet to enter a relationship.

And then the last section of this book was also immensely helpful. It was ideas on how to navigate a relationship and the intimacy that comes with it in a God honoring way.

Thank you Bethany House for my review copy!

Have you ever seen a street after a parade?  The lonesome scraps and fragments that are left seem dirty, abandoned and trashed.  Runover.
What a shift from the moment before when music trilled, drums beat, people danced and colors burst through our senses drawing us closer and closer, the goal to press as closely to the barricade as humanly possible. What fun! What exhilaration! What glitter! What a draw! And then... it’s gone. Passed. Done. Confetti becomes litter; songs trail to silence and the attraction of the crowd dwindles and dies. This is how Marian Jordan describes her life without Jesus Christ.
Fun, loud, colorful, cyclical, lonely and trashed. Her sharp observation of the party years, resonate with the familiar. Her transparent account of the lure of fashion, sex, booze, and approval chronicle the dilemma of “every girl” in today’s society.
Marian's powerful testimony of coming to brokenness and emptiness and her dynamic account of the gentle mercy and forceful grace of Christ who called her into his arms permeate all of her writings and speaking engagements. Whole in Christ and ready to tell any ear that will listen, Marian has a passion for young women who flock to the parade of emptiness.

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