Friday, May 14, 2010

Guest Blogger Book Review

Guest Blogger Book Review: Every Young Woman's Battle: Guarding Your Mind, heart and Body in a Sex-Saturated World by Shannon & Stephen Arterburn

(Julie:) Although I am not too far past being a "young" woman, I started reading this book with some skepticism as far as it's relevance to me personally. I wondered, "Is this teen version really going to apply to me?" I've been married almost a decade, long past dating status, I have no teenaged girls knocking on my door for relationship advice, and my own daughter is (hopefully!) at least decade away from needing it. I should also admit that I started this book with a vague idea of what I hoped it would emphasize. Though I would still like to read the "adult" (or "old"?) woman's version, I mostly enjoyed this book and I was pleasantly surprised to find:

1. A strong emphasis on the need to guard our minds.
2. A large amount of scripture - the best way to accomplish #1
3. A chapter devoted to falling in love with Jesus

From reading Mark's review on the EMB book, it does seem that these books are similar in some ways: concepts of starving and bouncing, except in this case, they are applied to a woman's mind and thoughts. This can be very dangerous ground for women when left unguarded! I completely agree that it is extremely important to very carefully guard the intake of your mind - married woman or not. This covers both visual and non-visual temptation. I remember, as a young woman, discomfort over books - Christian books! - that went very steamy. I thought, "There is no way this book made into a movie would be appropriate or allowed, so why is it on the shelf for us to read?" Women don't need the visual images if they are ingesting the mental images! We need to be so careful to protect and guard our minds, no matter the format temptation may arrive as - magazines, novels, television, music, etc.

This book, like the "family" of books it belongs to, is very honest and specific. The authors use many examples of women's varying temptations and I wonder if the graphic nature of these examples may be too much. If women are vulnerable to mental images from words, then this book is walking a fine line in providing those mental images for the sake of relevance and honesty. To it's credit, this book was very direct about alot of subjects that most people are not very straight-forward in teaching. Thankfully, it was not only honest and specific about a woman's struggles and temptations, but also about practical suggestions as to how to guard yourself (and why!).

The authors also did a good job dissecting the typical emotional steps a woman goes through in relationships and how to set emotional boundaries, not just physical - how to also guard your heart. Emotional boundaries for women are a big deal - very, very important!
So, is this book just for young women? Not quite! Although definitely geared toward teens, I would say it would be very helpful for all unmarried women, and those of us who are married and can't find a copy of it's big sister book! I did enjoy it and agreed with most of it, though I am attaching a strong word of caution to my word of acceptance! I hope that it will change the decisions and lives of the young women who read it, convincing them to redefine purity and giving them the hope and resolve to commit to true purity and a life of love for their Savior, our True Love. Rating: 3.9 lemons out of 5

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Lindsey Dueck said...

I just finished off this book with my small group, and I thought it was excellent. I love how direct it was, and I was glad it did not spare any details for the sake of innocent minds. The book emphasizes that ignorance of sexual issues is not a good thing, and that an educated young woman can better protect herself from sexual sin.

I really think every young Christian woman should read this book BEFORE they start dating. I wish I had read this book when I was younger, it would had made my life a lot easier.

This book has great guidelines for setting boundaries in relationships, and reasons for each one. It emphasizes that a close relationship with God should be above all other relationships.

Mark, I know you have said before you are passionate about teaching people about purity. Although I know it is very important, I was not passionate about it, until I read this book! I seriously want to make sure ALL of my single friends and youth girls read this book!

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