It’s not often that I will give a book review on my blog. In fact, this is probably the first time. However, I just finished previewing a book before I give it to my daughter to read.
Before You Meet Prince Charming: a Guide to Radiant Purity
This book encourages young ladies to take a courageous stand for purity. Not just physical purity, but emotional purity as well. It was mainly written to young ladies who have yet to enter relationships with young men, giving them practical and biblical guidelines in a very discreet yet humorous manner. The author, Sarah Mally, strongly advocates courting vs. dating with the express purpose of saving and guarding hearts and bodies for the one whom God has intended they marry. She focuses on the idea that young ladies should prepare themselves by growing in Christ and becoming a woman of Godly character. It was a very good read, and I will be giving it to my daughter. There were maybe one or two points that I may not have agreed with quite as strongly as her views, but I agreed with the premise.
I was saddened the other day when I got on Facebook to see one of my friend’s young daughter – about 9 or 10 years old – talking about needing a boyfriend. First of all, a 9-year-old should NOT have a Facebook page. I know her mother set it up and lied about her age, which disturbs me. Second, a 9-year-old does not need a boyfriend. Many wise adults gave her advice of not getting a boyfriend and enjoying the time she has as a *single*, but she would not be swayed. I believe one of the reasons this happens is the constant questioning of young girls by adults: “Do you have a boyfriend yet?” “What boys do you like?” I hear it all the time and it is disturbing. We are giving these young girls – as early as five years old – the idea that they cannot be happy or fulfilled unless they have a boy in their lives. (The same holds true for asking little boys if they have a girlfriend.) I would much prefer my daughter learn that God is her fulfillment and true happiness, and that marriage is a gift from God, not a necessity for true happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happily married. My husband is a wonderful gift from God. I believe God created and ordained marriage – and it’s a beautiful thing! But we need to learn that He (God) is all we need and the true supplier of our needs and happiness. Our spouses are human and will at times disappoint us, but God never disappoints.
The book also focuses on finding the ministry that God has created for us to do. I think we often forget that we have been created for His purpose, to do His will and His service, and to reach others for Christ.
Rant Sermon* I appreciated this ministry focus because we live in such a ‘me’ focused world… What can God do for me? How can church benefit me? What can I get out of worship? I hear people saying, “I didn’t get anything out of worship today.” This attitude has become more prevalent over the last decade or so with the idea that we need to be entertained when we go to worship. We have forgotten that we are worshipping God. That He is the one who should ‘get’ something out of our worship. He is our creator, the Author of our salvation. He has freely given us the gift of grace and eternal life. That fact alone should make us want to fall to our knees with overwhelming heartfelt worship and adoration.
We aren’t to worship ourselves or our feelings. Feelings are fickle, and are not good barometers of the truth. We offer up praise and worship to Him so that He can be glorified, not our feelings. When we come into worship with the attitude of ‘I need to be blessed today’ or the attitude of ‘Bless me if you can’, we are coming in with the wrong attitude. When we come to worship with our hearts and minds on Him, then we will be blessed by our obedience to worship Him.
I remember a time in my adult life that I just really didn’t look forward to listening to the pastor speak. His delivery seemed dry and not very interesting. I found my thoughts wandering to other things. One day God convicted me through the words of another Christian. God let me know that I was not there to be entertained. I was there to praise and worship Him, to learn and grow in my Christian walk, and to be convicted by the scripture to become more like Christ. It didn’t matter if I didn’t like the sermon delivery style. The pastor was presenting the Word of God. It was my responsibility to listen and apply it to my life. You know what? After my attitude changed, I found so many spiritual truths being presented each Sunday. It was a time of great spiritual growth in my life. Did the pastor improve or change his style? No. What had changed was my attitude and purpose. Our attitudes and focus should be on Christ. When our attitudes and focus are on Christ, then we are able to minister to others and fulfill His purpose for our lives. *end
rant sermon* (maybe 😉 )
But I digress… 🙂
I would definitely recommend this book to the parents of young ladies who wish to guard their children’s hearts, and to the young ladies, themselves. The book goes directly against the main-stream beliefs of the what the world thinks a relationship should look like between young men and women. I’m sure that in the near future we will hear much opposition to the stance we are taking on ‘dating’, even from Christians. But that’s okay. We already get grief from other Christians because we homeschool (which I find interesting). God gave our children to us to guide, nurture, protect, and instruct. And we will do so in the way that He is telling us, not how the world tells us we should.