Monday, July 22, 2019

Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal

Back Cover:
"This message of God-defined sexuality is one every woman needs."--Dannah Gresh, author of And the Bride Wore White

For the modern Christian woman, embracing God's design for sexuality can often feel like an impossible pursuit. As the culture around us seeks to normalize things such as lust, pornography, erotica, and casual sex, you may be feeling immense pressure to conform. In this relatable and encouraging book, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal share honestly about their own struggles and victories and dig into topics such as

· how your longings for intimacy point to a deeper need
· why God's original design for love, passion, and sex is good
· how to deal with secret sexual struggles
· and much more

Kristen and Bethany invite you on a personal journey to discover and reclaim a biblical vision for your sexuality--one that is good and relevant and will lead you toward true hope and lasting freedom.

"In a world riddled with sexual confusion, brokenness, and pain, I rejoice that voices like Kristen's and Bethany's are helping young women find their way--His way--and pointing them to the redeeming love and grace of Christ."--Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; teacher/host of Revive Our Hearts

This is Kristen and Bethany's newest (and third) book. Their first book, Girl Defined, dealt with God's design for women and topics such as beauty, self-worth, and femininity. I haven't read their second book, Love Defined, yet, but I hope to soon! I remember seeing the contents page from a couple people who were on this books release team and wondering how Kristen and Bethany would tackle these topics. I also remember hearing a few people shocked just from reading the table of contents. However, fear not. There is nothing too explicit or too detailed, and younger to older teens can safely read this. 

I appreciated the beginning chapters on our broken sexuality and our design especially. Both girls write honestly about their childhood upbringing and how that influenced their thought processes. They begin with the foundation that we are all sexually broken and discuss how they first began to understand the longings of their own hearts. They describe why they wrote this book and how we need to embrace sexuality as it is given by God with passion and purity. 

Society, and especially Christian circles, it seems, tend to view lust as a guy's problem. But it's not just that. Women also struggle with it just as much. It's just not talked about. But Kristen and Bethany bring that to light and share testimonies of women who decided to break that stronghold sin pattern in their life and seek help. They also bring to light what sex is, who it's meant for, and how it's a beautiful picture of what God intends for a husband and wife to enjoy. 

While this book is detailed regarding the biblical ways that sex should be viewed, I did find that it didn't define many of the struggles that girls face. There were topics discussed that I felt should have been defined rather than assuming that everyone knows what they are. However, Kristen and Bethany also provide many quotes from well-known speakers and authors which I found helpful and beautiful to read. Sometimes paraphrasing and citing just doesn't convey the same thought as another's words. 

This book includes discussion questions, helpful thoughts for singles, and an appendix regarding healing from sexual abuse. I believe this book is a gentle introduction to topics that need to be discussed, but not completely helpful in that many terms and issues aren't defined, but just generally talked about. It's a book of encouragement and testimony to those who have found victory over sin and healing in the present. Kristen and Bethany present the glory of our sexuality as our Creator intends it to be. 

*I was given this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review. 

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