Friday, July 27, 2018

How to Resist Sin while Preparing for Marriage and Family Life {A Review}

Are you looking for a frank, faith-filled, yet modern resource to help young men navigate post-pubescent pre-martial years? Then, take a look at Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality by Hal and Melanie Young of Great Waters Press.

I just finished reading a review copy of this 96 page softcover book and found it to be a succinct, worthy resource that:

  • answered awkward questions in a Biblical context.
  • offered practical tips for avoiding temptation or recovering from poor choices.
  • discussed how to shave healthy, faith-abiding relationships with young women.
  • suggested ways to ready yourself for marriage, pursuing a wife in the right way.

Moreover, the book touched on modern topics - such as gender issues and the easy-access of porn - with clarity and charity from a Biblical viewpoint.
Included in the book are:

  • an engaging introduction with a sad, but true fact on page two about when boys these days are being drawn into impurity.

  • a Bible-based explanation of how Sex Was God's Idea in chapter one.

  • clear summaries, like this one at the end of chapter two that reminds you of salient points.

  • a reality check on page 31 of Chapter three, The Enemy Perverts God's Design, which explains sexual sin and the rising prevalence and accessibility of temptations.

  • practical suggestions, including the ones pictured below from page 51 of chapter four that answer the question , How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure.  (As a side note: I laughed aloud when I read about singing to the Lord to avoid temptation.  That would never fly with my now 12-year old.  But, honestly, it is not a bad idea for those who like singing.  And, having accountability partners is always a sound idea, I think!)

  • encouragement, like that on page 68 of chapter five, Recovering From a Fall.

  • suggestions for Guys and Girls to have healthy relationship, as explained on page 73 and elsewhere in chapter six.

  • mature advice on when to get married - after you've laid the groundwork to support a wife and family.

  • a realistic, edifying, and encouraging conclusion- part of which on page 94 emphasizes how different today's landscape is from that of prior generations, yet how the basics remain the same.  

Scripture also, of course, plays into every chapter of the book.

Truly, I found Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality to be a concise, real, and encouraging book for modern young men of faith to encourage them towards purity and away from pitfalls

That said, I do have two cautions about the book:

1.  The book is written for young men ages 12 to 20-something since authors Hal and Melanie have been discovering younger and younger boys facing temptations against purity, however, because some of the book (chapter two) is detailed in biological nature and much speaks of pitfalls all young men can face but some have not been exposed to, I would suggest parents read the book first before handing it over to sons. 
None of the book is written in an uncouth or inappropriate manner.  All of it points towards a Biblical basis.  However, some of it may be "beyond" what some young men are ready for.  It certainly is for my 12-year-old.  So, I will use the book as a resource for me to draw from when conversing with my son for now, and, only later, may give it to my son to read.
2. For fellow Roman Catholics, on pages 39-40, there is true discussion of how Timothy pointed toward marriage for bishops, elders, and deacons.  This may be confusing for some young men who have been taught that priests need to be celibate.  If this becomes an issue, I would simply point them towards the fact that Paul was a celibate priest, read 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 7-10, and go from there with discussion.

These two points, though, are hardly reason not to recommend Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.  For the book truly is a well-written, real, and modern resource for parents who want to raise - and young men who seek to be - Christian men of character.


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