“Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart” is a book written bravely making it unlike any other true-love-waits book I ever read.
Heather Arnel Paulsen goes straight for the issues of the heart, surpassing 20th century churches’ slacking culture. While most youth group focuses only on teaching singles the importance of remaining physically pure as an act of obedience to the Lord, Heather presents the best preventive measure: EMOTIONAL PURITY.
The book starts with the story of Tracy and Mike, two Christian young adults who are both growing in the Lord. One could say that they are both financially, spiritually, and emotionally ready to enter in a relationship, or so it seems.
In her second chapter “Avoiding Early Intimacy”, Paulsen shares how emotional intimacy eventually leads to physical intimacy and how uncommitted but emotionally awakened relationships causes bad consequences.
In a world where waiting, being emotionally unavailable, and not participating in casual dating even in the Christian scene, is boring and sometimes considered being “legalistic”; Heather challenges the young people to rebel against the world’s standard of dating.
The book is not only about romantic relationships; it touches paternal relationships in the chapter “Finding Good Guidance”. Heather stresses how godly parents’ advice play a vital role in creating healthy friendships with the opposite sex or in entering a romantic relationship.
She also takes the famous “guard your heart” up another level involving emotional purity. Though many may see the steps she encourages young people to take as “too much”, she sets an example in her book where you can never take too much steps to glorify the Lord in matters of the heart.
In the following chapters, Heather describes how a woman’s heart work and how to protect it (Chapter 4 “Guarding Your Heart”). She also touches our generation’s tainted view on friendship on the chapter “Defining A friendship”.
A lot of people (even women!) would define the relationship as “Friends only” or use the “You’re-like-a-brother/sister-in-the-Lord-to-me” as a way to guard their hearts but would continue to act differently and end up having more casualties.
Heather also includes practical advices on the chapter “Dating Done Differently”. She shared a Godly approach to dating, where accountability, blessing of mentors, and parents are present.
Other chapters include: Protecting Your Relationships, Learning True Contentment, Trusting God, Creating Safe Ideals, Watching Your Feelings, Understanding Expectations, Following God’s Plan, Seeing Christ’s Design, Preparing for Marriage, Continuing My Journey, and Enjoying Your Single Years.
Emotional Purity is not a step-by-step book on how to find your future mate. Above all else, Heather points us to find our desires and satisfaction on our Lord, Jesus alone. With the use of creative story telling and powerful use of scriptures, Emotional Purity is not for the faint-hearted. With Heather, there is no sugar coating.
If you’re one who desires to break free from the world’s standard of dating and friendship-coated romance, if you are tired of having your heart broken again and again, if you wish to be called boring, out-of-date, legalistic, rather than being called disobedient by the One who matters, this book is for you.
We’ve been looking at beauty with the wrong motivation, purpose, ways, and in the wrong places. Leslie Ludy points out in her book Set-Apart Femininity that, “Young women today are expected to be liberated, independent, confident, and fulfilled. But inside we actually are a desperate, lonely, insecure, hopeless lot—plagued by eating disorders, abusive relationship, emotional breakdowns, and sexual chaos.”
We want to be an alluring woman. Someone so beautiful and appealing that guys would be attracted to. Girls somehow want to achieve flawless skin, perfect hair, pouty lips, dazzling white teeth, and rosy cheeks that will encourage every men to be constantly interested in her.
But what is the true essence of being beautiful and appealing? How can we get it?
As women, the desire to be beautiful is innate. We dream of capturing the heart of our dream prince with our stunning beauty, like the princesses in fairytales. But the true essence of it didn’t originate with Cinderella—it’s actually a biblical concept.
The entire Bible is a beautiful love story between Christ and you. Jesus is the only One who can truly satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. And yet, most of us turn to everything but Him in the desperate attempt to find the approval we crave. And all too often we fall for it.
We buy clothes, we read magazines, we watch commercials which we think will help us to know the latest trend. We take “selfies” and take ages to choose which photo has a good angle and which filter would make us look the prettiest. Every like or comment that follows somehow makes us feel better and accepted. Most of us won’t admit to this—even to ourselves—just how consumed we are in making ourselves appealing. The world proclaims that we aren’t good enough and female beauty is gained through commercial products that every media outlet throws on our faces.
But the Christian voice insists that beauty comes from within us—in hearts which are fully surrendered to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The beauty that we wear is more than the physical attributes he has endowed us but the character He’s shaping into his likeness—of goodness, kindness, compassion, humility, and caring for others.
Maybe it will help us to ask ourselves, “Is Jesus really the Lord of my life or I am? Does His kindness make an appearance in my daily walk? Do I put more effort in making myself look great or in making Him look great in my life? Am I spending my time to have compassion and care for others or all I really care for is myself?
Leslie Ludy emphasizes in her book the dazzling loveliness of set-apart femininity—which exudes a beauty that is not of this world. This beauty is that of a spectacular radiance of a woman completely transformed by the Author of all things lovely and pure. You can never find this kind of beauty in the pages of fashion magazines.
The spectacular sparkle of the true feminine beauty is found by exchanging a life consumed with self for a life consumed with Jesus Christ; by trading the desire to be attractive to this world for longing to be attractive to Him alone. A real princess of God cares about nothing but loving, serving, honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ and that is truly, “The fairest of them all.”
JUNE—the most popular wedding month will be arriving soon and countdown for couples tying the knot are preparing for their countdown to the big day!
Flowers, candles, wedding rings, bridesmaid gowns, barongs, suit, tie, food, cake, and of course, the wedding gown are included in the long checklist of wedding organizers. This is the one big day in the couple’s lives and organizers strive to make everything perfect as possible down to the strands of the bride’s hairstyle. While beautifully prepared weddings are worthy of admiration, how often and much do people really prepare for marriage? Is marriage now synonymous to wedding?
The wedding day is but a door to marriage, an event that preludes marriage. A wedding happens for a few hours but marriage must happen until death parts a couple. As young people, we usually just think of the wedding day (or, wedding night for guys) but not really about the days and years after it. What happens when romance fades?
“Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story” tells the marriage story of a quadriplegic woman and a son of Japanese immigrants. At 17, Joni suffered in a diving accident that crushed her spinal cord at the fourth and fifth cervical levels leaving her paralyzed. In her early years of disability, the last thing on her mind was marriage, “After all, who would want to marry someone confined to a lifetime in a wheelchair?” she said.
Ken was teaching high school history and coaching football when he met Joni. As they talked with each other, he began to recognize her beautiful heart. They eventually dated each other and later on got married in 1982. Fast forward to three decades later, Joni and Ken continue to be passionately committed and contented in their marriage. Their 30 years together wasn’t all bright and bubbly but it is marked with true love and sacrifice as they depended their marriage relationship on God.
“Marriage only magnifies how hard it is to deal with suffering,” says Joni, which is very true of all marriages. Ken adds, “…we are in a spiritual battle. One thing I would encourage any person, any man, is you got to find someone who you can fight the battle with.”
If you’re planning to get married this June or dreaming to be married someday, this book might give you a better and clearer picture of what marriage is more than what your bridal magazine might say.
Think and reflect on this: How would you feel when someone whispers “I love you” in your ears right now?
Maybe shivers would run through your spine and your heart beat speeds into a chase. And it would feel good. If you’re in a relationship, you’d probably wish that your boyfriend/girlfriend would gently whisper “I love you” or if you’re not in a relationship, you’d wish that you’re in one so you can experience the thrill of being loved. If we are this excited about experiencing LOVE with a human being, then how much exciting would it be if the God of this universe extends you His love?
That’s what exactly Francis Chan talks about in his New York Times best-selling book, Crazy Love. Our heart longs to be in a stable and lasting relationship yet human relationships would always fail us at some point. God is offering something that will never fail us and it’s an invitation to a passionate love relationship with Himself. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
Crazy Love Introduction
I recently read a great book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. You’re probably wondering what this “crazy love” is. In the book, Chan explains that the love God has for us is crazy. Chan wants us to understand that God loves us so much that he sent his Son as a replacement for our sins. We should be so compelled by what God has done for us that we should be crazy in love with God. This is the main point of the book. This book changed how I think. God loves us so much. I need to stop living my life, forgetful of God, and center my life on loving God and people. I really liked this book and it taught me a lot about God’s love. When people talk about God’s love, I see it differently now. God’s love really is crazy and amazing and we need to start living like it is. I definitely recommend this book to anyone—someone who doesn’t know a lot about loving God or someone who is a strong Christian. I found this book interesting and full of wisdom. I hope you will read this book and find it as interesting as I did. You will definitely learn a lot. Happy reading!