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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: Marian Jordan Ellis' Sex and the Single Christian Girl

For a book about being single and trying to stay pure, Marian Jordan Ellis sure does talk a lot about marriage. While some parts make a great point, such as the idea of waiting for sex is about saving yourself for someone, but more so honor God through abstaining, there are others that get repeated a lot. I was glad that she took this approach to empower women to not fall into many of the ways that appeal more so to women's temptation, but I kept wondering what about women who don't perceive romantic comedies in the same way? Also, I wasn't sure this book was directed at teenage girls or women. I wasn't someone who could relate to be called a girl though.

Summary: Marian Jordan Ellis knows how it feels to fall into sexual temptation, and then decide that by following Christ you will avoid the lure of the closeness of physical relations again. Now she is out to help other women find their identity in Christ, and not how a man may make them feel. With Biblical scriptures to strengthen her points on how Christ can help overcome temptation she encourages women to stay strong in their faith, and that abstaining is worth it no matter how long you might have to wait for marriage.

Characters: I do like how Ellis uses examples of her own life to show how she has struggled. The reader is going to be able to relate a lot more to what she is saying because of her honesty. She also uses other examples of women, to back up the point that no one is along in their struggle. The biblical stories she uses also do a good job of backing up her points, but I do felt it would have worked better if she could have included more female characters from the Bible, because I'm sure there is at least one who had to suffer from the repercussions of what sexuality could do a woman's heart.

Writing: The points do repeat themselves fairly often. It's like Ellis didn't quite have enough to write a book, so many of the points she makes earlier in the book she goes back to. As said earlier, more stories, especially of Biblical women, would have gone far to lengthen her book. There were parts I found myself quickly skimming because the points seemed so familiar from earlier in the book. I also was confused about who this book was directed at. I get that it might be directed at younger girls who are teenagers, and that is fine, but as a woman I don't refer to myself as a girl anymore. I think the encouragement that Ellis brings is admirable though as she seems to have a passion for women.

Plot: This is non-fiction, so the plot isn't really there since it is more of a self-help book. I did like though how the book progresses toward the end. The story she used of her and her husband, Justin, running the race at the end was a very nice way to end the book. I felt the idea of being single and struggling with sexual pureness was a bit lost in all the talk of marriage though. For a woman who is single with no prospect of marriage in sight the idea of sex and marriage can actually be discouraging. I remember for me when I was single the last thing I wanted to hear was how married people can have sex. It may sound bad but it's true. It wasn't the idea of being pure for marriage that kept me from falling into temptation, but Jesus who did, because I knew my lifestyle was to glorify him. I think for single women who are Christians that was the part that should have been emphasized a lot more. A lot more women believe that marriage isn't waiting at the end of the tunnel and need a new perspective. My only other issue with the book was that Ellis seemed ashamed of sex sometimes. Like at one point she mentions an array of sexual activities that someone could partake in, and says she was embarrassed to type that out. Why would anyone be embarrassed to type out the sexual activities that a married couple could partake in?

I've got to give her a ton of credit for tackling a difficult subject. Trying to encompass an idea of sex and the effects of sex in a book isn't easy, but I do feel it's way more complex than this book goes into. I feel certain there are women who do have sex without regret out there, and are okay with the living with their boyfriends and having sex. Now I believe the stories in Ellis' book are real, but how do you address women who haven't had the same ideas on what they are doing? She gives some nice tips for women who are needing some encouragement though, and some scripture to go to.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.


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