Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Young and In Love by Ted Cunningham

I suppose it's inevitable. When you read as many books as I tend to read, you're bound to stumble upon one that just doesn't 'work' for you. I always hate it when that happens. Especially when the premise is so good.

Ted Cunningham's "Young and In Love" begins with the idea that young marriage isn't always a bad idea, and should be encouraged in our families and in our churches. This is something I've thought for a while now...we encourage our teenaged youth to wait to date, to wait to marry...

...but their biology fights against that instruction, often to the point of disastrous results. Why wait? What is the point of having them wait? And have we missed the mark somehow?

So, since the idea had been floating around in my gray matter for a bit, I was eager to see what Ted had to say on the topic. Unfortunately, he lost me early on in the book.

On page 23, Ted quotes his wife as saying "girls need to learn how to appropriately flirt." On the surface, you may be thinking, 'so what's wrong with that'? As a mom, all I can say is it made me uncomfortable...maybe it was the use of 'flirt' with 'appropriately'...

...in my mind, the two don't work...kind of like an oxymoron. I get the point of the chapter, which is teaching our daughters how to let men know, in appropriate ways, that they are interested in the possibility of a relationship...cluing the guys in, so to speak.

But in a sex-saturated society, flirting just leaves me on edge. So that turned me off quickly...then came the chapter titled 'Please: No More Purity Talks"...hmmm...

I doubt it's all the talk about purity that makes people hid under the covers on their honeymoon night, or undress in the dark for the first year of marriage. I never had a 'purity talk' come at me at home or in church, and I struggled with issues of intimacy due to poor body image.

A variety of factors contribute to shyness and embarassment in the bedroom, but saying no more talk of purity is throwing out the Bible! Song of Solomon repeats "Do not awaken love before its time"...amidst some of the steamy passages God inspired for us to read.

So, again...turned off...and there were more instances where I wanted to just close the book and walk away from it. I struggled along for three more chapters before I just felt frustrated and confused. The message of the book is well-intentioned. I even agree that encouraging our young people to 'wait' may not be the best idea.

But I've read better, more Biblical books on the topic written by authors I respect(i.e., Voddie Baucham) and this one just doesn't hold up for me. I've been told I'm too conservative for some and too liberal for many others...maybe my ultra-conservative roots are showing.

Or maybe, as a mom, I don't want this particular message presented to my son and daughter. Check out the book for yourself and see what you think. As for me, I give "Young and In Love" two out of five bookmarks, with a huge question-mark as a charm.

But I send my thanks to Audra at B&B Media for giving me a peek at a copy of the book.
Happy Reading!



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1 comment:

Kim said...

A very fair and balanced - and well presented - review my dear friend! Bravo!