- The parents of my girlfriend place their trust in me. I will not violate it.
- I will respect my girlfriend as I expect other men to respect my sister.
- I will respect womanhood, because my mother is a woman.
- I will ask my girlfriend to do nothing I would be ashamed of if my mother found it out.
- My girlfriend has given me the honor and pleasure of her company. It is wrong for me to expect more in payment for this date.
- My girlfriend will be a wife and mother someday. She must be an example to her children and the pride of her husband. I will help her to be as pure and decent as I want my wife to be.
- Manhood means strength of character as well as body. Lack of self-control is a sign of weakness. I want my girlfriend to know that I am manly.
- God is everywhere, sees everything, knows everything. Darkness may hide me from people, but it cannot hide me from God.
When I think of my bachelor years, oh how far I have fallen from this standard! But man, I pray, pray hard, that the men who pursue Lynn and Mesoo will be just like him. I pray even harder that Happy will be this kind of man, himself. And I pray that the men who currently pursue my sisters in law and my cousins are this kind of men, too.
In fact, I regret my past actions in this area so strongly that I have made it my mission to nurture younger men and women in my circle of influence to be like the man above. If there’s a niche in ministry that I specialize in and strongly advocate, it’s boy-girl relationships. Just ask my current and former students, as many of the books below are required reading in The Abba's Orchard Erdkinder.
Ok, so do I have any recommended reading for you if you are struggling with temptation in this area, or if you have a child that does? Yes. Read on…and click on the links to purchase them easily online.
Well, if you’re a teenager and/or a student, I strongly believe that it is not wise to get in a romantic relationship, period. It does not honor you nor the lady you’re pursuing. I have good reasons why this is so, but that’s a whole other blog post altogether. But the best book I can recommend on why I say this is Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Mr. Harris is such a gifted author, and his reflections and advice are so powerful and practical. You will not look at your teenage years in the area of romance the same way again. If you’re a youth pastor or youth leader, I’d advise you to get the small group study guide while you’re at it. I have both, and I’m not afraid to use them extensively both in ministry and professionally (and my boss is all for it, too)
Now, if you know you’re ready to have a relationship and you’d like to be as honorable as the one above, I recommend another one of Joshua Harris’ books, his best in my opinion: Boy Meets Girl. It’s his most inspiring work because, as one of my former students said, “it so clearly shows the blessings we receive if this relationship thing is pursued the right way.” Amen. It is very romantic, and yet very, very practical as well. I so wish I had this book when I was younger…and if I can give every single, especially every single man, a copy of this book without appearing preachy or offensive, I would.
A book that Joshua Harris often quotes is Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity. I personally haven’t read it, but some of my former students have, and say it’s also a must read. If Joshua Harris reveres the author and her work, then that’s enough for me.
Another book that my students, who pursue this purity even after they leave my care, rave about is When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy. My students who read it bugged me once to include it in the Literature curriculum. They say it’s at or nearly as influential to them as Harris’ work. One day (read: summer vacation) I’ll read it and see if they’re right. But I trust them enough to include it here on the list of must have books.
Ok, what if you’re still single, but, like me, have messed up and would like to redeem yourself in the area of sexual purity. Hey, we all make mistakes…and there’s a book that’s perfect for you: Eros Redeemed. Basically, it talks about how you can have forgiveness and hope when you messed up in this area...and trust me, a lot of us mess up in this area.
In fact, if your particular struggle is in the area of lust, be it in a relationship or no, then by all means get another one of Joshua Harris’ books, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is). I agree with him that lust is the biggest problem in young people today, and this book is excellent in tackling this topic. This is definitely one of the strongest influences to my students' lives as well (although here in the Philippines, it still goes by it's old title, Not Even A Hint).
Btw, this book also has a study guide...or guides. Of course, lust is a sensitive topic, so for Sex is Not the Problem, there’s a guy version and a girl version for the study guides.
Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) - A Study Guide for Men
Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) - A Study Guide for Women
Anyway, so I hope you take this blog entry to heart. God bless you in pursuing purity in an impure world.