You can’t disagree that relationships, including sex, preoccupy the minds of young adults. You remember being young, don’t you? I do, vaguely.
When our high school seniors go to college they find a world far different from that of their parents. Discussions these days aren’t about dating; they are about “hooking up” and “friends with benefits”. Relationships are more complicated today than ever before. If not approached from a Christian perspective, the complexities can leave wounds that scar a woman for the rest of her life.
Bristol House has several books that deal specifically with relationships. Real Sex by Lauren Winner is the best book I’ve seen on relationships and sexuality. It provides a frank perspective on healthy relationships from a woman who came to Christ after being sexually active. This book comes highly recommended from Rev. Karen Booth, director of Transforming Congregations and author of Forgetting How to Blush, a Bristol House publication.
Sex and the Soul of a Woman, written by Christian therapist Paula Rhinehart, describes the heartache and healing of young women who have been sexually active before marriage. Part of the theme of the feminist movement encouraged woman to be as casual about sexual activity as men. But, as, the author points out, women aren’t wired that way, and every casual sexual encounter leaves them more insecure and eventually numb. Rhinehart’s book offers warning to the uninitiated and encouragement to those who have been hurt.
In The Ring Makes all the Difference, Glenn Stanton uses sociological studies to reinforce what we already know to be true—that biblical standards of morality shape stronger relationships. Studies conducted over 40 years show that “trial marriages” of living together before marriage damaged relationships. In what seems counter-intuitive in contemporary society, cohabiting weakens bonds and leads men, in particular, to be less responsible. Even moving in together during the time prior to the wedding is not a helpful for the long-term stability of marriage.
Sara L. Anderson