Monday, July 23, 2018

Book Club: Book Review of Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality

Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality by Hal and Melanie Young is such an easy read. I was very happy to be given the opportunity to review this book from Great Waters Press written "to the young men on the battlefield." It is very deep with firm answers in a Biblical context but not difficult to understand. Young men live in a world today that has changed so much (and continues to change). As parents we may have difficulty knowing how to guide our sons on their journey as they grow up into young men. This book provides the assistance families may need. So if you have a son or boy in your life from the ages of 12 to 20, then Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is a must-read for you.

Love, Honor, and Virtue is a tool for families; not the 'answer.' Even after reading through it a teen should still talk with his parents about its topics or other questions that may arise from reading the book. It "is written to and for teens and twenty-something guys" but it is also useful for parents, church leaders, and others to read so they can refresh or gain a "biblical attitude toward sexuality."

Chapters include:
  • An introduction: To the Young Men on the Battlefield 
  • Sex Was God's Idea
    • Discussing the idea that God designed us as male or female by referencing Genesis, the chapter goes onto to talk about the purpose of marriage and sexuality. 
  • It's All Connected
    • "The Talk" should be more than just sex education and should happen on more than one occurrence within a Biblical context. 
  • The Enemy Perverts God's Design
    • With changes in today's society, this chapter is important because it brings up the topics of "sin, hook-ups, gender-bending, [and] porn." All topics that are important to discuss with your son (and daughter) but not always easy. 
  • How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure?
    • The authors present a five-point defense for young men to remain pure.
    • Part of this defense includes getting out of the situation, praying to God, and singing praises.
  • Recovering From a Fall
    • Advice is provided for times if and when a young man falls. This chapter provides hope and great advice for how to get "back on God's road" by setting goals, making a plan, and more. 
  • Guys and Girls
    • While discussing how to become friends and deciding beyond the 'just friends' phase, the Youngs also share material from their blog, Raising Real Men. 
    • Advice is presented for "preparing for a family." Love, Honor, and Virtue states "Marriage is the rightful destitnation (and permanent home) for that [love and romance], and marriage is the birth of a family" (81). 
  • The Road Ahead 
    • In the conclusion, young men are reminded to be alert, not give up, and stand strong. 

What I Like about Love, Honor, and Virtue

  • The organization of the book – each chapter has subheadings and a summary to help you navigate your way through the text 
  • Writing style 
  • Inclusion of references via footnotes
  • Inclusion of references to the Bible in footnotes 

  • Ample space if a parent or son would like to make notes (or even write out the Bible verses in their book) 
  • Brief explanation of puberty, having and taking care of babies, and more are provided
  • Explains the concept that pornography is not a victim-less crime 
  • Goes over how dangerous sexting is (this topic scares me because a teen could just receive a sexting message and they could be charged with child pornography) 

My Reservations

Maybe it is just me, but if someone told me to sing a hymn to distract me from temptation I might laugh. Using music in the manner suggesting in the chapter How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure? is not something that would work for me. I am not sure if it would work for our teen either. He does listen to a lot of Christian music (Toby Mac is one of his favorite artists) but I am glad that Love, Honor, and Virtue offers other defenses just in case music doesn't work.

I also had some difficulty with the chapter on friendship and moving beyond it. I understand the importance of not sending mixed messages to friends but I think a little too much emphasis is placed on the idea that a young man or young woman may say or do something that might give the wrong impression. One of the suggestions is "to have several female friends, and be careful not to focus your attention exclusively on one until you're ready to start looking for a potential mate." This seems tricky and potentially puts a lot of pressure on everyone involved. After our teen reads this chapter, I will be sure to sit down and talk with him more about my own ideas about friendship between boys and girls.

How Our Family Will Use Love, Honor, and Virtue

I plan on rereading the book at least once more, taking more notes this time in a separate notebook. I will then pass it along to my husband to read before we ask our 15-year-old son to read Love, Honor, and Virtue. I hope that the book will help facilitate the discussions we will be having on the topics included and addressed.

As our two younger children get older, I will be taking a look at No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press. If you are interested in learning more about this book by Hal and Melanie Young, please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read more reviews.

I recommend Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality from Great Waters Press to any Christian parents of teen boys or young men who feel they need something extra to help them in having conversations about dating, sex, and marriage. I believe it does provide "practical ways to fight temptation" and "how to have healthy, godly relationships with girls."

To learn more about Raising Real Men and Great Waters Press, please visit the following:

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