21 Myths (Even Good) Girls Believe about Sex: Pursuing Love with Passion and Purity
Author: Jennifer Strickland
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (June 1, 2016)
This book has a very long title; however, it intrigues the reader to start reading. Jennifer Strickland has taken a topic that has become divisive, guarded, and casual in our culture and approached it in a very non-judgmental way. She states biblical truth in ways that will draw women to Christ instead of sending them away in shame. One of the neatest things is that she encourages people to share the book. She wants people to leave it in places that women will see it, pick it up, and read it. I have never read an author encouraging people to give away their book.
Jennifer delves into many aspects of sex. She immediately addresses the negative stigmas attached to it. From the opening paragraphs, she describes sex from God’s point of view. Each chapter presents a myth and a Bible verse that addresses the issues in that myth.
On page 20, she lists the three purposes of the book:
- To help you see the real beauty of love and desire, sex through God’s eyes.
- To free and heal you from lies you’ve believed about sex and your body.
- To inspire you to embrace sex in the fullness of your marriage bed.
On page 25, she writes, “You are neither good nor bad—you are just forgiven.” She does not attach blame or shame on anyone but draws them to forgiveness in Christ. I think she has done an excellent job in writing a book that will actually help people instead of shaming them. There is already shame attached to sin, we do not need to add insult to injury, and she helps break through that shame for healing.
Jennifer discusses a variety of sexual issues from consent to rape to abuse. She covers heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual relationships. She talks about those who wait for marriage and those who do not, abortion and adoption and even details STDs. I was rather surprised at the wide range of topics. Each myth that she addresses is then countered with truth, and every single truth is then directed back to God.
Jennifer uses powerful illustrations. In one of them, she described the effects of shame as an angry prison guard. The reader is able to see the progression of shame. The use of actual life stories from people is very powerful. The story of a man named Dan, whose girlfriend had an abortion without his consent, shows the unfair struggle that men have when they have no voice for their unborn child. It brings to life many issues that are involved with sex and makes them real. She also reveals the ramifications when the pastor of a church advises a young girl to have an abortion.
She addresses abortion in a caring manner to help women heal. She makes a long list of the lasting effects of post-abortion trauma. One of the things I liked about the book was that she didn’t just address the issue but also listed the resources where someone might find help.
It was interesting to me that before she began talking about the myths about STDs she started out with compassion. We tend to quickly judge and throw a stigma on someone with an STD when we first need to show her compassion. Things are not always as they seem and we should not be so quick to judge.
I disagreed with one statement in the book. On the topic of abortion, she said that the aborted baby had fulfilled God’s purpose. I am not sure that the baby was able to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives when they were not able to live that life to the fullest. This did not detract from the rest of the book, however; it is still powerfully written.
I think every woman and teen girl, regardless of their age, marital status, or station in life, should read this book. I learned things and was able to see a different viewpoint on other things. Jennifer does a superb job of addressing the complex issues surrounding sex. I must warn that Myth 13 does get a bit explicit and should be read with caution. When reading this book a girl must be able to understand the details of contracting STDs.
The last two myths of the book tie together all that God has planned for each one of us and what true love is all about. She does an excellent job of pulling together the mysterious, miraculous, and wonderful dynamics of sex. She is able to address these issues with class, compassion, struggles, and completeness. I do hope that she will work with “cowboy” and write a book for boys!