Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Love, Honor, and Virtue

As my oldest child is reaching his teen years, some of our reviews are moving beyond the cutesy juvenile products that are bright and colorful and fun. We've reached the point where more complicated, deeper topics are being discussed. I knew that Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality would help us, as parents, as we strive to raise our children to be virtuous.

This book, published by Great Waters Press, was written by Hal and Melanie Young. The Youngs are accomplished writers, popular conference speakers, and homeschool advocates. As parents of 8 children, they have much experience and share their practical applications and real-life stories with a Christ-centered focus. They are well-known for their award-winning book, Raising Real Men, which is also the name of their website.

Love, Honor, and Virtue is written directly to boys ages 12-20. Its purpose is to help them learn a Biblical attitude toward sexuality, especially during these foundational years as they are changing from boys into men. Obviously, I've never been through this stage myself, but I was taught repeatedly that the temptations are often stronger for boys than girls. As a whole, the male gender is driven by sight, and we know that, as a culture, we are bombarded with sexual images. From billboards to television to the internet  to signs in stores, there are inappropriate pictures everywhere. And now with phones in everyone's hands, it's extremely easy to access these visuals, even unintentionally.

My desire is for all my children to protect their minds and hearts, but I know that the struggles might be more intense for my 4 boys. We are just now entering this new chapter as our oldest is 12 years old. We've had gentle conversations with our kids as they gotten older. I've told them many, many times, "Once you see something, you can't unsee it." Most of the time I'm explaining why I won't let one of the little ones watch a "scary" part of a movie, but it applies to any image one should not meditate on. We all need to protect our thoughts.   

The book begins with an introduction "To the Young Men on the Battlefield." It describes a good analogy between British soldiers in 1755 and the older generation of men today. You can read that parallel along with the entire introduction to get a good understanding of the purpose of the book on their site.

The content of the book is divided into the following chapters:

  1. Sex Was God's Idea
  2. It's All Connected
  3. The Enemy Perverts God's Design
  4. How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure?
  5. Recovering From a Fall
  6. Guys and Girls 
The beginning of the book sets the foundation for their beliefs by explaining facts. It talks about men, women, and marriage. From there, the information remains factual as it explains hormones and the changes as boys and girls go through puberty. It describes the act of marriage, the process of conception, and the steps of growing and birthing a child.

The rest of the book is devoted to helping young men with purity. It warns against sexual sins, both mentally and physically. The Youngs also give solid advice for avoiding temptations and ways to keep accountable. Their Five Point Defense not only gives steps to help those going through temptations, but also practical ways to implement them.

Footnotes on the bottom of the pages list Bible references that are used throughout and various other references that are included. The end of each chapter contains a summary with bullet points listing the key ideas, which makes a great refresher for anytime.

This book is a quick but powerful read with just shy of 100 pages that are packed full of wisdom. It discusses very mature content, and though we've discussed many of these topics with our boy, I think I will wait a little while before handing him the book to read. However, I do believe this is a valuable resource for young men and a good complement to ongoing conversations. It may also help bridge any awkwardness of speaking face-to-face.

Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is a wonderful book to help young men remain honorable and make good choices to become men and husbands that are full of character and purity.

I was also sent a copy of Hal and Melanie's newest book, No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope (full review). If you have a preteen in your home, this is another book that you'll want to read! It's packed full of practical advice to help you--and your tween--through these years while strengthening your relationship.

You can connect with  Hal and Melanie Young through Raising Real Men and Great Waters Press on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of Hal and Melanie's books on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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