A Review for the Pure in Heart

March 1, 2010 at 1:47 am (Purity, The Book Shelf) (, , , , , , , , , , )

the-book-shelfEmotional Purity:  An Affair of the Heart by Heather Arnel Paulsen

Book Type: Practical/godly living

Rating: 9 out of 10

Recommended? For every woman, especially for young Christian single women


Overview: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” says the wise king in Proverbs 4:23.  As I taught abstinence in the public schools, I found myself preaching and pleading for so much more than physical purity.  The intimacy progression chart we shared began with “hanging out”.  So few seem to connect the progression of intimacy so clearly–can broken hearts happen after hanging out?  I’ve known girls who are devastated by discovering that a “friend” doesn’t return their affection.  And then what?  It’s not even a break-up.  In her book, Heather talks about keeping your heart focused on Jesus, who is able to protect it from emotional damage.  I stand witness to the fact that abiding by rules like “no holding hands” or “no dating” or “I won’t kiss until my wedding day” still leaves many Christian girls with broken hearts and confused minds, asking “how did this happen?  How did I misunderstand?”  The secret lies in the blurred boundaries our society encourages between friendship and relationship.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:

The ugly is that broken hearts happen.  The bad is that they happen to the best of us.  The good is that Heather has some excellent (and scripturally solid!) advice for protecting our minds and hearts from the emotional games and confusing friendships(?) that are so easy to walk right into.  She encourages keeping friendships family and group based, and for those who have been broken, there is hope in the Healer of souls.

Praises:

Reading “Emotional Purity” is like reading a letter from a good friend.  Heather’s style is simple, honest and humble–genuine with her sympathy and love.  She’s been there and, better yet, proven that you can have an emotionally pure relationship that leads to marriage!  Heather doesn’t just stop at “how to avoid a broken heart”, she also deals with heart issues like envy and discontent that encourage us to seek solace in a relationship when we should be seeking the Lord.  She encourages us to understand our feelings so that we may offer them to the Lord in worship.


Concerns:

Heather gives a couple of examples that were pure for her that I would have a hard time encouraging since they still could have been emotionally dangerous.  Her perspective is to help women guard their hearts and she doesn’t deal as much with seeking not to lead on a guy emotionally.  Of course, the standards and goals of not emotionally defrauding can and will be different for different girls–and in different relationships.  So read with an open heart to understand and seek emotional purity for the glory of God.


Tips for getting the most out of this book:

At the end of each chapter, Heather asks a few questions for you to meditate on.  I encourage you to get 41kuzlj1oil_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_out your journal and answer them honestly–evaluating your own life and habits in light of what she shares.  It’s difficult to change habits.  Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint particular areas of stumbling.  But it’s worth it!  If purity is important to you, then pour some time and effort into cultivating emotional purity–guarding the well-spring of your heart!

Buy Emotional Purity from Amazon

Read Heather’s Blog

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5 Comments

  1. Vanessa said,

    I have read that book, and I too would recommend it!

  2. You could be the proud, new owner… « Pearls and Diamonds said,

    […] out our review of it, just a few posts back and then leave us a comment to enter!  If you’d like a second […]

  3. Anna said,

    This book sounds great! It is so hard sometimes to be practical in one’s emotional life, and I would be excited to read this book.

  4. Corinne said,

    Emotional purity is one of the hardest things I think, I know in ways I see myself struggling with that, I think this would be a great book to read.

  5. Amanda said,

    thank you for your review and giveaway of this book! I can tell I need to read it! 🙂 From reading your review I can tell that I am struggling with some of this stuff!
    prayers and blessings,
    Amanda

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