Monday, May 3, 2010

Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy

I've been doing some more reading for the church library and wanted to share these books with you, too, and see what your thoughts are - feel free to commment!

Leslie Ludy's book "Authentic Beauty" fills an important gap in Christian non-fiction for young women, and I can see the value in a book for teenaged girls and young unmarried women about true beauty, the beauty of being set-apart for God and not conforming to this world.  She makes many good points:
  • teenaged girls/young women let themselves be defined by the world around them
  • they feel pressured to compromise their values for popularity and/or success
  • they believe that as long as they don't cross that ultimate boundaries, that no real sin is done
  • they do not value the precious gift of their hearts, minds and bodies, and so give them away too casually and too quickly
  • they are emotionally (and often physically) devasted by relationship break-ups because they have given away their hearts (and often bodies) way to quickly and easily. 
  • they are unwilling to trust God to determine the steps along their path of life
  • they squander their time pursuing worldly goals
She rightly points teenaged girls and young women to God, telling girls that they first need to develop a stong, loving relationship with God - knowing God, trusting him, and devoting themselves to his service.  And then, young women can pattern their relationship with their future life partner on this relationship to God.

However, I would not recommend this book to any teenaged girls I know (including my own, in due time) because I believe that Leslie Ludy has a confused view of our relationship with Christ, based on her misunderstand of Scripture (and especially, I believe, the Song of Songs).  God is called by many names in the Bible (Father, Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, the Life, our Rock, etc) but I do not believe that we are told anywhere that Christ is to be our "passionate, romantic Lover of our Soul" or "our Knight in Shining Armour" or "our Lover Prince" ... and we are no where called to have a tender, romantic romance (complete with prayer by candlelight, surrounded by flowers, as Ludy suggests) with our Saviour.  And I believe that this perspective in her books is misguided and misleading.

What do you think?  Have you read a book that supports this increasingly popular perspective?  Is it ok to teach teenage girls to think of Jesus as the ultimate romantic lover?

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