So why am I so enthusiastic about this book? There are a lot of reasons. This book is a gift to women of our times. Feminism has brought us all kinds of consequences that have gone way beyond pay equity between men and women. While claiming to bring respect to women in the workplace it decimated respect for women in the social sphere. All in the name of declaring women's independence and autonomy, feminism gave men a pass on chivalry. Many men gladly accepted this notion and completely absolved themselves of the responsibility to treat women with the respect, the dignity, and, yes, even the protectiveness that they deserve.
Don't get me wrong. The Everts don't even mention feminism in any way. I am just very happy that someone has written a book that holds a mirror up to the sexual ethics of our culture. It speaks to the truth that is written in a woman's heart-- that she deserves better, that her sexuality is a gift she must protect to maintain her personal dignity-- and that any man who tries, in his own selfish desires, to convince her otherwise is not worthy of her attention. Amen.
This book is a wake up call to women of all ages to hold their heads high, to maintain their integrity, to hold out for the self-sacrificing love that only a real man, a good man, can give them.
Neither prudish nor preachy, the Everts unapologetically argue for God's plan for human sexuality. They speak of the virtue of purity with none of the subtle hesitancy that sometimes comes through in works like these. None of that here. They use the words purity and chastity. No euphemisms. There is a boldness to their tone that can really appeal to the teen who, as we know, is always drawn to confidence.
Jason and Crystalina address women across the entire spectrum of commitments, or lack thereof, to chastity. The book is addressed to members of the culture at large, not to a Christian group where there is an assumption (often incorrect) of chastity and a reticence to suggest that mistakes may have already been made. And yet their viewpoint is very much Christian and unabashedly so. The Everts speak to those who are trying to maintain their purity against peer pressure, and also to those who have made mistakes after believing the lies of a culture committed to self-indulgence. While acknowledging that there are very real choices of right and wrong here, they manage to stay quite nonjudgmental in tone. I think those who are not committed to chastity could read this book and not feel accused or condemned, although they will find their viewpoints gently and charitably challenged.
What I love about this book is that it appeals to logic and natural law. Young people love to use their reason to come to conclusions about the truth and not to just be told what they should believe. The Everts allow them to do just that. Included are many revealing emails from teens who have been hurt by their choices. Without the slightest hint of finger pointing or condescension, Jason and Crystalina explain how the thinking of these teens could be redirected and their dignity reclaimed. This is so important. They speak to the deepest feelings of these wounded young people-- recognizing their pain, revealing the fallacies of the assumptions that got them where they are, and appealing to the natural law that a woman recognizes in her soul. The natural law that tells her what deep inside she already knows....that she deserves better.
Finally, I recommend this book because it is easy to read and cleverly written. While dealing with a serious subject the tone remains positive and even fun. Consider the following description Jason gives as he answered the following question from a student. "Should I break up with my girlfriend if she won't have sex with me?"
With silent anticipation, the student body awaited my reply. "Yes!" I announced. "Absolutely." Eyes bulged and jaws dropped. For a moment the faces of many girls looked disappointed, while pockets of male students chuckled in glee. I then added. "You should definitely break up with her. Why? Because she deserves someone infinitely better than you." Cheers followed from the girls.
So many lines will leave you smiling such as the following. "If a guy ever tells you that he can't live without you, trust me: He doesn't need a girlfriend. He needs a therapist."
Engaging chapter titles such as "No Missionary Dating"and "Break Up, Even if He Smells Good" also serve to draw the reader in. I love the lists that many of the chapters include. Lists make the points easier to follow, even with a lot of interruptions (like this mother gets :-). There is, for example, the list of "The Top Ten Guys to Avoid." "The Problem Child (aka: The Fixer Upper)", "The Walking Hormone," "The Smooth Criminal," "The Control Freak," each with a description to help you recognize these men who, to put it kindly, come with red flags. I could just see the more experienced women nodding and thinking. Yeah. I know that guy. And thank heavens for allies like the Everts who are telling our daughters what to watch out for!
Then there are the Ten Rationalizations each of which the Everts reveal as having a basis in fear. These are really good. They also offer six guidelines to "help you avoid temptations before they begin," and the top ten lies that keep women in dead-end relationships. Good stuff.
While this book provides a clear and cogent argument for chastity, it is also very much a pep talk to women to maintain their standards even when they feel very alone. They write, "As every girl knows, if you practice purity, you'll be called a prude or a tease....Although it's difficult to hear the insults of those close to you, know that all of heaven is applauding you." Yes. That's what I want my daughters to know.
My congratulations to Jason and Crystalina Evert for confronting and clearly defeating the common and false arguments of our age regarding the dignity of human sexuality. And may God continue to give them the courage to proclaim the truth that love requires self sacrifice, that women should stand firm, and that, regardless of where we've been, God wants the very best for each of us.
The Everts offer this encouragement.
If you decide to follow the principles of this book, we can't promise that you'll meet your soulmate next month. We can't guarantee you'll receive ten marriage proposals, let alone one. But we can guarantee that if you never give these twenty-one secrets a try, you'll always wonder what could have happened if you did.
If you're a single woman or if you have single women in your life, I urge you to run and get this book. The world is not going to give you this message.