Review of Children’s Book, “God’s Design” – Purity and Honoring God’s Design

God’s Design, Purity, Biblical Gender Roles, Complementarity

miraflores-statue

Embracing Couple, Miraflores, Peru

-by Kathi

This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the underlined subtitles below are chapters from the book.

Today, children, we will talk about purity and honoring. It had to be covered at some point, why not now?

The Blessing of Purity

The chapter opens up with discussion about how dynamite can be useful or dangerous. Then it leads to:

Men and women were designed by God to love, enjoy, and be attracted to each other. This attraction can give them the desire to hug, kiss, look at, touch, and be close to each other. These desires can be a powerful force – like dynamite – especially as boys and girls grow into adults.

I understand how the authors are using this to focus on sex (even though they never flat out mention s.e.x., which is a great way to keep kids in the dark), however, I think they miss the simple point that people need to feel loved. Touching, hugging and kissing are not only reflected in sexual relationships, they can be lovingly reflected in familial relationships or friendships. My Italian side of the family was big time into hugging, touching and kissing. These were ways of expressing love to someone. Why make these simple gestures of expressing love seem so dangerous? Because the authors only consider the purity viewpoint in intimacy?

*Please know that I am not dismissing touching, kissing and hugging kids when they do not want it. If a child does not want any of these, then they should be respected. The same goes for adults too! My point is that these acts of intimacy can be non-sexual.

Moving on:

While these God-given desires are good, they are also dangerous and must be handled with great care! God has said that only a married man and woman – only a husband and wife – should look at and touch each other’s bodies in a close and personal way.

If a parent has not talked to their child about sex yet the child may be confused about this point. What are they to make of mom and dad looking at and touching each other’s bodies? If their point is to let children know that sex is between married adults, then for goodness sake say it! Better yet, here’s an idea, authors….why not use this opportunity to tell children that if any adult looks at their bodies or touches them in ways that they are not comfortable that they should tell someone? Why not tell children that it is not right for anyone to touch them or take pictures of them in ways that they do not like?

The authors continue discussing how impure desires or imaginations about someone can lead to further sin. Yes, if your desires cause you to bring harm upon someone else, then that is wrong. However, I hold to the thought that God created us to find some people attractive, and that’s okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you find a person attractive. And, just because you find someone attractive doesn’t mean you want to have sex with them. Those who focus solely on purity seem to make the big leap from thinking,  “Hey, that guy is cute!” to “I must sleep with him!” Why can’t I just say, “Denzel Washington is gorgeous” and leave it stay there?

This chapter would not be complete without discussing how to dress properly. The authors mention that both boys and girls need to be modest in their dress and not draw attention to themselves. Girls receive the extra bonus of 1 Timothy 2:9, “should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.”

And, the final judgmental activity for this chapter:

Discuss with your parents how to appropriately dress and interact with members of the opposite gender. Sometime this week, go to a public place with your parents and notice the behavior between boys and girls. Talk about what is appropriate and what is not.

Parents, if you’re going to continue to take your children out and view people as objects instead of human beings, I have a problem with that. Stop it!

Honoring Each Other

This chapter is all about respecting and honoring one another. I am all for this especially since there are more “one another” verses in the Bible than there are verses for specific gender roles. But of course we’re still talking about roles. Boys are told to respect how God made girls to be and girls are told to respect how God made boys to be. Let’s look at some examples:

One boy greets a girl who he knows by slapping her on the back like he does to his buddies. When she cries out, he says, “Aw, don’t be such a sissy.” He then races to get the only seat left in the room. The second boy sees what happened and greets the girl. He gets up from his chair and asks if she would like to sit there. Which boy was respectful of the girl?

Are we living in Mayberry? I’ve spent lots of time around kids of all ages in church and out of church. I’ve seen kids hit each other and make fun of each other, but have honestly never seen a scene like this happen. So, which boy was most respectful? Why the second one, of course, because he was polite, protective and was willing to sacrifice for the girl. I’m sure they go riding off into the sunset with each other, get married, and eventually do something that only adult married people do.

One girl sees a boy she knows jumping off the monkey bars. She yells, “Stop that! You are going to get hurt!” When he falls and scrapes his knee, she says, “I told you that would happen. Now go wash the blood off your knee. Then play on the swings with me.” The second girl sees the same thing, and when the boy falls she offers him a tissue to wipe his knee. She say, “I am sorry you got hurt. But that was a good trick. You were brave to try it.” Then she asks if he wants to play a game with her. When he pulls her out of the way of another jumping boy, she thanks him. Which girl treated the boy with honor?

This must be Jan and Cindy Brady we’re talking about. Most girls that I’ve been around would have been at the top of the monkey bars with the boys and would have scraped knees too. Of course, girl #2 is the better of the two because she did not try to boss or control the boy, she was polite to him, and she was thankful for his protection.

Parents, if you’re going to teach your children to honor people, teach them to do so because they are human beings created in God’s image. Not because they are a girl created to giggle and talk a lot or because they are a boy created to wrestle and be loud. Teach them to treat each other with kindness and respect because Jesus told us the greatest commandments are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV)

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If you would like to read prior reviews on God’s Design, here are links in the order of the book chapters:

Know Thyself, Creature

Headship, Helper, and an Answer We Already Knew

Rebellion, a.k.a. It’s All Her Fault!

Teachings on Homosexuality as a Distortion of God’s Design

Examples of Complementarian Manhood and More Doublespeak

Examples of Godly Womanhood

20 comments on “Review of Children’s Book, “God’s Design” – Purity and Honoring God’s Design

  1. They should teach the kids to be polite and not bossy and that would take care of all the alleged problems. No need for ‘roles’ in childhood!!!ugh.

    Also this is idiotic:

    “You were brave to try it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I may or may not have told this story before. During the time we were at our super legalistic cult church which obsessed on modesty and purity, one day I was pulled over by a police officer for a burned out tail light.

    The cop was a very attractive guy. When he walked away (with just a warning), I softly uttered that he could pull me over any time. I looked in the rear view mirror and my then teen daughters looked at each other in surprise and then laughed.

    I told them that God created beautiful things and creatures and as long as we’re not lusting, isn’t appreciating human beauty a form of praising God for His workmanship?

    These people are party poopers. It must be exhausting trying to make everything into a sin.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good story Julie Anne! LOL!

    I have no problem expressing how attractive my celebrity crushes are. Denzel, Idris Elba, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Craig…We can go for a drink any time! 😉

    In fact, we have many friends who are puzzled by this. Brian and I will openly say, “He’s attractive” or “She’s attractive” and neither one of us minds. Our friends can’t believe it. Thing is, we don’t look at someone and think – I’d like to shag him/her – We see a person. A lovely person, yes, but a person who deserves to be thought of respectfully. We say we’re giving glory to God’s creation.

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  4. That “… go to a public place with your parents and notice the behavior…” suggestion sounds really familiar: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2014/07/judging-101-2/. Also, isn’t getting your children to look at other boys and girls to see what is appropriate or not somehow defeating the whole preceding idea in the book of not imagining wrong things about the opposite sex? As in “I wasn’t looking lustfully at that girl, I was just determining her skirt was inappropriately short.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great comment, roscuro. The issue with modesty is that if you are going to set modesty rules with your children and make them turn the channel when they see someone in a bathing suit on tv, children become obsessed with bodies and immodesty. It’s not healthy at all. This is what happened with my boys. Finally when I told them to not change the channel and they saw skin every now and then, and we didn’t make a big deal about it, they, too, didn’t make a big issue about it.

    Where we live, it is very hot in the summer. Going out in public, they WILL see immodestly dressed people. I’m glad we ditched the obsessive modesty rules long ago.

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  6. It feels like the book is a manual for those who have left common sense in the trash.

    I am utterly horrified that the author would even suggest a nice little trip down to the park to critique (in love, of course) the outfits of the local heathens.

    How Christ-like.

    Maybe what they should be doing is encouraging their kids to befriend children who sit alone and or need a friend to share the love that God has shown us in Christ.

    Thanking the Lord everyday to be out of the Complex!

    One church is enough.

    One Master builder is sufficient 😎

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  7. The sad part is that this stuff over sexualizes basic and common human affection. So instead, no kissing becomes the “new virginity” and nuts like the duggars that can’t point to one Bible verse to support their “rules” make an over the top big deal and emphasis on “saving the first kiss”. It becomes nuts and take the real focus off. Does every kiss lead to full blown sex? NO! Does hand holding and even hugs lead to full blown sex? NO! Its the wrong focus and answer.

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  8. I understand how the authors are using this to focus on sex (even though they never flat out mention s.e.x., which is a great way to keep kids in the dark)

    Christianese Purity types are every bit as obsessed with SEX as any nymphomaniac, just in the opposite direction (“Thou Shalt Not” instead of “Yeah Yeah Yeah”).

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  9. @robwar:

    It becomes nuts and take the real focus off. Does every kiss lead to full blown sex? NO! Does hand holding and even hugs lead to full blown sex? NO! Its the wrong focus and answer.

    Remember Josh Duggar during his Courtship(TM)?
    Turning hand-holding (all he was permitted) into constant “hand sex”?

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  10. @JulieAnne:

    The issue with modesty is that if you are going to set modesty rules with your children and make them turn the channel when they see someone in a bathing suit on tv, children become obsessed with bodies and immodesty. It’s not healthy at all.

    In an erotically-saturated age like today, it’s hard enough getting past puberty without developing a sexual paraphila/fetish. The best you can hope for is that your paraphiilia is just embarrasing instead of actually destructive.

    This sort of Modesty(TM — “NIKES!”) sounds designed to create and/or supercharge paraphiliae; the kid’s going to have hormones, he/she is going to see and hear things, and with no outlet except Purity and Modesty and Don’t Think of The Elephant is going to map those Urges in the Areas onto different arousal triggers. Until he/she can’t get aroused by normal triggers, only the mapped paraphilia triggers.

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  11. @Roscuro:

    As in “I wasn’t looking lustfully at that girl, I was just determining her skirt was inappropriately short.”

    “LOOPHOLE! LOOPHOLE!”

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  12. Better yet, here’s an idea, authors….why not use this opportunity to tell children that if any adult looks at their bodies or touches them in ways that they are not comfortable that they should tell someone? Why not tell children that it is not right for anyone to touch them or take pictures of them in ways that they do not like?

    But then they might Rebel when Pastor or Pastor’s Pet Pedo hits on them!

    (In ATI/IBLP-speak, “Unspoiled Virrrrrrgins… In denim jumperrrrrrrrrrs… With Loooooong, Waaaaaavy Haaaaair…”)

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  13. The purity culture ruined a friendship with this person, i think she is a bit bonkers or perhaps she is spiritually abusive. Getting together with a friends over coffee has been for the most part encouraging, convicting, and wonderful but haha, sometimes.
    I think the best thing to do is be humorous about this. This is going to be long… 
    I had coffee with a friend, i said some things about how things had not worked out with my marriage, but God has that and He is my all in all and I’m trying to heal.
    She talked about a what she was doing etcetera.  I told her my heart how I had some false guilt over Caitlyn, because I had gotten her some vaccines and I was afraid maybe her autism was my fault. I was in mid sentence when she interrupted me and said. “I know we are only talking surface here, you are not talking about your heart.” I’m thinking my heart is on this table right now in bite sized pieces because of false guilt and speculation about a few vaccines and I’m pouring out here and talking about my child who is in essence my heart… what in the world. She went on “I remember what you said a few months ago about a vdot man being good looking that you saw working.” I laughed, thinking she’s  been carrying one sentence i said around for months and apparently forgot the rest of what I said after that one sentence. Me- “yeah I feel sometimes since things fell apart am I single or am I not and noticing someone was attractive reminded me of the question, am I single. I’m so busy with my kiddos and healing from this whole thing that it’s not really something I have time for, I’m definitely not looking for a relationship.” She said, “We need to get to the heart of this, women lust too, is there lust in your life.” I’m setting there confused because after all I’m human and perfectly normal. “Well I do think sometimes some guys are attractive, but that’s normal, I’m raising my kids, I like guys of course but I’m always relieved if they are unavailable because I don’t need that now, I’m trying to heal and find myself.” She asked  “What do you mean you are relieved , what makes you relieved?”
    Me- “Well you know if someone’s married or young or old it’s good because  I can talk to them and not feel too terribly awkward because I’m not looking for a realationship, example,  like one of my friends in a C. S. Lewis Facebook group awkward but than i found out he’s 26 and going to college, so I’m like YES no worries there, he messaged me a few times so that was nice.” “Messaged you on Facebook”? She asked. “Yes, he’s  in college he has a life it was c s lewis stuff, absolutely nothing.He probably will have a nice girlfriend soon I would not take anyone’s time excessively that would be wrong. It was a few times with life questions that’s all seriously I’m not looking for a realationship with a guy.” She says “Sometimes a woman can lust or have a crush on a young guy”… she went on about lust a little bit. I’m  sitting there thinking this is unbelievable what is she doing, this is accusing and negative.  I awkwardly said “there’s different kinds of crushes you know. I have no interest, I’m busy with kids and drawing closer to Jesus, I mean, I like guys they are people too, I grew up playing with the boys.” I’m thinking therefore I see them as people not objects so what is she getting at?  “What about your neighbor?” She asked. I laugh “Oh him, yeah he’s asked me out for a drink about six times, of course i say no, the great thing is I’m no more attracted to him than i am you. He’s married, no way, plus technically I’m married albeit separated so there’s that, plus he’s a bit of a turn off at this point.” She says “Don’t talk to him. Do you talk to him?” Me- “I came home Sunday evening and he was on the edge of his yard so of course I talked to him, it was funny, we talked a little about what not and as I’m walking away he asked me out for drinks. He’ll never learn it’s  hysterical.”She questioned further “Does his wife know? ” Me- “Yeah I mentioned it to her, I avoid them, I’m nice but I distance myself a bit” She says “I think he’s trying to wear you down” Me- “There is nothing to wear down that is ridiculous  and even if I liked him that way I would not.” She says “I think you should talk to our pastor and wife about lust and guys.” I laughed out loud, “Nooo, hoho, i grew up playing with the boys, I’m attracted sometimes of course that’s normal, but I don’t consider that lust, obsessive thinking would be that( naturally during these questions  I’m overly  introspective and wondering if I’ve managed to nip all thoughts properly) and I’m not looking for a realationship if sometime years in the future i develope a friendship and I become technically available and it’s turning into  something and I feel the need I might talk to them.” She said “I’m afraid someone will come and just sweep you of your feet romantically so you should talk to them before hand, before that happens.” Me- “Oh no I’m a careful person, I’m healing I’m trying to get over things I’m not jumping into anything, I’m raising kids.” I got up to leave and lightly said, “haha since we have had this conversation/ interrogation I’ll probably meet someone.” 
    I went to Martin’s to pick up a few groceries and received a text from her… “I think I misunderstood you as you left. I thought u meant u would get together with another woman friend but u meant meet someone?  God will guide you as you seek Him first in all things.”
    I than had to text back saying no I was not meeting a guy… at this point I’m thinking, even if I was this is bleep controlling you narcissistic nut job, but I brushed it all off with a humorous text back and explained clearly no, not meeting a guy.
    So there goes that, haha.
    What in the world thoughts anyone?

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  14. jesusfollowingishard – Wow! Seems like she’s stuck on one point and wasn’t even able to listen or try to understand you. It’s amazing how some folks would never say that they were obsessed with sex, yet that’s all that they can talk about. They are obsessed with not being obsessed with sex.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am utterly horrified that the author would even suggest a nice little trip down to the park to critique (in love, of course) the outfits of the local heathens.

    How Christ-like.

    Well, Salty, we all know that no chapter in this book would be complete without an exercise in passing judgement on complete strangers. Kids need the practice. After all, how else can they learn to be like their leaders? (/sarcasm)

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  16. She says “I think you should talk to our pastor and wife about lust and guys.”

    My goodness jesusfollowingishard! Your friend was too obsessed with lust to talk to you properly. I agree with Kathi, it’s all SHE can think about, clearly, so it’s all she can talk about.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jesusfollowingishard, You could have really used a listening ear and instead your friend pretty much ran you off, pursuing her own fears! She kind of gaslighted you, didn’t she? What was really on your mind isn’t what was really on your mind; what she thought was on your mind was…

    As a parent, what can be more painful than to think we might have been the cause of our kids’ difficulties! It’s not anything that you did – they’ve researched this really thoroughly and no connection between vaccines and autism has been found. So set your mind at ease if you haven’t already.

    But do be careful about that neighbor of yours- he creeps me out a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. While these God-given desires are good, they are also dangerous and must be handled with great care!

    In my mind, this is just a really unhealthy attitude that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I would rather tell kids, ‘sometimes you are going to have romantic attractions and these desires are natural and normal and a part of growing up.’ And keep the communication lines open so you can discuss it without any guilt or weirdness when your kids get crushes and the like. Instilling the idea these attractions are “dangerous” and using the analogy of dynamite- well, it seems like that is more likely to produce a powder keg affect- trying to deny what they feel and hold it inside until -boom- !

    All these teachings seem like they will produce paranoia. Everything is dangerous! Everything is about to destroy you! Even your normal feelings are a powder keg! Which brings me to Phil 4:8- aren’t we supposed to be filling our minds with the good, beautiful and positive? I don’t remember fear being a part of that list.

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  19. Surprised no one commented on the other aspects of the “playground interaction”.

    First of all, what is wrong with a girl trying to keep a boy from hurting himself? The book implies that the girl is somehow sinning against the boy in this interaction? Why? Not because of general politeness, but because of gender roles. In other words, no woman should ever tell any man that something is dangerous or foolish, and where is that in scripture? She should never “command” a man (e.g. “Stop it!”). And, when his ego is bruised, it’s her responsibility to flatter him to rebuild his fragile ego. “You were brave for shooting a bullet into your foot because you didn’t put the safety on because God told me I shouldn’t tell you that you forgot to.”

    This is diametrically opposed to the personification of Wisdom in Proverbs. It is the woman Wisdom who calls in the streets, to both women and men, to come and receive instruction. How can it be a characteristic of godly womanhood that women refuse to instruct men?

    Second of all, the Bible calls flattery evil. Brave for jumping off the monkey bars from a dangerous height? Rather it’s foolish. Wasn’t it Satan telling Jesus to jump from the temple heights? Was that bravery or foolishness? It is eerily reminiscent of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – everyone flatters the king, afraid to call out his nakedness, yet the truth needed to be heard. The respectful and polite thing might not be to say “I told you so”, but neither is it to praise stupidity and foolishness.

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  20. Pingback: Review of Children’s Book “God’s Design” – Married/Single; Husband/ Father; Wife/Mother | Spiritual Sounding Board

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