The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Dating, Sexual Purity
This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.
Chapter 11 – The Dating Scene and Sexual Purity
I included the above screen shot for today’s book review post because Lori mentions how her editor doesn’t understand why her book is receiving so many bad reviews. I have one question for her editor: Why did you allow this chapter to be included in the book? Chapter nine talked about raising children, then chapter ten talked about birth control, and now we are back to raising children. If Lori wanted the thoughts of this chapter in her book, they should have been placed in other chapters. Instead, the thoughts are so disorganized and everything circles back around to how pornography is bad. But, no, this chapter remained, so that means this book is at least ten pages longer than it needs to be.
Lori starts this chapter by telling a story about about a speaker who came to her Sunday school class around the time that her oldest was sixteen. This is what stood out that day:
“Nothing good comes out of dating – only broken hearts and all too often, purity is lost,” he said. “Dating also prepares children for a divorce type of mentality. When things aren’t working out or you’ve lost feelings for each other or get angry, you call it quits. Easy in, easy out.”
What this speaker said made a lot of sense to Ken and me, so we decided to encourage our children not to date during high school.
Lori’s concession to dating was that her children could go with a group or a close friend, but never one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex (does that include the “close friend?”). I understand encouraging kids not to date during high school. I’ve said this to my own kids by encouraging them to focus on school, enjoy friendships, and having time to work or participate in school activities. The thing is, a lot of kids want to date during high school, so it’s better to teach them about healthy relationships instead of the doomed marriage that may happen ten years later.
That being said, this thought of dating-without-the-intent-of-marrying-only-encourages-a-divorce attitude is one that purity culture likes to propagate. It’s designed to keep kids pure and reduce sex outside of marriage. Has anyone been to a marriage ceremony where part of the vows include concession for divorce when feelings fade? Reality is that most people don’t think about divorce when they get married.
On a side note, I think Lori forgot what she wrote in her book when she provided space for a guest post this summer about how women were created to marry young. In her book she wanted her children to be sexually pure and not date, yet the author of this guest post states:
I do not believe that God made a mistake when he designed our bodies to mature fully by the mid teens. This is when we were designed to meet the person we were to marry and begin life together and that has not changed despite our culture changing. The undisputed optimal age biologically for a woman to have a baby is around age 16. This age demonstrates the very best outcomes for mother and baby.
Moving on, Lori talks about how parents must protect their children from sexual abuse. Finally, something worthwhile here! She states:
A parent must be diligent about protecting their children from sexual abuse. With sexual immorality and pornography rampant, you cannot sit by and do nothing. Sex predators are abusing little girls and boys even in the bushes at the park! They do it when your children are out playing with their friends. It’s really happening, and I hear about it way too often.
You must instruct your children from a young age so they will be well educated in what is proper behavior as a teenager and then as an adult. That way a child can recognize and respond to aberrant behavior.
Oh. My. Word. Is she serious?! I hope she never has a speaking gig regarding child sex abuse. She is at least thirty years behind and is extremely clueless. Lori isn’t the first I have come across that blames child sex abuse on the stranger in the bushes. People like Lori have difficulty admitting that child sexual abuse happens in the church, in Christian homes, and usually by someone the child knows. She also mentions two books by Debi Pearl: Samuel Learns to Yell and Tell and Sara Sue Learns to Yell and Tell. Has anyone read these to offer an insight about Debi’s views and knowledge of child sex abuse?
In true Lori book fashion, she includes a long blog post by another writer and ends this chapter with a blog post of a letter that was written by her daughter-in-law, Emily. A lot of Lori’s early blog, Always Learning, was filled with posts about her children and their spouses. I wonder how they feel about being used as examples of her teaching.
There are two take-aways that I gained from this chapter: 1. It is a useless chapter that the editor managed to keep in the book, and 2. Don’t listen to Lori when it comes to understanding child sex abuse.