Why yes, you did read that right. A sex book review up in here, woo! Before you start blushing, remember God created sex for husbands and wives to enjoy together. And that, my dear sisters, isn't shameful at all!!!
We live in a society that is so super focused on sex and sexuality. TV, movies and books address this topic openly and even sometimes forcefully. I mean, hello, they are even using sex to sell Liquid Plumber! Yet the topic of true intimacy is often NOT a part of the picture.
This book is built as a bible study, which I love. This girl is a slow learner so when you break it down for me into a study format, I can focus and learn so much quicker. You can read it alone, with a friend or in a small group of women. It is designed to get you thinking (and talking) about intimacy in marriage. No worries, the book comes with rules already set about discussing these topics with others. The rules allow for boundaries about privacy while still creating a safe guide to use in interacting with others on the topic of intimacy. It is broken down into 10 weeks and each week has 5 days of study. Each day has a devotion, scripture and guiding questions with room to write out your answers.
This book is not just about sex. It is about respect, integrity, truth, forgiveness, temptations and faith. All of these are really important aspects of intimacy as well. The book is packed with scripture, taking a look about what God says about sex in marriage and addressing some of the misconceptions about sex that churches have held for centuries.
I was given this book by Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review.
Bravo to authors Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery for broaching an overlooked and avoided subject in Christian circles. Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love are You Making? leads women in a ten-week Bible study designed to help them "discover freedom and fun in their intimate relationship with their husbands" and help them "gain new insights about how spirituality and sexuality flow together."
Passion Pursuit begins by showing women that God has given them power to create intimacy in their marriage, and they can use that power to either build up or tear down, specifically in the areas of a husband's deepest needs: respect, companionship and sex. The authors lead women to discover that, "The choice about how you use your power as a wife is not just about building intimacy in marriage but about being faithful to God and trusting His promises."
From there, the Dillow and Slattery lead readers through the book Song of Songs and other scriptures as they explore various themes, including:
Ã¢â¬Â¢ God wants you to pursue passion in your marriage.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ God's opinion is that sex is holy, a gift given by Him to enable a married couple to enjoy oneness and pleasure in marriage.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Sexual differences present you with a secret choice: Will I be a servant lover or a selfish lover?
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Pure Pleasure is found when a Christian couple discovers what is okay in the bedroom for them personally.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ God wants you to become a Smokin' Hot Mama.
Readers will find Passion Pursuit approaches sex and intimacy with honesty and frankness. Written by authors from two different generations, it is sprinkled with personal experiences from Dillow and Slattery that help readers see the practicality of the biblical principles presented in the book. They also include stories and practical tips from women they've counseled.
Passion Pursuit is not just a book; it's a workbook. The authors lead readers on a journey of discovery, and it requires honesty and thought as readers dig into God's Word and discover His original design for sex and passion. At the same time, it offers practical suggestions for growing intimacy. For example, one wife went through a process of lighting candles and praying when her mind was a million miles away from the bedroom. With each candle she prayed a specific prayer like, "Lord, please light a fire in my mind for my husband," and "My Lord, please remind me of all the reasons I love him."
Later in the book readers will find ideas for creativity in intimacy, for setting the stage for intimacy, and for talking like a Smokin' Hot Mama (taking lessons from the wife in Song of Solomon). The authors suggest some fun ways to use private words in their sexual encounters. One is naming "Seven Things I Love About Your Body," while another is rewriting the rules to a game like Scrabble or Boggle, but using words related to love, sex and romance. Yet another is the "Alphabet Love Game" in which the husband begins by naming a body part that begins with "A" and then kissing it. The wife then follows with the letter "B" and so on.
Passion Pursuit proves to be a book that fills a gap on Christian bookshelves. It's a great Bible study and even has DVDs available for individual and small group use. I appreciate the discussion guidelines in the back of the book that encourage women to share openly and at the same time, respect their husbands and their shared intimacy.
I highly recommend this Bible study to wives of any age and to young women preparing for marriage. This tool provides a biblical viewpoint in a culture that doesn't respect and honor marriage and sex within the healthy boundaries of marriage.
About the Authors
Linda Dillow is the author of the bestselling Calm My Anxious Heart, What's It Like To Be Married To Me? and co-author of Intimate Issues. As a missionary in Europe and Asia for seventeen years, she's trained Christian leaders in Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Asia, teaching women and helping them launch women's ministries. Linda is a bargain hunter and can smell a sale a mile away. She and her husband Jody have been married for 48 years and have four children and ten grandchildren.
Dr. Juli Slattery is a widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional. Her commitment to biblical principles, relatable style, and quick wit have made her a highly sought after speaker to women's groups. Juli's books include Finding the Hero in Your Husband, No More Headaches, and Guilt Free Motherhood.She and her husband Mark have been married for 18 years and have three children.
*Note: I received a copy of the book for this review. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
I would classify Passion Pursuit as a study guide for understanding the need to intimacy within marriage. This book is designed to be used in a study group session over a 10-week period. It has numerous scriptures to be looked up and even homework assignments. It challenges you to study what the Bible says about sex and marriage. If you are looking to put the passion back into your marriage, and can't figure out why it left in the first place, then this book is for you. It shows you what the Bible says about forgiveness, romance, temptations, and loving the "gift". Just as the book stated, when we have an opinion, it's just that-an opinion. But when God has an opinion, it's called something else: TRUTH. That is why we must learn what the Bible has to say on all topics and form our thoughts and ideas based on that.
I felt at times, when it came to the really hard questions that women want answered, the authors would just say turn to this scripture or that scripture and just tell you to read it. The authors could've done a better job at hitting those hard questions that everyone wants to know. My guess is they wanted to keep the book light and airy as it may be used in church settings.
Although, I didn't agree with everything in the book, I will say it did answer the question that I have had for a while and that is "God, why did you make men that way?" It will help you to understand men and how they view love, intimacy, and marriage. In the end, it also gave great ideas for "saucing" this up.
"I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review."
I went through this book quickly for the purpose of this review but I will be going through it again and taking the time to let this study really absorb. There is a lot of good stuff in this study.
Linda and Julie don't miss a thing. They cover everything and aren't afraid to talk about sensitive subjects. Subjects that need to be dissected and looked at closely. They ask tough questions that we really need to take the time to answer.
You can do this study on your own, especially if you are a bit squeamish talking about this stuff in front of others. Or you can do it as a group. Either way I say do it. Go through this study if you know your love life with your husband isn't all you know God intended it to be. I think you will find encouragement and hope in this study. But you have to go through it to find it.
Make this ten week study part of your daily devotions and allow the truth of what God wants you marriage to be to soak deeply into your heart.
A copy of this book was given to me by Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.