Saturday, January 12, 2013

Love, Sex, and Happily Ever After By Craig Groeschel

In my experience, the Christian world seemingly would like to ignore the topic of sex. There is much emphasis placed on "saving yourself for marriage", but there doesn't really seem to be a lot of discussion past the "don'ts". I feel that it is important to encourage healthy dialogue about sex. I truly believe that having a spiritual foundation is essential to a healthy marriage, but sharing intimacy doesn't necessarily have to be outside those spiritual boundaries. This book has good advice on growing spiritually both before, during and after meeting your mate. It is important to understand that when you embark on a relationship, it can be easy to lose yourself in that other person's identity, this leads to confusion and can be problematic. The author offers valuable advice on how to have a spiritually-centered relationship while still maintaining your individuality. I liked the fact that the book was not entirely centered around one particular topic, but rather was a compilation of a variety of subjects surrounding relationships. It was a good read and I would recommend it for individuals who are interested in having more spiritually-centered relationships. I was given this book by Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review.

The Encounter by Steven Arterburn

The Encounter is a very easy, fairly short read. The book details the story of an angry, aggressive man that is given a change to redirect his life. The root of his anger is that his mother gave him up as a baby. Now that he is wealthy and successful, he finds that he is not satisfied by material possessions or fame. He wants to find his mother and figure out why she gave him up. Although I will not write a complete synopsis of the plot, I found many parts of the book to be somewhat predictable. The book seemed somewhat superficial to me. It is the type of book that you sit down with and finish in one sitting. At 176 pages, even someone who doesn't read too often will find it easy to finish. The overall theme of the story is of healing. A theme that is relevant to modern society. Many people carry around scars, both physically and mentally from past events that cannot be changed. This book can serve as a good reminder that you must first concentrate on your own healing before achieving success in other areas, as these successes will undoubtedly be short-term. Someone who is dealing with something negative that has happened to them will have a hard time convincing themselves that these past events have not shaped them and will not be repeated. I feel that the main character in this story, through all of his fame and fortune, felt unworthy and had developed issues with self-esteem at having been given up as a baby. He couldn't comprehend how his mother could choose to give him up. I appreciated the fact that the author chose to give us another viewpoint of the situation- of his mother. This allows us, as the audience, to visualize the situation from a completely different standpoint. Overall, this book is good when you are in the mood for something light-hearted and easy to read. Also, this book would be good for someone who isn't too much of an avid reader as the storyline is very easy to follow and the book can be read completely very quickly. This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson, the publisher. I have agreed to write this unbiased review in exchange for the copy of the book.