“Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart” is a book written bravely making it unlike any other true-love-waits book I ever read.
Heather Arnel Paulsen goes straight for the issues of the heart, surpassing 20th century churches’ slacking culture. While most youth group focuses only on teaching singles the importance of remaining physically pure as an act of obedience to the Lord, Heather presents the best preventive measure: EMOTIONAL PURITY.
The book starts with the story of Tracy and Mike, two Christian young adults who are both growing in the Lord. One could say that they are both financially, spiritually, and emotionally ready to enter in a relationship, or so it seems.
In her second chapter “Avoiding Early Intimacy”, Paulsen shares how emotional intimacy eventually leads to physical intimacy and how uncommitted but emotionally awakened relationships causes bad consequences.
In a world where waiting, being emotionally unavailable, and not participating in casual dating even in the Christian scene, is boring and sometimes considered being “legalistic”; Heather challenges the young people to rebel against the world’s standard of dating.
The book is not only about romantic relationships; it touches paternal relationships in the chapter “Finding Good Guidance”. Heather stresses how godly parents’ advice play a vital role in creating healthy friendships with the opposite sex or in entering a romantic relationship.
She also takes the famous “guard your heart” up another level involving emotional purity. Though many may see the steps she encourages young people to take as “too much”, she sets an example in her book where you can never take too much steps to glorify the Lord in matters of the heart.
In the following chapters, Heather describes how a woman’s heart work and how to protect it (Chapter 4 “Guarding Your Heart”). She also touches our generation’s tainted view on friendship on the chapter “Defining A friendship”.
A lot of people (even women!) would define the relationship as “Friends only” or use the “You’re-like-a-brother/sister-in-the-Lord-to-me” as a way to guard their hearts but would continue to act differently and end up having more casualties.
Heather also includes practical advices on the chapter “Dating Done Differently”. She shared a Godly approach to dating, where accountability, blessing of mentors, and parents are present.
Other chapters include: Protecting Your Relationships, Learning True Contentment, Trusting God, Creating Safe Ideals, Watching Your Feelings, Understanding Expectations, Following God’s Plan, Seeing Christ’s Design, Preparing for Marriage, Continuing My Journey, and Enjoying Your Single Years.
Emotional Purity is not a step-by-step book on how to find your future mate. Above all else, Heather points us to find our desires and satisfaction on our Lord, Jesus alone. With the use of creative story telling and powerful use of scriptures, Emotional Purity is not for the faint-hearted. With Heather, there is no sugar coating.
If you’re one who desires to break free from the world’s standard of dating and friendship-coated romance, if you are tired of having your heart broken again and again, if you wish to be called boring, out-of-date, legalistic, rather than being called disobedient by the One who matters, this book is for you.