The evangelical scene is cluttered with books on dating and marriage. Those looking for a little advice and some poignant stories will not go hungry in the current market. Many texts in this field, however, fail to get to the center of the matter, and to connect dating and marriage with the gospel. I’m pleased to recommend my friend Gerald Hiestand‘s book Raising Purity as one book that succeeds in presenting a gospel-centered approach to raising children with sexual purity as the goal. Short in length, readable, written by a pastor, and gospel-focused, Raising Purity represents a sound resource for Christian parents who would seek to raise children of purity in a culture in which holiness is decidedly last season.
Here’s a nice soundbite to take away from the text:
“In the end, holiness comes only from an experiential, firsthand encounter with the life-changing person of Christ. Rules and structures are important, but if they are all we give our children, they will be no better off than the Pharisees. Our children must learn to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. The rules and restrictions that we place upon them are merely temporary stopgaps until their love for God grows. This love will take some time to develop, and their enthusiasm for their sexuality will likely precede their enthusiasm for God. Thus it is important that we as parents protect them from their desires until their love for God can take over. May God give us wisdom as we seek to set responsible boundaries for our children.” (Raising Purity, 132)An excellent point and a needed one in a day in which much evangelical teaching, perhaps unintentionally, fails to take into account the deeper spiritual realities that produce moral behavior. I recommend Hiestand’s book and I would encourage parents to purchase a copy in order that their home and care for their children might be more gospel-centered and pleasing to the Lord.