Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review: Before You Meet Prince Charming

Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally

Recommended for: single girls ages 12 to adult and parents of daughters 

A young lady who is pure will shine with a radiant brightness in this world of darkness. How can a young lady stay physically and emotionally pure as she waits for God s best in marriage? This guide to radiant purity combines the thoughts and events in the life of a young princess with solid, clear teaching of Biblical convictions that young ladies today need to grasp. Through a captivating fairy tale, modern day examples, practical instruction and abundant humor, Sarah Mally challenges young ladies to turn to the Lord for fulfillment, to guard their hearts and minds, to identify and avoid the world s thinking and to shine brightly in this generation. This book offers Biblical answers to everyday questions and deep life struggles. It deals with many practical topics such as being wise in internet usage, dealing with crush, and building strong relationships with parents. Sarah Mally is a bright light in our day.

I've wanted to read this book for years, but I had never been very active about tracking down a copy. When I saw that they sold it at the Creation Museum, I naturally picked up a copy, but I was thinking "I'm twenty, I've pretty much defined my ideas on relationships. I doubt I really need this." But as I flipped through, I went, "Yep, I still need this." Luckily I remembered I still had a good bit left on the Visa gift card I got from my grandma for Christmas, or I never would have bought it. Because while it's true that I already knew a lot that was in the book, I did need it and I still managed to get a lot out of it.

Now, I've come across things in the Bright Lights handouts that indicate the Mallys seem to lean a bit towards legalism, but I didn't come across much if anything in this book that seemed overly legalistic. At least, nothing I hadn't already read in Bright Lights materials. (Honestly, the thing I most disagreed with was the implication in the bonus material that online friendships are fake. Because while you absolutely have to be super careful, it is possible to make good friends online. It's like a modern version of a pen pal.)

Essentially, what the book is about is staying truly pure and trusting God in relationships. It seems like basic stuff, but unfortunately, it's not really very common. I don't want to rehash the entire book, you need to read it for yourself, but I want to touch on the chapters that stood out to me the most.

Guard Your Heart

I honestly tend to have the opposite problem from what this chapter is really written to help you with. I tend more to hide from guys than to be overly familiar with them. But whether you're boy crazy or anti boy, this chapter helps. It talks about how to have friendships with guys without becoming emotionally attached in a romantic way. Things like keeping the friendship casual and focusing on the other person, not yourself. It's not bad to be friends with guys, but you absolutely need to protect your heart and keep it for the right one.

Could He Be The One?

Despite being a girl who was never interested in guys and never really developed any crushes, I do want to get married someday, and I want to know...How do you know if he's the one? Unfortunately, there's no hard and fast rule, and every situation is different. What this chapter does do is give you an idea of essential qualifications to look for in a spouse. Things like the essentials of marrying a strong Christian, and things like considering if your life missions are the same. But a bigger thing is: Are YOU ready for marriage? And if not, what things do you need to work on to get there? Because you can't expect a guy to be ready to be your husband if you aren't making yourself ready to be a wife.

When God Says Wait

This really stuck out to me because, well, I'm not in a relationship, don't see the possibility of one anytime soon, and I know I'm not really ready for one anyway. God is saying wait. Waiting is important. There are so many things we miss if we refuse to wait on God. God's timing is rarely the same as ours, but His is infinitely better. Still, waiting doesn't mean sitting around just...waiting. It means serving. There are many opportunities for ministry we have while we're single that we won't have once we're married. The morning after I read this chapter, I talked to my mom about the subject, and then immediately after when I got in the car to go to work, "While I'm Waiting" was playing on the radio. I guess it's a message I needed to hear!

Have a Life Purpose Bigger Than Marriage

Despite the fact that I don't even want to get married for at least a few more years, I still tend to think of my single years as filler. The years in between graduation and marriage. I think that's why this chapter stood out to me. It tells me not to hold back because, well, it's probably something I'll have to give up once I get married and start having kids because I won't have the time anymore. Use your single years wisely. I don't want to be thirty and unmarried, looking back and saying, "I should have tried harder at the things I was doing. I gave up opportunities I should have taken advantage of because I was afraid it would keep me from getting married or something." Because my life purpose, your life purpose, should be far bigger than marriage. It's about serving God in everything, surrendering to Him, and working for His kingdom, regardless of whether it's something you'll have to give up or put on hold should you get married.

Reserved For One

This chapter was really exciting to me. For a lot of girls, what they care about is how far they can go while technically remaining pure. But what it should be about is how much we can save for our future spouse. And that is immensely exciting to me. It's really amazing to think of saving as many firsts as I can for my future husband, more than just my first kiss. Sarah provides a list to get you thinking, things like first expression of interest, first words of affection or love, first special song, place, event or memory...How much more special will it be if we have all these firsts of a romantic relationship with the right one? I don't want to have any special romantic moment with some other girl's husband. As I told a friend the day after reading this chapter, I want to be able to tell my husband someday that "there was only ever you." And that thought excites me.

This book taught me a lot, as well as better defining and reinforcing beliefs I already held. Because while I don't agree with the Mallys on everything (I do think completely getting rid of your TV is a bit extreme), they teach a lot that is of value. Before You Meet Prince Charming is well written, informative, and biblically based, containing many scripture quotes and references. This book is well worth the read for any single girl or woman.

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