Monday, August 09, 2010

Book Review: A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices

I recently finished pre-reading A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices: Your Life God’s Way by Elizabeth George, which I plan to have Alyssa read for part of her Bible time this year. Alyssa and I both read A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart last year and really liked it, so I was looking forward to reading this one.

For the most part, the book was very good. We follow a fictitious teenager (Hannah) and examine several choices she makes and the ramifications of each of them. The book goes through many choices we make every day (starting with the most basic one: getting out of bed in the morning) and shows how those choices impact our lives and our walk with God. Elizabeth includes many Scripture references to back up her teaching and there are questions at the end of each chapter that encourage you to search the Scriptures yourself and apply them to your decision-making.

The only issue I had with the book came in the next-to-last chapter, which is about turning your life around if you have made bad choices. We follow fictional Hannah to her youth group and by this time, she’s made some disastrous choices that have led to a pretty awful week. The message presented from her youth pastor is good up to the point where he leads anyone who is convicted of not living for the Lord in a “sinner’s prayer.”

But then we are told that Hannah doesn’t need to pray that prayer because she’s already saved. The pastor also leads a “prayer of re-commitment” for those who are already saved but their lives “haven’t shown the fruit of [their] belief.” That’s where she lost me. I came from a background where churches often talked about people being “rededicated” to the Lord and it just never made sense to me. I believe that the Bible teaches that once you’re saved, there’s fruit (James 2:14-26). If there’s no spiritual fruit, there’s no spiritual life. It's pretty simple. From what we are told of fictional Hannah, I would argue that she was not saved. However, that isn’t enough for me to discard the book entirely. I will still have Alyssa read the book and I will use that chapter for discussion.

If you are considering this book for your teenage girl, I suggest you read it first. Later chapters do discuss boy-girl relationships, so it may not be appropriate for younger girls.

THE VERDICT: Recommended for older teens, but with parental guidance

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