"Most of us want to love and be loved, to find relationships in which we can be ourselves and also experience the thrill of desire...As a pastor, as a Christian, I hope the simple acknowledgment that there may be more than one acceptable- holy and just- way to live as sexual beings is a blessing an invitation to those who have been taught that God's way is singular and exclusive."
I am so grateful McCleneghan decided to write this book. I appreciate her care with language, definitions, and applications as she lays out her theology, particularly the chapters on desire and singleness. I wish this book had been around 15 years ago! I would have framed some of my experiences- and lack thereof- in such a different light. The last few years my thinking has evolved toward much of what McCleneghan lays out but I couldn't have explained why. There is so much I want to say about how liberated and affirmed I feel after reading this. McCleneghan makes space for us to go beyond purity culture and examine how we truly respect and love our potential romantic partners before and/or after marriage. This isn't anything I've seen discussed before in church but it's the discussion I've longed for, especially in my "advanced" single state. I'm sure there are plenty who will question her approach but I for one find it to be a refreshing call for grace and freedom. It is a call to lay down any shame. It is a call for joy and self-acceptance. It is beautiful.
Disclosure: I received an ARC from HarperOne in exchange for an honest review.