Guardians of Purity (Book Review)
Media and popular culture are already pulling our children away from God’s standards of purity. Parents must take a proactive stance. The author shares how parents can create a godly culture in their homes, protect children from Internet and media dangers, talk to their children about sexuality and dating, and fan the flames of their child’s love relationship with God.
Guardians of Purity: A Parent’s Guide to Winning the War Against Media, Peer Pressure, and Eroding Sexual Values is written by Julie Hiramine, founder and executive director of Generations of Virtue, which equips parents to empower their children for purity in our world today.
General Impressions of Guardians of Purity
The central message of this book is: Yes, you can do something about your child’s purity. I love that! Sometimes I feel on the losing side or that it might be too late.
Guardians of Purity is easy to read and laid out well. Chapters are relevant and statistics are current.
I wish the author would have summarized key teaching or action points at the end of each chapter.
The book would also benefit from a list of resources or books for further reading. The main resources mentioned in the book are from the author’s own websites.
“Purity” in this book is not just sexual purity, but the broader definition of “not being corrupted by the world.”
I was amazed by the recommendations in the first few pages of this book. There are sixteen of them (including Jim Daly from Focus on the Family). The author is connected to a good network, and this book is worthy of the reader’s time.
Parents, Believe the Statistics
This book is full of well-placed statistics about the Internet, pornography, media, Hollywood, and the dating culture. They communicate to the reader that the dangers are real and your kids are already being affected.
Consider the following sampling of statistics about Internet use:
- One in five teens has sent/posted a nude/semi-nude picture or video of themselves.
- The average age of first Internet exposure to porn is age eleven.
- Sexual solicitations of youth made in chat rooms: 89%
- Youths who have received sexual solicitation: one in seven
- Ninety percent of eight to sixteen-year olds have viewed porn online (most while doing homework).
Parents, Take the Lead
The author sends a clarion call to parents to be proactive when it comes to leading their children. Readers are told to get involved, take control of their household, and it’s not too late.
Parents need to actively, intentionally weigh in on all these agendas that our culture brings to bear. It doesn’t matter how our parents talked with us. Today the battle is very different. (5)
Our Children Use Technology Differently
Parents need to learn to think and act differently toward today’s technology:
We parents must realize that we use technology differently than our children do. We usually use technology as a means to an end, not an end in itself. While we are task-oriented online, our kids go online for the sole purpose of just hanging out there. (15)
Don’t Let Your Child Be Sexually Awakened Too Soon
“Gold.” That’s the summary note I wrote at the top of Chapter 9, titled “Not Awakening Romance.”
After working with thousands of teens, we have found that the top lies about relationships are soaked in media exposure…
- I’m worthless unless someone is attracted to me.
- I have to be in a relationship to be accepted by my peers.
- Everyone else is doing it!
- I am defined by what other people think of me.
- I am not complete unless I am in a romantic relationship. (151-152)
Not only does the media feed relationship lies to our children, it encourages romance and lust.
“You might consider encouraging your kids to fast from things that awaken romance in their hearts. Guys would need to limit their exposure to the visual stimulation that breeds lust in their minds, while girls would need to say no to the tainted love stories that Hollywood plants in their minds…” (160)
The author reminds readers that true love begins with a strong relationship with God. Parents need to guide children in seeking after God and falling in love with Jesus.
Other Standout Chapters
Talking About the Birds and the Bees (Chapter 8) – How to have age-appropriate conversations with your children. How to have the first conversation. How to talk about your own past.
The Dating Game (Chapter 10) – To date or not to date? How to do dating in a godly way.
Blazing Quotes from the Dating Chapter
“…no matter how pure couples try to be when they start out, it is difficult to put on the brakes once they are on the road to physical involvement.” (169)
“An engaged couple on my team commented to me that when you don’t kiss, you spend a lot more time talking; you actually get to know each other when you aren’t distracted by the physical.” (171)
“91% of girls who start dating at age twelve have sex before they are out of high school. When we allow our boys or girls to be in seemingly ‘innocent’ relationships at a young age, we’re actually setting them up for failure.” (172)
My Biggest Takeaway
Guardians of Purity was a good read for me. I have two boys (7 and 12-years old). My wife and I already have conversations with them about sex, girls, TV and the computer, but not nearly enough. I forget how strong the media/peer/cultural current is. The author has inspired me to revisit my involvement as a purity guardian.