Good purity books don’t magically write themselves. They are forged out of the author’s own experience as a sexual struggler, as a minister working with sexual strugglers, or both. Moral Revolution: The Naked Truth About Sexual Purity is a little bit of both.
The Vallottons (Kris and Jason) are both leaders at Bethel Church in Redding, California. They have worked for years with youth and were burdened, not just by the sexual sins of youth, but by the moral decay they were seeing in teenagers and in today’s culture.
Purity is not just a sexual subject. It is a godly value that must affect every area of our lives. Fleeing evil, keeping oneself unstained from the world, and dying to self are all purity values.
The brother authors are working toward revolution—a moral revolution of the heart where purity is valued and sacrificed for. They have attempted with this book to focus on the root issues of purity, rather than solely an abstinence message.
A Book for Youth, Parents, and Youth Leaders
Sadly, there are not many books for teens on purity. Purity is addressed as one of many topics, but it is rarely the target. Joshua Harris, Dana Gresh, Shannon Ethridge, and Fred Stoeker have the best books I’ve seen on teenage purity. I welcome (and plead) for more books helping teenagers and youth leaders address purity.
Moral Revolution is a sexual purity book for teens, parents, and youth leaders. The general reader will extract good principles, but this book is focused on youth.
What Do You Value?
Moral Revolution begins with The Parable of the Ring (a story the authors use to teach purity to his youth). It tells the story of a man who sacrifices for years to buy a ring for a future bride. The ring has incredible value for him. The man is challenged when others come into his life who don’t care for the special ring he values. I thought it was an effective way to communicate one of the main themes of the book: only those who understand sacrifice can give away something valuable.
The authors want teenagers to understand sexual purity (and purity in general) is worth sacrificing for.
Other Key Messages in Moral Revolution
- True purity will not happen without a fight. Purity is under attack by the world, peers, Hollywood, and our own flesh.
- Purity begins in the heart.It’s not just about behaviors.
- Our desires and emotions will either be self-centered hearts or God-centered; there is not middle ground.
- A commitment is necessary. We must accept and desire God’s standard for purity. It will not happen automatically.
- A radical transformation of our thinking must happen for purity to emerge (mainly moving from selfish, consumer thinking to selfless, sacrificial thinking).
Likes and Wishes
I like the short chapters. I like the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I like the wide range of purity topics (dating, cohabitating, marriage, accountability, objectification, self-sex, and peer pressure).
I wish the book had more “how-tos,” action points, bullet points and tips. I felt like key conversations were started, addressed on a moral/spiritual level, then left hanging when it came to the practical steps. Self-sex and controlling your thought life are examples of purity topics teens have a lot of questions on. They deserved lengthier discussions.
Chapter 5 focuses on dating. More attention is given to boundaries and how-tos in this chapter. Teens are encouraged to know themselves and their hearts before God, define the relationship, and keep it slow and steady. They are given some solid takeaways on dating in this chapter.
I think the book’s themes of sacrifice and value are tremendous. The book would have been stronger if the authors had branded these into each chapter. The parable needed to be reflected on in every chapter. Later in the book I lost track of what the revolution was supposed to be.
Do This Book in a Group Setting
I think this book is better if you read it with a group of teens, parents, or youth leaders. The discussion questions are very good in this chapter. If the reader uses the chapters as warm-ups to group discussion, I think he will get the most out of Moral Revolution.
“The reason our thoughts are so powerful is that they are always connected to our desires. Sadly so many people withdraw from God in their teen years because they feel guilty for having sexual desires.” (85)
“Because God is the One who designed and activated your sex drive, it follows that He has both wisdom and strength for directing it toward its true purpose.” (89)
“When your thoughts are ruled by your private parts, you can come to the craziest conclusions, which will affect the rest of your life. That’s why it is so important for you to invite people into your life who can help to oversee your romantic relationships and give you some honest feedback.” (93)
“We live in a culture that desires intimacy without responsibility and pleasure without commitment.” (128)
“The truth is that Jesus defined and demonstrated love as sacrifice, not as sex.” (151)