Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?: A Review


For the better portion of my life, all voices except that of Scripture defined my understanding of sex and intimacy.

My first encounter with a biblically-centered conversation on this topic was through Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus’ book, Intimate Issues. The wise words and principles put forth in the pages of this book truly shifted my paradigm. So imagine my excitement when I opened a package from Moody Publishers and found an actual study on the issue of sex, Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?, written by none other than Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery.

Considering I had just completed a degree in biblical studies, I dove right in — excited, but also a little nervous as to how this first study post-graduation would play out. Would it provide enough depth? Would it be scripturally sound? Would it use examples and verses in context, or would the study cherry-pick for the sake of making a point?

Depth? Yes.

Biblically sound? Absolutely.

Context? Included.

Dillow and Pintus open the study by painting a portrait of me as strong woman who is in possession of God-given power that is not to be abused in the context of relationship. Through concise refocusing of the purpose of my strengths, I was immediately given opportunity to practice investing in my marriage through simple readjustments. I soon found myself making small choices each day to better reflect respect, embrace companionship, and allow intimate connection. I was surprised at how easily the principles in Passion Pursuit translated into application.

Here’s an example: In a house with five children, I guard my writing time with the ferocity of a lion. But remembering the gentle reminder to be available in my relationship and cultivate time together in the simple things, I was able to let go of the writing slot one day and join my husband in one of his favorite activities — gardening. It was a small choice with a big payoff. The next night he took over dinner with the kids so I could go out of the house and write. The space and investment we made for each other offered a tone of support.

If I wasn’t hooked already, Week 2 would have done me in. Rather than focus on the busy and quintessential wife of Proverbs 31, Dillow and Slattery took me into the Song of Songs to meet the woman whom they name “The Smokin’ Hot Mama.” Their reasoning for this is beautiful — the Proverbs 31 woman “gets half a chapter with 21 verses while SHM gets eight chapters with 117 verses.” Yes! That’s what I’m talking about.

Throughout the study, as a wife, I was encouraged to understand God’s delight with sex, instigate sex in marriage, and embrace the erotic language of the Song of Songs. The latter is accomplished through the fun — albeit initially embarrassing — practice of paraphrasing the language of Song of Songs into contemporary prose.

If there is a weakness to the study, it is addressed in one of the days during Week 9. The authors ask, “What if your desire is more than that of your husband?” I have known several women for whom this statement is true. I wish the authors would have considered putting this in the front of the book so that these women wouldn’t work through 9.5 weeks of study wondering what is wrong with their marriage that it doesn’t follow the stereotypical pattern. To those women I say, “Stick with it!”

In Passion Pursuit, Dillow and Slattery do a very good job of addressing the mind, heart, spirit, and body of sexual intimacy within marriage. For those places that leave you, like me, feeling like you are swimming against the current, the hard work will surely offer a foundation for healing and rebuilding the love being made in your house.

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Marian Green resides with her husband and four children. She is an adoptive mom, a pastor's wife, and (once again) a student. She is currently working on a non-fiction project for "bad girls" -- helping women who have lived lives of promiscuity to redefine marital intimacy. In between it all she takes a deep breath and realizes, none of this was what she had planned in life ... and she loves it. Marian blogs at Uprooted and Undone.

  • Love this post and I LOVE Linda Dillow. She is real and gets to the point so that we have solid application we can apply to our marriage relationship!
    I want to win a copy :-)
    Thank you Marian, as always.
    Thank you Ungrind!

  • Samantha H.

    I would like to win! Thanks!

  • Cindy Brannon

    I have heard good things about this book!
    I want to win one!!

  • Tabitha W

    Funny thing is, I had kind of forgotten about you guys, ungrind (no reason, besides life getting busy, kiddo being born, hubby deploying and the like). You showed up in my newly revisited Twitter feed (forgot about that too), s0 I hop on over and see this giveaway. The cool thing is, my hubby will be home in the next couple of months, and I know he would enjoy me doing this study. Now I’m off to catch up on a lot of your other posts I’ve missed!

  • Betsy

    This book sounds wonderful! With a toddler and a newborn, I am so exhausted most days, but I know I could make time and benefit from this kind of pursuit. Thanks for aharing this book with us!

  • Jessica

    I would like to win! Looks like a good read!

  • Shannon

    Id like to win! Thank you!

  • I would like to win! :)

  • We have a winner! Congrats to Sonya W. I’ve sent you an email.

  • Love the title of the book. And good to know it’s biblically sound. I once did a paper on Song of Songs when I was doing my master’s in bible seminary. And yes I sort of touched on the “Smokin Hot Mama” the authors of Passion Fruit mentioned. We were asked to discuss our paper in class. Made a lot of my classmates blush. Most of them being pastors. Men pastors :)

  • Ooops. Sorry. I meant “Passion Pursuit”. Got carried away in all the excitement about the book.

  • Bethany Avery

    Thank you so much for reviewing this book! I truly love your website. I just have a few questions, I was thinking about doing this with my women’s Bible study that I lead but they had a few draw backs. Not all of the ladies are married, after reading it do you think this is just for married women or do you feel everyone can benefit? Also, do you have to have the DVD’s to use the book, or are the DVD’s an added bonus and extra information?
    Thank you so much for the information!

    • Bethany,

      I am so glad the review was helpful. The following is my opinion and not to be authoritative at all. :) also, I do not have the DVDs, so I am not able to give advice on those.

      If you do this in a small group setting, I think the single women would feel its not relevant or even takes some romance out of the anticipation of marriage. Also, some women are gifted in their singleness and don’t anticipate getting married, so this might be another thing to take into consideration.

      That said, if you decide to move ahead, I would take time to intentionally step away from the book study for a little bit each week, move into the scriptures, and take principles for intimacy from the Song of Songs. The principles there translate into spiritual and physical intimacy. It would take extra work on your part but could benefit all.

      So, in short.’s for married women. But you have given me an incredible idea for a project. ;) thank you!


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Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?: A Review

by Marian Green time to read: 3 min