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

Check out our review of “Passion Pursuit” by Linda Dillow and Dr. Julie Slattery.

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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.

13 Comments
  • 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!
    HIS,
    karen

  • 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. Yes..it’s for married women. But you have given me an incredible idea for a project. ;) thank you!

      Marian

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Musings On Aliens and UFOs

In a culture that’s obsessed with aliens and UFOs, it’s interesting to see what Scripture has to say about being from another world.

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Aliens from outer space. UFOs. Overall people seem to be fascinated with the possibilities.

Drawing from writing by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent movie Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), is often credited as the first science fiction film. Its ground-breaking special effects prepared the way for future science-fiction films with its portrayal of a spacecraft being launched to the moon.

Like many families, ours enjoys heating up the popcorn and viewing an imaginative sci-fi movie together. In fact, one of our favorite fun places to dine is Disney’s Hollywood Studios Sci-fi Diner in Orlando. It offers a 1950’s retro drive-in movie theater atmosphere serving food to parked cars while playing campy science fiction movies, capturing the time period’s fascination with the topic.

Major interest in aliens from outer space exploded in the 1950’s, a decade sometimes described as the “classic” era of science fiction theater with it’s surge of producing low-budget, comic-book style films targeted at teenage audiences. Alien threats to humanity, UFO invasions, and abductions are common themes as seen in War of the World, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and It Came From Outer Space.

Aliens in Our Midst

Currently, networks offer programs dedicated to exploring possible alien and UFO sightings with shows like Ancient Aliens, UFOs: Untold Stories, Nasa’s Unexplained Files, and more. One recent episode of one of these shows presented a segment discussing “what if humans are the aliens on earth?”

This hypothesis coincides with a religion birthed by American science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard and his writings, The Church of Scientology. Its doctrine states a human is an immortal, spiritual being (thetan) resident in a physical body. Or, stated in easier-to-understand terms, an alien life form that inhabits human beings.

Turns out biblical references address society’s curiosity on this theory.

Genesis 2:7 describes how humans came to live on earth, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” As described in scripture, humankind’s breath of life did come from an other-than-earthly source.

And concerning who are citizens and who are aliens in the world, Jesus identifies the distinction in His prayer for His disciples, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). He continues to distinguish His followers in John 18:36 stating, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

Of UFOs and a Snatching Away

Musings on Aliens & UFOs

In 1977, Steven Spielberg’s film Close Encounters of the Third Kind depicted a public fascination with UFOs, along with the year’s release of George Lucas’ Star Wars. Interest continued with the 1980’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, a story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial stranded on Earth.

In the 1970’s, Christian rocker Larry Norman also offered thoughts on aliens and UFOs in his trilogy of albums which included Only Visiting This Planet, So Long Ago the Garden, and In Another Land. His third album contains some of Norman’s most well-known work, selling more than 120,000 copies by 1985. In Norman’s song “UFO” lyrics assert:

He [Jesus] will come back like He promised with the price already paid,
He will gather up His followers and take them all away,
He’s an unidentified flying object,
He will sweep down from the sky

Jesus reveals His plan to return for His people in John 14:3 stating, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Mark 13:26-27 provides a clearer picture of what His return will look like to those on earth, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.”

So scripture does describes a coming snatching away of people on earth like represented in the 1990s-2000s popular Left Behind series of novels and films by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

In his 1969 album Upon This Rock, Norman addressed this concern as well in his song “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” stating while growing up in church he hadn’t heard this preached from the pulpit.

Two men walking up a hill
One disappears and
One’s left standing still
I wish we’d all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind
The Son has come and you’ve been left behind

Closing Reflection

In consideration of the ongoing interest in our culture with aliens and UFOs, this topic certainly opens up authentic opportunities to discuss what scripture has to say on the possibilities. With curiosity on the rise, yet another avenue to open conversation about God’s love and His kingdom of another realm (John 3:16,17).

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3 Fun Ways to Parent in Real Time

Have you been hoodwinked into believing motherhood is a rat race? If so, here are 3 fun ways you can slow down and parent in real time.

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I’m a planner. We’re talking semi-serious Type A, time-urgency issues.

My husband Ted can confirm this. Although, I predict he’d most likely tell you this obsession I have with time isn’t strictly a bad thing. Rather, when it comes to weaknesses and strengths, it’s a case of both/and.

How so?

Ted likes to say that if it weren’t for my goal-oriented, hyper-active Little Engine That Could personality, we’d be a lazy family. After all, if it were up to him, our off days would consist of naps and driving no more than 30 minutes from our house. And while I love my share of afternoon rest, I crave adventure in … well, as my favorite Disney princess would sing … “the great wide somewhere” a little more.

This God-given, hard-wired, time-sensitive personality of mine thrives on thinking ahead. I’m constantly on the prowl – yeah, all tiger like and what not – for fun educational activities, local and not-so-local family outings, theatrical productions, and even vacation ideas. There’s no doubt that, as Ruth Schwenk and Karen Ehman write about in their book Hoodwinked, I take time seriously. In fact, as I read these word from Ruth, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement:

One of my favorite verses about the sacredness of time is Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The word wisdom in Hebrew means “skilled” …. And here, the psalmist is connecting skilled living with stewarding time. Part of walking in wisdom is being skilled in the stewardship of the days God in his grace has given us. To waste them or mismanage them is to act foolishly and unskillfully.

Not being productive or having a plan in place is difficult for me. In my mind, “productivity = time well spent,” and “plan = time well managed.”

Sometimes, as a mom, all my planning and productivity can eat away at the actual day-to-day enjoyment of my kids.

Here’s the thing, though. The older I get, the more I learn that’s not necessarily true.

Just because I’m careful to not waste time, doesn’t mean I always steward it well. In fact, sometimes I don’t … at all. Sometimes, as a mom, all my planning and productivity can eat away at the actual day-to-day enjoyment of my kids. When this happens, all that “productivity = time well spent” and “plan = time well managed” couldn’t be further from the truth.

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What does this poor stewardship look like for me?

Here’s where that biggest weakness in those semi-serious Type-A, time-urgency issues comes into play. And that’s this: I often live too much in the future.

It’s so bad at times that Ted has to remind me to live in the here and now, not in the six-months-from now. I don’t always like when he offers this correction, but the truth is, I need it. I don’t want to look back ten years from now and realize that I missed the moments of my children’s lives because I was so busy planning for the next moments and the next. I found myself convicted and motivated by these word from Ruth:

Parenting happens in real time. Don’t miss the moments right in front of your nose. Living in tomorrow only causes us to lose today.

So what’s my plan to make sure I don’t miss the here and now moments with my kids? Here are three fun, practical ways I’m attempting to parent in real time.

1. Reading Out Loud

When it comes to bedtime stories, Ted is king of that domain. The thing is, just because I don’t typically read to the kids before tucking them in, doesn’t mean I can’t read aloud to them at all. As a homeschooling mom, I have ample opportunity to work story time into school time.

Parenting happens in real time. Don’t miss the moments right in front of your nose. Living in tomorrow only causes us to lose today. — Ruth Schwenk And you know what I’ve found?

Reading out loud to my kids forces me to slow down and to stop rushing through our schedule and our day. As the kids and I are drawn into the story together, we share in the emotional ups and downs of the characters. We gasp in shock over plot twists and lament as our protagonist faces yet another challenge. In the process, we create shared experiences, knowledge, and memories.

2. Impromptu Dance Parties

At our house, Pandora plays pretty much all day long. Sometimes it’s tuned to the Francesca Battestelli channel, other times to the Michael Buble channel. One of my favorites activities of late, though, is to switch it to the Tween music channel, move the coffee table out of the way, and invite my girls to an impromptu dance party.

As I twirl my four-year-old around and around, there are no thoughts of what’s for dinner, or what time we need to get up in the morning. There’s only me and my girls dancing and giggling together.

3. Cooking Competitions … of the On-Screen Variety

Whether it’s Cutthroat Kitchen or Cupcake Wars, my girls and I share a love for cooking competition shows. Lately, we’ve taken to watching the shows together, each choosing our “candidate” to cheer for, and then watching to see if we picked a “winner.” It’s been a fun way for us to actively watch television together. And, like reading out loud, it causes me to slow down and create a shared experience with my kids.

Yes, I’m a planner. But this planner is hopeful that those semi-serious Type A, time-urgency issues of mine can become more and more strength and less and less weakness, especially when it comes to my mothering. After all, these parenting days of mine are numbered and I want to live them skillfully.

Learn More About HOODWINKED

Moms have been hoodwinked — tricked into believing lies that keep them from not only enjoying motherhood, but forging friendships with other moms who might tackle the tasks of motherhood differently. Myths such as “Mothering is natural, easy, and instinctive” cause moms to feel like failures if they have questions or apprehensions in raising their kids. Operating from the premise that “The way I mother is the right (and only) way” puts up fences between moms instead of building bridges of encouragement between them. Lies such as “I am my child’s choices” tempt moms to mistakenly believe that if their child makes a wrong choice then they, in turn, must be a bad mom.

This book will enable mothers to:

  • Identify the ten myths of motherhood our current culture perpetuates
  • Replace the lies with the truth of what God says in the Bible about mothering
  • Acquire practical tools to help them form new and improved thought patterns and healthy behaviors
  • Forge healthy, supportive relationships with other moms of all ages and stages
  • Confidently embrace the calling of motherhood as they care for their families in their own unique way

BUY HOODWINKED: TEN MYTHS MOMS BELIEVE & WHY WE ALL NEED TO KNOCK IT OFF HERE.

Also available is the HOODWINKED STUDY GUIDE WITH DVD. Find out more about it here.

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Reflections on Nichole Nordeman’s THE UNMAKING {Plus a Giveaway}

Read our reflections on Nichole Nordeman’s new EP, “The Unmaking.”

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“When I’m younger…”

It’s a phrase my four-year-old daughter uses often. (As you can tell, her concept of aging is still in the early stages of development.) While I often correct her with a “Do you mean when you’re older?” there’s something sobering about her words. They remind me that these days are fleeting. These days of cute misphrases, well-loved blankies, and read-aloud stories. They’re fleeting.

And sometimes, when she proudly proclaims, “When I’m younger…,” I just want to pause and whisper, “Slow down.”

I want to tell her to stay little longer. That it’s fun to be a kid. I want to promise her that I won’t tell the dentist if she sucks her thumb when she thinks that I’m not looking. Or that it’s okay if she talks through movies about topics completely unrelated to the plot. “Sure, go ahead and sing me that song about manners while the movie’s storyline unfolds. It’s okay. You won’t always want to, and I can rewatch this movie when you’re older.”

It’s with those words “when I’m younger,” that I realize perhaps all those people who’ve told me “It goes by fast,” were right.

I think all of us moms – including singer and songwriter Nichole Nordeman – feel the desire to slow down time at some point. But not all of us have been able to capture this longing in song so poignantly as Nordeman has done with the track “Slow Down” off her new EP, The Unmaking. In what’s destined to become many a mom’s musical pick for her child’s graduation, she beautifully captures the emotional tension that comes from raising arrows we need to let fly one day. And, I admit, the first time I heard the song, I cried.

“Slow Down” is one of six songs on The Unmaking. It’s an album that, as Nordeman told Vital Magazine, chronicles a recent season of brokenness in her own life. She shared with them:

“Christians are so anxious to fast-forward to the healing and to the hope and the happy ending of the story where God makes all things new,” she says. “All of that is true sometimes, but we just are so uncomfortable sitting in the tough spot. I think that’s what I wanted to do with The Unmaking, just acknowledge that God is with us, and there is no shame, in fact there’s strength, in sitting in the rubble and being vulnerable with Him.”

While The Unmaking is Nordeman’s first studio release since her 2005 project, Brave, those who have loved and missed her music need not worry that she’s reinvented herself. Vocally and musically, this album is quintessential Nordeman.

Before long, my four-year-old will soon grasp the concept of aging. And, as she does, the phrase “When I’m younger…” will disappear from her vernacular. When that happens, know that you can find me listening to “Slow Down” and crying what may very well constitute an ugly sort of cry as I realize that my baby is one day closer to flying. Yep, that’s a reference you’ll just have to listen to the song to understand.


Win a Copy of “The Unmaking”!

Win a copy of "The Unmaking" by Nichole Nordeman

We have one copy of Nichole Nordeman’s EP The Unmaking to give away. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

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Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

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

by Marian Green time to read: 3 min
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