Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What Are You Waiting For? by Dannah Gresh (giveaway post)

To be honest, I'm not quite sure what to make of What Are You Waiting For?, the latest book by Dannah Gresh. (I'm pretty certain I read And the Bride Wore White way back when, but since I wasn't writing a blog or keeping a book list at the time, I'm not totally certain. But I'm pretty sure.

I don't really know what to make of this book because she is far less discrete in her presentation than I would choose to be. However, when offered a copy by Waterbrook Multnomah, I thought it would be an interesting title to read and discuss. Now that I've read it, I'm at a loss for how to discuss it. Because yes, I choose to be very discrete when it comes to the topic of sex. I am so not the type that you would sit down with and gab about particulars with in any form or fashion. I become incredibly uncomfortable around people who discuss any aspect of it in the same manner as if they are talking about making pancakes. Prudish? Some would say so. I choose to use the word discrete and like it that way. That said, when I sat down to read this book, I felt like I was at a table full of women without hesitations or restraint in talking about sex. (See? At least I can type the word. It took me awhile to get there!) And because I would never choose that type of conversation for myself, I felt uncomfortable. That - and I am very. clearly. not the target audience for this book.

Dannah Gresh wrote What Are You Waiting For?: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex specifically for high school girls and college aged students who are pondering what is Biblically allowed in this department and what is not. She references the Greek words used in scripture to talk about knowing and being known and how we can guard our hearts and emotions by understanding how God designed a relationship between a man and a woman to be. Honestly, I have no qualms with anything she said at all and would support the message to the audience she is talking to. Hence I'm willing to write about this book (and host a giveaway for it.) I think it is relevant to females in society and fully acknowledge that my social circle was different than others growing up. I did not face the temptations or conversations that it would seem goes on, on a regular basis, on college campuses today. I discovered that there are a lot of glowing reviews of this title written by college girls that make me think this book hits the mark quite well. I'm just coming at it from a different background and a different perspective which makes it harder for me to connect.

Her style of speech is different from my own. Her presentation is more blunt than I would personally prefer or feel comfortable with. She's just different. But the message? The message is abstinence and I think society could use a good dose of that kind of talk! When I look around at society I see girls whose hearts have been broken needlessly and whose lives have gone down different paths than they might have hoped. Why? Because they bought into the message than having sex is "no big deal" and is just about fun and doesn't mean anything. Waiting to build an intimate relationship with a spouse is considered old fashioned, as is the idea of marriage in general. Because this book takes the idea of marriage and the marital relationship seriously, I find it useful and necessary.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group has offered an extra copy of this book to one of my readers here and if this is a book that you think you would be interested in reading, please leave a comment below. This contest will be open through Tuesday, February 15th and is open to U.S. Residents only.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER (as selected by IS #16 - KATIE Congratulations!

Is this book good for conversation? Yes. But just don't try to engage me in one. Again, the whole discrete thing. I think this book is better for others, but I just had a hard time with the presentation of the material for myself.


Stephanie Kay said...

Interesting. Yesterday I read a review of the same book by a 21 year old college girl in my church. She seems to have felt the same way you did - that the abstinence message is good but that the language and approach could have been a little different.

You can read Alissa's review at

Unknown said...

I really liked And the Bride Wore White, so I would like to read this. Thanks for the opportunity.

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Sounds like a book I might want to hand my teen.

Alissa:Adventurer said...

Stephanie recommended your review to me, and yes, I totally agree with you about it. (And I think I AM the target audience.) Just because us college girls hear about sex blatantly everyday, does not mean I am just so excited to read it in a book that is supposed to be on the up and up. Maybe it works for some people, but I wasn't really excited by the language or style.

Dannah actually responded to my article with some reasons as to why she wrote it the way she did- which is interesting. Feel free to check it out- stephanie posted the link above.

Great blog by the way!

JBrianneJahn said...

I was just looking up books to use with my HS girl's small group and the book "And the Bride Wore White" was one of those books. I would be interested in this book because it is all very true from the conversations I have had with my girls. It is in their face every day, it's not considered a big deal, and the majority of them are beyond confused.

Annette W. said...

Not an entry, but needed to comment on a couple of things. Someone needs this book much more than me.

Once upon a time, I knew Dannah personally...

I appreciated her abstinence message as an unmarried woman, but in a serious relationship, though I would have liked it even better had I read it years before.

Like you, detailed conversations about sex are not for me. However, I do think that many-though not all-that would be the audience for this book would be strongly worthwhile and the type of book many would respond to. Not that I've read it...but based on reviews and your thoughts.

Unknown said...

Knowing how we grew up I can understand how a book like this may not seem like something that would have been relevant to us....yet right now I am the school nurse at a public high-school here in Austin and let me tell you I hear and see things 14, 15 and 16 years olds are doing and saying and I think a blunt book about abstinence would be very relevant and helpful to my teens so........ I would LOVE a copy!

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to throw my name into the ring for this book. I am in women;s ministry and I think a lot of women, young and not so young, need to hear a blunt discussion of this topic.

Thanks for your review and point of view.

bekahcubed said...

Your review makes me really curious about how Gresh does approach sex in this book. I've been waiting (still waiting), but I'm not shy about talking about sex. My sister (who I live with) is a Physician Assistant who works in reproductive health and I've been helping teach PA students about conducting female exams for years, so talking about such things is second nature.

Of course, I'm pretty matter of fact and technical in my presentation of the topic--and I (thankfully) do not have much exposure to slang. It'd be interesting to see how Gresh's approach differs (or doesn't?) from mine.

Taia said...

I'm not interested in the book, but the title frustrates me in its assumption that sex is something that you wait for and eventually get to.

For Christian women who are committed to abstinence outside of marriage, the probability that you remain single for life is high. My sister is single and probably will remain so.

I wish the Protestant church had a better role for single women. I wish there were more books targeted at the ~20% of women (my guess- I'm convinced that a commitment to abstinence increases your probability of singleness) who will never marry.

In another 20 years, we'll be able to look at our churches and know whether lifelong singleness has become more common. I think it has.

apple blossom said...

I have read some of Dannah's books. I think someone has to tell girls about it and warn them. They aren't getting the message anyway, but I like you don't feel comfortable talking to everyone around a table about it. I would however, be interesting in reading this book and seeing if it is something to pass on to my teen daughters.

thanks for your review.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

karenk said...

i'm interested in this book

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

This sounds like a great book to share with my daughter. Thanks for the opportunity.

angie said...

This sounds like an interesting book that I would like to read. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Mozi Esme said...

While I'm hoping not to have this conversation with my own daughter for a REALLLLLY long time, I do have a few nieces who might appreciate the book...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Katie said...

This looks interesting... I'm thinking it might make for an interesting read!

Nancye said...

This sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

I realize your giveaway is closed and I am late in responding, but I needed to comment. I volunteer at a Crisis Pregnancy Center, and this is a topic we face head on week after week. I appreciate you reviewing this book and will definetely track it down.
Thanks for going beyond the "comfortable"
Jen N
artandjen at juno dot com

Julie said...

I just want to comment on Dannah Gresh book What are you waiting for? I just finished this book tonight. I do not get a chance to read a lot of books but the only word I can think is WOW, WOW, WOW. I am just sad this book was not available when I need to hear this info. Thank you Dannah Gresh for writing this book I will be reading this with my 13 year old daughter soon. Thank you and God Bless

Carrie said...

Jen N, Julie & Others - I am very glad to have reviewed this book. As I suspected, there would be others who would identify with it in ways that I could not. If I point blank dislike or disagree with a book, I generally won't post a review of it. But in this case, I thought the topic was one that could stand to be addressed and I did like the overall message of abstinence. At any rate, glad to hear your feedback and thank you for leaving it!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved this book! It was informative, based on scripture, easy to read and right to the point.
I am not comfortable talking about sex, and I blush even when my mom jokingly comments about a handsome man by saying "I would let him put his shoes under my bed!" BUT I am willing to bust out of my comfort zone to talk to my children, and I am going to use this book to help foster the conversations.
Although I had an absolutely wonderful set of parents, we did not discuss any of the topics in this book. In my teen years I wanted to wait for sex until I was married, but I was weak and succumbed to the pressure from my boyfriend. This resulted in a pregnancy which resulted in an abortion which I told myself I would never do, but I aborted the baby anyway. Our parents knew of the pregnancy, and let us go thru with it. It took me 20 years to somewhat forgive myself for this terrible mistake. Neither set of parents nor my ex-boyfriend have any idea that I have suffered with that decision for so long.
I feel my parents were uneducated, and I also was uneducated. I want my children to be informed. I know they will probably still make mistakes, but I will know that at least I did the best I could to educate them about the "TRUTH!" The truth about these topics, and the truth about how God wants us to live our lives.
I agree that you can sugar coat these topics up until a certain age with your children, but at some point I think a child/young teen just needs to know the facts-laid out clearly to them.
Again, I highly recommend this book.

Carrie said...

Anon - thank you very much for your personal and heart felt comment. I appreciate you taking the time to leave your input!

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