Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally
So Much More by Anna-Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
Sacred Singleness by Leslie Ludy
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
Set Apart Girl by Leslie Ludy
Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy
Answering the Guy Questions by Leslie Ludy
When Dreams Come True by Eric and Leslie Ludy
It’s (Not That) Complicated by Anna-Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally
Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
Extreme Romance by Jesse and Heidi Jost
Leave Dating Behind by Christina Rogers
Bright Lights curriculum by Sarah Mally
Emotional Purity by Heather Paulson
This list (and a few random others that I’ve probably forgotten) are what I like to call Those Books. I read them multiple times as a teen. The first few books on the list I read over and over and over again. They were my anchor, my lifeline, my window into the world of guys and relationships and romance.
The ideas in them thoroughly messed up my thinking. They did NOT lead to healthy relationships with myself, with God, with boys, and even my girl friends. Three years after realizing most of them were built on fear and legalism, and I still find so many warped viewpoints that I have to deconstruct. Even today I was talking with a friend about a belief I held in one of my relationships. She replied, “That’s not true!”, and I realized Those Books were speaking again. Oh well. I have fun punching the lies in the face (with God and my friends’ help).
Part of me is haunted by this list. What if I had read pro-dating books and books from different points of view as a teen? Would I be in this mess?
(Probably yes, because would I have listened to those other ideas as a teen? I’ll never know.)
But the point is I can read different viewpoints NOW. I do. And I shall.
And I’m having fun picking apart the unhealthy bits in Those Books.