Book Review: The Fantasy Fallacy by Shannon Ethridge

SEX! There, I said it.  Now let’s move on.

In all seriousness, the intimate moment is one that many in the church are afraid of discussing.  That’s one of the things that makes The Fantasy Fallacy so important. To many people, believers and unbelievers alike, the subject of sex, nevermind sexual fantasy, is a topic so taboo that the discussion of it is relegated to hushed whispers and secret book reading.

Not so this new work by Shannon Etheridge (incidentally the author of another great work on this subject, The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind Body Heart Spirit). In her work, The Fantasy Fallacy, has not pandered to titillation or indiscrete arousal. Instead, she seeks to help the reader “connect [our] own dots and make sense of [their] own sexual thoughts.”  Etheridge is refreshingly forthcoming and honest, yet maintains a sincerely compassionate approach. The book’s artwork (as well as the time of release) tends to make the reader connect to the insanely popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” novels.  I have written my thoughts on that series, but Stephen Arterburn, author of Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, takes time and care to point out that Etheridge’s purpose is not to bash E.L. James story, but instead to “help women and men — both married and single — to take a second look at the fantasy world they may be creating through romance novels, pornography, or their own imaginations. It will also help them get out of that fantasy world and back to building real, healthy relationships.”

Etheridge divides all chapters into two sections.  The first part is the basic information covering the chapters topic, while part two “Behind The Curtain” takes all of that information and presents a real-life, rubber-meets-the-road application.  It is this approach that was most practical for this reviewer.  Too often authors give good information but leave the reader in the position of figuring out a way to apply the lesson on their own.

This book is one to read alone, with your spouse, and then read again.  The content of the chapters is excellent, but this book also gives some incredible content in the appendices. Long story short? Get this book NOW!

My Rating

Just Get It

The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 16, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849964695
ISBN-13: 978-0849964695
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches

Buy the Print Version or the Kindle Version

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Book Review: Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston

Written by, Mark Gregston, the founder and executive director of Heartlight Ministries, and host of Parenting Today’s Teens (subscribe to the podcast), the new book Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child’s Teen Years, is an insightful glimpse into the unique challenges facing parents, tweens and teens in the 21st Century world.  Gregston has over thirty eight years of experience working with teens, and, as such, has a vast repository of touching stories of real-world encounters as well as first-hand knowledge of workable techniques which parents can use to bridge the divide caused by overexposure (chapter 1) lack of connection (ch. 2) lack of respect (ch. 4) loss of gender difference (ch. 5) and the general uncertainty encountered in today’s world.

My Response

The book is written in three sections.  This works organizationally but you have to wade through some dark stuff in sections 1 and 2.  Part one is laden with stories of all that children have to face in today’s world and the litany of things that so easily beset them.  I can’t lie: it’s depressing.  Some of the stories he tells about children, especially young teens, that have gone through Heartlight Ministries, broke my heart.  As a father to two dynamic tweens myself, I couldn’t help but see my little ones in the place of these poor girls.

Part two is devoted to “Parenting Practices to Avoid.”  Honestly, I thought that most of these should be self-evident, but, again, I have to defer to Gregston’s experience on this one.  He has obviously seen them in action enough times to consider them bookworthy.

Part three of the book lists practices that Gregston finds successful.  As with part two, these seemed obvious.  But, at least, this section wasn’t as depressing as the first two.

Now, it may seem like I din’t enjoy this book, but that isn’t the case.  I found it an easy and quick read, and none of the stories seemed overblown or burdened with an overabundance of dramatic license.  The hardest part of the book was understanding the frustration that parents of teens might encounter wishing they had read it while their children were still tweens.  My advice: Get the book anyway!  It’s never too late to start.  Any divide can be bridged and any wound can be healed.  I’m stil naive enough to believe that. I think Gregston is too.

My Rating

Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child’s Teen Years
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0849947294 ISBN-13: 978-0849947292
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches

Buy the Print Version or the Kindle Version