This is a review of Elizabeth Elliott’s Passion and Purity

One topic that I will probably never tire of reading books about is the topic of relationships.

It’s not that I’m storing up all the advice in my heart in the hopes that one day my very own Prince Charming will come to whisk me off my feet and that the wealth of knowledge from the countless books I have read will finally be put to good use and we will have a fairytale ending. Rather, I love how God gives us the opportunity to, in the smallest of ways, see a picture of His love towards us and one of those ways is through marriage.

Call me old fashioned, but one of my favourite books on romantic relationships is Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliott.

Before you switch off and decide this isn’t for you because you have:

  1. decided that boys/girls really do smell or
  2. you already make a fabulous girlfriend/boyfriend and have got it sussed, or
  3. really do have more coursework than time and another person in your life would just be a great inconvenience

More than anything else, this book is about making Christ the one who your heart loves most and that is why it is such a great read.

I could write for longer, but here are 2 reasons why I love this book:

It makes sense

The book has little snippets from Elisabeth Elliott’s diary that show this isn’t something she just preached at people, but the lessons in this book are ones she learned the hard way; by living them. It’s so inspiring to read about 19 year old Elisabeth as she argues with herself through the issues that love poised. It’s honest and heartfelt and doesn’t skip through the hard questions, but tackles them with Christ-honouring intention.

It is all about Christ

There are some people who will read this book and decide her views on dating and everything else in between are so outdated that surely no-one would actually take her advice. But underneath her words of wisdom is her desire to love Christ above all. This book lays out that to love another purely and as perfectly as we can, we must first of all love Christ more than anything else.

Life requires countless “little” deaths—occasions when we are given the chance to say no to self and yes to God…There is a big however. We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures to whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.1

1. Elliot, Elisabeth. 1994. Passion And Purity. Carlisle: OM, 72.