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Doug Rosenau


SOUL VIRGINS: Refining Single Sexuality with Michael Tod Wilson


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SOUL VIRGINS: Refining Single Sexuality
Dough Rosenau and Michael Todd Wilson
Baker Books
Christian Life/Sexuality & Gender Studies
ISBN: 080106600X

A soul virgin is one who "continuously seeks to value, celebrate, and protect God's design for sexuality --- body, soul, and spirit --- in oneself and others." According to authors Doug Rosenau (a licensed psychologist and marriage/family therapist) and Michael Todd Wilson (a licensed professional counselor and life coach), Christians are facing tough times when little in modern society encourages circumspect behavior in regard to sexuality. Their text, however, underscores the Bible's design for sexuality and they do a terrific job of educating and laying out the blueprint of practical methodology for living out one's faith with both integrity and wisdom.

In their three-part book, Rosenau and Wilson begin with a lively and oft-humorous discussion of realizing intimacy with God first and foremost. Whether currently single again, never married, divorced or widowed, every follower of Christ makes a "pledge of soul virginity" for a lifetime. The authors believe that God-designed sexuality is to be celebrated, not rejected, and they spend ample written space convincing readers of this fact. Citing intimacy with God as one's most vital need, Rosenau and Wilson assert that matters of sexuality must be viewed as 3-D (body, soul and spirit) and treated with the utmost care and consideration.

As a sort of dance between God and man, individuals' sexuality reveals the relational nature of a creator who desires and will protect cherished intimacy with his creation. So saying, this understanding requires men and women to make deliberate choices when confronted with opportunities to create "erotic arousal" in others. As "sexuality is only 20 percent body-driven and 80 percent mind-driven," all people must govern their thoughts carefully. "True sex" at minimum can be defined as all intercourse behavior (oral, anal, vaginal) and mutual orgasms are to be experienced only within the confines of a marital relationship --- thus a covenantal relationship.

How a person moves from initial introduction to marriage is best pictured on a "relationship continuum," where individuals proceed to work their way from the casual to the permanence of marriage. This includes connecting (the most frequent type of relationship with same and opposite sex friends, zero erotic behaviors) and then coupling (male/female relationships exploring the possibility of marriage). Within the coupling stage, the authors describe four essential steps:

* Considering: appraising whether or not the other is of "soul mate" potential.
* Confirming: a period where full disclosure occurs and real issues are worked through.
* Committing: an engagement period prior to the joining of two individual lives.
* Covenanting: the official "I do" marriage commitment takes place, and true sex is enjoyed and blessed by God.

Couples will be able to look ahead with prudent planning and not find themselves either unintentionally using or being used by another dating partner. Readers will also appreciate the nuts and bolts approach both authors take on honest ways to deal with sexual desires run rampant, the differences between the sexes, how to enjoy and protect others, and dealing with loneliness. Finally, such hot topics as avoiding the "viruses" that infect healthy sexual relationships and the "how far can I go?" proverbial question is covered with an honest yet compassionate tone. Above all, singles will feel indebted for the candor with which this subject is handled.

   --- Reviewed by Michele Howe

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