Book Review: Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

6 11 2007


Copyright 2007 Kelsey Hough.  All rights reserved.

Because there are so many relational/purity books in print, I think it’s easy for Christian singles desiring a Biblical world view regarding romance and purity to feel at a loss of where to even start reading.  Most of us don’t have the time, money, or desire to wade through a stack or relational/purity books looking for a few diamonds in the rough.

So where do you start if you’d like a thoughtful introduction to romantic relationships?  I believe Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control is an excellent starting point for both singles and dating/courting couples desiring to, as the subtitle says, bring their love lives under Christ’s control.

In Passion and Purity, Elisabeth Elliot honestly and openly shares with the reader the story and lessons learned from her five-year courtship with Jim Elliot while addressing topics such as dealing with loneliness and impatience, how we’re to view singleness, putting God’s desires ahead of your own, men and women’s relational roles, the importance of purity, and much more.

I appreciate the fact that although Elisabeth Elliot talks candidly about purity and relationships, the way she addresses these topics is never inappropriate, so a preteen could read Passion and Purity without losing a piece of their purity and innocence in the process, and a single adult could read it without feeling talked down to.

Unlike some relational/purity books, Passion and Purity never makes the mistake of over-spiritualizing romance and relationships, but Elisabeth Elliot also makes it evident through sharing personal stories and journal entries she does understand from personal experience the joys and pains of singleness.

I originally read Passion and Purity in early high school.  It was one of the first books I read on the subject of purity and relationships, and I found it challenging, thought-provoking and encouraging.  I’ve since reread it several times, and in each new stage of life, I’ve found it just as applicable.

Passion and Purity has remainded my personal favorite relational/purity book on the market, and one I regularly recommend to other Christian singles.  If you haven’t read it, I wholeheartedly recommend you give it a whirl.

Recommended Age: 13+ Drop me a note if you’d like reprint permission.



9 responses

7 11 2007

Thanks for the post. It has been almost two months and I was hoping everything was alright. I thought it was amusing how many links to the book you inserted in your post. I decided that was just to emphasize how much you liked it.

Many (female) friends have gotten a lot from her books. Do you think they would be good reads for men as well?

8 11 2007
Kelsey Hough

I’ve had a cold for a couple of weeks, so there hasn’t been much to post about. Since I seem to be almost well, though, I’m hoping to be able to update my blog more regularly.

Yes, I think Elisabeth Elliot’s books would be great reads for men as well. I know of several men who have highly recommend Elisabeth Elliot’s books. Most of her books aren’t writing specifically to women, they’re never “girly,” and in a good deal of them (even Passion and Purity) she cites letters and journal entries her husband Jim wrote, so even though he passed away before any of her books were published, he’s still able to have input.

I think a great book for anyone to start with who hasn’t read much of Elisabeth Elliot’s writings is Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot. It’s a great book. 🙂


8 11 2007

ditto this post. I read the book for the 1st time in early highschool too. It continues to challenge me. God bless you, Kelsey!

27 11 2007

Hi Kelsey,
Thanks for visiting my blog and directing me to yours! I like this article on Passion and Purity — I really enjoyed that book. Another one perfect for single girls who are waiting with no knight in sight is “Before You Meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Mally. I love books on purity, but often I think girls feel a need to read every one of them, and then their focus remains on their alone-ness and not on God. Sarah’s book is for what to do while your waiting. Maybe you want to check it out!
I’ll keep in touch with you hopefully.

2 12 2007
Rachel Marie

Excellent book review! P&P is a favorite of mine, and has really blessed and encouraged my spiritual walk. I’m so glad a friend reccommended it to me a couple years ago! While I wholly agree with the previous commenter about Sarah Malley’s book, and love it myself, I appreciate the practical emphasis that E.E. shares in her book, P&P. Really, those two books can greatly compliment each other! 🙂
Again, great review, and I appreciate your blog, Kelsey! Keep it up! Love and blessings in Jesus!

21 12 2007

I too love Passion and Purity, and Elisabeth Elliot. Great recommendation.

3 04 2009

Only Eternity will show how blessings everyone – who read this great book- got.
Thank you soooooooo much Mrs Elliot for sharing ur own experience, I was so much affected of what u wrote..I was crying and Praying after each Chapter…God was talking to me in a very clear voice through ur book. Really, You are an awesome woman, as well as Jim Elliot whose life is inspiring me , and not i only but manyyyyyyyyyy all over the world.. Keep Going on for God’s Glory..I recommended the book “Passion and Purity” for many sisters..God Bless you Richlyyyyy

8 06 2009

God bless Elisabeth Elliot! I read this book in college (1985) on the recommendation of friend and it profoundly effected my dating relationships from that point on. I have and will continue to recommend it to others. Another book I can highly recommend is No Regrets: A Guide to Healthy Relationships in a Seductive World by Paul Abner.

25 12 2009

I completely agree. Passion and Purity is a great read for anyone who is in doubt of God’s plan for them and a future spouse. I read it when I was happily in a relationship in high school and still got so much out of it about not rushing into things. I have since reread it in my college years and found that I highlighted completely different things this go round. It is a book I will be referring back to till the day I have a ring on my finger.

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