I received this e-mail over the weekend and was greatly encouraged! I asked for permission to share this with my readers.
Here's a young man striving for emotional integrity with the young women of his church. For my young women readers, be encouraged that there are men out there with who desire emotional purity in their life!
I just finished reading your book after it was recommended to me by a friend. She recommended I pass it along to the guys in my church group because, we are mostly in our early to mid-20's, dating is approaching fast for many of them and with it being a guys and girls group it can be easy for emotional relationships to happen.
God has put this on my heart only a few months ago. Just over 2 years ago I started coming to the church group I currently attend after turning away from God. He has done a rapid change in my life and the new season I am in God is hammering home the point of emotional purity. Ever since I started "crushing" on girls, in 6th grade, my mind has always easily gone to planning dates and even to marriage, in my mind.
Growing up with those thoughts continually, without ever thinking about them as wrong or damaging it has continued all the way up to now, being 24, and really wanting to date a specific girl in my church group. One of the reasons why I started coming to the church group was because of her and I somewhat used that to get closer to her and get to know her. As I became more serious for God I felt it as more of a burden, distraction, and something that would cause my emotions to become a roller coaster from infatuation to hurt to frustration to jealousy.
I finally got the go-ahead after a dream I had to tell her how I felt. I had never done that before and was really nervous as to what to say or do but I felt God's grace covering me and I knew it was absolutely blessed. After I told her, I felt immediate relief and that I could go forward in whatever God's will was for my life and really get serious for Him without that major distraction.
I still never really understood laying it down until I read your book and now I pray many times a day that God helps me become "emotionally single" where my thoughts don't go to dating her in my mind, talks we would have, dates we could go on, how I would propose etc. (Growing up listening to R'n'B and watching too much romantic T.V. shows has brought this out in me, but I know God has given me so much love to give as well and I am so grateful for that)
Also, realizing that saving my money and not spending frivolously is a key to being ready for a relationship and marriage. I feel extremely challenged, but also so excited and motivated seeing where God has placed me in my life and how He is sculpting me for marriage. I have never felt such joy and peace in my life just noticing how He is working.
Although I have crossed lines of thought with this girl in my mind where I have given way too much time to it and parts of me that I am struggling to get back I know God is doing things in my life, revealing things and teaching me different lessons daily to help me grow.
I know you probably have a majority of girls reading your book and responding but I just wanted you to know that I am very grateful for the words God has spoken through you. I have a new perspective on what my role is a brother in Christ as well as what my role will be as a husband. I am so motivated to put these things into practice now with my family and friends, share this with them and make sure I am a strong brother to my sisters making sure no one, especially myself is crossing any lines and stealing anything from them and their future husbands.