Friday, September 11, 2015

Unashamed by Jessie Minassian

I used to do youth ministry.  One of the first things I learned and the thing I found shocking about young people in the church was that these kids were all dealing with something huge.  It might have been a secret they were hiding like an eating disorder, cutting, or addiction to porn, or it could be a secret they were keeping for a friend.  If you were an adult with a safe listening ear, you heard everything.

That is one reason why I was excited to read the book Unashamed:  Overcoming the Sins No Girl Wants to Talk About by Jessie Minassian.  In this book, Minassian talks about different sins and struggles that most teen girls have a hard time talking about, such as sexual sin, self-harm or addiction, but most of the discussion in the book is generic enough to apply to any difficult sin or struggle.  The discussion focuses mainly on sin and the freedom God offers those of us wrapped up in even the worst sin.

For parents or youth workers who may be concerned about topics being inappropriate for your girls, know that the bulk of the book focuses on the theology of sin, forgiveness, repentance, and who we are in Christ.  I recommend that you follow up with whoever you may give this book to and ask if they have any questions.  That way, if they didn't understand the theology, you can address that, but also if they want to share more about their issue or have questions about any of the more personal topics in the book, they can talk about that.  I'll be completely honest, though, there was nothing in this book that I felt like the average public school 8th grader wouldn't have at least heard about, but use your judgement.  I have a feeling, though, that if the girl is struggling with these kind of issues, she knows about the rest as well.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any youth worker or parent who suspect they know a girl dealing with these more personal issues.  I also recommend it for any girl grade 7 and up, who may be dealing with these issues or who may have a close friend struggling through them.  This is not a book, though, to simply give the girl and forget about her.  PLEASE check in with the girl periodically to make sure she is okay.  It may feel awkward, but you may be her only lifeline.

I was provided this book free of charge by NavPress in return for my honest review.

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