By: Michael Clairborne
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: October 2010
Reviewed by Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 30, 2010
If there were maps to overcome struggles of any sort we’d all rush out to purchase them, but sadly enough there are no such maps. Unfortunately many Christians find themselves at odds with any number of problems in their lives, but the ones concerning their sexuality are especially mystifying and difficult to solve. There are no easy solutions, but with determination, a Bible, and the sage advice provided in Michael Clairborne’s new book, A Christian’s Guide to Overcoming Sexual Struggle, it can be done. Perhaps you might be pondering the likes of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker and asking yourself, if they have no scruples, why should I even consider reining in my sexuality and save myself for “the one?”
There are numerous reasons you should refrain from casual sexual encounters and instead think about yourself, your relation to Christ, and your future lifetime partner. According to Clairborne, “we are in fact responsible for the affects that it has on our own spirit at a later point in our lives.” (pg. 25) We are indeed moving into an era where sex before marriage appears to be perfectly acceptable, but just how much emotional baggage do you want to carry with yourself into a marriage? Into your old age? Denying responsibility for your own actions will ultimately insure a good dose of heartbreak and the possibility of leading a very lonesome life in the years to come.
The Bible is very clear about its stance on sex outside of marriage and issues such as divorce or homosexuality according to Clairborne, who purposefully attempts to guide the wayward Christian toward a path that will ultimately result in happiness and freedom from sexual struggle. He claims that “The more you try to change yourself into something that you think is beautiful, the more you will move away from the person that God intended you to be.” (pg. 52) If you eventually want a “God sanctified relationship” you have to develop your relationship foremost with Christ, invite him into your heart, and begin to work.
Clairborne asks the reader to examine his own behavior and think about a lifestyle change stating that “If you do not have a relationship with God, then do not expect the Lord to send you a life partner.” (pg. 125) Even a “super Christian” can be in pain struggling with his sexuality. In this book you will learn how to journal, how to transition into several healing stages, how to build a relationship with the Lord, how to avoid and remove yourself from today’s temptations, you’ll learn to use your Bible as a weapon against temptation, you’ll learn to differentiate between thought and action, the fact that your sexuality is a choice, the power of prayer, and much more! If you want to move away from your spiritual and sexual struggles, this book is the perfect place to start.
The easy, conversational style adopted by Clairborne makes the information this guide has to offer easy to read and absorb. I appreciated the fact that he stayed away from the sermon or lecture format and instead chose to gently assist the reader on his journey to overcoming sexual struggle. A Christian’s Guide to Overcoming Sexual Struggle is not a sex manual, but rather a book in which thoughts about sexuality are explored from the individual's perspective in relation to Biblical teachings and mores. Another aspect of the book that I liked was that Clairborne spoke from a point of view that came from many difficult experiences in his own life, including a life as a “club hopper.” One who has experienced hardship, especially in the realm of sexual struggle, is in the best position to guide others. There were a couple of areas in which he lost ground when he went a bit overboard expressing a point in which a select readership would most likely agree with him. Some editorial assistance would have helped tighten up this work nicely, but I did find it to be quite well thought out, it made many excellent points, and will be a definite asset to any Christian reader who is looking for help.
Quill says: If you are a Christian (even a “super one"), this is a casual guide in which you can assuredly find some sage guidance, especially if you are hoping for a God sanctified, life partner in your future!