Sex, Jesus and the Conversations the Church Forgot (Book Review)
Mo Isom is a popular blogger, a national speaker and the New York Times best-selling author of Wreck My Life. A former All-American goalkeeper for the Louisiana State University soccer team, she has been featured in Sports Illustrated and has appeared on many cable channels. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Jeremiah Aiken and their two daughters.
Isom is a millennial generation Christian who tells with fierce honesty what it was like for her to grow up in today’s youth culture of rampant pornography
and campus hook-ups. Out of the darkness and emptiness of this experience, she has become a passionate advocate for holiness, purity and the joys of living out God’s plan for the gift of human sexuality.
Rather than the familiar and insufficient messages of the church to “wait until marriage” or to provide youth with a checklist of “don’ts”, Isom challenges her readers to dive more deeply into God’s word to examine the “Whys”. Why did God invent sexuality in the first place? Why should we listen to his Word? Why should anyone be motivated to follow God’s word? The positive, life-affirming message of human sexuality found in the scriptures is strangely neglected leaving many young adults to follow their own lights and define their own identities. Isom testifies to the disastrous results in her own life. She writes, “If we aren’t aware of our deep-seated value and worth in God’s eyes at our creation, then the temptation to define our own identity will always rob us of the purity called from us first.” The greatest why for purity is rooted in God’s great love for us.
Isom deftly expounds on key scriptures from creation, the gospels and Paul’s letters. As she does she illustrates the goodness and truth of the word with the bleak experiences of her life. It makes for a riveting narrative that speaks powerfully to today’s young adults. It is hard for people like me to imagine the pressures of dating, relationships and sexuality in the 21st century. The baggage of guilt and negative experience nearly destroyed her eventual courtship and marriage. Things have changed dramatically and Isom’s book is a helpful eye-opener to the struggles of millennial's and the hope of the Gospel.
Isom takes full responsibility for her life:
"I don’t blame the conversations that the church forgot as the catalysts of the roller-coaster ride that was my sexual testimony. I don’t blame the men involved. I don’t blame the pain others caused. I don’t blame the father who abandoned me. I don’t blame TV or movies or music or social media. I don’t blame friends. I don’t blame family. I don’t even blame a world that force-fed me dark and broken things.
My sexual struggles were a result, from the very beginning of my sin-nature. My wants. My thoughts. My actions. My pride. My choices. My rebellion. My desperation for affirmation. My desires. My decision to make myself the god of my own story.
The conductor of my decades-long sexual train wreck was me. But I, my friend, have been redeemed."
Isom’s story is a book for every young adult and every parent. She offers us the brutal therapy of today’s sexual realities. She is a living witness to an awakened soul who found hope in God and the vision of a completely new life lived in a wholly blessed direction. To God be the glory.