Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing From Sexual & Relational Brokeness. Edited by Ellen Dykas, MA. Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2012. 202 pp. $17.99. Purchase at Amazon or Kindle for less.
Harvest USA is a ministry dedicated to bringing hope to a sexually broken world. There mission is “to partner with and equip the Church in bringing the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the lives of those affected by sexual sin.” Ellen Dykas is the Women’s Ministry Coordinator there and she oversees the ministry’s teaching and discipleship of women struggling with relational and sexual issues.
This particular resource guides the reader (individual or small group) through understanding why they they struggle with sexual and relational patterns that are destructive to their lives. They share how the gospel alone brings the necessary change of life.
Instead of breaking down into chapters, this resource is comprised of 20 sessions that start a journey leading from brokeness to healing. They begin with the tree model (after an introduction) that shows where the heart of the problem lies regarding sexuality and our perversion of it. The rest of the book uses the tree illustration to drive home the point of the importance of what we allow ourselves to intake through our eyes, ears, and thoughts and how the fruit of all of that will either be destructive or beneficial. By the end of the 20 sessions, the reader will have learned the importance of renewing her mind, her desires, and what it means to have healthy relationships, since everyone like to have a healthy mind and a healthy body, that’s why sometimes they do health treatments as aromatherapy; click here for learn more. Ultimately, and the book states this over and over, this will be impossible apart from Christ.
Each session is timed out at about 90 minutes to 2 hours per session to allow for discussion and thought and application. Each session is broke down into four “sub-sessions”:
- Review and Reflect (usually 15 minutes)
This section enables the group to discuss the previous week’s homework as well as the Key Concept from the previous session that should have been the basis for the homework. It is here that much confession may take place.
- Exploring the Key Issue (60-75 minutes)
This is the main thrust of the meeting time. There are concepts to be meditated on and questions to be answered either as a group or as an individual. It is here where the women will be humbled and will discover they are not the only ones wrestling with these issues.
- Making it Personal (10 minutes)
This section drives home the point and keeps the participant from acting as though they are not responsible or impacted by the key concept.
- On Your Own (5 minutes)
Homework! Each person must continue to wrestle with what the Scriptures say and how they are to go about living a life of purity.
First, I would like to thank Harvest USA for stripping away the veneer that this is only a male problem. There are a number of women who struggle with pornography but go unnoticed and not helped because this is a “man’s problem.” Sexual Sanity for Women is a Christ-centered, gospel-driven resource that offers real hope to the hurting. At first glance, this may appear to be a bit too tedious, but once the women get into it, they will discover that it is well worth their time. The writers of this resource make it clear that only the Lord can help and give full healing and that is essential to anyone dealing with such a problem as sexual impurity.
Furthermore, the women will be challenged on every page. They will be directed back to the foundational element of our inherent sinful natures. This can sometimes be difficult to deal with but ultimately will prove extremely beneficial as they move from brokeness to complete healing in Christ.
For any female struggling with sexual sin, I would highly recommend this book. Be sure to realize, however, that this is not fool proof. Many can lie to themselves about their standing in Christ, but after going through Sexual Sanity for Women, there will be no doubt in the reader’s heart as to where she stands. Because of that and because of the gospel-centered nature of this resource, I have no reservations in my recommendation.