Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman by Leslie Ludy is a very encouraging book for teenage girls and young single women who long to find their prince and are longing to feel the chivalry from old tales.
When I started to read this book, I put myself in the mindset of when I was a single teenager. It would be really hard to relate to this book otherwise since I’ve been married for over seven years and was single for only a small portion of my life. Leslie Ludy starts the book out explaining how as a child she loved the idea of becoming a princess, but as she became a pre-teen, her idea of finding a guy with prince-like character started to fall apart as she watched the way young boys in her school treated girls around her. Many girls around her started to receive attention from guys through flirting and being sexual towards them. She shares bits and pieces of her own experiences as well as observations and memories of her own peers.
“To them [teenage guys in her school], purity was something to be ridiculed and carefully avoided, like a smelly, scab-encrusted vagrant. For years, I waffled between the two extremes. I tried to follow the ‘rule’ of purity, not really knowing why, and at the same time show the world that I was like them-scornfully rejecting anything that smacked of set-apartness.”
She lost me for a while when she explained how she found her Prince underneath a tree. Although she explained in the introduction of the book that Jesus is our Prince, her wording was very imaginative and a little spacey for me during her constant expression of an “inner sanctuary”. I understood her point, but her descriptions just seemed out there, but then again, I loved it because sometimes I talk in the same way about Jesus. . .since He is not of this world and neither should we be of it.
“‘Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ Instead of trying to satisfy the desires of our heart through meaningless pursuits, we must delight completely in the amazing love of our true Prince-as we focus on Him, we will be more than fulfilled.”
Leslie Ludy does her best to portray how so many girls seem to want romance and the pursuit of filling their lives with being happy in a relationship rather than finding happiness through Jesus Christ who will provide the guy to be in a relationship with in time. I really enjoyed this, because we try our best to portray the same message at Ruby-Eyed Okapi to boys, girls, men, and women of all ages.
Authentic Beauty covers how to deal with temptation, encourages girls to not just save their virginity for marriage, but to work on staying away from wanting to be sexual in any circumstance; living their entire lives set-apart for the Lord! She uses some examples from real women who stood their ground as they lived their lives for Jesus, forsaking themselves in the process.
“Even if we do not see any Christlike warrior-poets in our life, we must not lower our standards and settle for less in a guy. Our Prince is more than capable of bringing our warrior-poet into our life in His own perfect way, if His plan and purpose for us is marriage.”
The end of the book has a lot of very good information on the importance of having a time of worship, prayer, and learning the Bible (including journalizing and memorizing scriptures).
In a few sections of the book there are notes to go download and check out different things at Leslie & Eric Ludy’s website authenticgirl.com where the couple gives insight from both of their perspectives. They have many other books, a blog, a magazine, etc. They are very passionate about encouraging young girls towards purity through living set-apart lives.
I rate this book 3.25 stars out of 5 stars!