Unfailing Love

What they want they take, any way they can get it. Where do they learn this? Some of them, sadly, from their parents, who have shed the responsibility of marriage, home, and children for another “lifestyle,” another partner, another career, another bid for the happiness that will always elude them. If a mother or father, by behavior, says in effect, “It’s my life, this is what I want, the rest of you be damned,” their children will follow suit. Who shows them another way?

It would be foolish to deny that there are some pleasures along that road. There is plenty of what people call fun. There are thrills, gratifications, “experiences.”

A road may seem straightforward to a man,
yet may end as the way to death.
Even in laughter the heart may grieve,
and mirth may end in sorrow.

There is another way: to love what God commands and desire what He promises. It can’t be found except through prayer and obedience. It cuts quite across the other way, takes us where things are not at the mercy of changing fashions and opinions. It is a place where a man’s heart may safely rest—and a woman’s heart too.

Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity (Revell, 2002), pp. 48-49.

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Elisabeth Elliot’s writing has greatly influenced my life, even as a grown married woman. I truly wish someone had introduced me to her works when I was a teenager, but I am learning that it is never too late to incorporate the principles she teaches: namely, that passion is not sinful and purity is not prudish. Nor are they mutually exclusive. You can have both.

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