As we stray further from traditional relationship culture into a world of hook-ups and a fear of commitment, I know we can all agree today’s culture is in need of serious help. Last fall, I had the opportunity to hear Sarah Swafford, the author of Emotional Virtue: A Guide to Drama-Free Relationships speak on my campus. I knew right away this was a book I needed to add to my list.

Her warm personality spoke truth into a topic that has been how broken our culture has become and how it is affecting all of us. After that night, I bought her book. I could not wait to dive deeper into many of the topics she talked about.

The book itself is broken up into three major parts: The Attack, The Answers, and the Avenue. Each part builds on the last, going from discussing the reality of culture today to what does it mean for the future to applicable advice and steps we can all apply to our live. Many of her examples and background comes from her time working with young people and from conversations she has had with those during events. These real-life examples help pull in the reader and helps them relate even more to what she is writing.

This book, for both men and women, addresses many of the issues in society For example, a big part of her argument focuses on what she calls the “Cycle of Use” and how we can shift our focus to not use people as it is so common in our culture. When she talks about this, both in her book and in person, she addresses how men use women and how women use men. This perspective allows for readers to truly understand how deep the issues go in our culture when it comes to relationships.

Part two asks a question that not many have actually taken time to think about: what is virtue? This was one of my favorite parts of this book as she goes into what not only it means, but how it applies to her argument. The practical advice she gives in this section really hits home for those looking to fight against our current dating culture.

Finally, in part three, Sarah Swafford pulls it all together, showing the reader how to go forward after reading this book. In this part, she also addresses the “The Gray Area,” you know, the place where you are talking but aren’t dating exactly.

Overall, I love how this book pulls in beliefs of Christians and applies it to the good and the bad of our dating culture today. While some of it may seem harsh or drastic, it is the truth that many people today need to hear Sarah Swafford challenges common beliefs and assumptions with truth.

You can find the book here.

Bailey L
Bailey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who enjoys writing, traveling, and coffee. When she isn't working, you can find her with her nose in a book or planning her next adventure.

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