- Winepress Publishing
Dr. Kenneth Ryan wants to help young women, Christian and non-Christian alike, avoid falling into the glamor of sexual intimacy.
He has a new book out, titled Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads in which he acknowledges that Scripture, purity rings and abstinence pledges just aren’t enough to keep women away from making the wrong choices when it comes to relationships.
“In theory, the fact that the Bible clearly tells Christians that sex is only for marriage, should be enough. If God says don't do it, we shouldn’t do it,” he said. “In reality, very few young women are spiritually mature enough to make that decision and hold true to it based entirely on their spiritual state.
“Both strong believers and nominal believers need reassurance that God's plan really does make sense.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009, 46 percent of high school students had ever had sexual intercourse. A 2008 report also revealed that among teenage girls, one in four has a sexually transmitted disease.
Young people are often told that pre-marital sex is a bad idea. But giving them facts about STDs and pregnancy now seems to be almost ineffective in a culture where sex is being promoted and where abstinence is not portrayed as a good and honorable option.
Remove religion, pregnancy and STDs from the reasons to abstain, and Ryan contends there is still “plenty” to talk about.
“Whatever we have been telling our young women, it hasn’t been working. Statistically, Christians have pre-marital sex almost as often as non-Christians,” Ryan, who has experience in pre-marital counseling, noted.
“It takes a lot more than getting a purity ring and agreeing with your parents or pastor to keep your virginity until marriage. Each woman must make that serious decision herself.”
Understanding the dynamics of a relationship is key, he stressed.
"They need to understand what's going on because in their own bodies and emotionally they need to understand the difference between them [as women,] and the guys that they are going out with," he said.
There is a clear difference between men and women when it comes to their emotional and physical responses to sex, he said. Men are relatively simple when it comes to sex while women are more complex and fragile.
He lamented, however, that "women in our generation are ignorant and misguided” with most of the information they get coming from pop culture and “from peers that are just as ignorant as they are."
“Our culture has gradually convinced women that they can and should have sex as freely as men have wanted them to over the course of history,” he explained. “Women have bought that lie, engaged in sex freely and then wondered why their hearts and self-esteem are shredded and lying on the floor.”
Young women, he said, need to be aware of the emotional dangers of sex, and not just the physical.
Women, unfortunately, “underestimate the power of sex,” he lamented.
“God made sex powerful for a reason. If you don't understand the power of sex, you will probably get burned ... eventually.”
What Ryan presents in his book are all of the reasons why premarital sex is a bad idea – such as “if you treat sex as a casual thing, it loses its meaning.”
He cautions: sex is like duct tape. “Essentially, sex was designed to bind us permanently with one person; then each time you have sex with someone and then you walk away from it, it gets that much easier to walk away from your spouse in the future and it just loses some of the impact" just like duct tape loses its adhesiveness, he explains.
Ryan, the father of three teenage daughters, specifically explores five mistakes women make when it comes to relationships.
A common mistake women tend to make is waiting passively for their “Prince Charming” to come knocking on their door is another common mistake, he said. But so is being too aggressive.
Another common mistake is having the belief that sex is a better way of getting to know a person and a way of making sure they are sexually compatible with a man.
”A lot of people would agree that casual sex doesn't make any sense but a lot of smart and intelligent people believe that that is truly the best thing to do," he said.
He added, “In reality when finding out more about the person, about the character, everything you need to find out about a person as far if you are compatible, you can find out without sleeping with each other."
Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads: How to Find a Quality Guy Without Getting Your Hearts Shredded is slated for release next month. The book is designed to appeal to all audiences, regardless of religious beliefs, as Ryan addresses practical matters that affect every woman.
He underscored, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian or not, abstinence is still a good idea. Some of it depends on how it’s taught but I think it would be really damaging in our culture if we gave up on that.”