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Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity Review by Kris Price

Sarah Mally
Tomorrow's Forefathers
P.O. Box 11451
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410

Having grown up with dating presented as the ONLY method that would enable me to get to know someone well enough to determine if they were "the one" for me, I have always thought of the idea of courtship as just a little bit too weird for my kids. Never going on a date alone with someone? Unlikely! I mean, how does a person really get to know another person if they don't have time together to talk? Not kissing someone until your wedding day? Strange! However, most of my homeschooling friends are going to pursue this method of spouse-finding for their children, and so I have been curious enough to read several books on the topic. I won't discount something unless I have done my research and have valid reasons for doing so!

Before You Meet Prince Charming, authored by 26-year-old Sarah Mally, is a good book for an introduction to the idea of courtship. It is written to the young reader, not to the parent. It can be read by girls as young as age 9-10, because "intimate" details are not included. However, parents will probably want to preread the book, as they are the best judges of topics their children are ready to discuss. Miss Mally has done an excellent job of keeping the book interesting and the discussion flowing. Each chapter of the book contains a part of a story of a medieval princess and her quest for purity until she meets her prince. It is a wonderful story full of allegory and whimsy. My 12-year-old daughter really enjoyed this part of the book! Following this part of the chapter, Miss Mally discusses what the Bible has to say about purity and gives plenty of examples to highlight modern-day situations and how a young girl should deal with them. Testimonies from many young women are also included. Each chapter then ends with a suggested memory verse and assignment.

To be honest, after reading Before You Meet Prince Charming (and also Boy Meets Girl by Josh Harris to gain a male perspective on this issue), I'm a bit more open to some of the ideas of courtship. My husband and I will definitely discuss some of the values of courtship with our children as they were expressed in Miss Mally's book. No matter what you call it, whether it be "dating" or "courtship," neither should be undertaken until a person is ready to commit to marriage. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend at the age of 12 just seems so silly (and I did have a boyfriend when I was 12!). However, I honestly am not totally convinced that kissing needs to be delayed until the wedding day--that just seems a bit extreme to me.

I would recommend this book to those families who are seeking to avoid the typical dating scenario that is being played out in so many public schools at this time. In my opinion, children should definitely not be encouraged to pair off in elementary school, and most are not mature enough to deal with a relationship even in high school! So many children feel the pressure to grow up quickly, but Before You Meet Prince Charming gives plenty of evidence to the contrary and will be an encouragement to young ladies seeking a different path.

Product review by Kris Price, Assistant to the Publishers, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2006