Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control” as Want to Read:
Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  16,678 ratings  ·  470 reviews
Very few books on dating have stood the test of time like Passion and Purity. Its much-needed message remains strong and hopeful in an age when doing whatever "feels right" is common practice. Using her own life as an example, Elisabeth Elliot guides singles of both genders and of any age on how to put their love lives under the authority of Jesus Christ.
Passion and
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published 1984)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Passion and Purity, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,678 ratings  ·  470 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is my second time reading this. In my first attempt, I think I had zero interest...this time, it's with a spirit of brokenness that opened my heart to what Elisabeth Elliot has to say about love and relationship.

Some said that her standards are too high... perhaps that's how purity is; it's either achieved or not at all.

What if that just how HIGH God's standard is anyway? What if it is meant to be possible for every single one of us?

If you already have in mind what love is all about -
Every young person should read this book. Like, seriously. ❤ ...more
Jason Sixsmith
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What a breath of fresh air. In a society plagued with hedonism an earnest Christian can find great difficulty in knowing how to find a spouse. Between this book and Joshua Harris' " I Kissed Dating Goodbye" it became a relief to know that I was not alone in my disapproval for post-modern romance.
Abigayle Claire
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely the only book of this sort I've ever read twice, let alone binge-read twice. The personal anecdotes and plethora of diary, song, and Scripture quotations make it that much richer. For me, this book provides a foundation for why I live the way I do and acknowledges that it's hard to do so! The nice thing is, you're not just being preached at. The author understands--she struggled, overcame (but not without things she wished they'd done differently), and now she's sharing her ...more
{4.5 stars}

First thoughts: "Why haven't I read this book before now?" But then it dawned on me that I needed it would not have had the same effect a few years ago.

Mid-way thoughts: "Honestly, no one can love like that." But then I realized that it is the pure kind of love and passion God expects of us.

Three-fourth thoughts: "Jim, just marry her for goodness sake!" I was really getting impatiant for them to get married, but then I had to ask myself if I'd be willing to allow the Lord to
Nellie Anne
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Good message, but I disagree with details. I think Elliot's overall message is good and true. As a single-but-waiting-on-the-Lord 29-year-old, I agree with the ideas of waiting on His timing and leading. I also disagree with much of what goes on in modern relationships, and think it needs addressing. However, my issues with this book are that, first of all, Jim Elliot was rather pompus in his pursuit of Elisabeth. I hate saying that, since he was a martyr for the cause of Christ. Men are the ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to say that this is the second most influential and beneficial book I have read (after the Bible). Not only is Mrs. Elliot an extraordinary writer she has the amazing gift of wrapping a story inside of a group of ideas that once discovered seem so natural and plain.

While reading this book, I was overwhelmed emotionally. Many times I was crying, at other times celebrating. But ultimately I was taken aback by such a wonderful story of two young people who so relied on the Lord that they
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: devotional
I was between twelve and fourteen when I read this book with my older sister. At the time, I found it to contain far too much passion and not enough purity. Today, all I can remember are stories about them sitting as close as possible together, etc. (before they decided not to do that anymore) and quotes from his letters to her that I found very disturbing at the time. He talked about how much he longed for her physically and that was the only side I could see to their relationship. When they ...more
Jason Shuttlesworth
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: esther swaty
Somewhat hard to read, nevertheless interesting. I agree with 100% of everything she says and if everyone took her advice, society would be much much more stable. It seems like the best idea in the world to never tell a girl 'I love you' unless you're next few words are 'Will you marry me?'

I think this is what my situation will be like...unless I join a monastery first.

The book really makes you realize how valuable chastity is. I saw the Hope Diamond on display the day after I bought this book.
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this about a year and a half ago. After looking at the subtitle, I was like, "Ummm is this for me? I don't have a love life, but I guess one day I will so I guess it won't hurt to read it." Since I've never dated and have high standards for myself and my future husband, I thought this book would not convict me, but I was wrong. So much of this book can be applied to every area of life. "Do I love God more than anything and everyone? Would I be willing to give up someone I love for the ...more
Rachelle Cobb
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I may upset a few Elliot fans here, but I actually didn't like Jim at first. It seemed to me as if he led Elisabeth on, and that upset me because I would much rather courtship be initiated by the interested gentleman when both parties are ready to pursue marriage. But the Elliots' commitment to Christ, purity, and the good of the other--though imperfect as all are--is inspiring.
Brice Karickhoff
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elisabeth Elliot is just the best. Most people would probably think she is outdated now or irrelevant. Hot take: I strongly disagree. Id say this is one of those books that makes Christian boys into Godly men. So if you care about that kind of thing, give it a look.
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
It has been awhile since I have read a "purity" book. I was excited to read it after hearing great things from a friend. I had heard of Jim Elliot before and seen the movie End of the Spear, but I didn't know that his wife, Elisabeth Elliot, has left quite a legacy of her own, through writing over twenty-five books! Although Jim died over fifty years ago, he lives on in the writings of Elisabeth.

Elisabeth Elliot writes an atypical work compared to other Christian purity literature. Many of
Josh Miller
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Several years ago, a respected friend in the pastorate (my youth pastor when I was a teen), recommended this book to me and told me it was the best book he had read on the love/dating/marriage relationship.

I tucked that tidbit of knowledge in the cranium and jumped at the opportunity to read this book when it came my way. I personally am not familiar with this level of Christianity when it comes to man/woman relationships. She writes of the path/journey with which she & Jim Elliot came to be
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Passion and Purity was recommended to me when I was attending Christian College right after high school. It's been just over 6 years now since I read it so I don't remember everything about the book but I do remember it being one of the best books I read that first year or Christian College and my very first tattoo was because of a line in the book that said "If your life is broken when given to Jesus it's because pieces can feed a multitude." That has been one of my favorite quotes since I read ...more
James Njoroge
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.

Wow! I'm greatly rebuked and encouraged at the same time. God help us walk in purity!
Jun 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is my impression of Elisabeth Elliot. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?! Eh? Eh?"

Well Ees, 1. I'm not a cow, and 2. there is a world (unlike one that you could possibly conceive of) in which human relationships can't be boiled down to crass economic metaphors!
Dave Mathews
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Come for the insight on consecrating your love life to God, stay for the broad-reaching, soul-sanctifying, often gut-wrenching truths about living a life of holiness and sacrifice for the sake of Christ.
Would I recommend the way Jim and Betty dated/courted to anyone on earth? No. But the truths that this book presents can still have massive impact on the way you view your life before Christ and the lot he has chosen for you. Read it!
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for singles assuming they are in love. This book is good for counselors to read while dealing with young people that are in love. A big word that they need to learn is 'patience' when questioning their relationship to each other. I recommend this book for teens.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A kind heart with God-focussed words, Scripture, letters, and quotes that help me focus my heart well. I enjoyed it, and would definitely read it again.
Ted Tyler
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wise mentor has been promoting this book for the past five or six years, so I finally decided to take him up on reading this book. At first, I just rolled my eyes at Elisabeth Elliot and her views on relationships, dating, and marriage. She came across as incredible old-fashioned and out of date. But, out of respect for my mentor, I kept pressing through. By the halfway point, I found that Mrs. Elliot was using Scripture, logic, and personal wisdom to make the case for restraint of our natural ...more
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dating, purity
This book was alot different than I expected, but was good overall. Elliot teaches us principles on waiting on the Lord and trusting in His timing, His promises and His plan from a very "girly" perspective. She shares her own dating/waiting, "already-not-yet" story of her relationship with Jim Elliot.

The book is filled with stories, letters and her own personal journals. It's a fast, interesting and intriguing read-- and whoever reads this (well, girls mostly) will grow to really be encouraged
Julie G
I read this book in high school and college when I was single, and thought it would be fun to reread it as the "book released in the year I was born" for the SBC. I thought I'd find it interesting to reread what I had highlighted and written in the margins when I was single now that I'm married, but didn't expect to get just a ton out of it since it's written for those who are single.

However, the book speaks so much to waiting, trusting God, and letting Him sustain you, that I ended up being
Stephanie Allen
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Stephanie by: Mat Jones, Katie Ellis, Amanda Soto
This is a wonderful, marvelous, fabulous, awesome book! I wish I had read this years ago. It would have saved me a lot of heartache and pain, even in my current relationship. This book teaches you how to be patient in singleness, how to love passionately and still remain pure, and how to conduct yourself in a godly manner. I have so much more respect for my boyfriend now than I did before I read this book. Jim Elliot, Elisabeth's first husband (he was killed in South America, in the mission ...more
This book had a deep impact on me when I read it in college. Several friends read it and there was a lot of discussion about it. I think the concept of saving as much as possible of the physical relationship for marriage was good...

However, there is something about Elisabeth Elliot that strikes me as very severe. It made me uncomfortable, and this feeling persisted through other books of hers that I read.

I would recommend this book as encouragement to a young person who is on track. However, I
Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
"I have spent the event by a little pool which held the silent sky in its heart. There was no ripple, no stir. Lord, let me be that pool."

Elisabeth Elliot has this marvelous ability to put the most profound and heart-stopping pieces of wisdom into succinct prose. Anyone who complains that they cannot wait, that they are lonely, that they worry, will be immediately reprimanded by the story of Elisabeth and Jim, waiting for God's will. I will definitely be reading this over again.
Ruth Rojas
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The leave the dearest objects of our hearts in the sublime keeping of the general and unspecific belief that God is now answering our prayers in His own time and way, and in the best manner, involves a present process of inward crucifixion which is obviously unfavorable to the growth and even the existence of the life of self.
T.C. Upham
Billy Ram
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone who wants to know Christ's perspective and authority in a relationship.
Maria Copeland
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent in its maturity and authenticity, this book is a sobering but stirring portrayal of handling well an exceptional relationship that lends guidance to other Christ-centered guy/girl relationships. Read cover-to-cover twice in the last three days, which I don't think you're supposed to do with books of a more devotional slant; you should give them some time to sink in; but oh well, I'll read it a third time if that's necessary.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Non-fiction/Christian living. This may be one of the shortest reviews I have written: Thank you, Ms. Elliot. Wow!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance
  • Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul
  • Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship
  • Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right
  • When God Writes Your Love Story
  • Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman
  • For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
  • Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul
  • Not Even a Hint: Guarding Your Heart Against Lust
  • And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity
  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  • Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
  • Stepping Heavenward
  • My Utmost for His Highest
  • Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating
  • Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks (Jesus Freaks, #1)
  • Redeeming Love
  • Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
See similar books…
From the Author's Web Site: My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials. ...more

News & Interviews

Twists, turns, and whodunits. We pride ourselves on recommending some great mysteries and thrillers here at the Goodreads office. So, we decided...
54 likes · 21 comments
“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” 287 likes
“I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence – easier sometimes than to wait patiently.” 146 likes
More quotes…