Our fantasies, however, are not reliable guides into the future—they are actually rocky road maps from our past. Best-selling author Shannon Ethridge theorizes, “Fantasies are simply the brain’s way of trying to heal itself from unresolved tragedies and traumas. We mentally compartmentalize our pain to make room for pleasure.”
Fantasies have deep psychological roots, and if acted on many of them can do deep psychological damage. Rather than let fantasies rule us, let’s take out the sting and bring them under God’s rule, allowing the Lord to heal us from the brokenness and insecurities that cause inappropriate fantasies to haunt us.
Without being judgmental or condemning, Shannon helps us dissect several common and often-disturbing topics, such as:
• a distorted fascination with pornography
• the mental pursuit of multiple partners
• the lure of gay and lesbian desires
• bondage, domination, and sadomasochism (BDSM)
With tips for controlling unwanted fantasies and resources for providing a safe haven for recovery, The Fantasy Fallacy helps us recognize and heal our emotional pain and equips us to help others do the same.
|Contributor(s)||Shannon Ethridge, Stephen Arterburn (Foreword)|
|About the Contributor(s)||Shannon Ethridge
Shannon Ethridge is a best-selling author, speaker, and certified life coach with a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University. She has spoken to college students and adults since 1989 and is the author of 21 books, including the million-copy best-selling Every Woman's Battle series. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs and mentors aspiring writers and speakers through her BLAST Program. Twitter: @ShannonEthridge Facebook: shannonethridgefan
Stephen Arterburn (Foreword)
Steve Arterburn is host of New Life Live!, a radio and television program distributed across the country. He is a best-selling author with more than eight million books in print. He is also founder of Women of Faith®, a conference attended by more than four million women since its inception. Steve also serves as the teaching pastor of Heartland Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
|Release Date||Oct 16, 2012|
- Review by Sheyenne
Last summer has been dubbed by many the 50 Shades of Magic Mike summer. The "Fifty Shades of Gray" novels, which are about a young woman's journey into sexual fantasy exploration, were reaching pandemonium levels of fandom and a major film company had just released the movie "Magic Mike" about a company of male strippers. To say that both were gratuitous and graphic would be an understatement, though my commentary is only an assumption derived from the reactions of many others- I did not see or read either of these titles. But one thing I know for sure... it was the topic of much discussion in nearly every circle of women I encountered. From the hair salon to my Bible Study group, someone was saying something about one or the other. To be honest, I was shocked at the number of my friends who so cavalierly admitted to reading the 50 Shades novels, or to seeing Magic Mike. My heart broke a little each time, knowing that in most cases, my innocent friends had been desperately deceived into thinking that these exploitative variations on an otherwise sacred act were all just for fun, and that filling their minds with them would have no repercussions in the long run.
How thankful I am for Shannon Ethridge's book, The Fantasy Fallacy. Her response is the perfect voice of reason to respond to this latest phenomenon, and I was continually pleased with each chapter of her book. The book delves into the deeper meaning behind sexual thoughts and desires. Most of the time, its men who these types of books are written for. But the hunger with which the 50 Shades books- and others like them- were met with are evidence that it is not just a man's problem. So what is the big deal? Fantasies can't really hurt anyone because they're not real, right? Shannon Ethridge does a great job of laying the foundation for which the rest of the book is built upon, and that is: Sexuality is God's invention. We know it is supposed to be great and wonderful and pure, but in a world so saturated with sin, what does a godly sexual relationship with ourselves and significant other look like? She takes the reader through many different points & scenarios, interweaving real case studies from her years of experience and counseling. Though her approaches to many of the subjects seem clinical at first, they are paired with a true story or examples from real people, which help bring it all together. Shannon doesn't wholly condemn fantasy, rather, she suggests boundaries, and seeking the reasons behind some of the fantasies people may have. I appreciate that she does not shy away from difficult topics like pornography, sexual violence and same-sex attraction. In my opinion, each topic is met with compassionate but biblically sound advice that does not leave room for errant interpretation.
This book is definitely not a 'light read'. It takes time to process what you're reading and much of it can be very heartbreaking. But, it is a topic that comes up so flippantly in conversation these days. As such, I was glad to have read this book so that when the opportunity does come up again, I can have an opinion to share that is both different from the world, but also educated. While this may not be the book for everyone, it is a great answer to the questions so many women seem to be asking these days.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. (Posted on 1/15/13)
- Review by Marlee-Amanda
After reading The Fantasy Fallacy I’m more convinced than ever that we need to open up more about “what’s going on between our ears.” The Fantasy Fallacy pulls back the curtains and sheds much needed light on a once dark and lonely place in the minds of most human beings . . . the world of sexual fantasy. This book serves as an ice-breaker to give courage to those who feel trapped and controlled by their fantasies to discover the roots and break free from the bondage they create. The Fantasy Fallacy exchanges the label of “FREAK” for “HUMAN” and in doing so gives voice and power back to those desperately trying to find their way out of the tangled web of the fantasy world. For some it will serve as a GPS to freedom, for others it will serve as a loudspeaker to confirm what they already know and wake them up to the solutions they have been ignoring.
Whether you are Christian struggling with guilt and condemnation from yourself or the church, or whether you are just the average person with no spiritual or religious affiliation; The Fantasy Fallacy is a MUST READ. Anyone who is a human being can and will benefit from reading this book. Whether you discover new principles for overcoming unhealthy fantasy or whether you are just building on a previously laid foundation, I can assure you this book is worth the read. The Fantasy Fallacy gives everyone the permission to be human, the courage to be honest, and the things we need to navigate our way from bondage to freedom.
One cannot thank Shannon enough for answering the call of God and writing this book. The world has needed her bravery, her honesty, and her obedience. Thank you for daring to venture into taboo territory and by doing so freeing many captives.
(Posted on 10/27/12)
- Review by Jessica
Today's age is bombarded with sexual innuendo and explicitness at every turn. It is becoming more and more extreme, like chasing the dragon, and people are trying to follow it in their bedroom. It is something that is an epidemic in the "real world" but something rarely addressed in the church. With this book Shannon opens the door to an equal playing field for both sides of the line to openly talk about and understand the elephant in the room, our fantasies, and how to deal with them properly.
She has provided very thorough research on the psychology behind our thoughts that is worded for everyone to understand and real life, intimate testimonies that makes the reader know that they aren't the odd man out and not the only one having these thoughts. Shannon encourages us to glean the lessons from facing your past that your fantasies are trying to heal itself from.
This is a highly, highly recommended book for anyone out there. It's something that relates to all! (Posted on 10/22/12)
- Review by Elizabeth
I especially appreciate the chapter examining the "softer side of God", God as perfect Mother as well as Father, and Ethridge's practical tips for allowing God's grace (power to avoid sin in the first place) into our sexual and relational temptations.
Through *The Fantasy Fallacy*, Ethridge not only gives a timely response to the *50 Shades of Grey* phenomenon, she also offers so much more... an invitation for readers to honestly and compassionately (re)examine their sexual fantasies as a tool for discovering the beautiful, God-given gifts of true sexual and spiritual intimacy. (Posted on 10/18/12)
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