The Bible states in Philippians 4:8 “ … whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Michelle Sutton has written the third in her Sacred Vows series, Decision to Love from the standpoint of our physical and emotional relationships with others.
With two hundred and forty-seven pages, this paperback book has a photograph of a white bed with white pillows on the front jacket. The back cover has three paragraphs about the book along with an author biography and small photograph. Due to the own author’s statement that it is “edgy” fiction and its topics of adultery, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, masturbation and abortion, it may not be suitable for young teenagers or naïve readers even though it is Christian-based.
This tome is the third book in the series, which takes place seven years after the second book where Hope and Tony had an extramarital affair that rocked their own marriages. Hope and James remained married and try to overcome his sexual inadequacies that caused Hope to stray. Their son Jimmy is now nineteen and off to his first semester at college, confused about his own sexuality. Tony, divorced due to his bi-sexual wife’s relationships, has a son age ten whose mother has abandoned him for the love of any man that comes along.
Like a current day soap-opera, Tony runs to the aid of his son’s mother when she has been attacked and dies and he is put in jail for her murder. There he befriends a chaplain who leads him to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that utterly changes his life. At the same time, Jimmy, away from his Christian parents, dabbles in relationships with men, thinking he is homosexual. When Jimmy and his boyfriend go home for Christmas and they confront his protective father about their sexuality, harsh words are spoken. After the two boys leave, the father has a fatal heart attack, causing Hope to think her past sinful relationship with Tony is why Jimmy became gay and somehow her fault but accepts and loves her son no matter his affections. Tony gets in touch with his long-lost daughter from Italy who comes to America to have a secret abortion and becomes Jimmy’s best friend when his gay relationships go awry, causing more complications between Hope, Tony and Tony’s new Christian love.
With the storyline having some Biblical verses and discussions on forgiveness of our sins, our challenges to be more like God and the unconditional acceptance of His love, there is a plethora of several types of sexual bedroom scenarios instead of the pure love we as Christians should be dwelling and thinking about in our Christian walk. A reader may question if the book edifies and glorifies Christ or does it visualize and promote the various sexual encounters it describes with too much detail.