"If I had a house fire, this would be one of the first things I'd grab," says Shannon Ethridge, leafing through the scrapbook cradled on her lap. The album's filled with handwritten letters and snapshots from the young women she's taught as a guest lecturer and mentor at Teen Mania Ministries in Lindale, Texas. They're thanking her for the impact her message of purity has had on their lives.
Shannon, an abstinence advocate, counselor, and former youth pastor, first broke the silence on female sexual temptation with her groundbreaking book, Every Woman's Battle, published in 2003. In it she dispelled the notion it was a male-only problem by candidly describing her personal struggles with sexual integrity. She continues to share her story and the lessons she's learned through a series of frank books that explore how to maintain sexual integrity in our sex-saturated culture. They include Every Young Woman's Battle and the newly released Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle (all WaterBrook).
Although the pixie-ish 37-year-old became a Christian as a child, she admits, "I was saved, but like so many teens, I fell away from the faith." After years of promiscuity, at age 21 Shannon experienced a life-changing encounter with Christ and became involved in youth ministry. A short while later, she met and married Greg, her husband of 15 years. But to her surprise, even after marriage she still found herself "looking for love in all the wrong places."1