Book Plunge: In Pursuit of Love

What do I think of Rebecca Bender’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Years ago a group called AM Radio had a song called “I Just Wanna Be Loved.” The only reason I know this is because it was on the Talon Mix, the first CD put out from the series Smallville. AM Radio definitely hit on something. Everyone has a longing in their life to be loved.

Rebecca Bender is included in that. She was a successful student in school and everything seemed to be going well, until she got pregnant by her boyfriend and for some reason he wound up in jail so she’s a single mother looking to find a means to provide for herself. As it turns out, she meets a guy she thinks is awesome and they start living together and then he talks about getting a job in Vegas. She has to come along and turns out, he gets her to sign up for an escort service. Gotta pay the bills somehow. Right?

And thus begins her life as a prostitute.

I really don’t want to go much beyond that in terms of story, but it is a story of redemption. Bender describes the role Christianity played in all of this because there’s never any moment in the book where she comes to Jesus. It’s as if she’s someone who already came to Jesus and knows she’s being a prodigal, but she has no idea how to escape.

Reading books like this are always gripping. You really do see the mind control that goes on in this situation. The pimps these women get caught up with control them with abuse and then promises of love and marriage and children. Aside from the abuse, it’s fake and self-serving. These pimps also abuse over the tiniest things. If there’s a little dust on a windowsill, then it’s time for abuse.

And no one deserves that.

You wonder why they stay? Often, they don’t have any idea where to go. Their lives are that controlled and all of their hope comes from the pimp that they are with. They all want desperately to earn his approval, and yet the pimp looks at them and just sees money and victims.

Bender also describes the outright dangers that exist in the profession, such as meeting a dentist in a room once who turned incredibly violent on her. One story is amazingly touching. She was called to the room of an old man once who was holding his wedding ring and saying how his wife of fifty years passed away and it was their anniversary and he just wanted to dance with a girl. Not a striptease or anything. It was just a dance. One can question that the old man handled the situation the right way, but it was hard to read that and not feel grief for the man who lost the love of his life.

In the end through it all, Bender does escape and she winds up marrying a man who really does treat her right, having a family, and speaking out against sex trafficking. The thing is that this happens right here in America. I live in the Atlanta area and I have no doubt that sex trafficking is going on right here. Some girls at your local high school could be involved in sex trafficking.

If you watch porn also, you could be supporting sex trafficking unknowingly. You can claim all you want that these girls do this willingly and would even defend it, but for all you know, they’re thoroughly brainwashed, a term I don’t use lightly, by a pimp.

Here’s a good way to avoid contributing. Never watch porn. Try treating a woman right and winning her heart instead.

This is the kind of book that we need to be made more aware of. Our loose sexual morality in our society has led to the enabling of something like this. Sex trafficking is a great evil that has to be stopped now and I am thankful that Rebecca Bender found hope in Christ and are now out there raising awareness for others who are caught in the trap.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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