Dating with purpose and purity

While presenting I Corinthians 13:4-8, Stanley moves slowly through each of the Apostle Paul’s love descriptors careful to paint a clear picture of what love looks like when it is “not easily angered” or “rejoices with truth.” By using Scripture—an overall rare occurrence in this book—Stanley creates an easily digestible to-do and not-to-do list with practical, contemporary examples that squash the fairytale “love” narratives inundating our culture. I was disappointed with Stanley’s book for a couple reasons, the first being its lack of depth.Undoubtedly, he has provided Bible-based premarital and martial counseling to thousands of struggling couples.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.” ― “Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone accept, His Lordship.But instead of pastoral counseling, readers are offered endless clichés like, “the ,” “your relationship will never be healthier than you,” and “fix your pet, not your partner.” Stanley does expound on his amusing sound bites, but prefers to draw from clever anecdotes and humorous stories rather than Scripture.For example, in the second chapter he explains that “preparation is more important than commitment” when it comes to marriage. When it comes to relationships, commitment is way overrated.” An odd statement, especially since Stanley nodes towards America’s high divorce rates in the previous chapter. I don’t believe church people are the only ones preparing to commit.” He continues, “Church happens to be my context.This is the most troublesome part of Stanley’s book.

If marriage is the end goal for love, sex, and dating—and presumably Stanley would agree that it is—then a helpful launching pad would be to examine the purpose and parameters of this covenant before moving forward.Online dating services provide a similar context.” Likely Stanley does not intend to convey to his readers that it is unnecessary to finding someone who shares your faith so long as you prepare for marriage well by paying off your debt, breaking bad habits, and addressing past experiences.However, his ambiguity threaded throughout his book actually does more harm than good. I committed to reading this book from cover to cover and as Stanley jumped head first into debunking myths like “maybe a baby will help?Use our Bible verses by topic page to quickly find scriptures about popular topics.“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.” ― “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.

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