If you are very serious about your interest in a person, before there is any talk of marriage always insist that he meet your pastor--shepherds can see farther than the sheep can....9.If a man invites you to his home, for any reason at all--whether it's to see his trophies or his pet, help him decorate, or even to see the ashtray he made in the first grade--always take a friend.Long before the first date, teach your child about dating.In the early preteen years, help her to build a godly foundation for relationships. When your preteen seeks God, the world of dating (and your role as a parent) is a lot less stressful.
But instead of pastoral counseling, readers are offered endless clichés like, "the right person doesn't always act right," "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.Yes, I am Prophetess Juanita Bynum, but I am not dead.I know you think that you cannot be anointed and still have a desire to sleep with someone. Always keep your first seven dates filled with educational and cultural things.As I stumble through the awkward limbo of single, yet soon-to-be-married, I've tried to read every resource tagged within the "marriage," "love," and "relationships" genre.This, and the fact that I was desperate to escape the zillions of online articles dissecting from every possible angle (though I'm grateful for their messages), prompted me to download a copy of Pastor Andy Stanley's new book on romantic relationships to my Kindle. Geared towards the young, unwed, and culturally savvy, Stanley explains in the introduction that his purpose for writing (Zondervan, January 2015) is to "increase your relational satisfaction quota." What does that mean? Still I pressed onward with hopes of encountering helpful gems of wisdom and Christian counsel over the next 200 pages.Some think that because I am anointed I never get frustrated. They think I don't ever want to do something wrong, but let me tell you that the devil is a liar. Before you make the decision to begin embracing your new life style, I'm going to list a few do's and don'ts--for your dating pleasure. If someone you have a strong attraction for, or vice versa, invites you to an evening event, make it a group thing.2. It helps to stimulate the intellect and not the sex drive.4.Every single day I struggle to crucify my flesh, and if you tell the truth, you would say the same thing. Allow the man to be the man in every sense of the word.After all, the author is the Evangelical pastor of the largest church in America. The book's strength lies in providing clarity on the idea that love is an action, not an emotion.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.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."Don't get nervous.I don't believe church people are the only ones preparing to commit." He continues, "Church happens to be my context.