Thomas Nelson, 2008) A very practical read, obviously, and one that I actually recommend. I personally have hesitations with recommending books like this for a couple reasons (all of which are exhibited in this book).
One, they’re often too pragmatic, which can draw too much focus and attention on the “dating” rather than the “commandments” and the “principles” of the dating (it’s the “that which you give attention, you give power” principle).
In other words, the principles are decided upon, and then Scriptures are sought out to substantiate the pre-determined principles.
Third, and most honestly, I just like books that go deeper, and practical dating books are not in that category.
However, we started using this book for our high school curriculum, crafting and writing material around the basic framework and commandments, and I’ve been thankful for the resource.
I believe it can be very helpful for those struggling in the world of dating. While “opposites attract,” the authors point out that those “opposites” are often in the “minor” areas of the relationship.
Here are the commandments, with very brief summary notes. Those that don’t risk living the “un-life,” which can be characterized by desperation, dependency, and/or depression. While there’s value in romance, feelings, and emotions, there’s a counter-balance that must be employed, and that’s called “thinking.” They suggest a proper balance between head and heart, avoiding going too fast, involving others in your dating process, and evaluating along the way as helpful steps towards exercising your mind. The areas that can be “compromised,” never in the “major” ones. “Take it slow, to get to know.” COMMANDMENT #5: Thou Shalt Set Clear Boundaries.
Fundamental principle: dating is not (and should never become) your life. Don’t fall into a myriad of dysfunctional relationship patterns that are marked by an imbalance of quality in character. The balance of “responsibility” is a challenging one in any relationship.Not only ought we recognize and value our emotions and body as only “owned” by us, but how does one strive towards intimacy, which requires becoming responsible for someone else. Boundaries, ultimately healthy and necessary, but delicate and difficult to discern. Because of the Christian flavor, this is an “open and shut” case for the authors; “God said so…now here’s why.” Their reasons?You experience wholeness, higher self-esteem, avoid dangerous or deadly diseases, and you ultimately value your body. Not only is not everyone doing it, and not only is it not possible to get pregnant, and not only will it bring us closer together, but they’ve got great responses to all of those lies.Celebrate purity, don’t be home alone, don’t date anyone who is a lot older, watch how you dress, and stay away from porn.COMMANDMENT #8: Thou Shalt Not Ignore Warning Signs.Perhaps one of the most important chapters in the book.