Book Plunge: Dating With Discernment

What do I think of Sam Andreades’s book published by Cruciform Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

How many pastor/scholars do you know that write books on dating that are practical and have deep theology? Odds are, that number is zero. Change that number to one now. Sam Andreades has written such a book that is practical and yet founded on great theology.

So how does one date wisely? You might be surprised, but the first chapter is on how to break up with someone. What? That’s like writing a book on how to be good at a sport and then a chapter on how to lose or how to win at video games with discussing all the ways to lose a life. Does it really make sense to have a book on dating start with a chapter on how to break up?

Andreades asks this question at the beginning and yes, yes it does. He says you need to be willing to go for the best in this area and that can mean ending relationships that are not good. You do not need to be in a relationship to be in a relationship. If you can learn to say no to a bad one, you are upholding your view on how much you are worth.

This section already got me considering about the rest of the book. Yes. I am worth a good woman in my life who does want to be loved and treasured. Yes. Whoever she is, she is worthy of a man who will love and treasure her. This gets into the other way this book works.

Andreades regularly writes to both persons in the relationship. He tells women how they can best please a man and tells men how they can best please a woman. He points out our differences based on gender, his main specialty area, and shows how these are the design of God.

This also includes saving sex for marriage. Andreades refers to this as guarding the gold. By saying no to sex until marriage, you are saying you are worth a lifetime commitment. Words and a ring are really good, but without the covenant, they are just, well, words and a ring. It is when you make a promise before God and man and any other spiritual beings watching, that you are in the covenant and then, have at it.

To this end, Andreades says that men will often show interest in a girl thinking “I’d like to have sex with her.” Refreshingly, Andreades does not condemn this thinking as he knows that sex is God’s idea, but he also tells men that sex is about more than sex. What happens physically is meant to mirror deep spiritual and emotional connections. If you view sex as purely physical, you are missing out. This is also one great reason why it is contained in marriage. Andreades does not condemn the drive in us men, but instead encourages us to use that drive to go further.

All of this is also rooted in good Trinitarian theology. Andreades regularly points to the interactions in the Trinity and then tells us that this is how we are to relate to one another. Why would you discuss the Trinity in a book on dating? Because dating is all about establishing relationships and the Trinity is all about how God is relational and all relationships are founded on that relationality.

Andreades encourages men to be leaders and sacrificers. The man should be the one to ask someone out and be willing to put his heart on the line. The man should be willing to protect his wife and help her feel secure from all the threats, be that external or internal.

A good wife is one who is willing to submit to her husband’s leadership even when she disagrees, excepting that he does not call her to do anything wrong. If he makes the wrong decision, it’s still his decision and the wife can still esteem him without constant “I told you so’s.” A man deeply wants to be respected by the woman in his life.

Also, meet the family as soon as possible. No, it doesn’t mean you’re walking down the aisle. It just means the family knows you. I know in my marriage, this happened quickly as seeing as she lived in Atlanta and I in Charlotte then, I had to drive over and meet her parents before I could take her out. (And her parents and I are on good terms to this day.)

This book is written for people dating or hoping to date, but I think it would be good for married couples. They could look at this and ask “Are we doing this for each other?” This is also a book that uses good theology and all of us could use that. I contend many of the personal struggles we can have in life are rooted in having poor theology in some area, and all of us do.

If you are dating, get this book and read it. If you are wanting to date, get this book and read it. If you know a couple who are dating, get each of them this book and have them read it.

Pretty much, just get this book and read it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

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