Whether you are dating the more traditional way-meeting people in public-or dating over the Internet, dating as a Christian can often be a difficult prospect. With so much of dating culture involving hook-ups, pressures for pre-marital sex, and instant gratification, it can be hard for Christians to find satisfaction in today’s dating scene.
Thankfully, there are a number of books on Christian dating that can help Christians make sense of the dating scene. Christian dating books provide a wide range of advice and run the gamut from those that urge Christians to give up traditional dating entirely to those that offer ideas for making the process more consistent with Christian principles.
I have listed five of the more interesting books on Christian dating below. Clicking on the title will bring you to Amazon.com where you can purchase the book, or you can buy a copy at your favorite Christian, local, or chain book store:
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris – While not a call to reject dating entirely, Joshua Harris’s I Kissed Dating Goodbye does advance a critique of dating as it is commonly done by both Christians and non-Christians alike. Instead of making ourselves the center of dating-as we so often do when we seek out a mate to fulfill our own needs-Harris instead calls on us to date in a way that glorifies God and places the ideal of Biblical marriage at the center. Consequently, Harris says that we should move beyond infatuation, personal desire, and instant gratification. Central to this is Harris’s suggestion that Christians emphasize caring and compassionate relationships with the opposite sex while waiting for a message from God that they have found “the one.” In recent years, it has been one of the more popular and controversial Christian dating books and it is certainly worth reading.
Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating by Richard D. Phillips – Holding Hands, Holding Hearts is chock full of practical dating advice that gives specific ideas for how Christians can pursue a Biblically sound means of dating. To that end, the book advocates a move away from the typical way of dating and towards a system that is more in tune with Christian teachings. It provides an overview of what the Bible says about marriage and works from that to discern practical advice for dating couples since dating should be seen as precursor to marriage and not something that we simply do for “fun.” The authors-Phillips wrote the book along with his wife Sharon-draw on their experience in singles ministry, which shows a strong commitment to the subject.
Dating with Pure Passion: More than Rules, More than Courtship, More than a Formula by Rob Edgar – This Christian dating book is refreshing in that it isn’t fixated on an ideal that can often seem impractical and intimidating. Instead, Edgar focuses on providing practical advice for making dating more fulfilling and focused on the important relationship between the individual and God. Edgar asserts that in order for a relationship to work, both parties must recognize the importance of their relationship with God and be fully satisfied in that relationship. Beyond that, Edgar addresses the usual Christian dating topics such as marriage and sexual temptation. Edgar’s book is informed by his own difficulties with dating which gives it a down-to-earth tone. A particularly helpful part of the book is the inclusion of questions for personal and group Bible study.
When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Approach to Guy/Girl Relationships by Eric and Leslie Ludy– When God Writes Your Love Story focuses less on specific rules about dating than it does on urging you to make changes to your overall lifestyle that will make you a more complete person. A key aspect of changing your lifestyle is improving your relationship with God, which is what the book advocates. Rather than lay out a bunch of rules about when to date, when to kiss, or other such subjects, Eric and Leslie Ludy trust that once people make God the center-they will make the right decisions. Moreover, the book emphasizes that God has a plan for love for all of us and that he will eventually let us in on that plan if we are devoted and committed to living in his image.
Waiting and Dating: A Sensible Guide to a Fulfilling Love Relationship by Myles Munroe -The description of Waiting and Dating tells potential readers “DON’T KISS DATING GOODBYE!” It’s a direct challenge to one of the other popular Christian dating books that has encouraged some young Christians-perhaps erroneously-to swear off dating. Instead, Munroe’s book offers helpful tips aimed at helping readers find a suitable spouse-which is the ultimate goal of dating. Throughout the book, Munroe provides useful insights on developing friendships and evaluating how well you know your partner.