Monday, October 21, 2013

True Love Dates - Book Review

Debra Fileta's book, True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of your Life, is a refreshingly balanced look at the preparation, the journey, and the culmination of healthy relationships in finding one's life mate. However, from the very beginning, she emphasizes that Christ must be the main focus and foundation for building that relationship which may ultimately lead to marriage.

At first, I was a little apprehensive about taking advice from someone who promotes "loving oneself first before loving another." But, her explanation makes sense when taken in context of seeking to know who you are and being who God wants you to be through the power of the Spirit before seeking to invest yourself in the life of another. As she explains, dealing with the spiritual baggage before heading into the already emotionally charged relationship of marriage can often save a lot of stress and heartache.

Yet, the whole book is based on simply stepping back and seriously contemplating this whole issue of finding a mate. With the temptations and confusions often associated with the dating stage, it is of the utmost importance to think about what you are doing before getting too involved. However, Debra's sound advice, based on Scripture, has answers for whatever stage one is in. Do you have questions such as these?
  • Does God want me to be single forever?
  • How do I know if I am in a toxic relationship?
  • Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • What does the Bible have to say about dating?
  • The person I have a romantic interest in has told me that our friendship will only ever be just that. How do I deal with being "just friends"?
  • Is it okay for a woman to make the first move?
  • Should you ever date someone you wouldn't consider marrying?
  • How do I deal with the pain of a breakup?
Debra answers these questions from both a spiritual and rational perspective. I appreciate the fact that she offers no cookie cutter, one-size-fits all solution to every dating issue, and yet her considerations may be practically applied to real life situations. And, she never leaves Christ out of the picture, but instead keeps Him front and center in every decision.

I would suggest pastors, counselors, and mentors have a copy ready to share and one on loan in the church library. Yet, True Love Dates is not only for those who are ready to marry and are seeking a mate. Young people who want to date and their parents who need practical guidance in how to prepare them for this most serious endeavor would benefit greatly by reading it together. Even if your family chooses to use the courtship model instead of the dating model of seeking God's will for a mate, you will still find a treasure trove of biblical and practical advice for handling the issues common to both practices in True Love Dates.