[aside: in 1997 and 2003-2004, I had this extended conversation with Christine about relationships — Relationship Theory email dialogue and the follow-up blog]
I Gave Dating a Chance: A Biblical Perspective to Balance the Extremes ~ Jeremy Clark
“To date…or not to date?” In recent years, “dating” has become a
dirty word in many Christian circles. So dirty, in fact, that young
believers are now encouraged simply not to date. This position has
provoked an open debate among teens, their parents and youth workers,
and single adults. The author attempts to articulate a sound, biblical,
and practical approach that balances out the extreme perspectives:
dating without responsibility versus a complete withdrawal from the
Factor : How to Get Closer to the People You Care for ~ Alan Loy McGinnis
I like this book, practical stories and tips on building good friendships.
With Integrity : Honoring Christ in Your Relationships With the Opposite
Sex ~ John Holzmann
This guy’s approach to cross-gender relationships is even more radical
than mine, and I’m told that mine is pretty radical! I’ll be posting my
relationship theory online some time, as many have asked for it via email,
but basically I don’t recommend recreational dating for Christians who
want to be mature about it; enjoy cross-gender relationships built on honesty
and commitment, and should God knit you closely and possibly lead you to
marriage, use a courtship process.
Kissed Dating Goodbye ~ Joshua Harris
The popular book about courtship, a safe conservative alternative to conventional dating.
This book challenges young adults away from playing the dating game and
revealing how they can live a lifestyle of sincere love, true purity, and
purposeful singleness, this book will inspire teens and young adults to
remap their romantic lives in the light of God’s Word.
Book of Romance : What Solomon Says About Love, Sex, and Intimacy ~ Tommy Nelson
The Ten Commandments of Dating ~ Ben Young
and Purity; Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control
~ Elisabeth Elliot
This is a classic book about relationships.
the Love of Your Life : Ten Principles for Choosing the Right Marriage
Partner ~ Neil Clark Warren
A standard evangelical book about the ingredients to consider in discerning
a good marriage fit.
Your Perfect Mate ~ H. Norman Wright
Here’s the other guy’s standard evangelical book 🙂
: Finding God’s Way in Dating, Sex, Singleness, and Marriage ~ Paula
Rinehart, Stacy Rinehart
Here is NavPress’ book on relationships
Other relationship books with interesting titles
- Sex and the Single Person : Dealing Honestly With the Need for Intimacy ~ Robert G., Jr. Demoss
- Singles at the Crossroads : A Fresh Perspective on Christian Singleness ~
Albert Y. Hsu
- Joyfully Single in a Couples’ World : Knowing Contentment, Peace, and Fulfullment– Now ~ Harold J. Sala
Great Dates While You Wait ~ Susie Shellenberger, Greg P. Johnson
Good Things to Do While You’re Waiting for the Right One to Come Along : How to Make the Most of Being Single ~ Harold Ivan Smith
of the Sexes : How Both Sides Can Win With Honor ~ James D. Mallory
a Friend & Lover ~ Dick Purnell
Jekyll, Married Hyde ~ Laura Jensen Walker
Bite the Apple ‘Til You Check for Worms: a Survival Guide to Love, Sex,
and Singleness ~ Ken Abraham
Design for Christian Dating ~ Greg Laurie
Good Man Is Hard to Find : Unless You Ask God to Be Head of Your Search
Committee ~ Jo Lynne Pool
- Can Men and Women Be Just Friends ~ Andre Bustanoby (out of print)
nope, you won’t find John Gray’s book listed here- he’s a eastern
meditation monk 🙁
These books cover the ingredients of an authentic community, and explore
ways of developing authenticity and intentionality.
: Healing for Ourselves and Our Relationships; a Radical New Vision
~ Larry Crabb
Now this is a book which carries the heartbeat I have for authentic community!
I’m in the process of reading the book, he articulates all that is involved
in being genuine, honest, open people that leads to transformation ~ the
grace of God.
Love ~ Dan B. Allender, Tremper Longman
This takes relationships to the next level. Being nice is not the most
loving thing for a person sometimes. Love is much more powerful and engaging.
Genuine concern and love for a person means to seek the best for that person
and doing the right thing.
Caregiving : A Way of Life ~ Kenneth C. Haugk
This book came timely for me, and opened me up to care for people in a
genuine, authentic, and powerful way. My greatest joy and fascination is
with people and seeing life change, but sometimes it can also be a great
Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? ~ John Powell
Classic book on transparency and interpersonal communication
- Why Am I Afraid to Love? : Overcoming Rejection and Indifference ~ John
- Fully Human Fully Alive : A New Life Through a New Vision ~ John Powell
& Women : Enjoying the Difference ~ Larry Crabb
Biblical Manhood and Womanhood : A Response to Evangelical Feminism
edited ~ John Piper, Wayne A. Grudem
Big handbook on the theological issues related to gender roles; most of the book’s content can be found at the Center for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) web site (or in
Adobe .PDF format)
and Evangelical Feminist Bibliographies
- Different By Design ~ John A. MacArthur
- Different By Design : God’s Master Plan for Harmony Between Men and Women in Marriage ~ Dale Burke
- Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says About a Woman’s Place in Church and Family ~ Gilbert Bilezikian
- Women in Ministry: Four Views ~ Robert G. Clouse and Bonnidell Clouse, eds.
- Women in the Church : A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry ~ Stanley J. Grenz, Denise Muir Kjesbo
You Say ‘I Do’ : A Marriage Preparation Manual for Couples ~ Norman
H. Wright, H. Norman Wright, Wes Roberts
You’re Getting Married ~ Norman, H. Wright, H. Norman Wright
- Mystery of Marriage ~ Mike Mason
excellent book has recently been reprinted- not a “how-to” pragmatic
reductionistic approach, but a rooted meaningful foundation
- The Marriage Builder : A Blueprint for Couples and Counselors : Now With Discussion
Guide for Couples~ Larry Crabb
- Intimate Allies~ Dan Allender
Christ-Centered Marriage Study Guide; For Individuals in Couples or Small
Groups ~ Neil T. Anderson, Charles Mylander
: Key to Your Marriage ~ H. Norman Wright
Your Mate ~ Rick Bundschuh, Dave Gilbert
to Be Tied; Making Marrriage Last a Lifetime ~ Bill Hybels, Lynne Hybels
Five Love Languages : How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
by Gary Chapman
Excellent books that explains how we each perceive (and give) love
in different ways, as if we had our own language. The thing about love
is that it isn’t received until it’s perceived. So we have to learn to
speak our mate’s love language to effectively communicate that we love
Steps to Romantic Love : A Workbook for Readers of Love Busters and His Needs, Her Needs ~ Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Needs, Her Needs ~ Willard F. Harley Jr.
Classic book describing the basic needs of men and women
Busters : Overcoming Habits That Destroy Romantic Love ~ Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Stalemate to Soulmate : A Guide to Mature, Committed, Loving Relationships by Michael, Phd Obsatz (Augsburg Pub)
- 25 Surprising Marriages : Faith-Building Stories from the Lives of Famous Christians ~ William J. Petersen