Become the person your looking for is looking for.
That is the main premise behind Andy Stanley’s book: The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating. When I first saw the title I was a little worried that the book would say the same thing as any other dating book that is out there. However, as I started to get into the middle of reading Andy Stanley’s thoughts on this topic I became more and more intrigued by how the information was presented. As he discussed sex in the light of a single, I realized he was not just throwing the Bible at the reader. He explained how, “Sex has the capacity to camouflage an endless list of of relational deficiencies and dysfunctions.” (You have to read the story on Page 148 about a single’s complicated sex life!) He explains how many people use sex as a litmus test for a relationship. We say we are compatible with someone when we are sexually compatible. However, Stanley explains how this can lead to complications in a relationship or even a future marriage.
The author does a great job of explaining how, instead of sex, we need to focus on our own actions and prepare to be in a committed relationship. He explains, “Becoming the right person is how you prepare to commit.” Throughout the rest of the book is an explanation of how to do just that. Stanley helps the reader move from expectations of a promise to helping prepare for this kind of relationship:
“In the realm of relationships unlike any other arena of life, we operate from the premise that a promise replaces the need for preparation. That a couple can promise, vow or commit themselves into a successful future. Preparation is the key to success. You must prepare to commit if your commitment is going to mean anything.”
Finally, the book goes into what a committed relationship within marriage looks like. He breaks down the whole notion that many people hate talking about, if a man rules over the woman. He explains how a committed marriage should be characterized by mutual submission, “Perfect love is expressed through mutual submission. Stand alone submission is dangerous. But, mutual submission is the best of all possible relationships. It is a relationship worth preparing for.”
I have always been a fan of Andy Stanley and this book does not disappoint when it comes to seeing the love, sex, and dating world in a new light. There are times when the book seems to drag. However, the information has helped me explain things clearly to my college students. In fact, it has helped me look at my marriage and desire to make it better. I plan to require everyone who I marry to read Chapter 5 which breaks down 1 Corinthians 13…the love chapter of the Bible. That chapter alone is worth the read! I hope you pick this book up as I know it will give you a fresh perspective.
Disclaimer: I received this book from North Point Publishing (andystanley.com) in exchange for this review.