For teens and young adults today, it just may seem that maintaining godly purity while dating is truly a God-sized task. If you are a young person who wants to honor God in your life, this book could open your mind and heart to the sweeter song of God's plan for your love life.
Co-authors Eric and Leslie Ludy, trading off chapters throughout the book, recount their frustrations with dating while striving to maintain basic standards of purity such as maintaining their virginity and dating only fellow believers. But following rules failed to protect them from emotional turmoil of various relationships despite that they invested heavily in the other person, sometimes even compromising some of their purity to hold onto the guy or girl they were seeing. Independently and long before they knew each other God lead both Eric and Leslie to relinquishing the pen of their personal love stories to Him.
Leslie recounts her struggle with this decision. She asked herself why a sensible, enlightened, "with it" young adult like herself would entrust someone as old (and most likely outdated) as God with this precious area of life. Similarly, Eric shares his own misgivings. If there is one thing in all of life that we feel sure God has no clue about, it's romance!
The revelation that came to Eric was, "My lack of trust came directly back to the fact that I didn't truly know Him. Likewise, Leslie admits, "While the Christian world indicated that I was following God's way by keeping the rules as best as possible, deep down I knew I was really the one in control of this area of my life. I had been the one calling the shots, not God!"
When they allowed themselves to truly get to know the Lord, they discovered that God's ideas about romance and sex were not only not old fashioned but He, quite literally, wrote the book of love! God's desire is to write a "sweeter song" for each of us if we just relinquish our love life to Him. God's sweeter song is like nothing this world can touch.
Recounting their own experiences as Christian singles, as a courting couple and finally, as young marrieds, Eric and Leslie offer relevant Scriptures and quotes from renowned Christian thinkers to make their points. While the book primarily addresses single Christians, it may speak to long-married folks as it did to me. I was challenged in a number of areas that I found I could adapt easily to my own situation (as 62-years old and 38 years married).
Some great topics addressed in the book: On faithfulness - I was totally blessed by Leslie's explanation about how God showed her, through Proverbs 31:12, that His idea of being faithful to her spouse was not something that began after they met but before. This powerful idea touches on why we should be guarded about our relationships with the opposite sex until we're ready for a lifelong commitment and sure we found Mr. or Miss Right.
On the apparent scarcity of honorable guys or girls who are worth waiting for - Most men today treat girls like sex objects while many girls will willingly forfeit their virtue to the first guy who cozies up to them. Take heart, claims the book. God is raising up "real" men and "virtuous" women who are devoted to Him and well worth the wait.
About having "ideal" standards for a mate - Ever had someone tell you your standards were unrealistic? Prompted by a friend to list her standards for a spouse, Leslie responded, "Someone who treats me like a princess, is sensitive, tender, gentle, brave, full of integrity, servant-hearted and honorable to name a few." Her friend challenged her to consider that "It was God who put them (the standards) in your heart" because He wants you to look for a man with the character of Jesus Christ. A warning follows. Often we get anxious and compromise and settle for less than what God has for us.
Partnering with Godly advisors to counsel you about opposite gender relationships - You'll be amazed and blessed when you read the role Leslie's dad played when Eric was courting her.
On when the sweeter song is solo (singleness). A relationship is not meant to make us into a whole person. Only Jesus Christ can do that. An entire chapter is devoted to being single, offering many views about the blessings of this time, even if it lasts a lifetime. It's also a time to learn some life skills that will be needed if and when God leads you into a marital relationship.
Near the end of the book is a chapter subtitled, "A glimmer of hope in a world of lost virginity." Although frank about the severity of sexual sin and its devastating effects on people, it offers the hope and healing that is only possible with Jesus.
Overall, this book is a real find with lots of wonderful and tender lessons that will sit with you a long while after you finish reading. An easy read paperback, just 219 pages, that comes with acomplimentary CD of songs by the Ludy's entitled "Faithfully - songs about a love worth waiting for."
I recommend it not only for teens and young adults who are in the middle of the dating scene but also youth leaders and parents of teens and young adults.