When I agreed to review this book, I thought that maybe it was about Courtship, something that I have an interest in, or maybe about dating from a Christian Perspective. I was wrong, on both counts! The title is kind of misleading until you read the subtitle, which says "God's Only Answer for Finding True Love." Okay, now my interest was really piqued... God's "Only" answer? I was curious to find out what this couple knew about God's only answer that I didn't!
I started the book with a critical spirit, I must admit. It was hard for me to get that "Only" word out of my head, and read the book for what it was worth, but I finally just settled down, prayed, and read the book. It's an interesting book, and Joshua and Kerry Williams have an awesome love story. They agreed to marry before they even met each other, after giving up control of their lives completely to God, who used Joshua's parents to facilitate their betrothal and marriage.
The book basically says don't date! Keep yourself completely pure until God brings someone into your life. No dating at all, Joshua and Kerry state will keep your mind pure and your bodies pure for marriage. They say to flee immorality and cling to God. It's all well and good, and it's basic stuff that most Christian parents have been discussing with their children as they come closer to the "dating" years. Joshua and Kerry emphasize strongly that we surrender to the righteousness of God. This is what most of this book is about, having a strong, sustaining relationship with God so that you can flee immorality and be able to say no when the bad stuff creeps in. They talk about lust and purity, and the book is a good basic read.
I must admit that I have trouble with a few of their very strong opinions, but I try to remember that everyone has an opinion about what a certain Bible verse or passage means, and in one sentence early on in the book, they make that kind of opinion. They state that "true Christians don't date!" Now, even the authors admit that this sounds harsh and brass, but they go on to explain why they believe that. The problem I had is that they make their opinions sound like fact, and while I personally agree that my sons and daughter shouldn't date, I have to give them to God and let Him help them make those decisions. I can't point blank state opinions the way these authors seem to think is possible.
The book is, in it's content, good, and Biblical. There are some very good, very clear points made about the pitfalls of dating and sexual impurity. The author's back up their statements with Bible passages, and I can't find fault with their doctrine. Overall, however, I was left with a feeling of "well, that's all well and good, but not very applicable to my life." I hope that, with God's help I can steer my children in the way that the Williams' recommend, but in the end, I know that it is their own relationship
with their God that will help them stand against the temptations they are faced with. This is, I think, what the Williams' were saying in their book, they just come across a little hard handed, and for a new Christian dealing with these issues for the first time, they may feel very inadequate after reading this book and hearing the author's strong points of view.
My overall reaction is to read the book, pray about what you've read, and apply the Bible verses and passages that are in the book into your own life to make your relationship with God stronger.