Friday, March 25, 2011

10 great dates before you say "I do"

10 Great Dates Before You Say "I Do", David & Claudia Arp and Curt & Natelle Brown

As we continue to help prepare couples for marriage, I find it helpful to have books to recommend. This has been a priority for us over the last few years. I have finally read all the books I bought 2 years ago, and I finish with this one.

Like 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged (see review here), this is a very practical book to help couples prepare for marriage. It is structured, as the title obviously suggests, around 10 dates or topics for conversation. It is meant to function as a workbook - you each read the chapter, rip out the page at the back for each of you to work through and then get together and discuss.

They cover most topics I would have thought of including:
  • sharing hopes, dreams and expectations
  • appreciating differences (helpful in highlighting different personalities and how they interact)
  • communication
  • problem solving
  • finances (this made me realise we should be more specific about financial issues with couples)
  • leaving and cleaving (this was a very helpful chapter)
  • intimacy
  • roles and children
For couples who are willing to put time into this book and treat it as a tool, there would be great benefits. Similarly, if are couple are unable or unwilling to do a marriage preparation course, this would be a good second choice. Combined with a tool like FOCCUS or PREPARE, it would certainly cover most issues. Ideally, if this book was the only tool used, one would encourage them to have another couple to talk to about issues raised.

Reading this book has highlighted for me the value of a book like Married for God, which fills a great void. In it, Ash does not deal with the how-to of marriage, but rather the why of marriage, what God's purpose is for our marriage and how we serve him through it. (if you want to read the whole series of posts on Married for God go over to in tandem).

Having said that - couples preparing for marriage also need the practical stuff. This book is another that does that job well.

No comments: