Enough With The Christian Dating Books

Anonymous asked:

Are books like “[Christian Book Title]” by [Christian Author] a better alternative to the I kissed dating goodbye series, or should I avoid the Christian dating book industries as a whole? I want all the advice I can get, but there is just so much out there… Thanks

(Edited to remove title and author’s name because I don’t want to comment on a book I’m not familiar with. -Matt)

I answered:

It’s time for an intervention people. Set the christian dating books down and back away slowly.

Let me start off by saying I love books. I love learning things from books. I was a history major in college which is essentially all learning from reading. It was awesome. 

For all the (in my opinion, very justified) grief that I give the Christian book industry, I have learned a lot from some wonderful Christian authors. There are books that have helped my life immensely. The thing is you can’t learn the whole picture from a book.  Good books about the Christian life are useful because you are learning from them while you are living the Christian life.

I understand that you want to have as much information about dating as you can, but that is not the way dating works. There are some things that you just have to learn by doing.

You wouldn’t try to learn to swim by reading books on how to do it. Especially if those books were all some guy’s opinion about the best way to swim (or why swimming is evil and you should never do it, lest you develop “pool-ties”). You could read all about hydrodynamics, physics, and swimming technique, but you still wouldn’t know how to swim. You have to get in the pool to learn how to swim. 

Now, after you actually start swimming for real and learning about how things actually work, a book with some smart swimming tips might help, because you would have some experience and context in which to apply that advice.

Dating is a little scary, and it, like anything that involves human beings, can be complicated and messy. You will never read a book that makes those things not the case. There aren’t any magic tricks that make dating and relationships simple and risk-free.

The truth is that you know everything you need to know about dating today. You know that there needs to be communication about boundaries, that you deserve to be treated well, and that the ultimate goal of dating is to find out what you want in a marriage partner. You will figure out the rest with the Lord’s help, but the only way to do that is to get started. There is no such thing as perfectly prepared, there is just ready to take the leap.

-Matt from The Bridge

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