For All Singles

  • FamilyLife Today (5/16/2013) played part of message by Dr. Al Mohler on the "Mystery of Marriage" and then Dennis Rainey comments.  It is very controversial but I think they are right. Listen to this message.  It will get you thinking!
  • The Walk of Fame vs. The Walk of Shame: Dannah Gresh at TEDxPSUDannah Gresh is a sexuality educator and best-selling author of several books on the subject. She has long been at the forefront of a movement to encourage healthy sexual choices and is often called upon to use social science and medical research to defend a conservative position on relationships in news media.
  • This message by Mark Gungor to high school graduates hits on a variety of topics that I think would benefit young people including dating and marriage. Many people including parents will take issue with some of the points presented here but I think we are foolish if we don't wrestle with them as a church, as families, and as individuals.


Books

Table of contents
  1. Are You Ready for Love? Decide to Be Ralationship Ready
  2. Do We Have a Strong Enough Friendship? Build a Lasting Foundation
  3. Are We Compatible? Delight in the Differences
  4. Are We Making Progress? Develop Habits of Growth
  5. Can We Handle Our Families? Choose to Love Yours, Mine, and Ours
  6. How Is Our Emotional Fitness? Coordinate Money and manage Conflict
  7. How Will You Propose? Make Your Big Moment a Big Moment
  8. What Will Our Wedding Day Be Like? Make a Memory You Treasure Forever
See other resources for singles on the Farrel's website.
I've not read this book but I have listened to the authors discuss it on the boundless podcast.
(July 31, 2014: The Two Become One)

This book is especially for dating and engaged couples and is filled with the Farrel’s trademark wisdom, humor, and insight.
  • The Before-You-Marry Book of Questions will help couples delight in their differences
  • plan their financial future
  • sort through family obstacles
  • lay a strong foundation for a marriage that goes the distance
  • give their marriage to God
With “his and hers” quizzes and ideas for dates where couples can talk openly and freely about their relationship and future,

The Before-You-Marry Book of Questions is a practical and essential guide for any couple building a life together
Table of contents
  1. Decide to be decisive 
  2. Decide to follow Jesus 
  3. Decide to celebrate 
  4. Decide to live in peace 
  5. Decide to wait 
  6. Decide to define relationships 
  7. Decide to live the good life 
  8. Decide to be an influencer 
  9. Decide to be a communicator 
  10. Decide to be a competitor 
See other resources for singles on the Farrel's website.
I've not read this book but I have listened to the authors discuss it.
The authors, Bill and Pam Farrel are a married couple, but they talked with several singles and had them contribute to the book, so this is not a case of married people giving advice to singles - they got a lot of input from singles. That said, this is a terrific book for singles. I really like the fact that it isn't a "preparing for marriage book", but is more for preparing for life. 

With candor and humor, the Farrels present ten decisions that will help singles

  • live a full life instead of a “life on hold” 
  • choose celibacy for the purpose of ultimate fulfillment
  • choose community and activity over isolation or self-focus
  • wake up to the significance of their life and the opportunities ahead
  • give their dreams, relationships, careers, and decisions to God

Biblical insights and life examples offer spiritual encouragement and practical guidance for those desiring a complete life as a single and as a person who is open to God’s plan for their future.

The subject of dating and marriage is discussed in the book, but that is not the central theme. It is about becoming what God wants, living a full life whether married or not, setting goals, making friends, and other things singles need to work at and do.
From product information and a review by Mark A. Buzard at Amazon
It challenges teens to intentionally do 5 kinds of hard things: 
  1. Things that are outside your comfort zone. 
  2. Things that go beyond what is expected or required. 
  3. Things that are too big to accomplish alone. 
  4. Things that don't earn an immediate payoff. 
  5. Things that challenge the cultural norm. 
from a review by Cara Putman at Amazon

More resources at the Harris' website.
I have used the video series from the Do Hard Things Conference in my men of Honor class.
Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. We do. – Alex and Brett

A growing movement of young people is rebelling against the low expectations of today's culture by choosing to "do hard things" for the glory of God.  And Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge.

Do Hard Things is the Harris twins' revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.

Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life.  Then they map out five powerful ways teens can respond for personal and social change.

From product description at Amazon
If you don’t know why to marry, you won’t know who to marry.

What if being “in love” isn’t a good enough reason to get married? What if God designed marriage to make us holy rather than happy?

Gary Thomas Interview on FamilyLife (3 days)
From customer review by John Gibbs--The author's advice includes:
  • No matter who you marry, the feelings of romantic attraction are likely to wear off within 12 to 18 months
  • If you seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness, you will set yourself up for a more fulfilling, spiritually enriching and more satisfying marriage
  • Infatuation leads far more people astray than into satisfying marriages
  • While it can seem like a tremendous ego boost to have someone seem like they are desperate for you, ask yourself if you're willing to play the role of God in their life
  • The Bible encourages us to use wisdom, not destiny, as our guide when choosing a marital partner
  • Important factors to consider include scriptural mandates, wisdom, parental and pastoral advice, and prayer
  • If you marry for money, health or looks, keep in mind that none of these are certain to remain
  • You're not just choosing a life partner; you're choosing your kids' future parent
  • The man or woman you're thinking of marrying should be someone whose character can survive major life challenges
  • A relationship requires two people getting to know each other, and then every day they have to choose to keep relating to each other or risk drifting apart
  • It takes from 9 to 14 years for two individuals to stop thinking of themselves as individuals and to start thinking of themselves as a couple
  • It's hard to accept that we are going to hurt someone we love so much, but if we marry them, we will
Table of Contents
Part One: Rethinking Romance
  • Boy Meets Girl
  • Why Dating vs. Courtship Isn't the Point
  • Romance and Wisdom—A Match Made in Heaven
  • Tell Me How, Tell Me Who, Tell Me When!
Part Two: The Season of Courtship
  • More than Friends, Less than Lovers
  • What to Do with Your Lips
  • If Boys Would Be Men, Would Girls Be Ladies?
  • Courtship is a Community Project
  • True Love Doesn't Just Wait
Part Three: Before You Say "I Do"
  • When Your Past Comes Knocking
  • Are You Ready For Forever? Ten questions...
  • That Day: Living and loving...
Courtship Conversations: Eight Great Dates
I have not read this book but I included it because it is available in Chinese.
Boy Meets Girl
 ... urges single Christian men and women to pursue courtship, and ultimately marriage, thoughtfully and prayerfully. Knowing that many readers will balk at the idea of premeditated courtship, Harris insists that dating should not be emotional recreation but rather a careful decision rooted in obedience to God. While the anecdotes used to reveal true-to-life scenarios about dating pitfalls are somewhat elementary (and geared to those in their 20s), Harris succeeds in hammering home the point that obedience to God's word, selfless love, community, purity, and satisfaction in God are the most important aspect of any relationship. The last section of the book is particularly practical, discussing forgiveness of past sexual sin, questions to ask before tying the knot, and how an understanding of our sinful nature can lead to conflict resolution.
From Product review by Jill Heatherly at Amazon

Here's the author's website for the book.
John Van Epp, Ph.D.

conducts seminars and workshops worldwide on marriage and relationships. His popular video program, “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk,” is being taught by certified instructors internationally in thousands of churches, singles organizations, educational and agency settings, and throughout the military. Visit his website at

I've not read this book but I have listened to the authors discuss it.
Based on years of research on marital and premarital happiness, How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk (previously published in hardcover as How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk) will help you break destructive dating patterns...
  • Ask the right questions to inspire meaningful, revealing conversations with your partner .
  • Analyze your partner's level of conscientiousness--considered the window to the soul.
  • Judge character based on compatibility, relationships skills, friends, and patterns from family and previous relationships.
  • Resolve your own emotional baggage so you're ready for a healthy relationship.
  • Open your eyes to problems in the relationship and stop giving a jerk too many chances.
  • Identify--and break--destructive dating patterns that prevent you from finding a life partner.
From product description at Amazon

Websites

The time between the home of your youth and the home you'll make for yourself someday is a time of adventure, discovery and excitement; but also loneliness, longing and uncertainty.

From college to career to relationships, we at Boundless want to cast a vibrant vision for the single years, helping you navigate this season while preparing for the challenges and responsibilities of the one to come. That requires living intentionally with purpose by bringing your gifts, talents and Christian worldview to bear on your whole life.

Through Boundless WebzineThe Boundless Line blog, and The Boundless Show podcast, we're here to help you enjoy the journey.

 The Resurgence is a resource site for leaders with a wealth of articles, and video messages on a number of topics related to God, Family, Marriage, Dating, Mission, Health and Wisdom.

Example from the marriage and dating section:
The Truth About Marital Compatibility

Love Thinks (Nojerks.com):  P.I.C.K. Program for Singles

Most people do not understand what attaching forces or dynamics operate in their relationships. And yet, there are five adhesive dynamics which create the feelings of attachment in every relationship. 

When these dynamics are out of balance, then you overlook signs of future difficulties in order to maintain your emotional closeness.

Without knowing what these forces are and how they are inter-related, most people will form over-attachments of the heart which will override the judgments of the mind. And yet, these bonding forces fully explain the mysterious glue which creates the thing we call "love.
http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/getting-married/choosing-a-spouse/6-characteristics-for-a-potential-spouse FamilyLife has a number of resources for helping families, marriages and singles.

They have a podcast with a daily radio program. (iTunes)


Preparing for Marriage

dating, sex, before the wedding


 

Home > 2009 > August

COVER PACKAGE
The Case for Early Marriage
Amid our purity pledges and attempts to make chastity hip, we forgot to teach young Christians how to tie the knot.
Mark Regnerus | posted 7/31/2009 09:43AM 

Video series

Laugh Your Way
has resources including a several video series that are very good.  I have Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, Sex, Dating and Relating for Teens, Singles & Stinking Thinking and The First Manly Man Conference.  They also have a good online test, called the Flagpage, for helping understand unique motivations, strenghs and values as well how to use that to better understand others.  He also has links to good materials form other people such as document dealing with Why Marriage Matters.  Before you get married check out Getting Married for some good and helpful information.
http://shopping.laughyourway.com/products/singles-stinking-thinking

Mark Gungor and Laugh Your Way America are pleased to present the much-anticipated teaching series Singles and Stinking Thinking: A clear path to marriage. This 4-disc set gives practical and straight-forward advice that singles need to make the right decisions when it comes to dating and marriage. Taught from a definite Christian world-view, Mark challenges the over-spiritualized, over-romanticized, expectations that fill the heads of so many singles—including some unbiblical beliefs that are held near and dear to their hearts! The mission and purpose of this teaching is to eliminate that stinking thinking that has invaded the church culture today, which has had an detrimental effect on marriages and families.

"This teaching has the potential to change the world. It's powerful stuff. If we get this into the hearts and minds of single people in the Christian community today, it will stop the divorce, it will stop the insanity, it will stop the immorality, it will stop the destructive behavior. This whole series is about getting people to start thinking biblically about how to approach relationships. This DVD needs to be in the hands of every young person in every church in America and the world. If we get this out there, it's going to be a life changer."--Mark Gungor

This series is for all singles from age 16-90 with an eye toward marriage—whether you are a young person just starting to date, divorced or widowed. It’s also a great resource for parents looking for the biblical wisdom to instruct and guide their sons and daughters on the path to a successful married future.

Singles and Stinking Thinking is over 5 hours of must-hear information for everyone who thinks they want to tie the knot. 

Disc 1 - Getting Started  (~10 min), You Need to Decide (~45 min)
Disc 2 - Finding a Spouse (~30 min), Sout Mates: Fact or Fiction (~1 hr)
Disc 3 - The Do's and Don'ts of Dating (~40 min), Sex Makes You Stupid (~1 hr)
Disc 4 - The Case for Young Marriage (~1 hr)