By: Andy Stanley
Publisher: Zondervan Non-Fiction
Publication Date: 01/06/2015
My Rating: 5 stars
A special thank you to Zondervan and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Andy Stanley's North Point Ministries was named the Largest Church in America, this past year, and now he delivers as extraordinary fresh new look at sex, dating, and marriage— “Old Fashioned is the New Fashion”, with his insightful book, THE NEW RULES FOR LOVE, SEX, AND DATING.
The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating is a discussion guide developed for use with the four-session video, which complements and expands the material in the book. While the material in the discussion guide is intended for use with the video, some of the discussion questions will also reflect content used in the book.
The four video sessions VIDEO CLIPS HERE covering the themes of the book:
1 The Right Person Myth
2 Gentleman's Club
3 Designer Sex
4 If I Were You
This book is also meant for married couples as well as singles and even for those, like myself not dating but may have grown single children or grandchildren, or for use in the leadership of young adults.
As we all are aware, sex is leveraged to sell just about everything. Actually the promise of no strings-attached sex with a way above-average-looking person is used to sell just about everything. Sexual scandals among politicians, athletes, and celebrities. Infidelity is woven into the plot of just about every form of entertainment that involves a plot.
As you process the issues and questions surrounding your sexuality and expressions of your sexuality, don’t forget the broader context – sex isn’t just physical. It’s one component of a multifaceted biological, physiological, and psychological miracle that is you. So cherish it, protect it, preserve it, reserve it!
I loved this part: The present will be your past, which will be present in your future. Namely, pain you will experience later because of decisions you are making right now. People drag their past in their marriage and future. When sexuality and chemistry and passion dies – because they are no good at relationships.
As Stanley reiterates, God did not design marriage to fix people’s flaws. In fact, our flaws are often magnified in marriage. So flawed people bring problems into a marriage and bringing others into the mix like children will not solve the underlying problem.
So why not start now becoming the person your future spouse wants and needs. Your preparation now is worth much more than your commitment later. Pick an area of your life – debt, unresolved past issues, bad habits, dress, boundaries – and set a goal then list the steps that will put you on a path toward achieving that goal and becoming who the person - the person you’re looking for, is looking for.
Whether you still in the game, or back in a season of looking for the love of your life, this book can help. Sex and sexuality are a bit like fire. Fire in its proper context, it’s extremely destructive. The same is true for all things sexual. If you never been married or are under thirty, even if you have lived with someone you underestimate the complexity of your sexuality and the long-term ramifications of your sexual conduct.
As Stanley uses the example: “Sex is like nutrition", regardless of your taste and preferences, nutritional principles determine the outcome of what you eat. Our bodies share a similar design when it comes to our sexuality to be expressed within a specific context. You can choose to express your sexuality outside the parameters of that divine design. But you can’t choose the outcome. If you’re like most people you’ll do everything in your power to control the outcome. But eventually you will lose that battle as well, perhaps you’ve experienced the futility of trying to control outcomes.
Romance is fueled by exclusivity. Practice makes perfect does not apply to sex. This is why practice undermines the essence of romance. You have no control over when or if you’ll meet your right person. What you can control is what you do in the meantime. So become the person you’re looking for and they are looking for; prepare to commit. Who knows there may be someone out there preparing for you as well!
On a Personal Note:
Andy Stanley is a former pastor of mine, and have enjoyed his teachings, Christian leadership, and his insightful books, as well as his father, Dr. Charles Stanley.
When I moved to Atlanta in early 1994, my sons were away at college in another state; I was single, divorced, and in my late thirties. I was fortunate to become an integral part of what is now North Point Ministries, from the beginning of its inception in l995.
For the first three years we met every other Sunday night in rented facilities, and when the Olympics came to town, we were unable to meet for nine weeks. Later the land was purchased in Alpharetta, GA and construction began –what is now North Point –some great times, a huge singles group, and many budding friendships grew out of this fabulous foundation.
However, since I lived in Buckhead, was thrilled when in 2001, became a part of the Buckhead Church and again we held services in rented facilities in different areas of town. I was part of the group meeting in a renovated grocery store each week on Roswell Road that first Easter Sunday in 2003 in Buckhead, and later became an active member, a pre-school director and a women’s small group leader in the church.
It was so exciting with the preparations building our new church; however, I relocated, for work to Florida in 2006 and have been here since. I missed the permanent facility at Tower Place in the heart of Buckhead in May 2007 where the church is thriving today. (Cannot wait to go back for a visit). However, even though in Florida, I often read Andy Stanley’s books, and listen to his messages online—recalling those precious days under his leadership and the wonderful fellowship and supportive group of singles and friends. (All singles need friends like these)!
Buy NEW RULES FOR LOVE, SEX, AND DATING a thought-provoking guide and listen to the videos. No matter where you are in your life or your spiritual journey – it will change how you think about the present and the future. Well done!
Miss you guys at Buckhead Church Atlanta.