Distinctive Features

In contrast to other excellent volumes on “how to find/choose a mate,” and “how to prepare for marriage,” this book encourages single readers to start further back. The content provides guidance for how to approach marital decision making. It is concerned with the perspectives one should acquire prior to serious dating or courtship.

  • This book explains the social context for the marital decision making of contemporary Christians, and unfolds the history of changing cultural conceptions of marriage, singleness, sexuality, and courtship. This historical component demonstrates that the current scene does not reflect how things have always been, reminding believers that they do not have to conform to the ephemeral constructs of an increasingly secular, narcissistic, and anti-biblical worldview.
  • This book exposes five “modern myths” that can lead to decisions with damaging consequences, and provides biblically-anchored correctives.
    • Myth #1: A Christian can expect God to tell him/her whether and whom to marry.
    • Myth #2: Because marriage is fundamentally about companionship, the key to a successful marriage is to find and marry one’s “soul mate.”
    • Myth #3: Singleness is a transitional stage of life which is preparatory for the “completion” of marriage.
    • Myth #4: The best way to determine compatibility with a prospective mate is to live together.
    • Myth #5: The most important criterion for a good marital match is chemistry.
  • This book builds on the practical theology presented in Decision Making and the Will of God (by Garry Friesen with J. Robin Maxson, Multnomah Press, 1980, 2004). It summarizes the biblical principles of decision making that constitute the “Way of Wisdom,” and applies them to marital choices.
  • This book grounds Christian decision making in God’s design for singleness, marriage, and human sexuality. It presents a fresh exposition of the central passages – Genesis 1-3, Matthew 19, 1 Corinthians 6-7, and Ephesians 5 – with an eye to recognizing the ramifications of these texts (and others) for marital decision making.
  • This book is comprehensive in its scope. While there are books that address each of the areas covered in this book, none combine the five subjects expounded and inter-related in this volume.
  • This book presents and emphasizes a positive view of singleness, affirming the equal validity of that state to marriage.
  • This book draws on the wisdom of Christian thinkers, leaders, counselors, and writers to provide specific suggestions for single adults as they make marital choices. Because this book is intended to serve as an introduction to the various areas addressed, readers are referred to other recommended books which provide more in-depth treatment of the subjects presented.
  •  The content of this book has undergone formal field testing as the research project for my Doctor of Ministry program at Dallas Theological Seminary (2002-2008). The responses from 35 readers in ten states (and Azerbaijan!) both substantiated the value of the project (readers were enthusiastically positive) and yielded constructive insights on ways to improve the final product. Those suggestions have been incorporated into subsequent revisions.
  • This book is co-authored by a long-term husband (Maxson – 36+ years) and a life-long celibate (Friesen).