10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage  -     By: Peter Larson, Heather Larson, David Arp, Claudia Arp
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10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage

Bethany House / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

Nearly every Christian marriage has an unspoken struggle - the lack of spiritual intimacy. Revealing how to overcome busy schedules and uncomfortable faith issues, the Larsons and Arps provide 10 flexible, creative, and themed date ideas to jump-start a spiritual connection between you and your spouse. Discover what's important in life and grow closer together.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 076421134X
ISBN-13: 9780764211348
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Finally, a Way to Connect Spiritually That You'll BOTH Enjoy!

While juggling the kids, work, church, and community commitments, are you and your spouse finding time to connect? When was the last time you had a good talk about faith or did a devotional together?

To help you jump-start deeper connections, four marriage experts have come up with 10 creative date ideas, each centered on a spiritual theme, including
· Appreciating your differences
· Experiencing God together
· Facing the storms of life
· Connecting through prayer

With the planning taken care of--including flexible suggestions for before, during, and after the date--you and your spouse can simply enjoy the time sharing what's important in life.

Download a free leader's guide for small groups at 10greatdates.org.

"Finally, here is a book that helps couples connect spiritually, and all in the fun format of Great Dates. I highly recommend this book for couples, small groups, and churches who want to strengthen and build godly marriages."--Gary Chapman, PhD, author of The 5 Love Languages

"This book goes beyond spending time together. It offers guidance on deepening an emotional and spiritual bond. Each exercise provides insight and opportunities to authentically know and be known in new ways, bringing honor to one another and glory to God."--Gayle DiMartino, marriage ministry director, Willow Creek Community Church

"This book is both practical and fun. It gives couples tangible ways to grow together spiritually all in the fun, guilt-free format of great dates. The Larsons and Arps have done the work. All you need to do is carve out time for your 10 Great Dates!"--Gary Smalley, author of The DNA of Relationships

"Don't settle for an individual faith walk when connecting spiritually as a couple could transform your marriage. This book provides an effective road map for couples who want to journey together."--Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, #1 New York Times authors of The Good Fight

"This wonderfully written book takes what often is an elusive and mysterious discipline for couples and provides 10 life-building opportunities to move past the mundane of life and get to what really matters. Experience it!"--Ron L. Deal, author of The Smart Stepfamily and coauthor of The Remarriage Checkup

"Few things possess the potential to add to the overall satisfaction and meaning of marriage like really connecting spiritually. The Larsons and the Arps do an amazing job of gracefully and playfully helping us walk together toward fulfilling our deepest longings and desires."--Robert Paul, co-president, National Institute of Marriage

"With its focus on spiritual intimacy, this book is a refreshing change from the standard marriage materials on emotional and physical connection. The Larsons and Arps have provided us with an amazing resource."--Shawn Stoever, PhD, senior director, WinShape Foundation

"This book will refresh your marriage. You can't beat the life-changing content, 10 meaningful dates, and the wisdom of some of America's finest marriage experts."--Jim and Cathy Burns, authors of Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together; speakers at Creating an Intimate Marriage seminars

Author Bio

Peter and Heather Larson do premarital counseling, speaking events, and marriage education together in a variety of settings. Peter is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-developed the customized version of the widely used PREPARE/ENRICH couples assessment tool. Heather is associate director of Marriage Alive. Married for 17 years, the Larsons have three school-aged children and live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Coauthors David and Claudia Arp, founders of Marriage Alive, have written more than 30 books. Their 10 Great Dates seminar is popular across the U.S. and internationally. Frequently appearing in national media, the Arps have been married nearly 50 years and live in Great Falls, Virginia. Learn more at www.marriagealive.com.

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
5 out Of 5
(5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. Kansas City
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    "Ten Great Dates by Larson & Arp"
    October 29, 2013
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a book written by four people, two married couples: Peter & Heather Larson and David & Claudia Arp. The Arps have written many books about marriage and are founders of a marriage ministry. The Larsons both have degrees in psychology--he a doctorate, and she a masters level. They have worked with couples, and host the DVD of "10 Great Dates." These four have a lot of experience with people, and care about helping marriages thrive.

    This book promises to bring married couples closer in their faith, their love, and their marriage. They do this by setting up ten different dates for the couples to go on. Each date will have at least one objective to achieve.

    Before each date, the couple needs to follow the instructions the Larsons and Arps have for each outing. This includes a worksheet found at the back of the book for each individual to fill out. There are suggested locations for each date, as well as, conversations starters and advice about topics that should be steered clear of. Also, the dates should be done in order.

    The very first date addresses the subject of praying together as a couple. Studies show that couples that pray together have very positive things as a result. This topic is so important to a marriage it comes first. Many other subjects are covered in the upcoming dates including the very real problem of pornography.

    This book has lots of great ideas. I think if a couple followed them they would find their marriage all the stronger for it. Although the subject of strengthening marriages is serious, the date ideas are fun, and could even be done on a tight budget. I am glad the book emphasizes the importance of praying together, and wisely suggests engaged couples address that area before marriage. I am blessed with a spouse who prayed with me from the beginning, and can say how much that has fortified and enriched our relationship.

    This book is easy to read, and is a small cost to pay for the many dividends that could come to a marriage by trying out the ideas in this volume. I recommend it, and give it five stars.

    The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
  2. Ohio
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Ministry Tool
    October 21, 2013
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I was totally sucked into this book at the dedication page!

    "This book is written to create a legacy of spiritual growth in marriages, starting with our won families, children and grandchildren. May God richly bless your lives and your marriage!"

    "In the following pages will be your date coaches. No matter where you are in life, married without kids, or with a full house like the Larsons, or empty nesters like the Arps, there is something here for every couple." (Page 12) The 10 great dates are each a chapter in the book and include topics such as connecting faith and love, appreciating your differences, building your marriage on a strong foundation and making your marriage a lighthouse. Each chapter has a brief Pre-Date Preparation, Date-Night Tips, Chapter Summary, and Post-Date questions. Early in the book, the authors clearly instruct couples to extend grace throughout the process including NOT forcing a spouse to do an activity or answer a question they are unwilling to. "God does not force us to do things against our will -so let Him be your model." (Page 11) GREAT ADVICE!

    At first. I was apprehensive. I suspected this was a book with serious topics which required long, involved heart-to-hearts with my spouse. In reality, it is what you make it. There are only a few key verses to read and discuss and a few questions for "jumping off points". This book is especially good for couples who are new to being a God follower and would like to figure out how to connect on a spiritual level as it feels "weird" to do things differently than "how we've always done it". It is also good for couples in a change of life situation like becoming an empty nester. I was cynical when they claimed this book was usable by couples in "every walk of life". But it really IS! Again, it is what you make it!

    Great tool for those in the ministry, as well! My husband is a pastor and I appreciate tools which encourage couples to get closer spiritually!
  3. NY
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Good ideas, not very practical
    October 10, 2013
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    10 Great Dates ~ Connecting Faith, Love & Marriage was written by two couples, Peter and Heather Larson, and David and Claudia Arp.

    The book is meant to encourage couples into a more intimate relationship, deepening their Faith, Love, and Marriage. The authors have divided the book into ten various discussions. Their suggestion is that couples set aside ten opportunities for dates, read the chapter for that date in advance, then discuss the chapter during their date. Some topics of discussion are "Connecting Faith and Love", "Appreciating Your Difference", "Loving Your Closest Neighbor", and "Making Your Marriage A Lighthouse." There are perforated pages at the back of the book to use in your discussion times, on your date. The chapters end with a "Post-Date Spiritual Discovery", which further encourages couples to meditate on the chapter and scripture, as well as spend time in prayer over the subject matter.

    Overall, the book has godly applications for any marriage. I do, however, think the actual process would be much more challenging to implement. I cannot see myself having an intimate discussion with my spouse while out to dinner. It is also more challenging to get away for dates when one is limited in their budget and lacking in childcare. I am sure that there are ways to 'date' that do not involve dinner or even leaving home, however, that is a rare and special treat, so when it's offered, I'm taking advantage of it. I cannot see myself using this book in the way suggested at all. It might be possible to utilize it in a different way, but not while out on a date.

    I received a copy of this book, free of charge, from Bethany House Publishers for the sole purpose of reviewing. All thoughts and ideas expressed in this review are my own.
  4. TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great concept
    October 2, 2013
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    There are a ton of books out there about Christian marriages. But this book takes the couple on a path using dates to reconnect the marriage spiritually. When the stresses and daily grind of life happens, a couple can find themselves drifting slowly apart. Then as they age, their differences seem to become insurmountable. The authors wrote this book to bring the couple together again (or to be used as the marriage is starting) while connecting their faith. The end result will be a powerful couple for Christ.

    There are tear-outs at the back of the book to be used on the dates.

    I enjoyed reading the stories throughout each chapter. They did a great job of illustrating the points. The chapter discusses the topic that will be used on the date. At the end of the chapter are the instructions for each couple do do to prepare for their date. The dates is a bit of a misnomer. These are really just some quiet time set aside to talk about the chapter and to answer the questions from the tear-out pages.

    My only reservation would be length of the chapters. It's going to take both people being completely committed to doing these dates. And I know several people that would love the idea, but would balk at reading that much each week in addition to the dates.

    I received this book free of charge from in exchange for my honest review.
  5. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 18, 2013
    Phronsie Howell
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    My husband and I want to "dig deeper" together but we really struggle with it. As I read through this book I got excited about sharing it with my husband. It's really what we've been longing to do for years but haven't had a guideline to start.

    There's, obviously, 10 chapters/dates that are well-outlined and each one focuses on a different spiritual aspect of your marriage. There are "pre-date" exercises (printed in duplicate) in the back of the book so you can both gather your thoughts. There's also "post-date" exercises to do which are pretty much devotionals that focus on the specific topic of the date.

    I know I'm excited to go back through this book with my spouse! Honestly, I think everyone would benefit from working through this book. Some more than others, but there's still some benefit even for more "experienced" couples.

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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