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.
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!
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.
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.
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.