I was highly skeptical when I began reading Not Another Dating Book, by Renee Fisher, as I fully expected it to be, well, another dating book. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that the title was completely accurate: it is not another dating book.
Fisher takes a different approach by writing her book in a devotional format. While the 80 topics are mostly standard fare for dating books – such as being content in singleness, remaining pure, handling break-ups – they are presented as short, easy-to-digest vignettes. Fisher gets straight to the point for each topic and always brings the focus back to God and what the Bible says about relationships, bothwith members of the opposite sex and with God himself.
Following each short essay, Fisher offers a prayer and then asks the reader to consider a particular scripture and respond to the scripture and the particular topic she has just addressed. At the end of each topic, Fisher provides quotes on relationships from singles wrestling through the issues.
Interspersed throughout the book are sections where singles have shared their dating disasters. These comical stories add a lighthearted break from the heavy subject matter. Plus, it’s always nice to be reminded that there is always someone out who has had worse dating experiences than you.
Fisher puts the greatest focus on our relationship with God. Every topic that she addresses always comes back around to Him. For example, in writing about crushes, she notes that having a crush can be a huge distraction. She encourages the reader to wait upon God’s timing, not to force the crush into a relationship, and to use the opportunity to draw closer to God, knowing that He will work out His plans for you.
The use of scripture through the book was another aspect that I appreciated as the Bible should be our ultimate authority in all relationship issues. Having scripture handy for each topic allows the reader to easily tackle tough issues and address questions from God’s perspective. The interactive short-answer questions make the reader think through his or her own ideas on dating, what he or she is looking for in a prospective partner, and what God wants relationships to look like. This isn’t just a book that you can casually read through and find a magic formula for finding a partner. It’s a book that causes you to think and consider relationships from the biblical worldview.
Not Another Dating Book is a great book for those just starting to wade into the waters of the dating world or those who have been swimming in the single waters for a while. Everyone can find insight on the stage of his or her relationship and everyone can use the book to draw closer to God.
Note: Between the writing and publishing of this book, the author got married, changing her last name from Johnson to Fisher. Some promotional items, such as the “not another book trailer” have retained her maiden name.
Not Another Dating Book: A Devotional Guide to ALL Your Relationships by Renee Fisher
Harvest House Publishers copyright 2012
176 pp. $11.99 ISBN 9780736945356