Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart is  one of the most important books I’ve read this year (apart from the Bible, of course). This book gave me a lot to chew on. It definitely made me rethink how I approach my dating life and how I’ll navigate engagement and marriage.

Single: Devotion

During singleness, this is the time we really get to figure out who we are, what we want, and focus on using our God given gifts to glorify Him. It’s in the seasons of singleness where we really deepen our relationship with God. Where we are so dependent on Him we don’t depend on our significant others to fill in the blanks or voids for us.

Sometimes the most loving gift God can give us is singleness.

Dating: Evaluation

The next phase is dating. This is the part where we need to pay attention. Dating exists for evaluation. Dating isn’t mean to find someone out there to complete us, but we should pay attention to the person’s character. Stuart says we need both character and chemistry in order for a relationship to work.

You want solid, Godly character and fun, easy, chemistry.

Engaged: Union

Engagement is about union. It’s about bringing two people together in every respect (except sex … not yet!) Stuart says, engagement focuses primarily on the union of three key areas of our lives: Family, Finances, and Future. All three must be out in the open for the relationship to move to the next stage; marriage.

Ask questions so you can minimize friction in the first years of marriage.

Married: Mission

God designed marriage to be a picture of Jesus and a pursuit of Him. The strongest bonds are formed when two people live out their marriage on a mission together.

God designs a husband and wife to complement each other.

This book put so many things in perspective for me in how I’ll navigate engagement and marriage. Marriage is a big deal. If two people have common vision, their marriage will work. There are so many other details that need to be worked out before we get there though and this is why I appreciate Stuart’s wisdom.

I highly recommend this book if you’re single or dating.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.