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If you’re looking for a solid foundation for Christian dating, Not Yet Married is a great place to begin.
“Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating” by Marshall Segal is probably my favorite book on the topic of dating. In this review, I’ll talk about what I liked, what I didn’t, and why long-distance couples should consider reading it.
But first, a quick note: Don’t let the book’s title turn you off. The author wholeheartedly agrees that marriage doesn’t complete you (only Christ can do that), and he explains why he chose that title in the first chapter.
Personally, I think the title Not Yet Married is helpful because it distinguishes between the lifelong gift of celibacy and the temporary season of singleness. This book is intentionally directed toward people who want to be married but aren’t yet.
Also, did you know? The audiobook version of Not Yet Married is free on Amazon when you sign up for an Audible trial. You can cancel anytime before the 30-day trial ends to avoid charges, but you’ll still get to keep your free book!
What I Liked
Not Yet Married is relevant and grounded in Biblical truth. A lot of Christian books on dating feel a little too preachy, and they often create extra requirements that aren’t in the Bible. This book doesn’t do that. Segal’s recommendations are widely applicable and he always points you back to the gospel.
I was also encouraged by the personal stories that Segal shares. He speaks as someone who’s intimately familiar with the struggles of singleness and dating. At the same time, he excels at helping you learn to delight in Christ more than a husband or a wife.
The first half of the book speaks more to singleness, but I’d encourage you to read it even if you’re dating. It’s very easy to carry misconceptions about singleness into dating relationships, and it’s important to sort them out.
What I Didn’t Like
There’s a lot to love about Not Yet Married, but one drawback is that if you’re a frequent reader of Desiring God, some of this book’s content may feel familiar. A few sections of the book are taken almost verbatim from Segal’s online articles.
However, he does include plenty of new content in the book, so it’s still worthwhile. It’s just something you should know before you purchase it.
Why Long-Distance Couples Should Read Not Yet Married
Anyone who is dating can benefit from learning how to seek and honor Christ in a dating relationship. This book is helpful whether you’re in your first relationship or your fifteenth.
Also, the author and his wife dated long-distance for two years. While the book focuses on singleness and dating in general, it’s encouraging to know that Segal deeply understood the unique challenges of long-distance dating as he was writing.
Favorite Quotes from Not Yet Married
“God is trying to give us unconditional love, indescribable joy, and unparalleled purpose, but many of us are just trying to get married.”
“We’re prone to idolize marriage while dating, resting our hope and happiness on him or her rather than on God.”
“When we look for someone we can marry, we’re not looking first for something physical or financial or convenient or fun. We’re looking for God in one another and in our future together.”
“When we’re asking questions about how to date and where to draw the lines sexually, we should draw a cross. The cross was the highest act and expression of love the world has ever known, and it’s the mold for our relationships and for our pursuit of sexual purity.”
Where To Buy
Not Yet Married is available on Amazon as well as from other sellers.