I received a copy of The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating to facilitate this review.
I am keeping The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating by Andy Stanley until my 11 year old twin girls are old enough to read it. Why? Because it says everything that I want to say to my girls , and it says it better than I ever could.
In New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating, pastor and bestselling author Andy Stanley provides practical, biblical, uncensored advice to anyone who is dating or thinking about marriage. Stanley outlines the triumphs and tragedies of dating in the twenty-first century.
A few days before I started reading this book, one of my oldest girlfriends and I were talking about how our parents talked to us about sex. Both sets, having the same views, basically told us “It’s bad to have sex before marriage.” and that was it.
When we tell kids “No.” with no reasoning, there is no way they’re going to follow through with our creed. Kids, and young adults, want to know why. There is an ingrained curiosity in kids of all ages to know the who, what, where, when, and why of all things. Only when they know the reason behind the statement, will they consider adopting it as their own beliefs. We literally set our children up for failure when we don’t explain why we wait for marriage to have sex.
The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating starts out with a chapter titled “The Right Person Myth” that takes on the Hollywood belief that when we find the right person, we will finally be OK. Andy Stanley debunks this theory but, more importantly, he expands on it in continuing chapter. He comes up with a brilliant line that I am going to use on my girls: “Are you the person the person you’re looking for is looking for?” This line basically sums up the book. I loved it! What a concept! You need to be the kind of person that the kind of person you want will actually want. This is a life truth that needs to be taught more than it is. It would change lives if we managed to get our children to understand this concept before they left the house so that they could apply it to all aspects of their lives. Jobs, relationships, etc.
Stanley really gets into the good stuff starting with Chapter 6 “The Gentleman’s Club” where he talks about how to treat a woman. This is left out of so many books, and young men are left to figure it out on their own. I love that Stanley laid it down in this Chapter about how God and Jesus actually LOVE women! They adore women and expect them to be lifted up, respected, cherished and valued. There is no chapter in this book about being a submissive wife, just reminders to men that Jesus consistently elevated the status of women while he was here and how men are expected to do the same. This is not talked about enough in relationship books and I applaud Andy Stanley for adding it.
Stanley uses Chapter 7 “The Way Forward” to talk about porn. He doesn’t just talk about how bad it is and that it goes against God’s plans, but he explains why it can harm you in the long run. And he suggests getting help for it before you start dating. Again, not another chapter with rules and no explanation, Stanley does a great job of breaking it down so that it makes sense to young minds.
Perhaps the best chapters of The New Rules are the last two, “The Talk” and “Designer Sex.” I can’t explain all the brilliance of this book in my review because it’s something best left to Stanley. He gets it! He explains it so well, that I was like “OOOOHHHHHHH!! That makes so much sense!” and I automatically wished someone had explained it like that to me. It is so perfect and exactly what I want my girls to understand before they leave my house. That’s why I’m saving this book until my girls are old enough to read and discuss it.
Andy Stanley managed to put into black and white what parents have been struggling to say for decades, and he does it with such a great sense of humor. I laughed out loud several times while reading because of Stanley’s sarcastic humor. I seriously can not recommend this book enough.
BUY IT: You can buy The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating by Andy Stanley on the Zondervan publishing site for $15.
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