I Gave Dating A Chance by Jeramy Clark
The author states that he wrote the book in response to the "no dating" movement. From the back of the book. "The time has come for a sound, biblical and practical approach that balances out the extreme perspectives: dating without responsibility versus a complete withdrawal from the dating process. Learn how you can confidently pursue healthy dating relationships that are characterized by holiness and integrity – and ultimately bring glory and honor to God".
Some things I liked about this book were that he encourages dating not as a means to romance but as a means of getting to know one another. He suggests activities that are more conducive to learning about each other. Included are good ideas on how to keep the date "safe". There is a chapter on how to chose your date, which gives great guidelines, even for those not going to date but in considering what you would like in a mate. In his chapter on quality control he delves quite a bit into character, both in looking for a person of character and becoming a person of character. There are many warnings about guarding your heart and keeping pure. The author had some great points on modesty, mens’ and womens’ roles and treating each other with brotherly or sisterly love. One quote on modesty: "Modesty is a state of being; it involves how you think and act. Modesty affects every part of your life, from speech to dress to how you sit." Pg 129.
On the down, side he gives examples, some from his own life of how people crossed their boundaries. I felt that his examples showed how hard it is to stay emotionally neutral to someone you are spending alone time with. He speaks about identifying when you’re ready to date and when your not, which is fine if you are dealing with emotionally mature people, but expecting a 16 year old to recognize this is a bit out of hand. He also speaks quite a bit about casual dating, "just for fun", but his examples seem to show that this would be a difficult thing to accomplish. In a couple of places he seems to imply that those who don’t believe dating is a good option, keep themselves completely from the opposite sex, which in my experience is a false assumption.
While I do agree with him on the fact that young men and women need to understand how their demeanor and actions affect their brothers and sisters and that they need to learn how to interact with one another, I remain unconvinced that dating is the way to accomplish this. Family activities, church activities and group outings can provide such opportunities and a much safer environment.