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Grace and Truth Books {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

November 8, 2012

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Grace and Truth Books is an online Christian book store that doesn’t believe in media trends or elaborate book covers.  What they do believe in is “what will glorify God, strengthen His people in their walk, and call all peoples to find joy in knowing His gospel and following Him.”   Though online, this modern book store relies on traditional literature, the kind from generations gone by.  They focus on “a firm understanding of our relationship with the Lord, character-building, and spiritual growth.”

For this review, Grace and Truth Books offered many options – be sure to checkout what my fellow crew mates had to say about the books they read, too!  I was selected for Courtship & Dating:  So What’s the Difference by Dennis Gundersen.  I have been interested in this topic for many years even though my oldest child is only 11.   I feel like I need to be ready for this upcoming period in our lives before it gets here.  I was excited to be able to read this book with the hopes it would clear some things up for me.  Some of the questions I had were:  What is courtship?  When does it begin?  How does it begin?  What does a couple look like that is courting?  How would courting end if it is determined there will not be a wedding?  How do you allow your daughter to court when she’s away at college?

These and many more questions were answered in the Courtship & Dating book.  Some of the answers truly depend on your situation, but I was pleased to find that this book shared options of what courtship might look like in various family situations.  Although courtship is not mentioned specifically in the Bible, many Christians are beginning to lean toward this method of finding someone to marry for their children.  Why is it taking precedence over dating?  It is basically because courting starts in the home.  It relies on parental thoughts and opinions in conjunction with the children and focuses on family instead of the entertainment value of being alone together.  The reality of choosing a spouse is that your life revolves more around work than recreation therefore the selection of this spouse should, too.  Courtship surrounds the courting couple with family and encourages friendship first and only when the child is eligible for marriage.  It ends the series of boyfriends and girlfriends and broken hearts and feelings of worthlessness.
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Courtship & Dating:  So What’s the Difference? is really a 90 page book with five other books/excerpts inside.  It also includes “Marriage Without the Consent of Parents” by Martin Bucer, “Observations on Courtship” by Kim Shay, “On Parents and Their Children’s Marriage” by Martin Luther, “Modeling Modesty” by Mary Mohler, and “Modesty, the Best Policy” by Tamika Burns.  So, after 35 pages of courtship verses dating discussion, the reader is taken back in time to the 16th century with Swiss Reformer Martin Bucer.

Then, once again in present time, Kim Shay shares her thoughts on courtship.  She’s read several books on the topic and she shares what courtship looks like in her own family.  I felt like I related most to Kim, as she is a mother as I am and spoke from such a viewpoint.

Martin Luther’s excerpt focused mainly on why parents shouldn’t force their children to get married nor should they keep them from getting married.  He also discussed why he thought the Bible taught that children should not get engaged without a parent’s consent.

The final two passages focused on modesty in women.  Mary Mohler presented several examples of how Christian women can innocently fall into the traps of being immodest.  These were helpful to me because I judge other people easily.  It gave me insight into how simple it is to be careless about modesty and thus fall into a pattern of immodesty.  It was also a bit convicting in that, though I am a modest individual, I could easily see myself in her analogies.  Finally, Tamika Burns shared a short, 2-pages on the difficulties of being modest and how and why you should remain modest is this modern (immodest) world.

My opinion?  A great, easy-to-read introductory book into the world of courting.  (It could honestly be started and finished in one day, so if you need a crash course in courting, this is the book for you.)  I think this book could also be read by older teenagers as well to give them a little insight into why their parents may wish for them to court instead of date.

Courtship & Dating: So What’s the Difference?  is available from Grace and Truth Books for $5.75.   Learn more about the history and people behind Grace and Truth Books here.

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DISCLAIMER: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a complimentary copy of Courtship or Dating for the purpose of completing this review. All the opinions expressed here are my own and are offered honestly in exchange for the product. The receipt of the product in no way influenced my honest assessment.
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