My mom had talked about Chapman’s original book about the five love languages since I was young. But it was only recently that I discovered that there was a version written specifically to single adults. When I found out about it, I was so excited to read it. When I finally got it, I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in two days. These concepts about love languages are something that every person needs to read. But I believe it’s especially significant to learn this in your singles years, because it will build into any future dating relationships and in marriage. I absolutely recommend this to any of my single friends, and for anyone that isn’t single, there is probably an edition of this book written for you. Do a little research and get it. You won’t regret it ~ Bethel
Love is expressed is many different ways, but these expressions don’t always mean the same thing to different people. Something that is meaningful to one person may not be to another. This can make it hard for us to figure out how to best express love. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. This can make things difficult for all relationships: family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, roommates, and the list could go on. It’s so hard to know how to relate well to each other when we struggle to express love in a way that others can relate to. This can seem to be an especially hard struggle for single adults, especially those who haven’t ever been married. It makes us ask the question: how can I learn to love others better as a single adult?
In his book, The 5 Love Languages (Singles Edition), Gary Chapman walks us through the five “languages” in which all human communicate love, and how singles can apply these love languages to all relationships in our lives. Some feel most loved through words of affirmation. Some feel and express love best through receiving or giving gifts. Some feel most loved through acts of service. Some feel loved through spending quality time with those they care about. And some feel and express love best through physical touch. Out of each of these languages, everyone has a primary love language in which makes them feel the most loved. But understanding and learning to communicate all five are important for us to find ways to love others more. Chapman walks through what these love languages look like lived out with parents and siblings, as well as those that may be looking toward romantic relationships in the future. He also talks about relating to roommates, classmates, and coworkers. He even walks through single parents loving their children better. All of this is presented in friendly and relevant writing style that anyone can understand. These truths about love languages are profound, especially in a day and age when we are quick to make things about ourselves. But this book is a great tool to help us reach out beyond our own love language into the other languages so that we can love others the way that Christ did. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently single, or anyone who wants to figure out how to relate to singles better. If you don’t fit into those categories, there is probably an edition of this book written for you. Get your copy today!
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Teen Rating. This book could be read by a teen, but the main reason I am giving this rating is because there is a teen edition of this book that I would recommend they check out before this one. Although it doesn’t discuss anything inappropriate, I personally think this book is better saved for those that are college-age or older
When I first heard that a local church was going to be doing a women’s bible study through this book, I was so excited. Not only had this book been sitting on my shelf for a quite a while waiting to be read, but I was excited to be a part of an adult women’s study for the first time. When you have the opportunity to hear the author reading or quoting their book in their own voice, it makes that message all the more meaning, and that made the videos from the study curriculum the icing on the cake for me. I was blown away by how relevant is book and the topic of rejection is to my life, not just my current circumstances, but throughout my whole life. It was a blessing to go through this book with a great group of women that together learned how to live loved. I would say that this book is relevant to anyone, regardless of their age and their season of life. I highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone ~ Bethel
Rejection. We all hate it. We all struggle with it. We all find ways to avoid facing it now. We all find ways to avoid dealing with the past. From rejection in relationships from rejection in jobs from rejection from our dreams, all of deal with it. But so few of us actually know how to handle it in healthy ways. So many of us get consumed by it to the point that it prevents us from living our lives to the fullest. Even for those of us that follow the Lord, many of us struggle with feeling like God will inevitably reject us like many of the people around us have. This makes it difficult for us to live our lives in light of God’s grace and make it hard for us to love God and love others. We also become all the more susceptible to Satan’s lies about our identity that can steal our joy, our faith, and our future. It makes us ask the question: Is a constructive and God-honoring way to handle rejection?
In her book Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst helps to see that there is a way to process rejection so that even when we face, we can still live loved in the light of God’s grace. Lysa acknowledges that all of us have or will face rejection at some point in our lives, so that we need to honestly admit when we struggle with it. From many personal stories as well as relevant biblical narratives, Lysa helps us see many aspects of rejection, some that we may have never thought of as part of rejection. But we are reminded that even when it seems like the world has cast us aside, that is not what God is doing to us. He is using the difficulties of our circumstances to set us apart. We are reminded even when rejection seems to run us dry, the Lord can and will fill us up in His time, if we turn to Him. We are also reminded that Jesus chose to take the rejection of mankind onto Himself so that we don’t have to be bound by our circumstances. When we are able to embrace that, then we are able to live loved, even when we face rejection. This book is written in a friendly and relevant tone that anyone can find accessible. Lysa speaks powerfully from the wisdom of her own experience as well as integrating that well with truth from God’s word. I recommend this book to anyone young or old, male or female, especially if you struggle with rejections, past or present. Get your copy today!
Male-Friendly Rating. Although this book was written with adult women in mind, I really think that men can gain a lot from reading this book. It is written in such a way that it nothing inappropriate for men is discussed. In fact, some of the endorsements for the book are written by a few of favorite male authors (Bob Goff and Jefferson Bethke).
Singles-Friendly Rating. I added this rating to this book because, although it is not a relationship book specifically, many women in their singleness struggle with rejection because they’ve lost a relationship or they’ve never been in one before. I know this book personally helped me in this area. I think this book is a must read for single women
This book completely changed the way I understand my faith. I was very curious about the book when it was assigned reading my first semester of college. When I finally read it, I could not put it down. I was compelled by the sheer volume of evidence that supports and validates the Bible’s account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It was also powerful to see that even the most stanch of atheists converted when he finally added up the evidence and saw a genuine heart change in his wife. I later came to read more of Lee’s books, hear him speak in person, and eventually lead studies through two of his student books. But this book left the greatest mark and gave me a passion for apologetics that I still have to this day. This is a book that every Christian needs to read, end of story ~ Bethel
Evidence. Many claim that the Bible lacks any real evidence outside of itself to support what it says, especially when it comes to the accounts of the life of Jesus. These same people claim that they need to see it in order to believe it. But yet, they tend to live by their feelings that give way to bias against God and hardens their hearts toward anything the Bible says. What can be worst is when this tension between faith in God and faith in nothing is brought into a marriage. Many think there is no way for the marriage to survive, or for the unbelieving spouse to be converted. This situation lead one man ask the question: is there actually evidence that supports the case for Christ?
In his bestselling book, The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel presents a powerful collection of evidence in favor of Christ that started when he wanted to disprove the newfound faith of his wife, Leslie. As an investigative journalist working for the Chicago Tribune, atheist Lee decided to find the best experts available on different areas of biblical scholarship to try and find the holes in Christianity. The book takes you through about two years of interviews with these experts in their given fields. In this accessible interview style, these experts walked with Lee through the ability to verify the manuscripts for the Bible as we know it today, the validity of the existence of Jesus, the validity of his messiahship, and the validity of his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. What you find is that many of the presumed holes in the Bible or in the Christian faith are quickly closed with a little research. And what Lee discovered after two years of investigation is that when you put all the evidence together, it would have taken greater faith to hold onto his atheism than to accept Christianity. Also brought to the faith by the loving faithfulness of his wife, Lee accepted Christ as his Savior and has used this book to support the case for Christ. This book is well-written, informative, but also accessible to anyone on any level. The combination of the powerful evidence and the personal story at the heart of it makes it one of the best resources on apologetics available today. If you haven’t yet read this book, especially if you have questions about Jesus, then this book is a must read. Get your copy today!
If you like Lee’s book, then there are some other resources you should also check out:
Other Books by Lee Strobel – Lee went on to write so many other books in a similar series to that of The Case for Christ. But the two most popular that I personally recommend are The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator. Reviews on these books will come at a future date!
When I first heard that sisters Kristen and Bethany were releasing another book, I was so excited. Since I was on the launch team for their first book, Girl Defined, I knew that this was a book I did not want to miss. I was excited to be accepted onto the launch team for this book as well. Although recent circumstances in my life prevented me from being prepared for the book’s launch day on May 1, I was so compelled when I finally got around to listening to the audiobook version. I basically listened to it straight through. When it comes to explaining the ins and out of singleness, marriage, and everything that comes in between, these sisters have you covered. I once again enjoyed the balanced perspectives of Kristen, who’s married, and Bethany, who was single at the time of writing the book. They are very understandable and relatable in their writing style and in their desire to help women everywhere to pursue God’s plan for finding lasting love. This is a book I would highly recommend ~ Bethel
The methods that our culture tries to present us for finding and maintaining lasting relationships are not working. Everything from infatuation disguised as love to sex before marriage to everything magically working itself out in marriage, Hollywood has tried to convince us this is the recipe for success and societal acceptance. But when you look carefully at the lives of those pursuing those methods, their lives are less than perfect. In fact, the statistics for divorce, abortion, and STDs are higher than ever before, but society won’t admit it because their methods are working. They continues to deceive us into a vicious cycle of infatuation and feelings that always results in our hearts getting broken, but we always go back to the same method. It leads many women to ask the question: How can I pursue God honoring relationships with guy, regardless of what season of life I’m in?
In their book Love Defined, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird of Girl Defined Ministries help us discover the ways that we can pursue God-honoring relationships that led to God-honoring marriages, all while giving hope that God has a plan and purpose for those of us that are single. They help us identify our culture’s “fairytale façade” and “Merry-Go-Round” method for satisfying relationships. They lead you to see that following these methods will result in disappointment and brokenness if we continue to rely on them. Instead, they offer a perspective on love, sex, and romance that is radically fresh and truly fulfilling when compared to our culture’s methods. To counter our culture’s methods, they offer a method to approach relationships that puts God in the center and won’t leave you broken, even if it doesn’t work out. Bethany also takes time to watch through the struggles of singleness, but offer advice on how to live your single years well while learning to be satisfied in Jesus. Kristen also walks through her relationship with her husband, and how they involved God in the process of their relationship. Together they address big questions like how to be just friends with guys, if you should date a non-Christian, or warning signs that its time to end a relationship. They conclude with a challenge to live our love defined by God, regardless of what phrase of life you are in. These sisters are a dynamic pair as teachers and writers, and they will inspire you to redefine what you know about romance from God’s perspective. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review, as part of my involvement in the book’s launch team
To read my review of their first book, Girl Defined, click here
To read my last post (which explains the recent circumstances in my life), click here
I was standing alone in the youth room of my church. Or at least it was my church. That room was where I had taught many lessons and played many games with the church’s junior and senior high students for over a year. That room had been one of my favorite places. But now, it was a reminder of what I was about to face. In only about 15 minutes, I was going into a meeting with the church’s elders. Under other circumstances, this would not have been a big deal. I had known most of those men for several years and considered them to be friends of my family. But now it was different, because four days earlier, these men dismissed my dad as senior minister of the church after 17 ½ years.* The reason for the meeting was to see if I would be allowed to finish the school year with the youth group that my ministry partner and I had dedicated over a year of volunteer time to build up. I had so many emotions running through my heart and my mind, I didn’t know what to make of it.
This scene happened only a few months ago. I do believe that it has become one of the defining moments of my life. I believe I will still think that 20 or 30 years from now. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, because the pain of the loss and separation were so fresh. But by God’s grace I walked into that meeting and was granted my request. The only stipulation they gave is that they wanted to make sure I would get plugged into another church, since they figured it would be too difficult to attend with them on Sunday mornings. When I told them I had a plan to look at churches in the area, they all stated how much they appreciated my willingness to come to the meeting and finish the work I had started, despite the difficulties of my circumstances.
Some of my friends or members of that congregation have questioned why I chose to stay a little longer or how I could bring myself to even go to that meeting. Some of you who are reading this post may be wondering the same thing. But as I have looked back on the last few months, I have come to realize that I began to find healing faster because I chose to face a painful situation head on instead of hiding from it. It’s something that author Levi Lusko coined as “running toward the roar” in his book Through the Eyes of a Lion [click link to read my review]. Facing that meeting changed everything for me, and I want to share about three things that have happened in my life because God gave me the power to “run toward the roar.”
I Learned How to Forgive Despite My Feelings
The night after my dad told me he had been let go, I couldn’t fall asleep. So I turned on a movie that addresses the issues of loss and forgiveness. Amish Grace is a film based on the true story about the Amish school shooting of 2006, in which a local milk truck driver in Pennsylvania entered a one-room school house with an arsenal of guns. He let all the boys and the teacher go, but took ten girls hostage. He eventually shot all ten girls before taking his own life. In the end, 5 of the 10 girls died within 24 hrs of the shooting, and the others survived with serious injuries. Obviously, it was a devastation to the Amish community, but they responded in ways that the world did not expect. In the film (which was slightly fictionalized), you see some Amish elders, including Gideon, a father who had lost his daughter, go the wife of the shooter to consul her and tell her that they had chosen to forgive Charlie, later that same day. The rest of the Amish community seems to support this decision to forgive, except for Gideon’s wife. Ida cannot let go of her anger, believing that choosing to forgive was betraying her daughter. She takes out her anger on the shooter’s wife when she runs into her. Ida is so bitter, she even makes plans to leave her Amish community and taking her surviving daughter away from her husband.
But the most powerful part of the film for me is at the end. Right before she plans to leave, Gideon asks Ida to go to a group meeting with a grief counselor, which would include other Amish parents that had lost children and the wife of the shooter, Amy. The audience learns that Amy is in the same place as Ida, not knowing how to forgive her husband for what he did to the Amish girls, and what he did to her and their children. At this point, an Amish mother who had lost two daughters shared a thought that I don’t know if I will ever forget. It was exactly what I needed to hear after everything that happened:
Every morning when I wake, I expect to hear Anna and Lydia singing together as they do their chores. But the silence reminds me that they’re gone, and I become so full of anger, I can barely breathe. But then I offer that anger up to God and I forgive. Sometimes, I have to do it again in an hour, and again an hour after that. But if I didn’t do that, I don’t know how I would ever breathe again.
As I was lying in my bed at 5 am still unable to sleep, I knew that kind of forgiveness, the kind that would compel most of that Amish community to attend the shooter’s funeral, or the kind that compelled Ida’s daughter to tell the man about to shoot her that she would pray for him, was the kind I had to challenge myself to have, no matter how painful it would be. So when I finally sat down with the elders, this is what I told them:
Just like they say love is not a feeling but a decision, I believe that forgiveness is a decision we sometimes have to make despite our feelings. I have been very hurt by what has happened and I am still healing, but I want you all to know that I have made the decision to forgive you.
It was difficult to say, but I said it, even with tears in my eyes. I said it because I was compelled to demonstrate the same grace that I would hope someone would show me, the same grace that we all want but never deserve on our own merit. The same grace we can only receive as a result of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We all need grace, but we struggle to give grace. We get so caught up in the guilty party’s offense that we cannot see past ourselves. But the sacrifice of Jesus was an offer of grace for every person who accepts it and then shapes their life in response to it. We don’t get to pick and choose who receives God’s grace, and neither should we. Part of dying to ourselves, as we are called to do by Christ, is choosing to give grace to anyone in our lives that is difficult to love or forgive. I hope that sharing this story will help you learn to do the same thing.
I Found a New Calling In the Midst of My Healing
Most of my friends know that since I started high school, I’ve wanted to become a music minister or worship director. In fact, I could have told you my plan the day I started high school. From then until I graduated from college in 2014, I never deviated from that plan. But when I was completing my music ministry internship the spring before I graduated, it became apparent that some gaps in my proficiency and personal training would prevent for pursuing music ministry after I graduated. I was so confused. I had pursued God’s calling as faithfully I knew how and I was still unable to devote my career to ministry. As a result, I really struggled with what I should do with my future when I moved back home. Although I was involved in music ministry, I wasn’t getting paid, and went back and forth from being in leadership to just being a participant. I struggled to find a job. Any job. It was a very difficult and uncertain time.
But I didn’t realize what God was doing behind the scenes to prepare me for something greater. Just as circumstances required me to take a step back from leading in music ministry again, an opportunity opened up for myself and a deacon to take over leadership of the youth ministry. In some ways, it surprised me. Although I had been a youth sponsor in college, I hadn’t really been involved in organizing a youth group. But I believed it was a need I could fulfill with Todd, so we jumped into it. We did what we could to teach but also have fun with our teens. It wasn’t easy, even for Todd who has youth ministry training, but after about a year, we really began to see great things happened in our group. We began to see growth in our numbers and in their understanding of their faith. Todd and I were both excited about what God had in store for our group in 2018.
But at the end of January, everything changed overnight. When my dad was let go, I was immediately afraid of what would become of the youth group if I would not allowed to return in light of what had already been planned for the spring. Only a few days later, I was given permission to finish out the school year. But the few days in between when I didn’t know were some of most emotionally trying days I’ve ever faced. After that was said and done, I came to realize how much I cared about our students and how much I had been devoted to the ministry. It made me think that maybe I could find a future in doing this kind of work as a job. Only about 3 weeks later, we took our Jr. High students to a youth conference in Cincinnati. Over that weekend, Todd and I had some honest conversations about the direction I was going with my life in regards to ministry. By the end of that weekend, I came to a major decision:
I want to become a youth minister
Some of you that have known me for a while might be shocked to hear me say this. Honestly, I’m still kind of shocked to be saying it. But as I look back over all of my ministry experiences, I now recognize that God was preparing my heart to work with students when I wasn’t looking. I attended a Jr. high conference at as sponsor my senior year of high school. I helped with a large Jr. high girls lock-in with a local Christian venue my freshman year of college. I spent about a year and half in college (minus the summers) working with my brother-in-law’s youth group, including teaching Jr. high Sunday school. When I was on my internship, I taught in a high school small group since my cousin was the youth minister. Before I officially became a youth leader, I had already lead two girls Bible studies and had attended a few youth conferences as a sponsor. It ends up adding up to a total of about 4 years I have spent volunteering in youth ministry. It all happened when I wasn’t looking, because God was subtly guiding me to a different future than I saw for myself. It’s something I would have never considered a year ago, or even 6 months ago. But God used my ability to trust Him during a painful trial of my life to help me find my new calling. I believe He can for you too.
I Found Healing Through A Surprising Friendship
I have said this before and I will say it again: community is an indispensable part of the Christian life, especially when we are going through trials. But unfortunately, most people don’t treat it like it is. In my post “Why This Millennial Isn’t Leaving the Church,” I mentioned my high school friend who claimed that because he was enrolled in a Christian school, he didn’t need to go to church. But in the end, he walked away from the faith when he left the school a year later. Adapting this kind of mentality is not just wrong, but it is dangerous, especially if you are going through personal struggles. The Christian life was not meant to be done alone, and this has been proven to me so clearly over the last few months. The day after my dad lost his job, many of the friends went out of their way to see how I was doing. Some would eventually invite me over to their house to spend time with them just so I could talk. Many of my friends have gone above and beyond to make sure there were they when I needed it. I am so grateful to each and every person who has been there for me through this difficult season. But in the end, the friend who has been there for me the most was not one of my girlfriends or even a friend my own age, but it was my ministry partner Todd.
I clearly remember talking to him on the phone the night after my dad was let go. I could hear the sympathy in his voice. He expressed genuine concern for myself and my family, since he is also a good friend of my dad’s. He wanted to support whatever decision I made. But what I remember the most clearly is when I told him the elders were planning to meet with me. His first words were, “I need to be there.” There were several reasons he told me, but the primary one, one that he didn’t verbalize, was that he did not want me going into that meeting alone. When the meeting came, he sat down next to me, listened to the plan I shared with the elders, and when the elders asked his opinion, he replied, “I’m just here for emotional support.” After the meeting, we walked out into the foyer and I asked Todd for a hug. Before that moment, I don’t think we had ever hugged. Although we had a mutual respect for each other, we just had not gotten to that place. But now, we were. I don’t know if I will ever forget that hug. It was probably one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever gotten in my life, and was a precious memory of the support he was giving me during such a difficult time in my life. All I could manage to say was “Thank you Todd. Thank you.” In that moment, although I knew the next few months would not be easy, I knew that I would not be facing any of it alone.
Now I know that one of the reasons that God wanted me to stay a little longer was so that Todd could walk through this trial with me. God brought him into my life for such a time as this. He continues to assure me that he’s not going anywhere once I finish my work with our ministry, and that he is looking forward to seeing what God is going to do with my life. Although I am sad that our ministry partnership is ending, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our friendship will continue. I hope that anyone that faces similar trials finds a friend that is able to do the same thing for you. If you do, don’t ever take that friendship for granted. Thank God for that friend often. I know I do.
I believe the God I serve is able to make something beautiful out of the broken. I choose to believe it, even when my feelings try to convince me otherwise. In some ways, He already has redeemed parts of what has happened to me and my family. I would never have concerned youth ministry as a job or have become better friends with Todd if I had gone through all this. But in other ways, when the pain is still difficult to face, I choose to believe that God will redeem all of it in His time. That brings me comfort and peace when it’s not easy to find. In the meanwhile, He promises to be ever-present in my pain. He knows my pain because He’s experienced pain. He doesn’t want me to experience it alone. He doesn’t want me to be paralyzed by my circumstances. He wants to use it to mold me into the image of His Son. That’s why we all have to learn to “run toward the roar.” Because that will be the best way for God to redeem our broken story.
[*Note: If you know the names of any of the people or places involved in this incident, please do not comment or share them. I still love and respect many people at my previous church. It is not my intention to demean the eldership or the church itself. I am just stating what happened as it impacted my life personally. Please respect my family’s privacy. Thank you]
Living in the Redemption of the price Jesus paid for you and me.
My name is Bethel, and welcome to my site, Princess Worth Dying For, where I hope to share Christian reviews, Christian Spoken Word, and a Christian Insights on everything from modesty to musicals. My main focus on this blog is book reviews, and the main focus of my YouTube channel is spoken word, but I do crossover work with both.
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