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“Dating and the Single Parent” by Deal Critical Essay

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2019

Summary of the Book

The book referred to as “Dating and the Single Parents” contains discussions about love and dating that involves single parents (Deal, 2012). It was written tactfully to address the issues of all divorced parents who seek another relationship that may lead to remarriage.

The book begins with addressing what divorce involves and how it impacts the love life of single parents. Its preliminary indicates the self-evaluation of the single parents and their own life. It provides them the clear guidelines on evaluating and coming up with pertinent knowledge regarding their readiness in getting into another relationship.

Deal postulates some of the factors to consider during dating like its purpose, how to groom oneself and children, and the challenges that can be faced in the process. He clearly brings out how dating would affect a person’s spiritual life. Furthermore, the author provides real-life situations and testimonies from experiences of other single parents and children.

Precisely, Deal has also brought out some scenarios where single parents and their children experience challenges as this love progresses. The best places to find a matching lover have not been avoided by Deal. Deal uses the “Yellow, Red and Green lights” wisely as the checklists.

The fate of the children is addressed as exemplified in the case where he gives clear life experiences on love that occurs between the individual parents. This love that leads to marriage between single parents is forewarned as risky unless a person finds a partner who is committed to fulfill of his or her roles in the new family, especially those related to the kids.

In a bid to wrap-up the whole idea in the book, the author gives life advices that concerns marriage. He advises on the devotion involving marriage life, and the credible preparatory measures as an individual enters into a new family seeking to bring up the step-children. He recommends a clear understanding between the members of the separate families coming together and upraises the treatments suited for them.

Conclusively, Deal brings out the expected aspects while considering re-marrying after divorce, which raises the concept of the combined families. Furthermore, he provides proper advices defended by justified bible quotes to support his arguments.

Use of the Book to Christian Premarital Couples

The premarital couples are at an essential stage that requires proper counseling from the pastors (Wicker, 2003). Therefore, the pastors require appropriate guidelines to assist them in offering clear and non-misleading counseling to the couples.

The four types of premarital couples are harmonized couples, conflicted couples, traditional couples, and vitalized couples (Fowers & Olson, 2006). In this light, the proper literatures grounded on the church teachings are to be used by the pastors when preparing these prenuptial couples in the church.

Considering all the features argued by Deal (2012), he provides great teachings to the premarital couples. It presents some of the important learning experiences for both counselors and the counselees.

The features involved in any premarital counseling include steps to bring the couples together, issues that entail the roles of the couples, occurrences of grounding the religious marriages, and the resources helping pastors during counseling (Taylor, 1999). Therefore, the book bears a great potential for changing the lives of the prenuptial couples in different perspectives.

When assessing the steps to bring couples together in church, the single parents addressed in the book provides most important information that blending of the divorced parents involves. Pastors would provide the illustrations used in the “Dating and the Single Parent” to counsel the couples. The book also provides some of the values to consider during dating and the expectations from a promising partner.

The premarital couples interested in understanding their characters properly before accepting marriage commitments would find the evaluation guidelines in this book very helpful. Deal (2012) argues that dating forms a crucial step in understanding the partner even though the personal characters are not revealed fully by the activities performed while dating.

More importantly, the book provides Christian perspectives that are prominent among premarital couples. Deal (2012) indicates how God is forgiving implying that couples should emulate aspect in their entire marriage life.

The warnings that the book points out against the lies in dating, the challenges in raising up step-children, and the risks involved in re-marriages are very helpful during the evaluation and choosing the best remarriage partner.

In regard to Deal’s arguments on the best place to meet a promising marriage partner, Christians find the book useful as they read the key steps involving the red light, the green light, and the yellow light (Deal, 2012). The blending concept is also important to the Christian premarital couples who share diverse backgrounds such as single parents raising their own kids.

Book’s Critique

The ideas that have been postulated by Deal (2012) are going to be critiqued in this title based on theological perspectives. This critique is based on the fact that marriage, dating, and relationships form essential parts of the society.

Although the author tries tirelessly to bring out the different aspects entailed in remarriage between single parents, there are various features that have not been justified. However, most of the issues addressed are true and justified. The following issues and critiques have come out clearly in the book.

The Lies Evident in Dating among Christian Pre-couples

Deal (2012) postulates that most considered couples did not like their marital status, which was attributed to their dating lives. However, this does not hint that it is the usual occurrence for most dates. Powell (2010) argues that dating allows people to know and identify their most suited life partners.

Moreover, it is through dating that people are able to learn secrets about of their partners. Deal (2012) argues that most people show their best characters making it hard to determine the true personalities even when suitors try to select a partner.

However, Powell (2010) supports some of the little camouflage that most people employ while dating. Since it is advisable to spend a longer time while dating before an individual chooses to get married, Deal (2012) shows the dating period as shorter to an extent of preventing the identification of the real characters. It is common to have a proper dating method as provided by Powell (2010).

In theological point of view, it is uncommon to encounter dating partners who lie to each other. This is in respect to teachings in the church about being faithful and lies are not expected among dating Christians. This is in contrast to what Deal argues to be prevalent among Christian dating couples.

Developing creative dating ideas can facilitate an understanding of the partner’s characters as bad and good. Similarly, Christians can undergo an artistic dating process that can lead them easily into knowing the true characters of their partners Wicker, 2003). Therefore, it is not justified that dating is only a passage without a significant role in marriage as argued by Deal (2012).

Preparation towards Raising a Step-Family and the Marital Commitment between Two Single Parents

Deal (2012) has pointed clear cases on how a person can prepare to begin a family through bringing up step-children together with his or her own kids. In addition, he points out clearly that those raising adolescent step-children have difficulties establishing stable lives with a new wife or husband. Also, getting the kids to integrate into a new family is difficult. These issues reveal that the book has significant instances of truth.

It is practical that a child will not accept a step-parent and have him or her as the ultimate father or mother easily. Taylor (1999) supports the idea that incorporating children into a new marriage is very challenging and has received various oppositions from adult step-children in most cases.

Therefore, it is appropriate to argue that the parents should prepare properly in order to enjoy their relationships with their partners and children. Furthermore, Ephesians 6: 1-3 points out that blended marriage would be difficult to build unless the children are taught how to be obedient to their parents.

Taylor (1999) supports the aspect of true prayers, devotion, and tolerance that couples must employ to survive the test of incorporating the step-children in their relationships. The arguments made by Taylor (1999) are connected to the ones of Deal (2012) that are known for their exactness.

However, the relationships that bind the parents are determined by the Christian teachings and foundations instilled to the children.

Therefore, the good relationships arise from the true feeling of a child being loved by the step-parent, and the reward that the child gets from the remarriage of the parents. Consequently, the book has the best views concerning remarriages involving the two single parents joining to raise their kids within the same family.


Deal, R. (2012). Dating and the single parent. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishing.

Fowers, B., & Olson, D. (2006). Four types of premarital couples: an empirical typology based on PREPARE. The journal of family psychology. 6(1), 10-21.

Powell, L. (2010). The Modern Man’s Guide to Women. Canada: Dickson Publishing Corp.

Taylor, C. (1999). Premarital Guidance (Creative pastoral and Counseling) (Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling). Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.

Wicker, C. (2003). Preparing couples for marriage: A guide for pastors to premarital counseling. Lima, Ohio: CSS Pub. Co.

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