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Are You Waiting for "The One"?: Cultivating Realistic, Positive Expectations for Christian Marriage [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Kim Peterson , Dwight N. Peterson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Does God want to write your love story?

Well, maybe not—especially not if it is the culture's romanticized ideal of happily ever after!

Margaret and Dwight Peterson help us sort out the difference between how our surrounding society often depicts marriage and how Christians really should approach this particular gift of God to all humanity. They guide us through many aspects of a growing, maturing marriage including being a family, handling conflict, friendship, children, household economics and weathering the transitions of life.

In the end they show how Christian marriage is far deeper and stronger than a romantic fairy tale. In fact, it reflects the kind of love God has for us in the gospel of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us that we might have his life in us.

Editorial Reviews


"For years I've been looking for a book I could give friends who are getting married--something that sums up the complex gift and challenge that Christian marriage is. Finally, I've found it. The Petersons combine the skills of a theologian and a Bible scholar with the experiences of both being married and helping students prepare for marriage. Here is a book full of good sense and good news. I'm sending it to two friends now." (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author, speaker and new monastic ( )

"Over dinner in their home, Margaret and Dwight Peterson regaled me with stories from their class at Eastern. As I sat there, knowing that a class I teach touches on the themes they spoke of, I kept thinking, 'This needs to be put into a book.' That hope is now realized in this book. Young Christians have so many confusing ideas about marriage. This is the place to begin for a no-nonsense approach, biblical thinking and theological explanation. Give this book to everyone thinking about marriage and to every young couple (and to confused veterans of marriage)." (Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University )

"Eureka--I have found it! Amid all the crass, consumerist Christian books on sex, romance and married life, finally we're treated to a realistic portrait of life and love in all its beauty and frustration. With a refreshing penchant for acknowledging the dilemmas that real people confront as they hope for marriage, marry and grow old together--or not--the Petersons gently name and confront what young and old face today. This book is honest, unflinching, faithful and worth reading every page. I would be a wiser man, husband and father today if I could've read it twenty years ago." (Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Premarital Sex in America )

About the Author

Margaret Kim Peterson (Ph.D. Duke University, Durham, North Carolina and M.Div. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts) serves as associate professor of theology at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania. She is the author of Sing Me to Heaven (Brazos, 2003) and Keeping House (Jossey Bass, 2007) as well as having written several articles and contributing chapters to books. She wrote a chapter for Women, Ministry and the Gospel (InterVarsity Press, 2007) as well as a section titled "Marriage" in the The IVP Women's Bible Commentary (InterVarsity Press, 2002). Peterson has given numerous lectures and offered courses at conferences, churches and universities on a wide range of topics including healing, hospitality, AIDS awareness and support, Trinitarian doctrine and marriage. On several occassions, she has delivered a lecture on love and marriage titled, "God Doesn't Want to Write Your Love Story" with her husband, Dwight.

Dwight N. Peterson (Ph.D. Duke University, Durham, North Carolina and M.Div. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts) currently serves as professor of New Testament at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Origins of Mark (2000, Brill). Peterson has also written articles for several scholarly and popular publications including Bulletin for Biblical Research, Ex Auditu, Christianity and Theatre and Prism. He and his wife, Margaret Kim Peterson, have delivered talks together on marriage at Eastern University and North Park University in Chicago.

Product Details

  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 233 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (May 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005VLXXV6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,226 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am also a student from the Marriage class taught by this powerful Christian couple. Obviously you'll have to buy the book for this, but the first two chapters really cut to the chase and show you through excellent and accessible writing what unrealistic and un-Christian expectations young Christians (and old ones too) hold for marriage.

A key thesis for this book (which is different from the run-of-the-mill Christian dating/romance advice literature) is this:

Christian authors are right in their diagnosis of relationship problems in this broken world and "hook-up" culture of sexual encounters without intimacy. But that's as far as it goes. They try to replace this with an unrealistic, doomed-to-fail and doomed-to-disappoint Disney/Hollywood fantasy of a perfect relationship/courtship/marriage/life scenario.

The writing is very witty, especially in its ways of telling you what you are thinking without realizing it! You learn so much about yourself, whether you are single or married.

I would buy this for every young person curious about marriage/dating (which is probably most everyone)...IF I had enough money...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a student of the authors June 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was lucky enough to be one of the students in the class that birthed the idea for this book. However, my stories probably did not make it into the book because it was pretty much complete by the time I took the course. This was even luckier, though, because I was blessed with the opportunity to read it for my class and I absolutely loved it! The Peterson's are so helpful in bringing up the issues that need to be talked about with young adults, singles as well as those in serious relationships. This was the best book I've read on relationships (period), and without a doubt the best book from a Christian perspective. This book really challenges the reader's preconceived notions and underlying assumptions that have been picked up in secular and Christian cultures to help the reader assess what we should have in mind when we think about Christian marriage. I will definitely be recommending this to all of my friends, and probably buying it as a wedding gift many times this year. The best part about this book is how encouraging it is; in my opinion, it is something you and your partner should read over again every few years or so to be encouraged in your relationship. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Just a note: the authors have a very accessible writing style, and that is something I really love. It's easily understood if read aloud and does not involve a lot of technical ideas. Sure, there are emotional or deep ideas, but their complexity is in their depth and not in their technicality - something that makes this book a really good conversational piece. This is a good book for a singles group, a class, a couple, or a couples group to read together. It's also wonderful for just you. I hope you enjoy it!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Christian Marriage March 8, 2012
Last summer I officiated six different weddings for six very different couples and, if I'd known of it at the time, Are You Waiting for "The One"? is a book I would have recommended to each of them. Unlike so many Christian books about marriage, Margaret and Dwight Peterson have written an immensely down to earth book, providing a seasoned alternative to so much starry-eyed fluff.

This isn't to say that the authors are cynical about love or romance, only that they're interested in them within the unglamorous conditions of real life over the span of many years. From this vantage point they address the question in the book's title with refreshing honesty.

"Giving up the quest for the perfect mate can mean an embrace of the truly best: the truth that while you are not perfect, you might be the right person for someone else, and that someone else, while not perfect, might be the right person for you."

One of the current challenges for our churches is how we talk about marriage. We have a sense that Christian marriage ought to be distinctive from cultural assumptions but get wobbly on the specifics. For example, we boil down our theology of sexuality to: before marriage, don't; after marriage, do. Here the authors are very helpful as they view each of their topics through a practical theological lens.

This approach is apparent throughout, but I especially noticed it each time the authors turned to the subject of children and procreation. Contraception, the historic teaching of the church, changing cultural assumptions, and a Biblical view of hospitality are all considered when discussing children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! March 16, 2013
As a Christian woman, I have had to rifle through a lot of nonsense before I got to this breath of fresh air from the Petersons. The book is practical, engaging and addresses a lot of the issues prevalent in the world of Christian dating. It takes on the myth that every Christian woman is a sort of Cinderella, and that Prince Charming actually exists. It presents Biblical support in its refutation of this damaging idea so popular in the evangelical community. It also addresses issues that married Christian couples will face including but not limited to sex, friendships, careers, children, etc.
I was especially thankful for its treatment of sexuality, both within and out of marriage. Unlike many other books, it takes the cold facts and says "Listen, according to statistics, Christians are having sex outside of marriage. We in no way encourage this and want to make clear that it's a sin, but we need to get away from the idea that it's the one sin that's going to send you straight to hell and that if you have had sex before marriage you are somehow forever broken in God's sight." It also looks realistically at what sex is like inside the Christian marriage. It's not some ecstasy-filled romp through orgasm-land. There are Christian couples dissatisfied with their sex lives, and many couples who have all their lives been taught that sex was bad and so now can't either enjoy it or perform. Everything doesn't come together magically on the wedding night. I loved this stark realism.
Another aspect of the book I appreciated was its treatment of gender roles, and the way it addressed the idea that the Biblical meaning of submission is bowing to the husband's authority in all things and never initiating anything. Throughout everything, Scripture is always invoked. Nothing is purely the author's opinion or the opinion of popular culture.

I highly recommend this book to men, women, older and younger adults, teens, youth groups, small groups, etc.
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