Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Can True Love Wait And Is It Worth The Wait?"


TRUE LOVE WEDS-A BOOK REVIEW


True Love Weds In Its New Cover Design


This is the new cover design of True Love Weds which i really like more than the first one. For me, this could catch the attention of young people. I believe they really need this book. As one of the reader's email that was published in this book said, " My cousin gave me a copy of your book for Christmas.I couldn't help but laugh because I am only 19 years old...At first I was worried that I might only get infatuated or something, because i am currently praying for a girl in that way, and reading things about love, courtship and marriage might only make my emotions harder to control.But reading your book turned out to be worthwhile.I may not be at the appropriate stage to read something about getting married but i gained a lot of insights."


How I Encountered This Book


I first encountered this book a few years ago (in its old cover design) when i saw it in a christian bookstore. The first time i saw and browse it, something in me wanted to have it but then during that time, I had a tight budget and later on, every time i had extra blessings, i forgot to buy one.

While listening to DZAS, i heard the author being interviewed to promote her book in the 31st Manila Book Fair at SMX last September. Although i missed some parts of the interview, it reminded me to buy this book which i was longing to have a few years ago and it was my goal to buy it when i went to that book fair. Finally, i have it now which i bought from the book fair, in its new cover design and i really love it.


The Author

Grace Gaston-Dousel is a Filipino writer. She is not just a writer  but also an artist by calling. She is also the director of Dousel Training and Consultancy, a company that aims to bring holistic and consultancy services. She is married to Goumang Dousel from Northeast India. They have two kids.


What I liked And Learned From This Book


I really love this book. I agree to what Bro Kevin ( Author of Basta Lovelife and Learning  The Hard Way ) said in his review of it, "this book is a great love story." 

But this is not just a great love story. This book is very helpful in friendship, courtship, wedding plans, marriage and a lot of issues regarding those areas. I read it almost 3 weeks ago but I'm still in love with it.I'm going to share here what i really liked and what I've learned from some of the chapters of the book.It has 11 chapters but i would want to feature  something from 5 separate chapters. Although every chapter is very significant, very helpful and very interesting, its for you to find out when you read it.


"Caught Up In a Wishing Well"


Chapter 1 talks about how the author waited. It made me laughed when i read this: "Waiting was not always easy.Many times, I imagined myself as Snow White, in the Disney animation classic, leaning on a well and singing, 'I'm wishing, I'm wishing, for the one I love.'" 

That reminded me of a friend in the province in her late 30's saying these words, with so much emotion, "Lord, give me a lover" ...then we would laugh out loud after it...i was then in my mid 20's.Also, reading that portion reminded me of the "revised" song for singles in our church during the late 90's, instead of singing, "Lord, I'm hungry for the mighty move of God...", single people in their 30's and 40's would sing, "Lord, I'm thirty [or forty]...i need a mighty move of God...".I was then at my early 20's.

As a girl waiting, i told some of my friends who were in their 30's and 40's that i would want to be married before i reach 30 but the man of my dreams wasn't God's dream for me to become my husband , in line with that, this book really gave me a lot of insights and discoveries not to "agonize" in waiting but enjoy the rest of my single life  and trust God for the one He prepared for me, if that is the right word to describe it.
 

"Best Friend or Boyfriend?"  


I also appreciate the author for sharing her pure friendship with her male friend in Chapter 3 which was entitled, "Best Friend or Boyfriend." She shared there that it is possible for a man and a woman to become close friends and not fall in love, but she said, "it can be risky" and i agree with what she added, "But i will not totally dissuade those who have close friends of the opposite sex from continuing their friendship.I would say, proceed with caution."

I want to post here her insights in that chapter and my insights about them:

... "A true and sincere friendship between man and a woman can be cultivated."

    -That is true, i recommend that to singles,that is, to have a true and sincere friendship with men and help them discover their God-given gifts and pray for them. But of course, if one is already married, friendship with the opposite sex should have some limits. Your wife or your husband should be your best friend. And if you are currently in a relationship, i believe that friendship with the opposite sex should also have some limits...don't allow situations with your friendship with the opposite sex ruin your current relationship. Be cautious and have some wisdom.

... "A true and sincere friendship with the opposite sex is not a quick fix to feeling of loneliness or insecurity in the absence of a boyfriend or a girlfriend."

     -I agree. I liked what she said about it, "That kind of thinking is driven purely by selfishness.It is like putting a "reserved" sign on all the seats theater until you are very sure you are ready to take one."

... "A true friend, whether male or female, always protects."

    -In this insight, i liked what she shared from Dr Harold Sala's book "Joyfully Single In a Couple's World, "I care about you as a person, but my interest in you is a human being, not as a sexual object or a possible mate."

... "A true friendship is a safe place to learn about the opposite sex."

     -I agree.  

... "Because a true friendship finds meaning and purpose in God, it ultimately glorifies him."

     -i liked what she said about her friendship with her male friend.She said, " Indeed the friendship that i had with Dennis is a rare to find.But I believe that God is the giver of all good gifts and that includes the gift of friendship."

I also liked what she shared about her friendship in this chapter. Let me quote here what she wrote, 

   "One thing I really appreciate about my friendship with Dennis is that it is based on honesty. There were numerous times when people teased us and directly suggested we consider having a romantic relationship. Someone even commented how practical this was since we had been friends for a long time and that we knew each other quite well. Dennis and i made an honest evaluation of our friendship and tried to see what God was showing us. Besides the fact that we can only see each other as best friends, we also acknowledged what is perhaps the determining factor for 2 people to be together-our purpose in life. We both knew that we are headed in opposite directions."

Wow!...that was so adorable! I was thinking, were they not really developed with each other? But as i read through that chapter, i could say that it was really a pure friendship. Grace even shared Dennis' email to her when he was about to be married to another woman but i wont write here the whole email, that is for you to find out.What i liked in that email was : "Waiting is painful, heartbreaking, agonizing, excruciating, unbearable. yet it is all worth it! It's God's way of teaching us many, many things."

This chapter would really help you define your friendship with the opposite sex and ask yourself or God, "Is he my best friend or boyfriend?" Just like Grace and Dennis, i believe that you really need to define your friendship and pray about it...where is God leading you in that friendship? Does He only want your friendship to be pure friendship or something else?


"Finally! It Has Happened to Me!"


The author shared in that chapter how she met her husband whose nickname is Mang, a man that God brought to the Philippines from Northeast India, not just to study but to be her husband. Here, she shared another friendship with another opposite sex but it  didn't have the same ending...it ended in marriage!

Let me post here what i really liked in this chapter. The author shared

  "I asked God to guard my heart if friendship was all He planned for Mang and Me.I told God that i want to be a true friend to Mang by not entertaining romantic notions, especially if Mang had none. However, I also told God that if His plan for us was to become more than just friends, then He should lead us into marriage. I told God, "I trust that you will speak to me about Mang. I trust that You'll teach me in the way i should go" and i also specifically prayed that if Mang was God's chosen lifetime partner for me, then he would ask me to be his wife and not simply to be his girlfriend."

Wow...what a prayer!


"Popping the Question"


In this chapter, it would tell you how their friendship turned to marriage proposal. This is what I really like in a love story...how a man proposes to a woman. And in this chapter, you would find out the uniqueness of Mang's proposal to the author which i find so sweet.

This chapter would also give you insights like:

... "Is this friendship or courtship?"

... "What if she says no?"

    - Here, I salute Mang for having the courage to accept whatever would be the answer of Grace to him. This is a good example of courage within friendship if God is really leading you to make your female friend to be your wife. Some men have no courage to propose because they think that they will just ruin the friendship. But Mang took the risk. As i read this chapter, i remembered the love quote i read online that says, It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is the most painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let the person know how you feel.

I also liked the rest of the insights in this chapter which are:

... "Praying before proposing."

... "Similarity counts."

I wont elaborate on every point , but this chapter is a "must to read" for a man who believes that God is leading him to her female friend to be his wife.


"Waking Up Next To You"


This chapter is about their honeymoon. Reading it made me bow my head in prayer and renewed my pledge of purity before God...before marriage (When i was in College, we had an event in our church's youth fellowship called, "Pledge of Purity". All of us were called to the altar and followed a prayer as we pledged before God to be pure before marriage).Reading this book reminded me to fulfill that pledge and renew it.

In this world full of lust and immorality, when people know that you're still a virgin in your single life, they would mock you, laugh at you, tell you that you are to be pitied upon, that you are a loser and they would even encourage you to do such act that only in marriage should be done (as the Lord wants it). In the end, if you remained pure before marriage, you would realize that you are indeed a winner, and not a loser.

Let me share here the evident of being a winner if you remain pure before marriage, the author shared:

  "That morning, i woke up changed. My surname was different and i had lost my virginity. The previous night, we opened our very first wedding gift. With nervous anticipation and overflowing delight we were unable to unravel the gift of sex as God intended it. We indulged in the pleasures of physical intimacy within the blessing of our marriage bond and consummated our love. It was indeed, a present wrapped in the most extraordinary way." 

In addition to that, i also liked these statements, 

  "It took me some time before i got used to the idea that the man i now share a room with is entitled to see, feel and have all of me [emphasis mine]. Funny, how for a moment, i think we blushed like two shy kids. I could hardly believe that now we were actually licensed to act on our passions...For a married couple, enjoying sex is actually an act of gratitude to their Creator. Since our wedding night, Mang and I have had  the practice of praying after making love to thank God for our sexuality that we could enjoy and share with each other. Unmarried people can not fully rejoice with God after having sex because they know deep inside that something is wrong. Even if the unmarried couple is seriously involved with each other or is engaged, their physical union is still illegitimate. It does not have the blessing of God....When properly experienced within marriage, the sexual union brings boundless joy and a sense of well-being. Marital sex is the deepest level of intimacy and the ultimate achievement of becoming one flesh."

Here, if you committed sex before marriage, i believe you would feel the conviction that what you have done was wrong but , there's also some counseling portion  in this book for that kind of situation. 

On the other hand, if you really waited before marriage, you would feel that you are blessed because your future spouse would be very happy to receive that greatest wedding gift...which is really what God wanted it to be. And you would realize that you are indeed a winner, especially in the eyes of God.


Other Lessons To Learn


The author also shared in this book how to enjoy your single life, how to be attached without being detached, how she struggled and overcame  the temptation of  not to become pure before marriage, the importance of accountability partner, how a couple from different  nationalities  work out a relationship and how they prepared for their marriage, five lessons on their first five years in marriage, there is also a discussion guide in every chapter, etc. You would also appreciate the author's poems and her prayers in her diary that were included in this book.


Recommendations


To the young people-I recommend this book to the young people...if you think you're still too young to think of marriage and doesn't need a book like this, you're wrong. This is  also for you. This would help you learn a lot of things especially in your friendship, courtship and in future marriage. This is a book that would help you overcome your "hormone" struggles and wait for the right time and remain pure before marriage. This would also help you to focus first on the things God wants you to do in your young age.

This is also for singles, both men and women- We singles need this book. Its a great help for us to learn not to "agonize" in waiting but be the best singles God wants us to be. This is a great help on how to be a good friend to  the opposite sex, how to define your friendship with them and how to allow God to work in your friendship, whether it is for a pure friendship or future marriage. This would help you discover the great plans of God in your future marriage...something that would glorify him rather than thinking of gratifying your wants.
 
This is also for interracial couples (especially for  non-Filipinos who have Filipina girlfriends or who want to marry Filipinas)- this book is for you.If you want to know more of Filipino cultures for courtship like "pamamanhikan", this book would help you learn what it means and what to do. This would also help you gain more insights regarding a relationship with two different cultures.

For married couple- this is also a book for you. There is a chapter there that talks about their marriage years and you would gain more insights that would help you in your relationship with your spouse.

For parents, aunts or uncles- this book is also for you. Learn more insights  that you could also  impart to your kids who are in their teenage years, nieces or nephews that need guidance, in their "hormone" struggles or their friendship with the opposite sex or their future relationships. If you're thinking of a Christmas gift for them, i recommend this book to be your gift (i am a kind of an aunt that cares for my teenage nieces and nephews about their future relationships. In most occasions, i give them good books that would help them have a relationship that would glorify God aside from encouraging them to read the Bible). This is one of the books that i would give to them.

For community and school libraries-this is a "must" to have in your libraries. I know that nowadays, libraries are no longer popular because of our technology but there are still people or students who go to libraries to borrow books. My eight-year-old niece who's studying  in an exclusive school in Manila, is an example of a student who goes to the library to borrow books (to my surprise, the books she borrows are not reference or subject books but what she borrows are "Geronimo Stilton's books ,Geronimo is a rat. I read two of them and they are quite interesting..you could also learn values from them).Anyway, i included this to get to my point that there are still  people or students who go to the libraries and borrow books. If you are a librarian, i recommend that you recommend to your boss to have some copies of this book in your library. Instead of the young people borrowing and reading pocketbooks about love story, you could recommend this to them.

To the Pastors and Teachers- you also need this book. There are young people and single people that are part of your congregation or ministry that need this. The Bible is the most important reference on your sermons but reading this  in your personal reading time would  also help you gain insights and relate to your congregation an example of a present -day couple who wanted to glorify God before and during their marriage.


Last Words 


Again, i would say that this book is really great! Thank you, Mrs Grace Gaston-Dousel for sharing your love story in this book.I also like her few last words there that say,

" The waiting for me has ended, I have wed my true love and i have given birth to two beautiful kids. But the journey has not ended. The road up ahead is still long and there are more adventures yet to be experienced....Until then, i pray that you will wait upon the Lord to give you the best that He so eagerly wants to give you."


Amen to that! 

Note: This book is available in all leading christian bookstores. You could also visit http://www.nationalbookstore.com.ph/  or contact the publisher, here's their website: http://www.csm-publishing.org/


You can also visit the author's blogsites at:

http://trueloveweds.blogspot.com/
http://pinaymaharani.blogspot.com/


Grab a copy now!


Copyright © 2010 by Mari Ann Rose "Mariah" F. Gadapan . All rights reserved worldwide.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Mariah! You do very well and very thorough in your book reviews. Nakakatuwa din yung mga personal insights mo. Salamat for sharing your thoughts regarding this book. Naexcite tuloy akong basahin yung bagong version ng TLWeds (I have din kasi yung old version) pero mas gusto ko na itong bago kasi may autograph, hehe.

    Waiting is indeed a preparation for the great blessing God is preparing for us! Always proven true yan that at the end talagang far beyond our expectations pala ang ibibigay ni LORD :D Magugulat nalang tayo. Actually, I'm currently enjoying the fruit of waiting and praying for the right man :D and I've also shared thoughts on it on my blog. Ngayon ibang level naman ang praying ko... praying for the big day :D

    God is soooo wonderful. The best LOVER ever!

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  2. Hi Mariah! You do very well in your book reviews. Very thorough and your personal insights are inspiring as well! Thanks for sharing about this book. Naexcite tuloy akong basahin ulit yung book (this time young revised ed. naman kasi I have the old one also).

    Waiting is indeed a preparation for the blessing that God will give us. He really rewards those who wait and trust in Him. Proven true yan! I currently am enjoying the fruit of waiting and praying to God for the rightful man. God really gives us beyond what we hoped and imagined about.... kaya hold on! He always has the best in store for us.

    Magandang book nga ito... especially for those who are hopeful and who need inspiration in the hard days of waiting :D

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  3. thanks faye. sorry , i just read your comment.i havent been online for a few days. thanks for the encouraging comment and for the insights. lets enjoy our singleness while waiting:)

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  4. wow...im glad that ur prayer now is for the big day:) that is awesome. congrats ms faye. May God continue to bless u!

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