Friday, July 9, 2010

The Real Prince Charming : Discovering God's Plan for a Lifetime of Fulfilling Romance - Michelle Raftery

Summary: An entire generation of young women are being consumed by today's dating trend; immersing them in various dating relationships. Over and over again these young women struggle with purity, the lack of self confidence, and security in God to stand up for their beliefs and values. They long for a fairytale ending and cling to unrealistic expectations, past hurts and guilt, turning most toward romantic pursuits. However, the secret to finding The Real Prince Charming is becoming the woman that God has called you to be and learning that He longs to have an intimate relationship with you.

Why would you settle for less when you could have God's best?

Facing common dating pitfalls, author Michelle Raftery points out that when you ask the Creator Himself, you learn what a special and unique place God has for women! (Summary from book - Image from amazon.com - Book given to me for review from BringItOn Communications )

My Review: The Real Prince Charming is a book for the single Christian woman who is looking to meet and marry the man of her dreams. Raftery disregards the standards set by romantic comedies and recommends against impractical expectations when looking for a spouse and focusing on the qualities that God values – kindness, love, constancy, optimism, and humility (among others). She suggests that a woman should abandon the concept of finding the perfect man and look for the man that God has created perfectly for her. She also encourages young women to accept their God-given personalities as gifts from Him that will enable them to live out His plan for them and to live lives of emotional, mental, and physical purity.

My favorite part of the book was the chapter entitled Waiting for the White Horse where Raftery outlines the pitfalls of sitting around waiting for a man to save you from a life of perpetual single-ness. She goes on to explain how to rescue yourself from life’s troubles, or at the very least, see them in a different light that will enable you to live life fully regardless of your marital status.

Spiritual truths aside, The Real Prince Charming was not without its writing flaws. By the end of the book I was royally bothered by the Prince Charming/Princess metaphor, as well as several non-Biblical analogies and embellished characters that I felt weren’t necessary to understand the text. I wish that Raftery put a little more faith in the reader to be able to draw obvious spiritual parallels without the aid of a metaphor or analogy. On the other hand, I appreciated how she made frequent reference to Bible verses and drew comparisons between problems we face today and those found in the Bible. Raftery uses many different translation of the Bible throughout this book (NIV, NLT, NASB, MSG, etc.) and, although I prefer the King James Version of the Bible, most of the verses that she used would be difficult to misinterpret regardless of the translation chosen. I was thankful that she drew so much from the scriptures and didn’t write solely based on her own personal beliefs without a doctrinal foundation.

My largest complaint is that Raftery skirted the giant elephant sitting in the middle of her book. What about those people who don’t get married--who don’t find someone “made just for them”? Is it their fault? Were they not looking hard enough, or in the right places? I’m fairly certain that I know what she would say and that I would agree with it, but the issue wasn’t even addressed and I felt that it should have been.

The final chapter of this book (and many places throughout) speaks to the importance of having a personal relationship with God, our Father in Heaven, and his son Jesus Christ. He is our Rescuer and Redeemer and the one person we can always turn to for support. I enjoyed the opportunities that this book offered for introspection, evaluation, and personal growth. At 100 pages, it was remarkably filling food for thought.

Sidenote: I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (you probably know us as “Mormons”). While there are some differences between the author’s beliefs and my own in regards to the nature of the Trinity and the repentance process, I believe the principal message of this book transcends individual religion and echoes important truths about women, our Father in Heaven's love for us, and His divine plan for each of his children.

My Rating: 4 Stars (Books with a strong, important moral message, regardless of certain writing idiosyncrasies, will always get my recommendation.)

Sum it up: A brief, but thoughtful, book that offers an infinitely more divine perspective on dating, relationships, self-acceptance, than the media-inspired (and ultimately flawed) concept of Prince Charming.

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