Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Post from Author Renee Fisher: DEAL BREAKERS!

My friend Renee Fisher has a new book out called Not Another Dating Book: A Devotional Guide to All Your Relationships. I asked her if she would be willing to share a little excerpt from the book here to give you all an idea of what the book is like, and she graciously sent this along:

Deal Breakers

People who wink at wrong cause trouble,
but a bold reproof promotes peace.


Do you just hate it when a guy blasts the music too loud when you’re in his car? Or when a girl can’t seem to tear herself away from her cell phone long enough to say hello? Maybe you’d never date someone who has a tattoo, doesn’t laugh at your jokes, or has a lot of baggage from a previous relationship—beliefs we’re not willing to compromise. But what does the Bible say our deal breakers should be?

Same spiritual beliefs. “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” (Amos 3:3). If a couple’s beliefs are lopsided or unequal, they will never be able to grow together. Similarly, Paul warns us not to “team up with those who are unbelievers” (2Corinthians 6:14).

Accepts authority. The Roman officer whose story is told in two gospels had soldiers and slaves under his authority. He was a powerful man, and yet he accepted Christ’s authority (Matthew 8:5-13). Does your date accept the roles God gave all of us? Does he respect those in authority? Does she accept God’s authority over her life?

Hygiene habits. This isn’t about how often your date flosses or what kind of deodorant he wears. It’s about the state of his heart. Does he or she care more about the outward appearance than the inside? Beauty only scratches the surface of the skin. If your date’s daily spiritual habits are as regular as a shower, you’ll be able to see the fruit in his daily life.

Financially free. Can your date manage his or her pocketbook? Did she spend her rent money on a new pair of shoes? Did he blow his next paycheck on the latest GPS? Scripture tells us to “Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them…Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another” (Romans 13:7-8).

All our deal breakers are different. Some of them won’t really matter in the long run (he’ll probably turn down his stereo when he has a baby in the backseat!), but don’t compromise on a life partner whose heart isn’t full of Christ.

Adapted from: Not Another Dating Book © 2012 by Renee Fisher. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.


  1. Interesting. What would you say to someone whose life partner became a non-Christian after years of marriage (and after years of devout belief)?

    For the record, I know two such couples; so the question isn't just hypothetical.

  2. Anonymous9:22 AM

    @Michael - Wow. I've been thinking about this all morning. The only verse I can think of is the Parable of the Seeds. Was her (or his) salvation one that fell among thorns? Was the evidence of the fruits of the spirit? Are they broken? Grieved by their circumstances? Were they hurt by members of the church? A death in the family? I just have so many questions and obviously can't judge a person's heart. At the very least I would hope to encourage someone and cry with them.

  3. That actually sounds like a very good response: be as sympathetic as you can manage; and offer what help, hope, and encouragement you can.

    I just thought of a third example - it skipped my mind earlier, I think because I'm know the husband (online) but not the wife.

    In all three cases, it was the husband who lost his faith first. Whether that's typical, or significant of anything, I don't really know. I suspect it relates to gender roles and gender expectations, but that's too small a sample size to say for sure. In all three cases, the husband wound up agnostic or atheist. (I'm acquainted with some mixed-faith marriages, but all the ones I can think of were different faiths before they got married: Christian and Jewish, Christian and Muslim.)

    In all three cases, the marriage survived - not unchanged, but intact.

    In one case, the wife also lost her faith; it took a couple of years, but at this point she's what I'd call "functionally atheist". (I think she self-defines as agnostic, but I'd have to double-check that.)

    In the second case, the wife remained (and remains) a devout and active Christian.

    The third case is the one that I'd forgotten earlier, and I'm not sure exactly where she ended up in relation to her Christianity. As I understand it, she doesn't consider herself a Christian anymore, but whether she would consider herself atheist, agnostic, or something more like Deist I really don't know.