I recently finished ‘Relationship Goals’ by Mike Todd with my Christian female book club ‘WeGraced’ and I thought it’ll be cool to do a personal book review on it. The book comes from the successful ‘relationship goals’ sermon series which I actually haven’t’ watched but I hope that provides some context. The book has 10 chapters and so I will discuss the first half and the second half separately.
I’ll be honest I thought it may be a little cliché at points. I mean, how many relationship books do we have in the world? Alas, I was proved wrong. It’s a very contemporary book targeted at this present generation and the challenges we face. I was also a little wary as Christian relationship books can either be extremist or very idealistic with very few being in the middle ground. I mean some books pass off their personal opinion as doctrine and leave no room for alternative thought points. This is problematic especially when considering that the Bible does not actually reference the term boyfriend and girlfriend and so the long-held debate of courtship vs dating or if they’re the same or whatever is interesting. Anyways, I digress. I decided to read it with an open mind.
First half of the book
I liked the fact that it was relatable and applicable to all types of relationships as it starts off with focusing on YOU as an individual and making you realise that you need to feel whole and satisfied in your own company before entertaining the company of others. In a relationship context it stresses the importance of knowing your own purpose before joining someone else as if not, other people may define your purpose for you. And on that note it absolutely debunks the myth that purpose is one big overarching theme in our life that cannot change; rather it talks about how purpose can vary in different seasons and also that it can be the seemingly ‘little’ things that are our purpose. Basically we should not approach purpose as only one single grandiose thing and instead we should be purposeful in our actions too. This was really important because as Christians especially we can get carried away with what our purpose is, how to walk in it and how it will look like. Realistically everyone is not called to minister or be on a stage and not doing so does not mean you are not walking in your purpose. Personally for me I had a phase where I got sick and tired and tired and sick of the ‘purpose’ word as it just seemed to be the latest buzzword both in Christian and secular circles.
I will say that the first half is definitely more generally applicable to all regardless of your relationship status
Second half of the book
It feels like we get to the nitty gritty especially if you’re a single Christian and by single I mean not married. I know that is controversial to some but if we even go by the secular definition, when you are filling forms and they ask about your relationship status the options are pretty clearly defined- single, married, divorced, separated, partnership etc. Basically I have never seen an option of ‘in a relationship’. The only place I’ve seen that is on Facebook and let’s be real facebook also has the ‘it’s complicated’ status and which can then either end up changing to ‘single’ or back to ‘in a relationship’- but I digress. Naturally this part of the book discusses no sex before marriage but more importantly it explains why and the benefits of doing so. It also debunks the school of thought that some may have of‘ as long as it is not the big S, other things are fine’. Basically, no sex before marriage means no sex before marriage. This may be a hard pill for some to swallow even Christians but it is what it is. It also extols the benefits of waiting until marriage. I personally have vacillated between understanding why ‘no sex before marriage’ is the right thing to do as a Christian to ‘why bother/ what is the point’ so it was a good insightful read for me. It doesn’t help that as I’ve grown older I realised how naïve I was in thinking that all Christians were actually practicing abstinence until marriage. Yupp. Let’s keep it real many Christians are not practising it and the absence of a bump on the wedding day does not mean that some Christian couples have not been having sex before marriage. The good thing is that the book is not judgemental and I admire Mike Todd’s transparency with his own relationship with his wife and the mistakes they made before coming together as a couple.
There were some phrases used which I personally did not agree with but hey you can’t agree with everything right? I also do think that this book is better enjoyed as a single Christian because it talks heavily on topics such as Sex and why it is best done within marriage and how to set boundaries etc. I can imagine as a married Christian you may not find those chapters relevant to you. Whilst marriage is discussed the angle is more on choosing the right spouse and so once again it benefits single Christians more. The last two chapters are more general and the last chapter especially benefits married people too.
At the heart of it this is a relationship book and by relationship, I mean romantic relationships. Whilst there are nuggets that are applicable to all types of relationships including platonic, make no mistake this book is predominantly about romantic relationships. This is not a bad thing but I do think it is important to know so that you manage your expectations. Also, it is primarily targeted at singles as most of the topics covered focus more on finding and knowing yourself and making the right relationship decisions by dating intentionally which then hopefully can lead to marriage. I am glad I read it as a single Christian as I learnt a lot from it. Also, there is a study guide which was useful and it can be used as a group, individually or even with your partner or spouse. As mentioned before, the book may not be as needed for married people but hey what do I know, I’m not married yet.I do see myself reading certain chapters again and regardless of the hype surrounding the book, it is worth the hype.
A solid 4/5 for me.
How about you, have you read the book? If so what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below.