Are You Waiting for "The One"?: Cultivating Realistic, Positive Expectations for Christian Marriage, By Margaret Kim Peterson and Dwight N. Peterson

Are You Waiting for "The One"?

Cultivating Realistic, Positive Expectations for Christian Marriage

by Margaret Kim Peterson and Dwight N. Peterson

Are You Waiting for "The One"?
  • Length: 232 pages
  • Published: May 25, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3310
  • ISBN: 9780830833108

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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.

"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

"If you need assistance with pre-marriage stuff or working with couples already married, the topics covered can be offered as a complete guide or stand alone as individual studies in relationships. The epilogue itself is enough to make the book worthy of your attention. Relationships are a wonderful challenge. Utilizing this book will make that challenge more glorious."

Kent Miller, YouthWorker Journal, September/October 2012

"The Petersons offer a particularly interesting perspective on the purpose of marriage, and how and why to welcome family into that marriage—a perspective absent from other Christian marriage books."

Lauren Mooney, CBA Retailers+Resources, July 2011



1 Young Love: Beyond the Fantasy of Romance
The Bad News
Perfect Love
Real Love
The Good News

2 Marriage: What Makes It Christian?
What Marriage Is
What Marriage Is Not
Thinking about Divorce
Love without Fear

3 Families: Telling the Stories that Have Shaped Us
Family Storytelling
The "Biblical Family"
Christian Families
Memory and Hope

4 Peace: Handling Conflict Constructively
Violence in Relationships
Men, Women and Conflict
Cooperation and Consensus
Dwelling in Safety

5 Friendship: From Acquaintance to Intimacy
Affection and Eros
Obstacles to Friendship
Establishing Connections
Choosing a Partner

6 Sex: Embodied Communion
Sexual Formation
Sex and Singleness
Sex and Marriage

7 Hospitality: Welcoming Children and Other Strangers
Why Christians Have Children
What Children Need
Beyond Child Rearing

8 Households: Forming an Economic Partnership
Making a Living
Keeping the Books
Making a Home
Settling Down

9 Old Love: Growing Together into Maturity
Bearing Burdens
Bearing Fruit

Epilogue: Weddings

Subject Index

Scripture Index


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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

Dwight N. Peterson (PhD Duke University, Durham, North Carolina and MDiv 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. 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.