Book Review | The Chase: Trusting God With Your Happily Ever After

Couple RunningI recently read The Chase: Trusting God With Your Happily Ever After by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky, which made its literary debut on September 1, 2015, published by Revell. I purchased the iBooks edition. The Kupecky’s married in June, 2012. The book centers on their love story, which they use as an example of how a wonderful, godly romance and marriage should begin as they teach principles of pursuing godly romance.

The first major characteristic of The Chase is that it’s written particularly toward young Christian women. The tone of the book orients it primarily toward high school girls, though a number of the stories shared describe some of Kyle and Kelsey’s experiences in college, which comfortably opens the book to a young adult demographic. Young Christian men may dislike the book, feeling as though it’s a “girl book.” However, the words of Kyle Kupecky add a positive masculine voice, and an attentive male reader would gain from reading the book.

The book is arranged with a prologue and epilogue surrounding nine chapters. The prologue and epilogue are used to showcase the beauty and romanticism of the Kupecky’s story while the chapters teach principles important to healthy, godly romances. Each chapter is dedicated to a different principle. Within each chapter, the Kupecky’s share stories from their own experiences and those of people they know to reinforce the principles they teach. The book is encouragingly honest as a number of the Kupecky’s stories are of their own failings. Through these stories, the Kupecky’s both warn readers to avoid mistakes they made and reinforce the truth that there is redemption and restoration after mistakes.

The book gets off to a good start in chapter 1, where the Kupecky’s emphasize that the most important thing for finding godly romance is to put God first in one’s life: or, as they describe it, to “chase after” God. Chapter 2 describes the importance of silencing negative voices from culture and surrounding people that go against the godly voices of biblical truth and wisdom. Chapter 3 teaches that it’s important to have a list of the characteristics a girl should look for in a potential husband and not to settle for anything else. The Kupecky’s teach an important principle here, but I felt their instruction was out of balance. The chapter mainly emphasizes not settling, and I felt it didn’t successfully counterbalance the opposite error of dismissing young men who don’t live up to an unreasonably narrow set of expectations. Chapter 5 describes how important it is for women to respect and affirm the men in their lives, first practicing with fathers and brothers and ultimately supporting their husbands with the same habit. Chapter 6 contains an exhortation to young women to understand they deserve proper treatment from men and shouldn’t settle for a relationship that offers less. Chapter 7 contains encouragement to pursue sexual purity and wait for marriage to have sex and contains warnings against the harms that can come from premarital sex. However, I was displeased by a passing statement from Kyle Kupecky that “In marriage, sex works perfectly.” (page 180) This statement is untrue as even individuals who remained virgins until marriage can experience sexual problems in a variety of ways. While I recognize that  Kyle was trying to cast a vision of the beauty of sex reserved for marriage, such a careless and overextended statement can create the false expectation within young minds that marriage provides a guaranteed sexual paradise. Chapter 8 contains an encouragement to persevere through the lonely and discouraging realities of singleness. Chapter 9 similarly encourages readers to patiently wait for the right person to marry rather than settle for someone less wonderful.

The Chase offers positive characteristics and beneficial instruction for its readers. The principles the Kupecky’s teach within each chapter are sound and important for Christian young people to understand. However, their instruction isn’t novel as these principles have been addressed in previously published Christian literature from other authors. However, since it’s packaged and arranged in a unique way, particularly with young women in mind, I can envision the book being more effective for fostering conversations between adolescent daughters and their parents than other offerings currently on the market.

Unfortunately, in spite of The Chase having much to offer, it’s marked by one glaring flaw. Distinctly interwoven throughout the book is the popular but unbiblical idea that for each single man or woman God has chosen another particular person to be his or her spouse. The book communicates the idea that a Christian woman should dedicate herself to pursuing God, trusting that God will unite her with the man He’s chosen to be her Prince Charming. I hold that the idea that God chooses particular spouses for us and will always lead us to him or her if we trust and follow Him is completely unbiblical. To read more on why I take that theological position, please see my post Does God Have A Particular Spouse Chosen For Me? The book tragically encourages passivity on the basis of this “trust God for your spouse” doctrine. Perhaps the best example is Kyle Kupecky’s statement, “Don’t try to run your love life. If you do, it will fail miserably. Trust God and pray for your future husband, believing he is out there.” (page 118) The epilogue goes on to express the sentiment that taking one’s love life into one’s own hands rather than relying on God will cause a person to miss out on the best marriage possible: “If you chase after boys, your story will be different. We’re not saying it will be horrible (though it could be). What we are saying is that you will miss out on the ‘only God could write this’ kind of love story. The kind of fairy tale we live out each and every day.” (page 237) While Christians of any age shouldn’t anxiously run after romantic partners, discouraging healthy romantic initiative in the name of letting God orchestrate the happenings of one’s love life is both unbiblical and foolish. This sort of unbiblical, spiritualistic romanticism continues to plague Christian matrimonial literature, continues to incline Christian men and women to neglect healthy, biblical initiative in their love lives, and continues to make me want to rub my forehead against a cheese grater.

In conclusion, The Chase  has much good to offer by way of the sound principles of godly matrimony it teaches and the instructive stories it contains. Unfortunately, the high marks it might otherwise have received are reduced by its troubling, unbiblical perspective of God’s role in romance and the harm such a perspective can produce in the lives of Christians who come to believe it. If the reader can filter out this theological error while reading The Chase then the book can offer helpful instruction and reinforcement for godly romance. Since Christian youth may not understand a proper biblical perspective of God’s role in romance, I counsel parents who purchase this book to read and discuss it with their children so as to guide youth around the theological error the book contains. Altogether, I feel I can only give The Chase two out of five points.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, ebook, or audio CD of The Chase, you can do so by clicking here.

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4 Comments

  • A. says:

    I am going to have to give this a read, as I want to know more about how they presented an understanding of intimacy within their framework. I think their comments on a physical relationship between spouses is another potential flaw in the text. It isn’t going to work perfectly, automatically. That intimacy requires communication, trust, and a willingness to put things out there and open together over a period of time. Giving people false expectations from the get go, however innocently, I think, does them a disservice. I think that advice, from the perspective of married friends, has been a pretty damaging assumption in that it might make transitioning to marriage more challenging. It seems to me that even at a book aim for students at a HS level, something could be clarified in that regard.

    Personally, I don’t have a list for ideal things I want in a spouse. It was a big thing in my church group for a while. I saw a lot of people reject perfectly nice girls/guys because she/he didn’t meet some benchmark on some list. I really grew from that observation. That’s different from having standards, which are good and right, but I think having a list can sometimes make a person overlook potential partners, and sort of over-inflate their own sense of self, if they are not careful. It’s another facet of a fairy tale mind set, I think.

    Do put down the grater. Skin grafts are really challenging to get through, and you would have to buy a new grater.

    Thanks for opening up the comments!

    • Justin Megna says:

      You’re right, A. I just can’t afford to buy a new cheese grater right now. 😉

      You’re welcome! I’m embarrassed to say I thought I had opened commenting…until a persistent reader alerted me to the truth! I appreciate you adding your thoughts and observations to the discussion. 🙂

  • Chris says:

    I think i have an extra cheese grater u can borrow….. Lol but seriously kids That book sounds like everything i was taught in church and at Bible school where the motto is ” a ring by spring or your money back”. It puts marriage on a pedestal and women in a position to be helpless while waiting for the perfect soul mate to meet every item on the “list”. And guys must feel like they’ll never measure up to Jesus in a Ryan Reynolds body so why even try. If I had been taught to think for myself and that God is not up there waiting to drop a guy in my lap I would have saved myself a lot of pain and heartache. I do not want to live in a bubble where I’m waiting for Jesus in a Ryan Reynolds body to come rescue me from single hood. I want a friend, an equal, a partner but I’m not putting my life on hold either waiting for mr perfect to magically appear. Im a hard working independent woman who can pay her own bills, spackle a wall and change her own dang tire. Why don’t they teach THAT at bible school? 😉

    • Justin Megna says:

      Chris, I think you hit the nail on the head with describing a lot of problems that float around Christian circles. I hope together we all can move toward more functional beliefs and behaviors.

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