Tag Archives: Giveaway

4 Dating Rules I Never Learned



No one taught me how to date. Odds are, no one’s taught you, either.

At some point, my parents deemed me old enough to hang out with friends and to have boyfriends, and that was that. (I’m pretty sure no one taught them how to date, either.)

A couple years ago, I met the award-winning author Bethany Jett. Although I was already happily married, I read her book The Cinderella Rule: A Young Woman’s Guide to Happily Ever After. I liked Bethany, but I wasn’t really expecting this book to be much different from the others that fill the market (most of which just focus on abstaining from sex before marriage). But Bethany’s book is totally different! I just wish I had read it in middle school; it could have saved me from a lot of heartache.

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and we’re all inundated with romantic movies and images, I thought I’d share the most important dating lessons I never learned until I read Bethany’s book. You can find these in the “Availability” chapter under “God’s Authority.”


  1. Don’t Submit to Your Boyfriend

“Maneuvering the blurred roles of wife and girlfriend seem tricky, but thankfully, we have a God who laid it out for us. God gave us three commands when it comes to the men in our lives. ‘Honor your father’ (Eph. 6:2), ‘respect [your] husband’ (Eph 5:33), and ‘submit to your husband as to the Lord’ (vv. 22-24).

God never mentions your betrothed. The rules that apply to your future spouse do not apply in your dating life…. When you’re dating, you are not required to ‘submit’ to your boyfriend. Don’t do it.”

The section above may be commonsense for you, but it was news to me. I had grown up in a church in which “submission” was spoken of a lot, but no one clarified that it didn’t pertain to boyfriends.

So, if you’re dating someone now, and he wants you to follow him to another city, to get a different job, to change your friends, or even get married, guess what? You don’t have to!

[Click to Tweet: Don’t submit to your boyfriend. Leave that honor to your future husband.]

  1. Make Sure Your Boyfriend Listens to God

“A marriage is a partnership. You’re a team. So while you’re dating, you need to make sure that you trust that boy to listen to God when it comes to every decision. Because when you’re married, and he says, ‘I think God wants me to take this job 500,000 miles away from our friends and family,’ you’re gonna be faced with a choice. If you don’t trust him to be in daily communion with God, then don’t you dare agree to marry him.”

Robby and I will celebrate our seven-year wedding anniversary next month—whoop whoop!—and I can testify that what Bethany is saying is spot-on. Life is full of a million little decisions, and in marriage you have to know that your husband’s antennae is in tune with God’s frequency. (Thankfully, Robby continuously seeks God’s will for our family and future.)

[Click to Tweet: Make sure your boyfriend listens to God. If he doesn’t, then don’t marry him.]

  1. Don’t Give Your Boyfriend Unlimited Access to Your Life

“Spending unlimited amounts of time with your honey is a marriage perk. Until that boy slides a wedding ring on your finger, unlimited access denied.

What does that look like? When we were dating, I didn’t have to answer Justin’s phone calls. I didn’t have to explain where I spent my money. I didn’t have to do everything with him, because we weren’t married. I don’t have to do those things now, but the accountability level has changed, and as my husband, partner, and teammate, he gets more access. Every activity, phone call, date was a choice and a privilege. I loved being with him, and I chose to share aspects of my life with him, but he wasn’t entitled to it.”

Not entitled. Let that sink in for a moment. If you have a bossy boyfriend, and he wants to know everything about your life, you do NOT have to tell him. In fact, you don’t have to continue dating him.

[Click to Tweet: Don’t give your boyfriend unlimited access to your life. That honor is reserved for your future husband.]

  1. Let Your Boyfriend Pursue You

The whole message behind The Cinderella Rule is that women are meant to be pursued by godly men in a godly way. Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction:

“When you allow yourself to be pursued, you give the guy the opportunity to invest in you while you determine how much of yourself to share…. if you pursue him, you won’t ever be sure whether it’s his heart or his hormones that loves you more.”

I was smitten with Robby from the beginning, but he was careful to take the lead. He called me every day like clockwork, and if I couldn’t talk, that was fine. He wrote me letters, brought me flowers, cooked me dinner…he pursued me, and he’s still pursuing me. Bethany is right:

“When a guy sees a girl he wants, he goes after her…. I’m talking about romantic, I-can’t-get-her-out-of-my-head intensity. When a worthy guy desires you like that, girl, watch out!”

[Click to Tweet: Let your boyfriend pursue you. If you pursue him, you’ll never be sure if he loves you or lusts you.]


If you’re in the dating scene, take heart! I believe your guy—the one God has in mind for you—is out there. Prepare yourself now so when you meet him, you’ll be able to date in a godly way.

I highly suggest you check out Bethany’s book, The Cinderella Rule, whether it’s for yourself, a family member, or a friend. You can also follow Bethany on her website at BethanyJett.com.


Want a free copy of The Cinderella Rule? Be sure to enter the #publishgirlswithgusto giveaway, where one lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of this book! The drawing also includes five other books from award-winning authors, an Amazon gift card, and other prizes. Visit the Giveaway section of my Facebook Author Page to enter the drawing. (Available only within the U.S. Drawing closes on 2/28/18.)

Girls with Gusto: From Giveaways to Community



You probably know that I’m working on a book called Girls with Gusto. This may give you the mistaken impression that I “have it all figured out.” You may even say to yourself, “She must be the most energetic, spiritual young woman to have come up with such an idea.”

Not true.

Okay, I do like to think of myself as being young, but I struggle with a low energy level, and I don’t often feel (or think) “super spiritually.”

I’m just a Christian. I don’t use the word “just” to mitigate what God has done in my life but to clarify that all of my life is defined by this one characteristic. You could say that I’m saved. I like to think that I’m purchased, that Jesus redeemed my life at a great personal cost.

I am not who I was. I am not yet who I will be.

God is perfecting Himself in me a little more every day, if only I will let Him take control. The alternative is that I could be…well, I could be what I was: self-seeking, self-destructive, confused, frustrated, angry, and useless for the Kingdom. Been there, done that. Now I want to be everything God created me to be. I’m convinced that’s the best, and only, way to live the life He’s given me.

So that’s what the book Girls with Gusto is all about—how to find ourselves in the journey of seeking God. I believe with all my heart that this idea will resonate with other women.

Now I just need to convince publishers.

Enter to Win!

Please share on your social media! #giveaway #bigsisterknows

I’ll be attending a big writers conference next month, and I really need to show publishers that there is an audience for Girls with Gusto. To do this, I’ve developed a giveaway with some pretty cool items:

Register for the drawing today through my Facebook Author Page (at http://gvwy.io/xsq6e8x) and then let your friends and family know about it. The more folks who enter, the better. I’ll pull the winning names at the end of February.

Remember that every time you like, share, or comment, you help me get one step closer to publishing Girls with Gusto—and doesn’t the world need “girls with gusto”?!

Join the Community

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, choosing to be a Girl with Gusto—to pursue the amazing plans God has for us—can be hard at times. Although I’m an introvert at heart, I’ve come to realize that I need a community of believers, especially other women, with whom I can share my thoughts and concerns and get a little advice along the way.

That’s why I just created the Girls with Gusto group in Facebook. If you’re a Christian girl (of any age!) and the idea of a real community appeals to you, please accept this as your official invitation to join the club. (Did you notice the authors listed above, the ones who are donating their books for the giveaway? All three are members of the Girls with Gusto group. How cool is that?)

Whether you’re a girl or a guy, I encourage you to live with gusto!


“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:1-2 NAS).

Special Offer!


This gift box includes a beautiful rattan basket, paisley apron, blue Mason Jar spoon rest, and more. Follow this blog for a chance to win!

[Read all the way to the bottom for a special offer.]

I need your help!

I just signed up to attend the Florida Christian Writers Conference again this coming February, where I plan to pitch two different books to editors. There’s a catch, though. The big publishers require us writers to have thousands—yes, thousands!—of followers before they will consider publishing our books.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve taken a deep dive into writing and blogging, and I have been humbled and honored by the positive responses you’ve shared with me. Now, I have a favor to ask of you: if you’re not already following this blog via email, or signed up to get the monthly newsletter, please do so.

I hate to ask, but Big Sisters need help sometimes, too.


Please help me get published by:

  1. Signing up to follow the blog.

Don’t rely on Facebook or Twitter posts! Instead, sign up to receive these posts directly in your email to ensure you don’t miss a word.

To sign up, simply enter your email address in the box on the front page of BigSisterKnows.com.

2. Signing up for the newsletter and becoming a Friend of Big Sister.

In addition to the weekly blog, I’ll be revamping the monthly newsletter. It will include special information, updates, and freebies (like recipe cards!) that won’t be published within the blog posts. I’ll also ask for suggestions, thoughts, and feedback on upcoming blog topics, so you’ll have an opportunity to help determine the content for the site.

To sign up for the newsletter, go to the page Become a Friend of Big Sister.


To show my appreciation, if you sign up to follow the blog and/or the newsletter, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of two gift boxes, each valued around $40. I shopped with a friend, my mother, and my little sister to pick out each item, focusing on little treasures that are useful, helpful, or encouraging.  (Guys, these are worth winning for the lady in your life!)

The drawing will be held on 12/1/16, and I will notify the winners via email.

If you’re already following BigSisterKnows and you’re signed up to get the newsletter—thank you for your support!!

~Ashley (Big Sister)


This gift box includes a fun French apron, kitchen towels, a green Mason Jar spoon rest, and more, nestled within a tote. Follow this blog for a chance to win!