Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Kissed Dating Goodbye

“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris (updated edition) is one great book. There is a lot more to it than I expected--it’s not just another book about dating regulations or courtship ideas. (He in fact recognizes that it’s not about the words or terms anyway.) He gets to the heart of the matter for any kind of relationship; and that is, does it glorify God?

I was a little surprised to read about Harris’s own past mistakes, but greatly encouraged to see how God used them in his life and how that eventually led him to higher standards and the writing of this book. Even for someone like me with a pretty clear knowledge of the dangers of dating, I still came away with a lot.

A huge emphasis of his is that guy-girl relationships are so much more serious than our culture today considers them. It should never be about having fun for a fleeting moment, or taking advantage of someone’s heart and/or purity for your own personal gain, whether short term or long term.

It may sound all fine and dandy for a guy and girl to meet, become friends, fall in love, and want to marry. But when they’re still in high school, that can turn sour quickly. Half the problems with dating is the age factor, in that neither party are yet marriage material, so they have no business advertising what’s not for sale. But let’s say the couple is eligible for marriage (in years). Does that mean they can do the wrong thing because the time is right? So it’s the whole dating game itself that must be evaluated, not just the timing.

Another huge danger to consider is the emotional and physical aspect that awakens love too soon and puts the couple in compromising situations. It’s not enough to hold off a few years and then indulge, or even refrain outwardly during the entire relationship. You have to guard your heart as well and keep it pure before God.

One thing I just loved was his Little Relationship Principle: The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment. What a great motto to have, and how true! A guy or girl could be saved from so much heartache and sin if they’d realize that relationships are about commitments, and a commitment like marriage is sacred before God. With a perspective like that, you wouldn’t even think of playing around in “rewards” that you haven’t earned or that in actuality could rightfully be someone else’s some day.

Reading this book left me wanting to live for more than the pleasures of today--or even tomorrow. It’s not about whether we call it dating or courting, or being married or being single. It’s not about what man thinks, or what a man wants from me. It’s about keeping my heart and my focus on God and HIS purpose for me.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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