It’s hard to kiss dating goodbye if you’ve barely waved it in to say “hello.” As a result, I was a bit skeptical before reading the ever-controversial I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. However, despite my reservations, Harris’ book (which he wrote at the age of 21), provides excellent insight into the details of how Godly relationships can form out of a disciplined dedication to marriage.
1. Harris offers his readers personal examples of his failure to maintain “purity” with his past girlfriends. Humility is good, and Harris does not hide the fact that his track record in pursuit of purity is not spotless.
2. In terms of the popular question “How far should we go physically?,” Harris reminds his readers that unless two people are married, their bodies do not belong to each other. Therefore, if a couple is unmarried, Harris suggests that they treat each other as “brothers and sisters” in Christ.
3. If my future husband were to say he followed the relationship guidelines as promoted by Harris in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I would be impressed by his dedication to purity and Christ-centered relationship building. The book offered a biblical basis for rejecting casual dating in exchange for meaningful friendships that can eventually blossom into a meaningful relationship.
1. The book is not for the perpetually single. It is written for an audience of young men and women who have had “experience” in the dating arena. While those who have never been in a serious relationship can take Harris’ advice, the book focuses more on reverting from casual dating to a loose form of courtship.
2. The book also seems to assume that once one begins his or her courtship, the date offers will be never- ending or that the supply of Christian men and women are abundant. One example that the book gives is one of a recent high school graduate who sold on the idea of courtship, but she enters her local conservative Christian university only to find gaggles of young, Christian men ripe for the picking. This perhaps is the biggest flaw of the book, as it seems to suggest that everybody reading the book struggles to not accept a myriad of dates.
Though I am not fully sold on I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I do recommend Harris’ book on the belief that our society needs to reexamine its stance on casual dating. No, courtship is not for everybody, but this books does raise interesting questions on what it means to act in a Christian manner towards those of the opposite sex.
PS- The good people at Multnomah (through its Blogging for Books program) offered me a copy of I Kissed Dating Goodbye in exchange for an honest review.