I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

Multnomah; Updated edition (April 1, 2003), 238 pages

Okay Okay. Before any reaction is spurred, allow me to explain. 3 years ago, when I was living in China, I hung out with lots of Christians, and one particular couple, good friends of mine, ( I shall call them X and Y) were always reading lots of Christian books. And because the only English books in China were “How to Speak English like a Foreigner” and “English Vocabulary made Easy” and other similar ones along the line, I decided to ‘check it out’. I can still remember that night, we were playing billiards, and because I play billiards like I play the zither, I eyed Y’s book called “Boy Meets Girl” also by the same author. I borrowed the book, and browsed …and what can I say, Ive never in my life shook my head that much, and Ive never utterd so many ‘Oh man”s or “What the”s….

I do not scorn at their beliefs or dismiss them. In fact I find it incredible that they could adhere to such…rigid and straight ways of dating/courtship whatever you call it.

So, this book is the pre-quel to the ‘Boy Meets Girl’ and to non-Chirstians, I think just as infamous. Dont get me wrong. This book is a bestseller and has been translated into over 12 languages.

So this 21 year old guy does not believe in dating. He believes in waiting only for that ONE, the one you will eventually marry. So if you do not think you will marry that guy/girl, you shouldnt waste your time. Yes it does sound romantic doesnt it? I also believe in that, but he also thinks that, when we date or see someone, we give away part of our heart to him/her. So, the more one dates, the smaller his heart gets, until when he sees the One for him, nothing would be left of his heart. Given this equation then, I can see my own brother, not only without a heart but maybe some other vital parts in his anatomy missing, close to a walking skeleton. But I dont believe in that anyway. I believe in having emotional baggages but not the receding love.

He also expounded on a guy and a girl’s roles…

Guys, its time we stood up to defend thehonor and righteousness of our sisters. We need to stop acting like hunters trying to catch girls and begin seeing ourselves as warriors standing over them. We need to swear off flirtatiousness and refuse to play games and lead them on. We have to go out of our way to make sure nothing we say or do stirs up inappropriate feelings or expectations.

Very gentlemanly indeed. I wonder how many guys really adhere to that. Now this is the girls’ responsibilities:

Girls, remember the wayward woman we discussed earlier? Your job is to keep your brothers from being led astray by her charms. Please be aware of how easily your actions and glances can stir up in a guy’s mind. I think many girls are innocently aware of the difficulty a guy has in remaining pure when looking at a girl who is dressed immodestly. Now I dont want to dictate your wardrobe, but honestly speaking, I would be blessed if girls considered more than fashion when shopping for clothes. My friend Janelle asks her dad to evaluate every outfit she buys. She wants a godly man’s opinion whether or not its modest. There have been plenty of times when her dad has asked her to return items. But she doesnt complain. She wants to honor God.

Er…seeing my photo in the profile section, hope I dont plummet down to eternal damnation.

The book also has a section on battling Lust:

For one girl I know, guarding her heart against lust means throwing away all her secular romance novels. She felt convicted that the constant sensuality these books featured was totally inappropriate for her to read, making her heart rich soil for seeds of lust. Another friend attending college stopped spending his afternoons at the beach because the bikini clad girls there were too great a temptation for his eyes. Another male friend decided to abstain from all movies for six months.

There’s also a section on believing in saving the first KISS for marriage:

Keep your hands off and your clothes on. Until youre married, please dont treat each other as if your bodies belong to each other even if youre engaged. The kissing, touching, and caressing that take place in today’s dating relationships often lead to compromise and confusion. Such behavior is often based on selfishness and awakens desires that you can righteously satisfy only in marriage.Personally, Ive committed to waiting, even for a kiss, until Im married. I want the first kiss with my wife to be on our wedding day.

And a section on how to behave when youre already “courting”:

As your friendship progresses, avoid saying and doing things that express romantic love. Dont take things into your own hands by flirting or dropping hints about your romantic feelings. And dont encourage your friends to talk about you or treat you as a couple. When your friends do this, simply invite others to join you in your activities so you can keep from being paired off.

And how we should look out for one another, and dating “Non-Christians”:

My friend Christina was beginning to develop a very close relationship with a non-Christian guy. Though she brought him to church several times and told me and others that she was ‘reaching out’ to him, I was concerned about the nature of the relationship. I called her one day and asked if she was being drawn into a romantic relationship with someone who didnt follow Christ. She admitted that she was and had already made some foolish decisions about where and when they have gone. God used our conversation to convict Christina and reveal the dangerous path she was on. She involved her mom and other girlfriends and changed the nature of her friendship with the guy.

Ive benefited from being challeneged as well. My friend Heather provided this kind of care for me when she talked to me about the way I was interacting with the girls in our singles group. She pointed out ways I had focused on certain girls and things I said and did that could cause girls to think I was interested in them romantically. God used Heather’s words to help me change.

Personally, if I had a friend come up and tell me “I noticed you are paying some more than sisterly attention to so and so” Id tell him or her to **** off.

I am not a wild child who advocates sex drugs rock n rolls and orgies. But some how reading into the lives of these young people made me feel like they were living in a communist era, where there are red guards out to catch them sin.

Its also pretty impressive, that at this day and age, that there are young people like this who exist, and in all places, America.Trying to live a saintly life in a world of reality tv shows is like swimming against the current. I have so much more to say about the book but Its pointless. This is one of the most debatable issues where no one can win.

The author of course can say with conviction that he will really not kiss, or touch or date, because he HAS been through with his days of “sin” and is a changed man. But what about those who havent even done anything…no experience whatsoever? Every experience is a learning process and if you devoid a teenage boy from the early stages of dating, (prom is of course not allowed because it is a ‘couple’ thing) and let him kiss only on the wedding day, I think a disaster awaits.

For more information, go to www.joshharris.com

If you are single or dating and still living with your parents, keep this book out of their hands.

6 responses to “I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

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  2. In a weird sort of way I was part of the coffee house scene where Joshua’s dad and mom met, which in a weird sort of way influenced his approach in I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I don’t recommend that book at all, and I back up my objections with scripture in my book review on my home page (click on my name to view.) http://www.n7nz.org

  3. im having a relationship with a gurl and were deeper. i mean very deep with our relationship, a lot of times i decided to let her go for i know this relationship is wrong but everytimes i do that i keep on coming back to her side, i know i love her and i want to live my forever with her

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  5. Just realize that Joshua Harris is quick to state all the defects with dating but doesn’t share the defects with his approach. This includes not mentioning the historical problems that occurred at his own church including before he as the Sr. Pastor.

    I have a blog that shares some of my thoughts on this book:


    I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Wisdom or Foolishness

  6. Pingback: Just A Phase. « SangPhlegMelCholic

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