I Kissed Dating Goodbye By Joshua Harris, Hmmm read it in under 24hours… Don’t judge it by its name! I love the way the book starts;
It was finally here – Anna’s wedding day, the day she had dreamed about and planned for months. The small, picturesque church was crowded with friends and family. Sunlight poured through the stained-glass windows, and the gentle music of a string quartet filled the air. Anna walked down the aisle toward David. Joy surged within her. This was the moment for which she had waited so long. He gently took her hand, and they turned toward the altar.
But as the minister began to lead Anna and David through their vows, the unthinkable happened. A girl stood up in the middle of the congregation, walked quietly to the altar, and took Davids other hand. Another girl approached and stood next to the first, followed by another. soon, a chain of six girls stood by him as he repeated his vows to Anna.
Anna felt her lip begin to quiver as tears welled up in her eyes. “Is this some kind of joke?” She whispered to David. “I’m… I’m sorry, Anna,” he said, staring at the floor. “Who are these girls, David? Whats going on?” She gasped. “They’re girls from my past” he answered sadly. “Anna, they don’t mean anything to me now… But I’ve given part of my heart to each of them” “I thought your heart was mine” she said. “It is, It is” he pleaded. “Everything that’s left is yours.” A tear rolled down Anna’s cheek. Then she woke up.
So, for David, there was six girls… But how many is it for you? Girls, how many guys have you given part of your heart away to?
Now from the name of the book you would think that this writer is saying that you should not date. I guess at some points in the book it feels that way… But its more that you shouldn’t date until you are ready to get married, ready to make a commitment. He says “The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.” This makes sense, after all it is intimacy that we are all after, but commitment is not something we are all ready to give..
So in saying that, the large majority of people who are dating are not dating with commitment in mind… I mean who do you know that is actually ready to get married? I laugh at myself because I feel like I should already be married, I guess thats what the events in my life have done to me, I feel a lot older than I am… But I agree if you are just dating for the sake of dating and experiencing ’intimacy’ then your just hurting yourself and others… But I think you are the only person who knows what your relationship is about; But I think you seek the guidance of older people who you respect…
Something I have always said is I would be happy to never have a boyfriend, and to just marry my best friend… Yes, you get weird looks when you say something like that…. But it makes so much sense…. As soon as you are titled ‘Boyfriend and Girlfriend’ people have expectations and it gets harder to keep the physical side of your relationship in check. By staying friends its not like that; I’m not really a fan of titles, but really thats what a relationship is… A title, and what normally comes with a title? An Image… I don’t like being titled and I don’t like having to fill the ‘image’ that other people have given that title… I still stand by marrying my best friend… More on this later…
So just some food for thought, a few things that book suggests;
Seven habits of Defective Dating:
- Dating tents to skip the friendship stage of a relationship
- Dating often mistakes a physical relationship for love
- Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships
- Dating can distract young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future
- Dating can cause discontentment with Gods gift of singleness
- Dating can create an artificial environment for evaluation another persons character
- Dating often becomes an end in itself
If any of those describe you or you can relate to then just read the book will take to long to talk about in here.
The five attitudes changes to help you avoid defective dating
- Every relationship is an opportunity to model Christs love
- My unmarried years are a gift from God
- I don’t need to pursue a romantic relationship before I’m ready for marriage
- I cannot “own” someone outside of marriage
- I will avoid situations that could compromise the purity of my body or mind
Another story that I just love from the book:
One day a boy who has a bag of marbles proposes a trade a trade with a little girl who has a bag of candy. The girl gladly agrees. But as the boy gets out his marbles, he realizes that he can’t bear to part with some of them. Rather dishonestly, he takes three of his best marbles and hides them under his pillow. The boy and girl made the trade, and the girl never knows he has cheated her. But that night while the girls lies fast asleep, the boy has no peace. He’s wide awake, pondering the question that nags at him; “I wonder if she kept her best candy, too?”
Like that little boy, many of us walk through like plagued by the question “Has God given me His best?” But the question that we must answer first is “Am I giving God my BEST?” We will never experience Gods best – in singleness or in marriage – until we give God our all…
I was talking about this the other day, For me personally I have no need/desire to date… I know I will get married one day and but I have a peace about actually finding him… I don’t know if I can really explain it, but I just know that God has the guy he wants me with and I will end up with him… Thats not to say that I wont date any other guys before that… But I just know that I will end up with the guy God has for me, I just have a huge peace about that.. So because of that I’m happy single, happy just seeing what happens and have no part of me that says I have to be in a relationship, I can just smile when I get comments about the fact that I am still single… So in answer to the question “Do you really trust him?” Yes, I trust that God has the perfect guy for me… I mean when you think about who you see as your perfect girl/guy, just think about it again, God has someone way better in mind for you..
So In the second last chapter these is a section titled ‘What do you call it?’, I liked this section, referencing back to what I said earlier about titles and images.
So it is suggested that developing a Godly relationship will take these stages
- Casual Friendship
- Deeper Friendship
- Courtship; Purposeful intimacy with integrity
I like it, I think it fits what I was tying to explain earlier…
So a quick summary;
Casual Friends: Pretty self explanatory, when you are just getting to know someone
Deeper Friends: I really like this one – So this is when you I guess allow whatever it might be between the two of you to ‘blossom’, Don’t rush anything, you don’t even have to mention how you feel, just continue being friends, but engaging in activities to get to know each other better, involving each other in your everyday life… A few points that get made are
Things to avoid- Saying and doing things that express romantic love, if you are pursuing a deeper friendship they will already get the idea that you are interested. – What, wait and pray before moving past friendship
The green lights to move ahead:
- Gods word
- You’re ready for marriage
- The approval and support of your parents
- God’s peace
There is a lot involved with being ready to get married, financially, maturity, spiritually, emotionally and having the right image of marriage… It wont be a walk in the park, it will take time, effort, emotions, heart ache, determination, just everything to get it to work and last…
Courtship: Look, to be honest, as old fashioned as it sounds I think ‘courtship’ is better than dating… I know I know old fashioned… hmm do you think if we get people to ‘like’ a page enough we can get facebook to add courting to its list of relationship statuses??
Anyway when its ‘courting’ I guess the intentions are clear, and you both know where you are headed its not just aimless.. And guys take the lead! This is when you get to pursue her and win her heart…
Engagement: A proposal should come as no surprise, you both have to have talked about it and agree that your ready for that… I mean thats not to say she has to know when you are going to do it… Personally I am against picking the ring together, if you know he has the ring then your going to read into all situations and it just wont be as special… But I think by the time you are getting engaged the guy should know you well enough to pick a ring that you will like, or if that is really really really to hard, at least buy another nice/cheaper ring so you at least have something and then pick the ring together… In an engagement i still think the physical has to be kept to a minimum…
Now, I want to know what guys think of the whole asking the parents, do you think its still necessary? Just for the engagement or to be able to court their daughter to? I personally think it shows a great deal of respect, for both the parents and the girl.. But I agree that its a risk and you have to then respect what the parents say…
I intend to have a ‘love story’ I am proud to tell, be able to tell all aspects of it, have nothing to hide…
I could have added more from the book, but really I need to write this as I read because I end up forgetting.. But you can always buy the book and read it for yourself