"I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris
Review of Chapter 2

I owe a lot to Joshua Harris for writing the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". It challenged me to invite the Lord into my love life before I ruined it.

His books changed the course of my life for the better. He says things better than I could, so I'd like to give a review of what he teaches to either...

            Give you a refresher if you're familiar with his material or

            Peak your interest if you haven't gotten a chance yet.

In "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" Joshua Harris gives "7 Habits of Highly Defective Dating"

  1. Dating tends to skip the “friendship” stage of a relationship

    Dating says, “I’m interested in you; therefore lets get to know each other.

    Friendship says, “We’re interested in the same things; lets enjoy these common interests together"

    "Intimacy without commitment is defrauding. Intimacy without friendship is superficial. A relationship based only on physical attraction and romantic feelings will last only as long as the feelings last." (Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p. 35)

  2. Dating often mistakes a physical relationship for love

    It's hard to remain objective when there's physical intimacy in a relationship.

    As a culture the words "sex" and "love" are interchangeable ("we made love" means "we had sex"). As a result a couple will often gauge the seriousness of their relationship by the level of their physical involvement.

    If a guy and girl skip the friendship stage of their relationship, lust often becomes the common interest that brings the couple together.
    It is a way to concretely express how special the other person is to them.

    This is one of the main reasons I kissed dating goodbye!

  3. Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships

    Dating usually allows one relationship to crowd out all others resulting in a loss of perspective leading to poor judgment.

    Proverbs 15:22 "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established."

    If we make our decisions about life based solely on the influence of one relationship, we'll probably make poor judgments, and a lot is at stake including your marriage, family and faith.

    Joshua Harris articulates the results so well. "The exclusive attention so often expected in dating relationships has a tendency to steal people's passion for serving in the church and to isolate them from the friends who love them most, family members who know them best, and sadly, even God, whose will is far more important than any romantic interest." (p. 39).

  4. Dating can distract young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.

    Instead of equipping themselves with character, education and experience necessary to succeed in life, many allow themselves to be consumed by the present needs that dating emphasizes. 

    Even if you are going out with the person you will one day marry, a preoccupation with being the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend now can actually hinder you from being the future husband or wife that person will one day need.

  5. Dating can cause discontentment with God’s gift of singleness

    When you are single you have a unique opportunity for growth, learning  and service.

    Dating gives single people just enough intimacy to make them wish they had more. Instead of enjoying the unique qualities of singleness, dating causes people to focus on what they don’t have.

    Use that freedom to serve God with abandon. Consider it a stewardship opportunity. You don't sin when you look forward to marriage, but don't let your desire for something God doesn't want you to have YET rob you of your ability to enjoy and appreciate what he HAS given.

  6. Dating creates an artificial environment for evaluating another person’s character

    A white boy who can’t jump can look pretty good at basketball when he lowers the hoop.

    A couple going out for fun, can charm his or her way into a date’s heart.

    But two people weighing the possibility of marriage shouldn’t make it a priority to get away from real life; they need to see each other in the real life settings of family and friends! Make sure you get a strong dose of objective reality!

    When you get married then you can date and take a break from real life.

  7. Dating often becomes an end in itself

    Dating should be a bridge between friendship and marriage but instead, it becomes the destination - not ending but not moving on either. Since many today enjoy the emotional and physical privileges of marriage in their dating relationships they find little motivation to commit themselves to marriage.

In "I Kissed Dating Goodbye", Joshua Harris encourages a very balanced approach to relationships. He clarifies that it's not just a checklist you can go through and get the desired results. It's not about following rules and doing it right. It's about having the proper motive for being in a relationship. It's about living for God as you pursue marriage through not living selfishly and serving others instead. It's not a self-righteous legalistic list of "to do" - it's a shift in attitude and values. If you haven't yet, read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." You'll certainly be blessed.  

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