What I've Learned Since I Kissed Dating Goodbye

49 Comments

holdinghands.kristenleigh.jpg

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! Recently I've been working on a series of posts summarizing some messages I've done in the past few years on the topic of relationships. Unfortunately, because of my work on my new book, I haven't had time to go into the depth I was hoping to for this series. Hopefully I'll get to do that in the future, for now I wanted to share the links to the three messages for anyone interested.

These messages all reflect, in one way or another, things that I've learned since I wrote the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye twelve years ago. I still stand by the message of that book that premature, short-term romantic attachments can be a big distraction from serving God—especially for teenagers. But in the years since I've also seen that a legalistic application of these ideas can be unhelpful, too. One of my main concerns in my church or any other church is that there be no disunity among Christians over issues of dating and courtship. We need to learn to hold our own convictions on this matter with charity. Most importantly we need to make sure that our convictions are shaped by scripture—not culture, church culture or my books.

The following messages were given in the context of wanting to serve my own church and clear up what I see as a wrong application of ideas I've written about. I hope these are helpful.

"Romance Revisited" is a message I did last summer at our church's annual youth retreat. My main burden was to challenge teens to cultivate their own biblical convictions on the topic of dating and relationships, and to make the distinction between commands from God's word and the wise application of biblical principles.

"Courtship Shmourtship" addresses some misconceptions people can have about courtship, and examines biblical principles that should inform our relationships. I speak to singles who are so concerned with "guarding each others heart" that they're not talking to one another.

"Courtship is a Community Project" looks at how godly relationships can function in the context of the local church. It's a challenge to the whole church to come alongside single men and women and provide support and encouragement as they pursue relationships.

One final note: the last two messages are included in video form on a DVD that my publisher released. And the most complete summary of my thoughts about honoring God while pursuing romance is found in my book Boy Meets Girl which I wrote after I got married.

The photo is of my friends Adam and Pami on the day they got engaged. Courtesy of the ultimate engagement, wedding photographer Kristen Leigh.

49 Comments

I often wondered what your thoughts are or how they've changed on this topic since you wrote "I Kissed Dating Goodbye".

It's interesting that you'd mention legalism. I didn't come away from your book thinking that way (or at least I don't think I did), but it did seem like there was a movement a while back toward courtship only/very rule oriented lifestyle. It is sometimes amazing how quickly and unconsciously we can slip into that trap. I've done it many times.

I'm looking forward to checking out the resources.

Blessings in Christ,

Marshall Jones Jr.

Thanks for putting these up. It's comforting, as a single, to know that others do recognize the difficulties we have forming even friendships within the church.

Josh,
I have followed what you and your family have done for many years and have several recordings of your dads from many years ago. It has been fun for me to see the transitions in many lives of people I have read and listened to and you are no exeption. It is great to see God maturing you and using you as you yeild to Him and His leading.
I have 14 children and we homeschool them all (at least the ones who are still at home). Your book I Kissed Dating Goodbye is required reading in their sophmore year of High School. It is a wonderfully written book and has given me many oportunities to discuss the Biblical principles regarding relationships with my children.
Just recently one of my daughters got married and it was beautiful to watch her and her fiance submit to the Biblical model. The issue was really submission to the Holy Spirit not to your book. Your book was simply a tool in His hands to bless them in there relationship.
Thanks for your humble submission to our Lord as He chooses to use you.

Thank you, Mr. Hartman. That is very encouraging. Congratulations on the marriage of your daughter.

Josh,
Thank you for these messages. They are encouraging, provoking and so helpful. Thank you for allowing the Lord to continue to use.

Josh,
I so appreciate your addressing legalism's tendency to creep into Christian relationships, especially where courtship is concerned. I have not heard these messages, but have heard good things about "Courtship Schmourtship" (great name, btw). We do need to remember to "hold our convictions with charity." That said, I would like to thank you for writing I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, and for cultivating a culture of godly relationships at your church. My daughter and her boyfriend (both members of Covenant Life Church) became engaged on Valentine's Day, and my husband and I could not imagine being any happier. By God's grace, and with the help of caring parents, pastors, and friends in the local church, they have walked through their courtship with integrity, and they have many blessings to look forward to. You have truly been an instrument in God's hands. THANK YOU. Keep up the good work!

Lisa,

Engaged on Valentine's Day? That's wonderful! Congratulations!

Joshua

Hi Joshua,

Your book I Kissed Dating Goodbye was life changing for me! I was in a very ungodly relationship about 9 years ago and your book was literally an eye-opener. There was SO SO much truth in it for me. I only wish I read it sooner--I might have been saved from all that heartache. I must confess I did end up becoming quite legalistic after that for a variety of reasons (fear, other books, wanting to be perfect/have all the answer, pride, personal tendencies). But, over the last year or two I fell in love with reformed teaching and found you (again) among many, many good teachers that have helped me so much in areas of legalism and relationships and many other things. God takes care of those who are His. : )

Thank you so much for being concerned about your readers to keep them on the right path. It's very responsible book writing. You have a pastor's heart!

Jessica

Hi Joshua,

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine last week about your book "I kissed dating goodbye". I was saved in my teenage years and began showing interest in a beautiful girl who insisted that I read your book. I was really interested in what it had to say (although some of it rubbed me the wrong way I must admit) but what impacted me the most and what has stuck with me to this day was your description of the cross.

About two thirds of the way through the book you wrote about what happened on the cross of calvary, that every sin of every person was placed upon the Anointed One, and the Father poured His wrath out on His Son. And that the Son was looked at as if He had committed the sins of horrible men and was punished for it.

I had been going to church or bible studies 3x a week for about a year and half at this point and I never heard the cross explained that way before. I couldn't get it out of my head and the cross made so much more sense to me.

I want to thank you for including those pages of theology in a book about dating (or not dating, as it were). It really impacted me and has stuck with me years later.

I ended up dating that girl (not courting [sorry]) and marrying her. We moved to the city of Cork in Ireland and I am pastoring a church filled with young people. I preach penal substitutionary atonement every sunday and every wednesday and make it my aim that no one attends this church even once without hearing the heart of the gospel, the message of the cross.

Hi Josh,

What blesses me most about this post is the acknowledgement of I Kissed Dating Goodbye's target audience on many fronts, which if I read correctly in the book, seemed to be your peers at the time, namely teens and young twenty-somethings.

For a person like me who takes things very literally, it's easy to misread an admonition like (paraphrasing), "make sure to talk to a girl's father or pastor before expressing interest" as a literal rule that everyone needs to follow, versus seeing the heart of what you were saying, which was for men to simply be accountable, recognizing (as you did in Boy Meets Girl) that the application of this principle looks different for different people.

I'm an idealist (takes one to know one), so it makes sense now that certain ideals would come through in your writing.

Joshua,

i've done reading "i kissed dating goodbye" last month and i enjoy reading it, I can say that i also kissed dating goodbye after reading it. Just few days from then i started reading "boy meets girl" and just finished it yesterday. Actually i am broken hearted this time because i had the decision to finished my courting/dating. But as i read the last chapter of your book "boy meets girl" it helped me to realize and actually really "open eyes" of the reality. It's hard, but i believe GOD is giving me grace and strength to overcome this. I really enjoy reading your books and it really helped me in lot of things, not just in courtship, but also more in my spiritual life, to enjoy more of my singleness that GOD gave me, wait patiently and refocus my priorities. I'm happy that i finished your books. It's really a lot of help for singles like me and i'm actually encouraging my youth mates to read it also :) thanks again. GOD bless :)

(Just a big Christian fan from the other side of the world...)

Hi Joshua!

It's been two years since I've read your books (I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl), and to this day the effects of that are still very much apparent in me. I thank God for giving you your wisdom in your craft. I am very much inspired to uphold the purity of God's love, and to even write about it.

While some would tell me that you're into such extremism, I say it's just right. Protecting ourselves and protecting one another is not easy...and not something we should take lightly. This is especially true for young adults like me who need to strive to grow for the Lord and just be so so madly and deeply in love with Jesus (thank God He's not a dumper!).

God bless you! Keep on shining for the Lord!

Hi Joshua,

I've read "I kissed dating goodbye" and "Boy meets girl" almost 6 years ago and since then the Lord has been renewing my mind in ways I never dreamt possible.

Back then I was in a relationship that was not God-honoring, for all the wrong reasons. I first heard you talk on "Focus on the Family" and it stirred me enough to go buy the book. That was the beginning of a new life in Christ. Not only did He use it to change my way of thinking about marriage, He challenged me to trust Him completely, with all areas of my life.

Your books was a tool that the Lord used to open my eyes to the fact that His best is so much more than what the world has to offer. And I don't only mean this with regard to relationships / marriage, but to enjoy, first of all a relationship with Him, and the trust that grows from that - knowing that He will work out all things for good, for those who love Him.

You and your family are to me a picture of God's grace. I also praise Him for His grace in my life, and I know the best is yet to come! Many blessings to you and your family.

Hi Josh!

I read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" two years ago at the age of 30. I so wished I would have read it sooner! Like other commenters stated above, it changed my views on marriage and dating; that I was being selfish in my relationhips, and not seeking to glorify God.

Providentially, I ran across your blog two days ago, and just now listened to "Courtship Schourtship." It was so helpful and encouraging! I have forwarded it to other sisters in Christ who are frustrated - let's just say the line about "every woman in our church should feel like a princess" really hits home. Thank you for addressing these issues.

In Christ,
Mandi

Hey Josh,
I really liked this post. I especially liked what you said about legalism. A lot of times it seems that Christians go from the extreme of NO boundaries in what is really a self-centered relationship to the opposite extreme of (dare I say?) superficial over-the-top legalism, which really hinders the couple from getting to know each other just as much as the opposite extreme. By the way, I really liked your books Boy Meets Girl and I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I read BMG first and thought it made courtship so clear. I myself "kissed dating goodbye" years ago, after hearing friends of mine describe their dating relationships. So, for me, IKDG was nothing more than a confirmatiion of what I'd already figured out ages ago. Thanks for writing such wonderful challenging books. They are really quite life changing.

joshua,,

hellow nice book

PHENOMENAL message! I'm almost through listening to the first recording and I can't wait to hear the rest. Would it be ok play these publicly at our youth functions?

I read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" as a kid, but there was a lot of drama and hurt and pain in my family when it came to actually trying to apply the courtship idea to my relationship with my now-husband. My parents had some very heady, idealistic views that were impossible to follow. Several of my friends had similar experiences.

I'd like to have some better understanding and balance when teaching these concepts to our future children and I'm am thrilled to hear your fresh perspective on this.

Thanks! :)

Josh,

Thank you for being brave and actually writing the book that everyone of us youth need. You took a bold step of discovering truths that many dared not to think about.
The selfish take on relationships only serves to destroy what we can give to the spouse that God blesses us with. Sadly, in our "born again" churches, all that is preached is that we get a new start, but never about the consequences of our sins. I believe that God forgives us, but the consequences are still there...
I really wish Christians would stop debating about whether courtship is the way or not and its difficulties, but rather turned their attention to the damages to a marriage caused by not seeking purity when single or in a relationship.
I think the fault is with churches focusing too much on forgiveness, and not the plain simple truth behind why God instructed us to remain pure as singles.
When we truly understand the consequences of different levels of pre-marital physical interaction, and how it will play a part in destroying a marriage, I think most Christians will agree that the most conservative approach to courtship is the way to go.

hey wow...it is soooo encouraging just to read the respond on how the book changed so many people's lives, as each reader shares his/her story im touched and amazed by what the Lord is doing. In South Africa we have a saying that says...God is Good all the time and all the time God is good. Well personally I love being the single woman who is focused on the things of the Lord and Im also studying, the books which you sent me have amny an impact in many lives of young people in our campus as we share on issues of dating but most importantly is basing it on what the Word of God because it is constant.

Josh,

It was quite surprising that I'm here viewing your site now. Just few minutes ago I was reading your book, Not Even A Hint. I have read your two other books: I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. Those are definitely inspiring. I thank God that there are people like you who still manage to share wisdom to other people who needs it.

More power to you! God bless always!

Josh,

My teenage daughter read your books, IKDG and BMG several years ago as she knew she felt differently about dating than most of her friends. She wanted to glorify her Lord and Savior and I cannot tell you how your beautiful books confirmed what she was feeling. I read them when she finished them because she was so excited and encouraged. She is leaving for college soon and has spent her high school years embracing her singleness, volunteering and serving alongside her brothers in Christ, living a very full life.

I challenge all young women to read your books with excitement and hope for a future designed by Him. Trust and keep your eyes on Him. The best is yet to come. Young men, protect your sisters in Christ. They are future wives and one will be yours. Thank you for your honesty.

In Christ,

A grateful mother

Thank you Joshua for these messages! I enjoy your passionate, *com*passionate application of the Scriptures to the lives of all the different kinds of people in your church.

Once when I was in college I wrote a song that kind of made fun of you just a little - I think I had been turned down on too many of those lunch dates ;]

My 12 year old granddaughter took the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" home with her this weekend. Is she too young to read this?

Josh,
Firstly, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Tonny Slameto and I live in Indonesia. I had already read your book "I kissed dating good bye" and "SEx is not the problem, lust is". I thank to God because he use your books to open up my understanding about relationship.
Thank you...!

I Kissed Dating Goodbye was twelve years old now????? It seems so like yesterday. Wow! My prayer is for you to continually be used by God through the talents he's given you to bring glory to his name!

Hi Josh, since I read your book 6 years ago (gosh- that was really awhile back), the things that I learned and discovered in myself is still fresh up to now. I am now 25 and still embrace the benefit of singleness inline with servicing our God. Truly, God works in inconspicuous, humble and full of love way. That when you realized it's end result to your life, all you can do is sit in one corner, thank HIM and share it to others.

Thank you so much!

Godbless..

Jc
Manila, philippines

Hi Joshua,
A sister gave me your 3 books after we came back from our trip from Jerusalem. At first i was not very fond of the idea of reading your book.
But after i finished reading your book i realized that God was convicting me to end my relationship with my then girlfriend. It was hard but it had to be done.
It has been almost 3 years now that I've been single and i realize that i would not have grown in my faith if i didn't obey God's prompting.
I have passed your book on to all the youths in my church and it has been a blessing to them just as it has been for me.

Thank you. I'm looking forward to your 5th book...

I thank God because the book i kissed dating goodbye really opened my mind,God is great..now im reading the boy meets girl..Im satisfied of being single right now,and i know God is preparing the best partner for me...thank you much

On a somewhat related note, I have benefited invaluably from Eric and Leslie Ludy's book "Meet Mr. Smith."

It's a quick read that as given me a great clarity as a single how to build a God-entranced relationship and pursue the truly great things God created.

Without thinking about it many lies creep in from our culture. I am so grateful for both your book and this one which help draw out the differences and spur toward God's beautiful intent.

God has been so good to us with His construct of marriage. Satan has done so much to destroy this in our culture and churches - even in "working" marriages and relationships by selling us a cheap imitation of God's amazing intent.

Praying for ya brother.

Hey Josh,

I thought you might like to know that as soon as I saw that I could download these messages, I did. I immediately burned them to a CD so that I could listen to them in my car. I can't wait to listen to them. Thanks so much for making these available.

Thanks,
Jason

In light of Boy Meets Girl...what would you counsel someone about internet and long distance relationships???

These messages are excellent. Thanks Josh! But I thought you'd like to know that the links to the messages are currently broken.

I read I Kissed Dating Gooodbye back when i was in high school almost 5 years ago and it amazes me how much it is still very much a part of my life. I'm re-reading it and i can't put it down. I'm definently going to get Boy Meets Girl. God has really blessed you with great wisdom.

I'm looking for something that helps me define a relationship that my son is in as 'dating' eventhough they haven't gone out or kissed or anything. I believe it's a matter of the heart, or intimacy. We are trying to protect against intimacy forming really, and when it does, it needs to be addressed. Things that lead to that, need to be guarded, until such an age when he can court (mature and able to provide for family). So semantically, my wife and I agree we don't want dating, but not in the practical terms therein. Is exclusivity, massive communication, 6-10 hrs a week of group time at church or at our home, touching skin\hand holding \ hugging, and some serious talks about possible future and marriage - dating? Way past, in my book. Any suggestions? How can I help define the thing we are protecting and the practical do's and don'ts that help?

Hi, Josh,

I actually won a copy of your first book "I kissed dating goodbye" during the summer of 2008 in a local youth bible quiz competition and I have been an avid fan ever since. I have read the two books that followed and I must say that you are really allowing God to use you in an awesome way. Unlike you, I did not grow up in a devote christian home so giving up dating was like being re-socialized. It was very easy to agree with many of your points especially since so much of it was backed up by powerful scripture; and for a while I abstained from dating and fantasized about finding a God fearing person to settle down with after I graduate from College (which is this Spring). However, I guess its harder to de-socialized oneself than i had expected because Last summer while on a summer internship in Springfield MA, I met the most wonderfully sensitive and kind young man who miraculously did not pursue sex from me but instead befriended me and told me that he wants to wait for me after I graduate so that we can be together. I guess like you said, people who abstain should actually not even be kissing- and I proved that, big time! because it did lead to intimacy. Thing is,I am not sure whether I should feel guilty that ours became a sexual relationship because for once in my life my relationship does not revolve around sex- its like a welcome added bonus. and I question whether it is possible to care for someone the way we care for each other so deeply and not become intimate. I never felt guilty because it feel as if this was inevitable- plus we are planning on getting married and we both know that we are not casually dating. He is not a born again christian like i am but we go to my church and he yearns to Know Christ. I am hopeful and is receptive when I try to share with him some of the things i have learnt.
thank you, Josh
C.E

Dear C.E.,

Thanks for your note. My encouragement to you is to honor the Lord by abstaining from sexual immorality (Eph. 5:3). It's not easy because sex is a good gift and a wonderful part of a committed relationship. But choosing Christ and obedience to him is the call of a disciple and we never regret obeying him (Luke 14:25-33). I will pray that your boyfriend will trust in Christ and that you will be able to enter a godly marriage and enjoy God's gift of intimacy without guilt and with true joy.

Please email your address to kreynolds-at-covlife-dot-org. I want to send you a free copy of Boy Meets Girl. It addresses this subject in more detail and I hope will encourage you. God bless you.

Joshua

Dear josh,

please comment on Luke's post(August 27,2009).What about godliness in light of long distance/internet relationships?
is it possible to pursue a courtship in light of IKDG AND BM via long distance?what about accountability and getting to know each other?are long distance relationships biblical?

hi haven't read the book i kissed dating goodbye but my friend told me that book is great. As well as boy meets girl, i've scanned the book before but have to read really read it well but i really like it. Hope to have a copy of your latest book dug down deep. Keep up the good work and continue to be a blessing to everyone..God bless you!

I WANT TO READ SOME FREE E-BOOKS ABOUT JOSH HARRIS STORIES AND NOVELS.

Hi Josh!
I am glad to see these follow-up messeges. A few friends and I were just discussing your books and how they influenced the lives of our generation. I'm afraid we're in the group labeled "IKDG ruined our lives". :P OK, maybe that's too dramatic. But I'm afraid that I am one of those young people whose parents considered your books The Bible on Godly courtship and used them to beat us over the head. My then-boyfriend and I, after 3 years of trying to convince them to let us "court" gave up and got married without their blessing. Because our relationship didn't look like the stories in your books, it must not have been The Right Way. I wish i could say that I am an exception but among my friends, I'm the norm. I know you had a lot of great stuff in those books but there was much that was used in very legalisic ways that did a lot of damage. I am so glad to see some balance in these messeges you posted!

hai josh ! thanks for that super interesting book IKDG! it really changed my view in dating. im 19 now and at my age i've learned to really wait for God's timing. hoping to read your other books. im planning to buy the 3rd book you have. keep it up! you're touching people's lives through your book. God is indeed using you. GODBLESS!! :)
-- Michelle Joy Labitad of Philippines

I am a teenager and i face peer pressure from my friends to be in a relationship. i follow what the bible says, that we used to be an adult and sable before we can be in a christian healthy realtionship. they also try encourage me to fornicate , but i told myself noo, they call me names and all that. i have a question, when is the right time to be in a relationship and have intercourse. Godbless

Jeff, God's word forbids fornication (that is sex outside of marriage). So the right time for sexual intimacy is after you're married. The right time to get married is different for different people. What matters is that you're both serving Jesus and that you as a man are spiritually mature and able to lead and provide for your wife. Stand strong and don't give into the pressure of this world. Obey Jesus!

Joshua Harris

,sinCe I kissed dating gOOdbye, I appreciate God's purpose of making me singLe..thank's a lot,it served as my fortress when I feel insecure sometimes..Thank's to you!!God Bless and moRe powerS!

Before you proceed to get married here is some serious food for serious thought. I give you this advice because of personal experience. I am single, never been married, still a virgin & do not date. However, I have watched as sex outside of marriage, adultery, divorce, unequally yoked marriages, adulterous remarriages, babies out of wedlock, etc., etc., etc. have riddled my entire family on both my mom's side of the family and my dad's side of the family, so full of holes, it makes swiss cheese look like Kraft American single sliced cheese. Even my own parents were unequally yoked from the beginning. My parents fought a lot and the threat of divorce was always there, but some how God held us together and divorce never happened. My dad finally became a Christian a few years back & things have definitely improved since then. I have also watched as all of these terrible things have taken a very negative toll on the faith and walk with Christ of those family members who are Christians. The bad example Christian & non-Christian parents alike set for the children, sins of the parents being passed on to the children who, in turn pass them on to the grandchildren who are about to pass them on to the great grandchildren and more and more lives are ruined. I've watched as even friends and other people in and out of church fall into the same sinful traps. I seem to be surrounded by it and drowning in it everywhere I go. What's worse is that everyone, especially the church is being held hostage by sinful human nature's all time favorite twisted misquotation of the bible verse that says, "do not judge lest you be judged." Church discipline is practically nonexistent in this day and age. We are completely disobedient to the bible verse that commands older men to teach younger men & older women to teach younger women how to love & respect each other & to care for their families. To use the Titanic analogy Extremely few churchs have life boats on board & very few churchs have had regular life boat drills & know how to use them. We also need to ask ourselves what kind of church we are in: The Titanic: self-centered, arrogant, prideful & lazy, thinks they & their desires are more important than anything or anyone else? The Californian: lazy, self-centered, sniveling cowards who let people die because helping others might be inconvenient, messy & dangerous, afraid that if they tell someone they're wrong they'll be accused of being legalistic, narrow-minded, judgmental bigots? The Samson: self-centered, loves sin too much to give it up, doesn't want to get caught & punished for it, leaves others to die just to save their own skins, wants to look good & not be called a hypocrit even though they are? or is it The Carpathia: Well organized, Plenty of life boats, regular & consistent life boat drills, humble, faithful, obedient to Christ in all things, puts others first, always prepared to help others in & out of season, always on the job, alert, listens well, etc., etc., etc.? All churches should work at becoming Carpathians & staying that way. As a Christian it's very important to be obedient to God and His word. There are a number of things that are non-negotiable. They are absolutes. One of those things is God's command to never become unequally yoked with unbelievers. It is wrong to be involved in this way with an unbeliever. You need to read the book Beloved Unbeliever by Jo Berry. There are four ways in which a believer ends up unequally yoked with an unbeliever. The first way is the most common way. It's when two unbelievers get married, and later on down the road one of them becomes a Christian. The very fact that person becomes a Christian automatically makes them unequally yoke. They have not sinned because they, both, were not Christians when they got married, and the command is for Christians to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. The second way a Christian can become unequally yoked is through ignorance. They may be a carnal Christian who does not read the bible everyday as they ought to, and doesn't give much thought to God and what God wants from us and just kind of lives life according to their own desires. Therefore they don't know what the bible says, which is dangerous. The bible says that if we sin in ignorance we will be beaten with few blows, but if we sin on purpose, knowing full well that what we are doing is wrong we will be beaten with many blows. But the thing about it is this. Whether it's done in ignorance, unknowingly or it's done on purpose, either way we still receive a beating. The bible also says that if we have doubts, if we don't do something out faith, than for us as Christians it is a sin. The reason it is a sin is because if we have doubts, if we are not sure whether something is right or not, it is our responsibility to search out the truth about it and find out. If we have doubts, but don't bother to find out the truth, and we just go ahead and do it anyway, then we are showing that we don't care about right and wrong. We don't care what God's will is. We care about only one thing: getting what we want no matter what & having an excuse to justify it. "You can't blame me & punish me for something I didn't know anything about." That is a sin because the bible says that we are not our own. We were bought for a price and now we must glorify God in our bodies. We must obey Him in all things. Lack of obedience is lack of faith. The bible says faith without works is dead & without faith it is impossible to please God. The third way that a Christian becomes unequally yoked is when an unbeliever lies to a believer. A Christian woman met her then future husband at a church camp. The thing about it was that this young man was not a Christian. He had been invited by a Christian friend to go to this Christian camp. Unfortunately she wrongly assumed that because she's at a Christian place/event & she's a Christian & he's at a Christian place/event therefore he must be a Christian, too. The truth is that there are plenty of non-christians in church. After all no one is automatically born a Christian just because they were physically born into a Christian home with Christian parents. It is an individual choice that they must make themselves when they reach the age of accountability & can understand. Meanwhile they still have to be taught anyway. It's the churches job to take away everyone's excuses & make sure that no one ever walks away saying, "well, I didn't know. Nobody ever told me." Also we as Christians should be witnessing to our neighbors, friends, co-workers, family members who are not christians & be inviting them to church as well. So, yes there are plenty of non-Christians in church. There are even non-Christians who have been deceived into thinking that they are Christians when in fact they are not because they've never read the bible & don't know what it's all about & no one has ever properly taught them the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth about it. Shortly after the honeymoon when they got married he told her that he didn't want to go to church, read the bible or hear her talk about anything to do with God, church, the bible, faith, etc. any more. At first she thought that he was a carnal Christian who needed to be prayed for to come back to God and repent, but over time she came to realize that he was never a Christian at all in the first place. She asked him why he had lied to her. He said it was because he didn't want to lose her. He knew that if she knew that he was not a Christian that she never would have married him, and so he lied. He said that he thought that he could handle the "religion bit," but found out that he couldn't. He also went around making fun of her and her faith. They had to make some ground rules so that their whole marriage wouldn't be destroyed and that they wouldn't end up in divorce court. How ironic that he said that he didn't want to lose her, and yet he was doing the very things that drive a wedge between people and drive them away: Lying and making fun of and critisizing her and her faith. She realized that it was partly her fault because she didn't pray and stay in contact with the Lord, and ask whether or not it was His will for her life. People need to realize that this is what sinful human nature does. It will do anything to get what it wants including lying. The bible says that the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it? We can even lie to and fool our very own selves. We need to talk to God constantly about our choices, desires, motivations and His will for our lives, even if it seems like we are doing something good. Even good things can be contaminated and ruined by sinful desires and motivations. The fourth way a Christian can become unequally yoked is through just plain, blatant, deliberate, out and out, sinful disobedience. The bible says, "Thou shall have no other gods before me. Thou shall not make for yourselves idols out of anything whether in heaven above or on the earth or below the earth." Jesus said the following things. If you love me then obey me. The one who obeys me is the one who loves me. The one who does not obey me is the one who does not love me. Whoever loves husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, etc. more than me can not be my diciple. The bible also says that stubbornness and rebellion is as the sin of idolatry and witchcraft. If you read the bible and stick to it then it will steer you clear of wrong choices. The bible says to lean not on your own understanding & to acknowledge The Lord in ALL your ways and He will make your paths straight. You should also read the book Surviving A Spiritual Mismatch by Lee and Leslie Strobel. They give the testimony of a Christian man, who, while he was still a non-Christian, took great delight in dating Christian women and making them fall. He said that EVERY time a Christian woman disobeyed God's command against being unequally yoked with unbelievers by dating him, it was only a matter of a short time that he was able to make them fall. He took their virginity & purity, destroyed their credibility & Christian witness & disrupted their relationship with The Lord. No boyfriend/girlfriend, no matter how good looking, nice they seem or how much they make your heart go pitter pat or skip a beat, etc. is ever worth all of that. When God says do not He really, really, really means it. He loves you and doesn't want you to suffer needlessly. He wants the best for you, but in order for you to have the best you have to keep constantly communicating with Him and obeying Him. Too many times suffering is needless because if we had obeyed him in the first place then this whole mess never would have happened in the first place. God can redeem anything and everything so that nothing is wasted, but why should He do that when we should be obeying Him in the first place? Don't ever make the mistake of being in a big hurry when it comes to one of the most important, life altering, impacting (not only your life but the lives of others), spiritually impacting (especially your relationship with Christ) choice of your life. Your focus must be on God's will & God's timing. Jesus said, "Not my will oh Lord, but yours." He also said that the slave is not better or greater than the master. Jesus is our master. We are His slaves who are we to say & behave any differently.

In my previous comments I may have seemed to have come on pretty strongly & it may seem offensive to some people. I did it with good reason. The danger is all around. The evidence speaks for itself, in fact, it's stacking up like cord wood all around. My intent is to back up those who are alert, on the job & doing something about it, to wake up those who have gone to sleep on the subject, taking these things for granted & are oblivious to the dangers that are creeping in all around & get them moving again & to inform, educate & help those who just plain don't know in the first place, but need to know so that they don't just keep repeating the mistakes of others & of the past like a scratched up record with the needle stuck in the same spot that just keeps annoyingly & irritatingly repeating itself over & over & over again. (Anybody still remember those old 45's & 33 1/2's?) As for offending people, here's the problem. Sinful human nature does not at all like to be told it's wrong about anything. The gospel itself is an offense and an indictment against the whole human race. To those who have life it is good news. To those who are perishing it is the smell of death. Jesus Himself is called a stone to make men stumble & a rock to make them fall. The bible even says that we will either fall on the rock & be broken or the rock will fall on us & crush us. Either way we still get offended & hurt regardless. The only reason that truth hurts is because we have crossed a line that we never should have crossed in the first place & are now standing on the wrong side of the truth. As long as we are still standing on the wrong side of the truth, it will continue to hurt us & the consequences that we will have to pay will continue to pile up like cord wood. If we cross back over the line that we never should have crossed in the first place & once again start standing on the right side of the truth, then the the consequences will stop accruing, play themselves out, eventually be done & over with & finally stop hurting us. Here is a quote that comes straight from Hollywood actress Michelle Pfiefer in reference to her own marriage & divorce, (Her statement applies equally to the unwise choice to divorce as it does to the unwise choice to marry). Michelle Pfiefer: The warning signs are all there. It's just that we ignore them in order to get what we want. Far more often Hollywood is the source of lies than it is the truth. We should not believe everything that comes out of Hollywood, but, nevertheless, sometimes Hollywood is forced to tell the truth and/or it slips out inspite of all their best efforts to stuff it & deny it. I hope that what I have said, both in these comments & the previous comments make a difference for everyone & help everyone make better choices & have a better life. There is a parental saying that goes something like this: I want my kids to have it better than I did when I was their age. When people say that, unfortunately, what they usually mean is better toys, clothes, college education, prestigeous six figure paycheck job, money, possessions, etc.. While it's nice to have all those things, the bible says to seek first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness, godliness with contentment is great gain, I am determined to know nothing except Christ & Him Crucified, whether eating or drinking or WHATEVER you do, do it all to the glory of God. The word whatever means anything, everything, and that includes marriage & parenting. When we think about our kids having it better than we did, we should think in terms of bringing them up in the admonition of The Lord, praying for their salvation so that they will come to The Lord sooner rather than later, so that they will have fewer years of faithlessness, heartache, emptiness, unfinished business, regret & guilt & more years of having the priviledge of serving The Lord, faithfulness, freedom, having purpose, fulfillment, God glorifying marriages, finishing the work/good deeds that God has prepared in advance for them to do in their lifetime, etc., than they will have if they come to The Lord later rather than sooner. We can talk all we want about how much we love our kids & would even die for them, for example: run in front of a speeding car, knock our child out of the way & get hit by the car ourselves to protect our child, or put ourselves between our child & the burglar breaking into our house & take the bullet ourselves. However, dying is easy. There are countless ways to die that can happen anytime, anywhere & none of them require a deliberate choice on your part. For example: At 2:00 am a drunken driver can totally miss the right turn she was trying to make, run up on your property, run into the side of your house, knocking some of the wall studs off the foundation, knocking you in your bed along with other bedroom furniture away from the wall & across the floor about 2 feet. The head of my bed was up against that very same wall. (And no I was not wearing a seat belt while I was in bed. LOL) Fortunately, for me, it wasn't a much bigger vehicle going at a much higher rate of speed or she would have come straight through that wall & could have killed me. After she hit the side of our house at a glancing blow she kept going, took out the rhody bush on the corner of the house, which took out her fuel line, leaving a trail of gasoline all the way to the bottom of the hill, killing the engine for lack of fuel & there she sat in a mud puddle going absolutely nowhere. Dad brought her into the house. We called the police. While we were waiting for the police I tried to witness to her for Jesus. She was drunk, so I don't know if my words got through to her or not, but The Holy Spirit can get through even if I can't. Anyway, the point is that anything can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, with/without a conscious choice to lay down your life on your part. The hard part is living, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, etc.. There was a movie called A Holiday For Love. The characters talked about how to save the company money & make it through the recession. The founder & head boss of the company said that sometimes you have to make hard decisions. His idea of a hard decision was to decide which of their factories they were going to close down & employess they were going to lay off. One of their employees at one of their factories said, "You talk about making hard decisions. Well, laying people off is easy. Working together to find a solution that works for everyone, that's what's hard. You just don't want to make the hard decisions. You just want to do what's easy." This same principle applies to singleness (maybe even for life), marriage, parenting, divorce & remarriage. Josh McDowell is a writer & speaker who defends the Christian faith. He often asks people if they are being faithful to their spouse. There was one time he asked a young man if he was being faithful to his wife. The young man said, "Oh, well, I'm not married Josh." Josh said, "I didn't ask you if you were married, or not. I asked you if you were being faithful to your wife." In other words, faithfulness to your spouse begins in the here & now, before your Mr./Miss Right ever shows up, before you even start dating, before you even hit puberty, etc.. Love for & faithfulness to your children is exactly the same way. You love them & are faithful to them when you are tempted to get a divorce because you want what is best for them, not what is best for the grudge you're holding against your spouse. You love them & are faithful to them before they are even born. For example: When you are choosing someone to marry, you are also choosing who their mother/father is going to be. The choice you make for yourself (husband/wife) is also the choice you are making for your future children. Your children don't get to choose who their mother/father are but you do. It's never just about you. There is always someone else to consider. We must always consider our own character, integrity & relationship to Christ, that of the person we are considering marrying & that of siblings & others we might be witnessing to & setting the example for & finally that of our future children, who, we will most definitely be setting the example for & training up in the character, integrity, love & faithfulness of Christ. The bible says that marriage is a picture, a representation of the relationship between Christ and the church. That makes our marriages a witness for Christ to the world. How dare anyone say and/do otherwise. Some people might think that I'm insulting their intelligence. However, when I used to work as a pizza delivery driver, they would have regular inspection by the district manager. He would always send us a company newsletter with the results, other news & a few inspirational sayings. One of those saying was this: To Know It And Not Do It Is To Not Know It. Another saying is Actions Speak Louder Than Words. So let's really know it for sure & prove it by our actions.

Hi author! Sorry but what's the difference between the newer and older version of this book?

I listened to the audio version Of I Kissed Dating Goodbye with my then, 12 year son, 11 years ago. He got married last summer, and I believed the seeds that were planted from your book produced good seed. He took seriously the idea of waiting for his wife and taking dating or courtship seriously not casually. He also voluntarily read Boy meets Girl, and asked his now wife to read it when they were starting on their journey. You book created many discussions and even disagreements in Christian circles, but I believe they were ultimately good discussions. Yes people did get legalistic unfortunately. Those who opposed the idea, mostly hadn't read the book, because I do not believe you presented it in a legalistic manner. Thanks

Hi

I see that there is a DVD on your book "I kissed dating goodbye" but unfortunately it is not region 4 (Australia). I was wondering if you can tell me if there is a CD or MP3 done on this book and Boy meets girl? I have young friends that say they would be more likely to put the cd on in their car than read the books.

Regards

Pam

Leave a comment

Please enter the letter "n" in the field below:
All content on this site is © 2010 Josh Harris