Joshua Harris writes this book as a young 21year old and his style is very accessible, down to earth, and chatty, while at the same time being firmly rooted in scripture. His basic premise is the same as Ludy's: the secular style of dating that we know today is not working and it's time to get back to a God-honoring approach to relationships. But where Ludy's springs from the idea of an ideal lover relationship with a romatic Christ, Harris's approach is rooted in the concept of the Biblical definition of Love and God's call to righteousness and purity.
His book is divided into 4 main sections:
- I kissed dating goodbye... recognizing the self-centeredness and pleasure-seeking of worldly dating
- The heart of the matter... learning about God's view of love
- Building a New Lifestyle... repenting from a sinful lifestyle and guarding your heart from sin
- Now What? .... viewing singleness as a gift and preparing for marriage already today
Biblical? I think so
The only flaw that I could see in this book is barely a flaw, but simply the lack of perspective that is a natural result of the fact that the author is 21 and still single. He argue that part of the reason that worldly dating is wrong is the emotional devastation that is caused in young people by relationship breakups. He suggests that the reason that breakups are so devastating is because of the emotional and spiritual damage of intimacy without committment - and I think he is on the right track here. But - no disrespect to teenagers implied - part of the reason that breakups are devasting is because teens are emotional and intellectually immature still, and unable to see beyond the pain of the immediate moment. As said, this is only a minor issue, and there is much to commend Josh Harris for in this book!
But this is subject matter is all a little too late or too early for me (soon to be celebrating my 12th wedding anniversary, mother of a 10, 8 and 5 year old, and another on the way)... and I love to be a fly on the wall during a book discussion by a group of highschoolers on this topic.
What do you think? Is there a Biblical case for no-more-dating? Would you recommend this for your own children or do you think it's important to have a few romatic flings in high school just for experience?