As soon as a man and a woman were caught talking to each other at church, rumours would fly.Guys were terrified of asking girls out, because the instant a guy and a girl went out, she was presumed to be planning her wedding.Why is it a bad idea to go out with boys who don’t share my faith?But we were already pretty serious, pretty intense, about relationships, which were relatively rare – not least because it’s hard to date around within the faith when there are far fewer Christians in your country to start with. I’d been deeply hurt at university by a guy whose dating philosophy, if you can dignify it with that label, was the opposite of Josh Harris’. I’d already had my teenage fun, my first snog and many subsequent ones.(Girls, of course, were not meant to do the asking.We were meant to, in the words of another book I drank in and whose title I sadly can’t remember, .
Dan emailed me again a year after his non-break-up email to apologise for the hurt he’d caused. I think there would be value in Josh Harris doing the same – in saying, perhaps, that though he isn’t sorry he wrote , he wishes the culture it engendered hadn’t veered to such an extreme and that the book hadn’t come to be prized so dogmatically.It was, essentially, this: that Christian guys hid behind God-excuses rather than taking dating seriously – or even try it at all. We date, I think, less casually, or less prolifically, particularly in our teens.Certainly in Christian circles in the ‘90s, there were boyfriends and girlfriends, and there were, of course, the annual Sex Talks in church youth groups: how far can I go?Coffees or dinners were termed “getting to know each other,” and presumed to be the first stage of courtship.In a deep (and well-meaning) desire to be “intentional,” or in an attempt to hide behind the excuse of it because of the pressure they felt, guys in their twenties became, or stayed, passive. A few wandered beyond the confines of church teaching and found that out in the real world, people could go out together and it didn’t have to be as complicated as we made it.The I Kissed Dating Goodbye Study Guide, based on Joshua Harris's phenomenal bestseller, with over 300,000 copies sold, provides youth with a new resource for living a lifestyle of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness.Honest and practical, this powerful study guide helps teens and young adults remap their romantic lives in the light of God's Word. C., in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he's a pastor at Covenant Life Church.It also includes healthy challenges to today's cultural assumptions about relationships and provides solid, biblical alternatives to society's norms. His greatest passion is preaching the gospel and calling his generation to wholehearted devotion to God. 229-232)Smart love : beyond what feels good, back to what is good -- The seven habits of highly defective dating : recognizing dating's negative tendencies -- A new attitude : five attitude changes to help you avoid defective dating -- Looking up "love" in God's dictionary : learning the true definition of love -- The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing : how to keep impatience from robbing you of the gift of singleness -- The direction of purity : how to get on the road to righteousness -- A cleansed past : the room : how Jesus can redeem your past -- Starting with a clean slate : four important steps for getting on track with God's plan -- Just friends in a just-do-it world : keys for keeping your relationships with the opposite sex out of the "romantic zone" -- Guard your heart : how to fight the pollutants of lust, infatuation, and self-pity -- "You don't date? " : what to do when people ask why you don't play the dating game -- Redeeming the time : making the most of your singleness -- Ready for the sack but not for the sacrifice : how to have a biblical and realistic vision of marriage -- What matters at fifty?We went to see and I – oh, how I cringe at this memory – used this as a golden excuse to put my head on his shoulder and cry like a baby through most of it.I don’t remember if he put his arm around me, but he probably didn’t, or at least not immediately – which should have been my first warning.