Read I Kissed Dating Goodbye Online

Authors: Joshua Harris

Tags: #Relationships, #Religion, #Christian Life - General, #Christian Life, #Christian Theology, #Dating (Social customs) - Religious aspects - Christianity, #Spiritual Growth, #Family & Relationships, #Love & Romance, #Love & Marriage, #General, #Dating (Social Customs), #Man-Woman Relationships, #Spirituality

I Kissed Dating Goodbye

BOOK: I Kissed Dating Goodbye
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I Kissed Dating Goodbye:

A New Attitude

Toward Relationships And Romance

Joshua Harris
Hi.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. "I'll just skip these first few pages and get to the real stuff."

Well, hold on. Just wait. This foreword is preparation for what you are about to read.

Actually, that's exactly what this book is about--waiting and preparation. The ideas in these pages are really quite revolutionary. I'm so glad this book is in your hands; it could save you from a lot of needless agony. It has the potential to change the mind-set of our generation. It has already affected my life. Let me explain.

You see, for a long time, I have held the same kind of opinions on dating as Josh (the writer of this book and a friend of mine). I mean, as someone said to me recently, "Why shop if you're not gonna buy?" Exactly. Why date if you can't marry yet? I'm nineteen, and even though I've never dated, I've had plenty of years to watch some of my friends at the game. And believe me, it is a game. And it doesn't look fun. It looks agonizing and painful. That's part of the reason I haven't dated.

Second, I know it's not God's timing for me right now. I would just be distracted by having a boyfriend. Distracted from the work God wants me to do during these years.

I've also had the philosophy that groups and

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friendships are much more fun than one-on-one relationships at my age anyway.
But a little while ago I started to get a bit discouraged by the fact that I didn't have someone to get dressed up for and daydream about. That's when I read this book and really felt God encouraging me through Josh's words.

joshua harris

I don't think I've ever read a book in which the author is more honest and real than Josh is in this one. He tackles the hard issues, the tough questions on this confusing topic of "to date or not to date." And he gives practical answers. Joshua Harris has a powerful way of sharing from his experience. And since he's our age (just out of the teen years himself), he knows what he's talking about.

One of the things I like the most about Josh's writing is that he brings it all back to the Bible and how we can really live what it says. And after knowing him for the last couple of years, I can truly say that he "walks his talk."

So get ready to be challenged and encouraged, and prepare for your point of view to be taken on a ride!

Thanks for sticking with me and.. disenjoy. Stay strong!

--Rebecca St. James

Reading a book is a lot like a dating relationship. Granted, the analogy isn't perfect (you'd never take a book out to a movie), but when you read a book you do spend time alone. You hold it, stare into its face, and give it your undivided attention. Like a dating relationship, reading a book can carry you to the peaks and valleys of emotional experience--it can make you laugh or even make you angry.

I hope that you're not one of those "love "em and leave "em" types who read to the third chapter of a book and then dump it. If you are, you probably won't get much out of this one. As with a meaningful relationship, reading this book requires a certain level of commitment--a commitment to think hard and wrestle with ideas that will challenge your present views of dating.

Many wise people say that honesty is the best policy in any relationship. So before you "get serious" with this book, you need to understand one thing. This book isnt like other books on dating. Most other books will tell

4
you how to fix dating to make it work for you. This book tells you how to "break up" with dating so your life works for God. I Kissed Dating Goodbye is about the reasons and ways to leave behind the world's lifestyle of dating.
Still want to go out? what I'More not going to say

Maybe you're feeling a little nervous. "Kiss dating goodbye? Why would anyone choose not to date? How do you get married if you don't date? What about friendships? Get a life, buddy!"

12 joshua harris

I understand your hesitation, and we'll discuss all those things later in the book. But before we go any further, I want to state clearly what I'm not going to say about dating. I don't want you to spend your time worrying about what I might be implying. If you do, you'll miss the positive points and principles I intend to present.

I know this can happen because I've done it myself. When I was sixteen and in the middle of a two-year dating relationship, my mom gave me a copy of Elisabeth Elliot's book, Passion

6* Purity. I was immediately suspicious. Why? First, because my mom gave it to me. Giving me a book is my mom's not-so-subtle way of telling me I have a problem. Besides that, I was worried about the implications of the subtitle which read, "Bringing your love life under the authority of God." I was sure it was going to tell me that I wasn't allowed to kiss my girlfriend (something I thought very vital to my continued happiness at the time). So what did I do? I determined before I had even cracked the cover that I would disagree with everything the book had to say. As my mom likes to joke, I read all the "passion" but skipped all the "purity." What a mistake!

Not long ago I reread Passion cVery Purity and realized that, had I been more open-minded at the time, I could have benefited greatly from its message in the midst of my high school dating relationship. Why had it seemed so irrelevant? Why didn't I learn from it at that time? Because I had decided from the beginning that I wouldn't listen.

I hope you won't make the same mistake with this book. If you can remain open to this book's message, it may be exactly what you need to hear right now. To help you let down some of the defenses you may already have put up, let me make a couple of statements that should dispel two of the most common fears people

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have when I talk about giving up typical dating.
introduction 13

1. I do not believe that dating is sinful. Some people havesinned as a result of dating, but I don't think anyone can accurately say that dating in and of itself is a sinful activity. I view dating in a similar light as I view fast-food restaurants--it's not wrong to eat there, but something far better is available. As we'll see, God wants us to seek the best in everything, including our romantic relationships. As Christians, we're too often guilty of making do with the worlds model for relationships and missing God's best.

2. Rejecting typical dating does not mean that you'll never spendtime alone with a guy or girl There's a difference between the act of going on a date and dating as a way of thinking about and approaching romantic relationships. If dating were merely a guy and girl going out for coffee, we wouldn't need to spend a whole book talking about it, would we? But dating is more than that. It's a lifestyle that involves our attitudes and values. And I want to encourage you to reexamine these patterns of thinking and acting.

I won't say that it's never appropriate to spend time alone with someone. At the right time in a relationship, if the motive is clear and the setting avoids temptation, going on a date can be healthy.

dating isn't really the point

Having explained what I won't say in this book, let me tell you what I will say. In short, dating isn't really the point.

But, you ask, isn't this book about dating? And I can understand the question. After all (to extend the analogy between reading books and dating), you might have felt "attracted" to this book for any number of reasons--I'll list four:

1. You just got out of a bad relationship, and you don't want to be hurt again. Not dating sounds like a great idea.

14 joshua harris

2. You just haven't felt comfortable with dating, and y'relooking for alternatives.

3. You're in a dating relationship that is headed in the wrongdirection. You're looking for a way to keep the relationship within God's boundaries.

4. You're in a great dating relationship, and you're curiouswhy anyone would choose not to date.

Can people coming from such different perspectives benefit from reading the same book? 1 believe they can. Why?

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Because, though their experiences with dating differ, they each have the same Creator. And our Creator's will and plan for our lives is the real focus of this book. Our ultimate purpose is not to figure out if Christians should date and, if so, how. Instead, as you read, I hope you look at the aspects of your life that dating touches--the way you treat others, the way you prepare for your future mate, your personal purity--and attempt to bring these areas into line with God's Word.
So even though in one sense this book is about dating, in another sense dating isn't really the point. The point is what God wants. Discussing if or how to date isn't an end in itself. Talking about it only serves a purpose when we view it in terms of its relation to God's overall plan for our lives.

You may or may not agree with some of the things I write. But if you stick around to read my case, if you at least walk away from this book with a more discerning spirit, my mission will have been accomplished, and your life could be enhanced. I hope that the ideas shared here will bring you a little closer to God's desire for your life.

part one chapter one

SMART LOVE beyond what feels good, back to what Is good

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 stringed 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 David's 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 beginning 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? What is going

7
on?" she gasped.
"They're girls from my past," he answered sadly. "Anna, they don't mean anything to me now.. disb I've given part of my heart to each of them."

iq joshua harris

"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.

betrayed

Anna told me about her dream in a letter. "When I awoke I felt so betrayed," she wrote. "But then I was struck with this sickening thought: How many men could line up next to me on my wedding day? How many times have I given my heart away in short term relationships? Will I have anything left to give my husband?"

I often think of Anna's dream. The jarring image haunts me. There are girls from my past, too. What if they showed up on my wedding day? What could they say in the receiving line?

"Hello, Joshua. Those were some pretty lofty promises you made at the altar today I hope you're better at keeping promises now than you were when I knew you."

"My, don't you look nice in that tuxedo. And what a beautiful bride. Does she know about me? Have you told her all the sweet things you used to whisper in my ear?"

There are relationships that I can only look back on with regret. I do my best to forget. I laugh them off as part of the game of love that everyone plays. I know God has forgiven me because I've asked Him to. I know the various girls have forgiven me because I've asked them to.

But I still feel the ache of having given away my heart to too many girls in my past.

that's just the way it Is

Growing up, I considered dating an essential part of the complete teenage experience. If I wasn't dating a girl, I had a crush on one.

smart love 19

This started in junior high when my peers and I treated dating as a game, a chance to play at love and experiment with relationships. Having a girlfriend meant little more than saying you were "going out." No big deal. My friends and I would go out with girls

BOOK: I Kissed Dating Goodbye
5.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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