Saturday, 29 May 2010

Is it Practical?

Has anybody read the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris? A friend of mine recommended it to me some years back but frankly speaking the title did not make the the book very appealing to me and I was critical about it even before I read a single page. Recently I managed to get my hands on the book and I must say - why in the world did I not make an effort to read this book earlier? I was impressed by the way that Joshua Harris wrote about his decision and his views on dating. Many times I found myself laughing out aloud as I read the book. It is not an ordinary no dating book and the writer emphasizes that he is not against dating per se but against the way people perceive dating. He advocates for honoring God, the other person and oneself. As I read the book I could not help but agree with most of the things he pointed out about the cons/disadvantages of dating the ordinary way i.e that it creates an artificial environment hence the possibility of overlooking some crucial things about a person, it is mostly about feelings and what we feel and yet feelings change all the time hence the need to look at more than what we feel.
Ok I said, this is well and lovely but then how is one supposed to approach relationships and that's when he talked about principled dating or what some call courtship. This is when one enters into a relationship with commitment in mind and the aim of the relationship is to get to know each other and decide if the individuals are compatible. This process can involve taking part in activities the other person likes, meeting their friends, mentors, family  as a way of really getting to know each other. Generally, it is up to the couple to decide the kind of things they want to do during their courtship. This is just but a summary but I must say this book changed my outlook on relationships and it got me excited.

Fast forward - A couple of days ago I was discussing with some lady friends about relationship issues and I was enthusiastic to share what I had read in I Kissed Dating Good-Bye. Their response was a disappointing one for me. I mean these were all christian ladies and I thought they would appreciate the concept of honoring God even in dating and relationships. Most of them seemed to say 'All the best if you are want to do that kind of thing cause in this day and age it does not work'. One of them did not beat about the bush and asked me which man for instance would want to have a first kiss at the altar in this day and age and I shall not go into detail about other stuff.
Dear readers what are your views? I would love to hear your thoughts or even experiences. Is it practical to have principled dating in this day and age whereby individuals can  decide to wait to get physical until they are officially married? Or may be it is something which is not practical? Do you think courtship/principled dating is old fashioned?

8 comments:

  1. Dear Shona,

    It is VERY POSSIBLE to have a principled dating in this day and age. I am in a relationship where we have both decided we'd not kiss till 'that day'. Kissing is just one out of many things. It is not a sin to kiss before marriage, albeit to put it in the perspective from which you illustrated was why I brought that out. The devil is just all out in this day and age to compromise the standards of God's principles by fashioning out easy ways to please ourselves in dating... May God help us.

    Moreover, Joshua Harris way of explaining things is how I feel every christian should approach a relationship. ...not with a mindset to 'try out' but a mindset to honour, love and cherish the person with a sight for what God has in store for them both. I have read the book and I completely agree. I still recommend it to my friends till date. When I met my special someone, I carefully followed some advice Joshua gave in His books. I moved close to her family even before making my intentions known. I got close to her friends to see the kind of friends she likes to keep and so on...

    If you can Shona, you should look for Eric and leslie Ludy's book, "when God writes your love story".. amazing book. You will thank me for it. Just as practical as the way Joshua writes too. Their story, their challenges, setbacks and everything that possibly cld answer ur questions on dating is there. You should also read 'Boy meets girl' by Joshua Harris too. Lovely book.

    Thanks for sharing.

    - LDP

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  2. Thanks for sharing LDP. It is encouraging to know that there are people like you out there who are in relationships with a mindset to honor God and the other person. Yes, I agree the devil is out there to compromise the standards of God's principles by fashioning out easy ways to please ourselves in dating.

    What I loved about I Kissed Dating Good-bye is that Joshua made it clear that there are no hard and fast rules but he gave what he felt were guidelines and he also says it is up to the individuals were to draw the line because what works for others might not work for others.
    I will look up for Eric and Leslie Ludy's Book I am sure I will learn a lot from them.

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  3. Please do Shona. You'd be blessed :)

    - LDP

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  4. I have read this book too and really enjoyed it.

    I agree with LDP it IS possible, if that is what you want to do. It's not easy but it's about making a choice and sticking with it.

    Mr E and I also decided not to kiss each other until we got married, but then 'changed our minds' after we had our engagement, which was two years in.

    What it did do was help us to focus on developing other aspects of our relationship and avoid the 'physical' all together. We got to know each other better because of it and improved our communication with each other.

    Some people may not like what Josh talks about but like he says they are just guidelines as everyone is different. I personally don't think it is old fashioned at all. It means your relationship has a purpose, you're both working towards the same thing and God remains the focus.

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  5. Thank you for sharing Chichi.
    You and Mr E are an amazing couple. I have been following your blog for sometime now and I am just like wow. You are an inspiration.

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  6. yes, it is practical, it will save you a lot of heartache and confusion. Its worth it to wait for the right one that will work with you, you will meet a whole lot of "frogs" along the way but be patient. At this time, it helps to be more dependent on God, because you might get disappointed over and over by even the "Christians" around. All the best, dear

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  7. It is DOABLE like everyone has said. Very doable. As far as you're both accountable to each other.

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