After years of hearing that courting was far superior to dating but not knowing the difference, I decided it was finally time to pick up the Josh Harris book that took Christian culture by storm. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by I Kissed Dating Goodbye as well as its sequel, Boy Meets Girl.
First for my criticisms. Harris’ use of Bible verses to support his views on guy-girl relationships are taken out of context, to say the least. Also, when he does quote the Bible, he prefers the Message, which is not a translation but a personal interpretation. His ideas are a bit legalistic, but a little rule-following hardly hurts anyone. By Boy Meets Girl, his opinions have matured more. His use of personal examples adds greatly to his points. But while Harris is eager enough to tell us how we should do things right, he has very little advice on what to do when things go wrong. He does make allowances for differences of personality and situation, but essentially, he writes what he knows.
And he writes very well.
Both books promote a God-centered view of relationships, with marriage as the ultimate goal, condemning modern dating practices as self-serving. Remarkably, he manages to turn a conversation about dating into a call for young Christians to lead lives that focus mainly on serving and glorifying God. Far more than a simple list of do and do not, I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl are full of heart, real-life experiences, practical applications, and honest commentary on the selfishness of relationships that do not seek to serve one another or honor God.