Has Josh Harris Kissed His Book Against Dating Good-Bye?

Josh Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Courtship vs. Dating


 

dating, josh harris, i kissed dating goodbye, courtship

Yesterday, this happened on Twitter:

 

 

Many are probably familiar with Josh Harris. He was mentored by C.J. Mahaney and took Mahaney’s position as senior pastor at Covenant Life Church (Sovereign Grace Ministries flagship church) in 2004 until 2015, when he resigned. Michelle Boorstein’s article in The Washington Post offers the following explanation for his resignation:

In an interview, Harris said the isolation of Covenant Life, and of a small cluster of churches of which it was a part, may have fed leadership mistakes, including the decision of pastors — himself among them — to handle a child sexual abuse case internally instead of going to police. Source

It’s Cool to Court

Josh Harris’ book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, published in 1999, was a book that challenged modern dating. The book was so popular that teens and young adults jumped on the new courtship bandwagon. Josh Harris was popular especially in the Homeschool Movement circles, but this book went far beyond that populace and into mainstream Christian circles. Parents and young adults were excited about a more wholesome way of dating. Josh Harris, who was homeschooled and had a special niche with teens and especially homeschool kids, made it cool to court.

As the above tweet exchange expresses, this book transformed the lives of many teens and young adults. Many now have regrets about following something that seemed to be pure and right at the time.

I never read the book entirely, but was influenced by it, as many of my peers were giving this book to their teens to read and telling them that this would be how they would be dealing with boy/girl relationships in their home. When my eldest child was a teenager, it was cool to court and more people seemed to be following that bandwagon rather than dating.

At Amazon, you can read many negative reviews. Some of the common themes were:

  • Too much time spent discussing the negatives of dating, but not enough time telling people how courting actually works, the nuts and bolts.
  • Young men and ladies should not be seen alone together, period. They should remain in groups when getting to know each other.
  • There is an emphasis on waiting on God to bring the right soulmate along. (That could be a long wait.)
  • Harris discussed the emotional turmoil of breaking up in a dating relationship. (Could the same not be said about breaking off a courtship?)
  • Many commenters said that Josh Harris wrote this book after his own failed dating relationships. Also, he was only 21 when the book was written.

I thought this review excerpt described well the difficulty that courtship’s privacy rules created:

 

Imagine not opening up your heart to someone else of the opposite sex. Never having privacy because you are trying to “court” and follow a bunch of stupid “NO DATING” rules. Imagine never really getting close to them, only seeing them in groups or writing them letters, and then marrying them! Is that crazy or what? Talk about a relationship pretty much doomed to failure. Can’t you at least get to be close friends with somebody privately for a while before you decide to tie the knot? Hello! The rest of the world calls that DATING. Source

 

There are plenty of reviews, articles, and blog posts about how this book has changed people’s lives, many claiming it made it worse for them. Many of you are familiar with those complaints. However, the main point that I would like to focus on is that Josh Harris seems to understand the harm that it may have caused, and plans to address it in the future.

That is a breath of fresh air in my eyes.

 

 

 

photo credit: couple holding hands via photopin (license)

125 comments on “Has Josh Harris Kissed His Book Against Dating Good-Bye?

  1. I was very encouraged by not only the substance but the tone of Josh’s responses.

    As for his book back in 1990, what publisher ever thinks it’s responsible to sell a book on courtship written by a guy who’s barely old enough to shave? I blame them more than Josh for the book. He could have written whatever he liked, but they are the ones who decided to promote it for all they could get out of it. If the publisher had acted responsibly (and all others the same), no one would have ever read Josh’s ideas.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Well, I think $$ is what publishers are looking for. His father, Gregg Harris, was already a well established author. Josh already had a following with teen audiences with his New Attitude conferences. It made $$ sense, ya know, because that’s what really counts!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am glad that he apologized (although I think the one girls attitude is right – he wasn’t much more than a kid when he wrote this. It should never have gotten as much attention as it did). I am glad that he seems to be thinking about things in general, and his impact on other people. I am also selfishly glad that I was already done with high school by the time this trend got started!

    There is an emphasis on waiting on God to bring the right soulmate along. (That could be a long wait.)

    Yes. Even with dating it can be a long wait. Sometimes it never happens. Would be nice for churches to address that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I never heard any coherent definition of courtship. It was just used as the positive half of a false dichotomy with dating.

    For my in-laws, who gave me a copy of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” to read, it meant:
    1) Asking the father before asking the daughter (courtship, marriage)
    2) Generally no physical contact while courting
    3) An emphasis on accountability – we “double dated” at first, but we were later allowed to meet at public places like malls and restaurants.

    For us, it was somewhat contradictory:
    Some said that courtship was supposed to be for the man to “win over/woo” the woman – that he already knew they should get married, but had to convince her. Others said that courtship was meant to be no strings attached and avoid emotional attachment.
    Some said it was a time to ask the kinds of questions you couldn’t just ask anyone, but expected there to always be a chaperone within earshot. Not sure how that works.
    Dating was held up as the bogeyman, but it was always a straw man. Like dating = going to a movie, then making out in the car afterwards. So, there was never an honest explanation of the difference between dating and courtship, because the things that they whined bitterly about dating were also problems in courtship, for the most part.

    I think the key parts of courtship are:
    1) Reminding the girl that she is still a slave to her father and can’t do anything without his approval.
    2) General psychosis about whether the boy should be treated like a hormone-driven sexual predator, or a proper chivalrous Englishman.
    3) Fear that two human beings of the opposite gender can’t be alone for more than an hour or so without having sex.

    Since I can’t agree to any of these… I kissed courtship goodbye.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sorry guys, I have uncles who stormed the beaches of Normandy before they were 21. Josh was sheltered yes but he was of age to be accountable. That is the way the law works but we have lower standards?

    I would have a lot more respect for Josh if he had gone to engineering school or even Law School. But he wants to stay in Ministry and now he’s planning to refute his earlier teachings, with what, another book?

    Cant he figure out another way to make a living except off of Jesus Christ? I’m afraid I will have a hard time taking him as a credible source for anything.

    Too much damage done in the name of Jesus Christ

    Liked by 4 people

  6. That is a breath of fresh air in my eyes.

    Totally agree. He could have an impact for the good by openly acknowledging the harm IKDG caused.

    Imagine never really getting close to them, only seeing them in groups or writing them letters, and then marrying them! Is that crazy or what?

    This is how I married my husband. We didn’t have our first date until we were engaged. While I lucked out with a wonderful husband, there have been a myriad of other problems.

    Like Vaughn Ohlman believes, my husband was expected to submit to his father after marriage. By extension so was I. Having never spent any time with my husband’s family prior to engagement, I had no idea my FIL was such a jerk.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I’m not sure whether the “he was just a kid when he wrote it” would fly in the Harris household though. Remember, his brothers wrote “Do Hard Things” which encourages the idea that teens should be held to high standards with high expectations. They were led (pushed?) to be examples above and beyond what the culture expected and assumed for people their age. So that puts Josh in a tricky place. If he admits his inexperience (coupled with overzealous promotion by others too), what does that say to other teens whom his family has encouraged to take on immense tasks/ideas at young ages? There’s a lot more at stake here than just him.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. @Tim, the publisher made a lot of money on that book, because it scratched the counter-cultural itch of the homeschool community. Irresponsible, yes, profitable, yes.

    I think we see this in all media, and most troublingly journalism. Sensationalism trumps responsibility every day, and since there is little to no accountability in publishing false or unhelpful information, better to make profit in falsehood than loss with integrity.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Like Vaughn Ohlman believes, my husband was expected to submit to his father after marriage. By extension so was I. Having never spent any time with my husband’s family prior to engagement, I had no idea my FIL was such a jerk.

    What? Ugh.

    As for Josh’s age, I don’t blame him for writing a book that was stupid and ill used. Just because somebody wrote a book doesn’t mean any of these people had to get on the bandwagon and do things like forbid dating and cancel prom. Those were mostly adults making those decisions, and Josh didn’t make them do it. It does seem like Josh/CJ/his father had way too much influence in some corners of Christianity. I give Josh at least a little credit for potentially realizing his mistake rather than doubling down, which seems to be the more common reaction to realizing your ideas have been ridiculously harmful. I think that should be encouraged.

    I do blame him (josh) for any lack of reporting of abuse that later occurred.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ◾There is an emphasis on waiting on God to bring the right soulmate along. (That could be a long wait.)

    Just ask Daisy or me.

    ◾Harris discussed the emotional turmoil of breaking up in a dating relationship. (Could the same not be said about breaking off a courtship?)

    Probably because once Courtship(TM) is initiated, the Marriage has already been arranged and cannot be broken off.

    ◾Many commenters said that Josh Harris wrote this book after his own failed dating relationships. Also, he was only 21 when the book was written.

    Young, inexperienced, and Highborn enough so his youth and inexperience didn’t matter. I can see how the book was flawed (the young inexperience — kind of like Eragon — and how it got pubbed and turned into the latest 67th Book of the Bible — the Highborn connections and Celebrity factor).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. @BTDT:
    Like Vaughn Ohlman believes, my husband was expected to submit to his father after marriage. By extension so was I. Having never spent any time with my husband’s family prior to engagement, I had no idea my FIL was such a jerk.
    Found out the hard way you’d married into House Lannister and had Tywin as FIL?

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  12. I, too, grew up in the IKDG circle. My church was already anti-dating before the book came out; thus it was just confirmation. We saw the videos in youth group. I’ve seen from my own friends this can cause people to fall in love at the drop of a hat, and cause people to be creepy.(My church also separated the genders for years.)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Like Vaughn Ohlman believes, my husband was expected to submit to his father after marriage.” – BeenThereDoneThat

    How do these Patriarchy-promoting guys with NO healthy boundaries explain the fact that the Bible says that when spouses marry they are to leave their parents and cleave to their spouse?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ll be interested to see what he comes up with. I looked up a similar book, Doug WIlson’s “Her Hand in Marriage” (1997), and Bill Gothard was evidently saying similar things as far back as the 1970s. So I’m not quite sure whether it’s more appropriate to say “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” (1999) is the product of careless youth, or whether it might be, um, “recycling.”

    (not having read Gothard’s take or IKDG itself, I can’t say for sure)

    One thing they got right that I hope doesn’t get lost; it’s far better to get to know someone with the help of friends and family than to go it alone. I’m not talking about veto power, but rather people who can give an honest appraisal of the other person. There is a lot of common ground possible between the two extremes.

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  15. Re: leaving parents. I’m betting they just ignore of minimize the passage like many other passages that conflict with their understanding. That said, leaving = different houses, but still required to “honor your father and mother”.

    My abusive church was pretty good on leaving, but not as good on adult daughters submitting to their fathers. I’ve heard people ask 30-something unmarried women, “but what does your FATHER think about that?”

    I’ll digress for a second. They are really weird about the under authority thing. Even after I left the church, a former leader was talking about how my new elders and old elders should get together to transfer me. It gave me the creeps, like I was some piece of church property. Having heard that, I get how creepy it is that daughters are “given” in marriage. I hope my daughters don’t ask me to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Found out the hard way you’d married into House Lannister and had Tywin as FIL?

    Googling “Tywin” . . . Yep, pretty much.

    You know, I wonder if Josh Harris has already been mulling this over for a while. Elizabeth Esther tagged him in her tweets. Usually, if people respond at all, the response is a little bristly. Josh’s resonate was very gracious. I really can’t wait to see what comes of this. I bet it will be a different scenario from when Elizabeth confronted Michael Pearl.

    How many blogs wouldn’t exist today if there had been a simple “I’m sorry?” Would SSB exist today if Chuck O’Neal had apologized after losing his lawsuit against Julie Anne?

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  17. How many blogs wouldn’t exist today if there had been a simple “I’m sorry?” Would SSB exist today if Chuck O’Neal had apologized after losing his lawsuit against Julie Anne?

    No!

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  18. @lydia00 I understand your concern, but I do disagree that one who wrote a book at 21 should not be allowed to do ministry. It is unlikely he will be trusted to be a pastor again, for good reason, but there are things he could do, like speaking up about spiritual abuse, for one Also, he should go to seminary to help him sort out what he believes. I say this as a graduate student; I had to go to graduate school to sort through my beliefs. I’m glad he took that move, even if he does not go back to ministry.

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  19. I was encouraged by his response, too. Hopefully there’s progress. Sadly, it’s just not what we expect to hear from these homeschool “celebrities”. We usually get blown off regarding issues and problems that came out of that homeschool era (even though some of these teachings were well intentioned.)

    I had my oldest read that book and just couldn’t figure out how to do it in this time and place in our culture. I just came to believe that in order for that to work we’d have to live in a very small town or join a cult. It wasn’t practical.

    My husband and I had a very positive dating experience and I just couldn’t discount that fact. Our marriage is great even though we did pretty much everything different than what these groups promoted.

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  20. “@lydia00 I understand your concern, but I do disagree that one who wrote a book at 21 should not be allowed to do ministry. It is unlikely he will be trusted to be a pastor again, for good reason, but there are things he could do, like speaking up about spiritual abuse, for one Also, he should go to seminary to help him sort out what he believes. I say this as a graduate student; I had to go to graduate school to sort through my beliefs. I’m glad he took that move, even if he does not go back to ministry.”

    Lana, this is not about “allowing” someone to do ministry. It really is more about our expectations of credibility for such types. For me, personally, his witness as a Believer would be much stronger if he did not go back into Ministry but took a different career path and was just a Christian. A lot of people were harmed. We have enough young men out there who think it’s the only way to make a living. As a side note I am wondering how in the world he affords it with a family.

    And frankly, if one was not taught how to think critically at a younger age, going to Seminary can be the worst place to figure out what you believe and why.

    I would not read one tweet and think he is going to spend his career speaking up for the spiritually abused. Do you have any information on whether or not he is seeking an education in the effects of abuse? My guess is he would love to move past that as he reinvents himself for Ministry.

    This is not about holding something against someone it is about being wise. Josh Harris grew up in a quasi cultic insulated environment and he was mentored in a shepherding cult. There is a lifetime of deprogramming to do.

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  21. I was wondering in all the bible I cant seem to find just one couple that got together like in modern times, even in a courtship type relationship. It seems that in the OT money and tribal affiliation played a big part, Divine intervention such as Boaz and Mary the mother of Jesus played a part as well. Maybe Moses but it seems he was married to Zipporah and Miriam. I thought of Job and his wife but there is not this consistent one wife one husband for life put out as the norm. I mean maybe Adam and Eve but that to was divinely inspired I E direct intervention from God. If anyone could help, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m no fan of SGM or Josh Harris’s Covenant Life Church or of the homeschool movement…

    BUT, I actually liked the book when it came out. I thought it was fine.

    Later I saw and heard people making IKDG into a magic formula with the promise of a wonderful marriage complete with mind-blowing sex and deep emotional connection at the soulmate level…forever.

    In the hands of people who want formulae (a lot of people), it became a way of controlling your own destiny rather than allowing God to walk with you through the ups and downs of life.

    I followed the conservative courtship pattern, and I ended up marrying a pedophile. We did everything right: No sex before marriage. He asked my dad’s permission. It was clearly about marriage. Blah blah blah.

    Trust your life to God, not to formulas. God will take you places you never expected, through pain and success, and you will have a much richer spiritual life.

    Cling to God, not to man-made rules.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Home schooling worked well for my kids when they were young. Although IKDG was in vogue at the time in the home schooling and Christian school communities, I was one of the few who refused to buy in. There is value in seeing what a person is like in a variety of situations and circumstances, including when you are alone together, which is far different than when you are always in a social setting with other people. God Bless Josh Harris for openly acknowledging some of the negative outcomes of the book’s premise, as painful as that must be for him.

    I only wish that the writers of “Raising Kids God’s Way” would issue a similar detraction.

    Like

  24. Brian, I don’t think examples in the Bible of couples getting together are necessarily divinely inspired. That is, the Bible is, but the methodologies weren’t.

    The OT culture was patriarchal, and women were considered property, so we see this mode of courtship in Isaac and Jacob. For Isaac it worked well, for Jacob and Leah, not so well. There was also a focus on bearing children, so that is seen in Judah and Tamar as well as Lot and his two daughters. Polygamy, which was okay in the OT led to bad situations as well. There is also the situation in Judges where the Israelites had to come up with a wacky answer to their rash vows and set their daughters up to be raped and carried off to be married.

    But, there are also counterexamples. Ruth proposed marriage to Boaz, and that was, by appearances, a good marriage.

    There are reasonable arguments that strung through the OT accounts and law is the willingness of the parties. Rebecca was willing to go to marry Isaac, and if they had met and not gotten along they probably wouldn’t have married. That is not explicit, so we have things like the teaching about rape where the woman seems to be the victim, but, remember that in the OT culture, marriage was how women survived.

    Patriarchy types point to the idea that women are “given” in marriage. They will claim that God “gave” Eve to Adam, and that fathers gave their daughters.

    But I think it’s very clear that the covenant of marriage is between the husband and wife, and that the Bible gives us a great deal of freedom in choosing a spouse, as well as wise principles. It is a Pharisaical tendency to try to make the Bible speak where it is silent. Jesus says, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.” Those heavy burdens are the layers and layers of laws and rules they place on top of Biblical principles, which is exactly what the courtship book was about. It wasn’t about wise principles in dating. Instead it was a book of rules and condemnations against those who dared break them, yet they were formed out of patriarchal imaginations and not a true understanding of the Bible.

    I think there are a lot of Biblical principles of wisdom, but I don’t think they force us into one culture. An abusive boyfriend can keep up the act in multiple situations, whether it be family, friends or just two.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. @Brian, “Maybe Moses but it seems he was married to Zipporah and Miriam.”

    Miriam was Moses’s older sister – you know, the one who watched him in the basket. Don’t think they got married.

    Like

  26. HUG said:

    There is an emphasis on waiting on God to bring the right soulmate along. (That could be a long wait.)

    Just ask Daisy or me.

    Or me. sigh

    Liked by 1 person

  27. And frankly, if one was not taught how to think critically at a younger age, going to Seminary can be the worst place to figure out what you believe and why.

    I see what you mean, Lydia. Still, I understand that the seminary he’s attending is very diverse, which would likely expose Harris to a lot of differing viewpoints, and force him to puzzle through things and sort out for himself what he believes. He probably shouldn’t continue in professional ministry, but the experience there in Vancouver might still be good for him.

    I would not read one tweet and think he is going to spend his career speaking up for the spiritually abused… Josh Harris grew up in a quasi cultic insulated environment and he was mentored in a shepherding cult. There is a lifetime of deprogramming to do.

    I agree. He has a long way to go, and much to answer for as well, not only regarding his anti-dating book (which I actually bought years ago), but for having admittedly taken part in the cover-up of sexual abuse at CLC. And I find it concerning that Harris is out of the country when a lawsuit against SGM is still in the works. (Harris isn’t a defendant, but I’m sure he could be called upon to testify.)

    That being said, I am somewhat encouraged by the tenor and content of his response to Elizabeth. It’s quite refreshing after all the arrogance and defensiveness we’ve seen from others in the neo-Reformed camp. I hope it’s a sign of better things to come from him.

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  28. Julie Anne, I hope you’re right about a change in Joshua Harris’ heart. However, I’ve had similar hopes about other controversial celebrity Christians that were later dashed, so the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned.

    As for New Attitude, some may remember Albert Mohler’s infamous address at the 2004 conference, later rebroadcast on a nationally syndicated Christian radio program, lambasting singles and extended singleness. Mohler declared delay of marriage a “sin,” laid blame at the feet of single men for this new “sin,” and left the distinct impression he considered the state of singleness itself to be sinful. Mohler subsequently clarified that he didn’t consider singleness a sin, but to the best of my knowledge he’s never recanted his remarks or repented of his strange theological innovations.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. “But I think it’s very clear that the covenant of marriage is between the husband and wife, and that the Bible gives us a great deal of freedom in choosing a spouse, as well as wise principles. It is a Pharisaical tendency to try to make the Bible speak where it is silent.” – Mark

    I was researched the issue of where “obey” came from in some Christian wedding vows, after a man challenged me if I believed in this “sacred” Christian wedding vow. It turns out that the “obey” part of the vows is from ancient, pagan Roman marriage contract law and it has nothing to do with Christian vows, and is not even used in most Christian wedding ceremonies, including other ancient wedding customs.

    The man was flustered when I asked him why he was upholding ancient pagan Roman marriage contracts.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. It is a breath of fresh air to hear a Christian celebrity simply say “I’m sorry” in a humble attitude without self-justification. It is so unusual, it stands out. Isn’t that strange?

    You’re right, Laura, it was the ideology his father, Gregg Harris, taught.

    Ideology makes idiots of us all. It’s so much better to just live and be a human being.

    Brian, I think it’s a mistake to think the Bible is supposed to give us a formula to follow for everything. In my opinion, it’s not in there because it doesn’t matter. The things that do matter are in there- treat others with kindness and respect, be truthful, be humble. So many things that matter to God are clearly revealed in sections like 2Pet 1:5-8, 1Cor 4:8-13, Gal 5:22-23… these things can be practiced whether dating, courting, married, unmarried, whatever and wherever. I feel that Christians make a mistake when they think that if the Bible relates an incident that happened, we must be meant to copy it. Really, in a way, the Bible, especially the OT, is a little like reading a newspaper; it reports the happenings of the times as it gives us the narrative of history. It often does so without editorializing on the meaning of the event or letting us know what God’s perspective on it was. Many of those happenings were the results of sin, evil and hard-heartedness. Here and there an example of goodness shines through in spite of the environment. Btw, Brian, I enjoy reading your posts.

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  31. Just ask Daisy or me.

    Or me. sigh

    It’s better to be lonely while alone and free, than to be lonely while trapped in a loveless relationship of misery.

    Like

  32. Although IKDG was in vogue at the time in the home schooling and Christian school communities, I was one of the few who refused to buy in. There is value in seeing what a person is like in a variety of situations and circumstances, including when you are alone together, which is far different than when you are always in a social setting with other people.

    I’m sure it’s sort of different to date from homeschool rather than a typical high school or college situation, where you get to know people from classes, band, football games, etc…and then go out typically. I don’t think courtship is the answer, but I wasn’t raised in that at all so it just seems really strange to me.

    Just ask Daisy or me.
    Or me. sigh

    Raises hand

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  33. It’s better to be lonely while alone and free, than to be lonely while trapped in a loveless relationship of misery.

    I do agree (and feel for you) but one seems more socially acceptable. People look at you like you grew another head when you tell them you’ve never been married after 30.

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  34. Velour said:

    “I was researched the issue of where “obey” came from in some Christian wedding vows, after a man challenged me if I believed in this “sacred” Christian wedding vow. It turns out that the “obey” part of the vows is from ancient, pagan Roman marriage contract law and it has nothing to do with Christian vows, and is not even used in most Christian wedding ceremonies, including other ancient wedding customs.”

    Here is the justification I’ve seen from the likes of Baylybog and elsewhere.

    I Peter 3:5,6

    5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

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  35. “If the publisher had acted responsibly (and all others the same), no one would have ever read Josh’s ideas.”

    Tim, if “christian” publishers acted responsibly there are a whole lot of people’s ideas that would not be read, except on the internet. Southern Baptist leaders bringing pressure to bear on Lifeway has been a rare exception.

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  36. I Kissed Dating Goodbye was published when I was in my late 30’s, so it didn’t have any effect on dating when I was younger. Folks like me weren’t the intended audience of the book. Nonetheless, IKDG added to the confusion for those of us who were older as well as those who were in their teens and 20’s at the time.

    The sad thing is that in some Reformed churches, courtship legalism became the doctrinal equivalent of the Apostles and Nicene Creeds in liturgical churches. I doubt that was Joshua Harris’ intent when he wrote his book, but he’s yet to demand that those churches drop the legalism.

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  37. If you go to Amazon, you will see IKDG for sale (written at age 21), as well as many more volumes penned subsequent to that (whose sales success flowed from that initial ill-written and best-selling book, IMHO). Harris’ book sales have exceeded 2 million volumes, which must translate into quite a profit off of Jesus Christ. If he laments the damage his bilge has caused, why has he not pulled its sales, publicly disavowed himself of his youthful arrogance and the message it spawned, and advised Multnomah Press to do the same? It really, really bothers me that a half-axx apology that costs him nothing is lauded here as humility. JA, you give him great credit here because “his tone seems to be changing.” Biblically, he has already excluded himself from the office of pastor, and if he truly desired to display a righteous repentance, he would start by addressing every damage flowing from his public teaching, halting the sale of his book, or if Multnomah Press somehow controls that decision, he should purchase every volume of his book that is for sale, as well as refund every consumer for their prior purchase. Oh, but that would actually cost him something. Please stop the pre-emptive praise that flows from words but not deeds.

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  38. It’s better to be lonely while alone and free, than to be lonely while trapped in a loveless relationship of misery.

    I do agree (and feel for you) but one seems more socially acceptable. People look at you like you grew another head when you tell them you’ve never been married after 30.

    Correction- I’m not saying it’s true of my marriage, it’s just an observation I’ve made in life.

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  39. If he laments the damage his bilge has caused, why has he not pulled its sales, publicly disavowed himself of his youthful arrogance and the message it spawned, and advised Multnomah Press to do the same?

    Like it or not, those book sales may be financing his current pastoral studies at Regent College and supporting his family.

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  40. Janet, I’m not sure what the best course of action would be for Josh, or even what course of action he could take. His proceeds from the sale of the book are probably not a high percentage, so I don’t think he could buy them back. His contract with the publisher probably doesn’t give him the rights to pull the book off the shelves.

    It DOES bother me that his approach seems to be writing yet another book.

    I would say that if he does write a book, he should not publish it, but should instead make it available freely on the internet, and it should say why IKDG was horribly flawed. I think that would undo as much damage as possible, because I can’t see a church saying that Josh somehow got further away from the truth in his 40’s than in his 20’s and still cling to the teachings. They probably would just find another book with the same horrible message.

    I agree that he did a lot of damage, and that the wisest approach would be to step away from ministry. I struggle, though, whether he truly has disqualified himself. Paul, for example, was actively persecuting the church, but that was before he was converted. There are just a lot of complications. Perhaps teaching against his former views would be a more powerful witness than walking away from ministry with no real clarity as to why.

    I think JA is just saying that the comment is shockingly inconsistent with what we’ve seen. What supporter of patriarchal abuse says “I’m sorry” in the first place? We hope to see more evidence in the future of true repentance, but it is noteworthy.

    Like

  41. Janet, I’m not sure what the best course of action would be for Josh

    I’m not either. I must confess I didn’t actually read the book, so I always saw it as more of a ‘memoir’ish story of his own life. It seems like it was used as a ‘you must do this’ prescription, but I don’t know how much of that was the book as written and how much of that was the book as used by a bunch of misguided folks. That makes a difference in how he should approach it. Maybe it needs an update.

    Like

  42. Lea, I haven’t read it in a long time, but I think it was a combination of various aspects:
    1) Josh’s personal account on what worked for him (with not a lot of long-term perspective, since I’m guessing it was written shortly after he was married)
    2) Bible verses and passages he used to claim that he was following Biblical principles
    3) Personal accounts and accounts from others who didn’t follow his model and ended up in tragedy.
    4) Bible verses and passages used to explain how the other people’s tragedies were really caused by their misunderstanding and misapplication of the Bible.

    All in all, that really is a you must do this prescription, because it creates a false dichotomy. You can follow Josh’s approach, which is backed by scripture and get the obviously great marriage Josh enjoys, or you can follow the many other approaches, walk away from the Bible and experience tragedy.

    That’s pretty much the legalistic book recipe. I think it’s very hard to write a book that says, here’s my experience and here’s my interpretation of my experience and here’s my interpretation of why certain other approaches don’t work, yet keep the door open for other people to make their own decisions. Obviously with a title like “Growing Kids God’s Way”, there is a significant and arrogant claim. Just like “Biblical Counseling”.

    My current pastor has a great approach. He very rarely speaks negatively. So, for example, when talking about reading the Bible regularly, his approach is, “if the Bible is the inspired Word of God and God speaks uniquely through it by his Holy Spirit, why wouldn’t you want to spend time reading it?” He doesn’t approach it like a former pastor. “If you’re not reading the Bible and praying every day, you’re probably not a Christian.” So, instead of beating people over the head and making them feel guilt and shame for not doing something, we point them to the blessings for doing that, while yet being open to the idea that the Holy Spirit may not be moving them in that area. I think it’s a much better way. And, I think we need to shy away from the “Martin Luther was on his knees five hours a day” approach. I think, while he might be a positive example, it leads to shame and guilt rather than encouragement.

    Like

  43. I think JA is just saying that the comment is shockingly inconsistent with what we’ve seen.

    Yes, this is exactly what I’m saying. And as I said somewhere else on FB yesterday, I think it’s important to look at where Josh came from. He was a kid raised in this culture, drinking the koolaid because it was the only beverage served. He then was passed along to another man, CJ Mahaney, who added more color and flavoring to that Loolaid. Josh never experienced any other beverage but toxic Koolaid. It’s going to take a while for him to get used to other drinks, and to especially contrast that artificial crap with pure water.

    I get that so many have been harmed. I truly feel that pain and know that it has messed with families, marriages, relationship with God, etc. I would never diminish that.

    I’m only saying that Josh could be on a new cleansing journey. Deprogramming takes years and I’m not sure its fair to expect immediate change. He may never fully grasp the extent of pain this book has caused. But it seems like he has started the process of looking at what his book has done and is willing to address it.

    I only have myself to look at when I look at the deprogramming process. I am still a work in progress, even after 8 years of leaving the cult.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. What supporter of patriarchal abuse says “I’m sorry” in the first place?

    Yes, this.^^^ Josh could have just ignored the tweets, or gotten ugly with the tweeters, or, like Mark Driscoll and so many others, could have blocked them. But he didn’t.

    Like

  45. “People look at you like you grew another head when you tell them you’ve never been married after 30.”
    Statements like this make me feel like an alien — I always felt it was expected. I had an intuition that, in Western society as a whole, most people married in their 20’s, but a number of people I grew up with remain single into their 30’s(some into their 40’s). People who express frustration over being single get told things like, “Wait for God’s Perfect Timing[TM]” and “Do it God’s Way[TM]”. When my one friend said he didn’t want to wait until he’s thirty to get married someone else said that so-and-so is still single over forty. My mom insisted I’m not ready for a girlfriend even after I turned 30.
    I agree with the other commentor on being single being better than being in a loveless marriage(something I’ve been afraid courtship would do, even before reading the critiques); I’ll also say I’d rather love and lose than not love at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Even more sad is the fact that courtship legalism is not limited to Reformed churches. I didn’t grow up in a Reform church but we did have the courtship teaching. It also exists in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches.
    I read another book on courtship/anti-dating called God Is Your Matchmaker by Stephanie Herzog. It has a lot of the same stuff. However the author mentions her and her husband’s attempts to introduce all this into the church in France, and the French wouldn’t have it. The French called it a puritanical American Gospel; Herzog came back with the holiness-not-legalism line legalists love, and threw out ad hominems at the French.
    This book also has the whole be-willing-to-put-marriage-on-the-altar and be a “eunuch for Christ” teaching. I was barely able to get there; I even admitted that I’d still pursue marriage;(at least to myself) even if I got a “Thus Saith The Lord[TM], you are to be single the rest of your life”, and I was willing to give the finger and cuss out anyone who tried to stop me.

    Like

  47. 3) Personal accounts and accounts from others who didn’t follow his model and ended up in tragedy.

    I’m just going to go ahead and consider ‘only positive examples of my system/theory/whatever and only negative examples of other systems/theories/whatevers’ to be a Red Flag in the future. Or at least utterly worthless.

    My mom insisted I’m not ready for a girlfriend even after I turned 30.

    Oh my gosh! I think you only learn some things through relationships. And you learn others through being single or alone for some time.

    Like

  48. I think it’s important to look at where Josh came from. He was a kid raised in this culture, drinking the koolaid because it was the only beverage served. He then was passed along to another man, CJ Mahaney, who added more color and flavoring to that Koolaid. Josh never experienced any other beverage but toxic Koolaid.

    Not only that, but apparently that Kool-aid was spiked with the pain of his own sexual abuse — by someone he knew. Sorting through all of that can’t be easy.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. God Is Your Matchmaker

    I’m just going to say right now. I don’t want God is not my matchmaker. Jesus is not my boyfriend. I also do not believe Christian Mingle has ‘gods match for you’.

    Not only that, but apparently that Kool-aid was spiked with the pain of his own sexual abuse — by someone he knew.

    How awful! I’m sure his whole experience complicated his dating life, which is why blame people who ran with his book more than I blame him on this particular thing. If he were doubling down on it at 40, that would be different. Some of these people never learn, so if Josh IS learning, I say better late than never!

    Like

  50. I followed the conservative courtship pattern, and I ended up marrying a pedophile.

    Which dispels the myth that courtship or betrothal is any guarantee of a healthy marriage.

    Christa Alexander was killed by her husband of 4 months after a strict courtship.
    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2014/03/03/when-homeschoolers-turn-violent-couty-alexander/

    And Thomas Umstattd observed “a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted.”
    http://www.thomasumstattd.com/2014/08/courtship-fundamentally-flawed/

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Thanks BeenThereDoneThat for the links. First case, awful. Second article, interesting. I particularly like this quote: ““How can you tell who you want to marry if you aren’t going out on dates?” my grandmother wondered every time the topic came up.”

    Listen to grandma, kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  52. The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row.

    Also from the Flawed Courtship article. This is how I started treating eharmony dating and found it useful.

    Like

  53. @SOTW, I think this pattern of thinking is the “I’d better choose right the first time or I’ll be stuck in a horrible marriage”, and that seems to be the lie perpetuated by the church in consistently forcing broken couples back together for more pain.

    I will say, however, that the church is horrid at recovering from trauma and pain. It seems like once someone acknowledges the pain, it should be immediately healed, but it isn’t. It lingers. The church doesn’t prepare people to work alongside each other through struggles. It’s Mary Poppins theology – coming alongside a family to give them a little spoonful of sugar and a week later, every problem has been solved and everyone is happy in time for the kite sendoff.

    While I think there is a huge place for forgiveness and reconciliation in Christian marriages, I’m not going to sacrifice people on that altar. I drank a lot of Kool-aid, but it wasn’t quite as fundamentalist as Harris’s. I agree that Detox takes awhile, and I’m also at this point where I have the great Reformed knowledge and a willingness to serve, but I have been pushing back on my current church because they think they just want warm bodies to fill lay leadership slots. I still feel like I can’t be open about my spiritual abuse in small groups because I don’t want to drag them there, much less try and lead a small group and try to work around that baggage.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. It has been a few years since I last checked, but either that book or Boy Meets Girl, also by Josh were required summer reading for Covenant Life School. I think he needs to start pulling his books from curriculums before he has the time to “dig into that in the next year or two” IMO, or take time off to decide his stance on it right now; or at least send out attachments to the curriculum for the areas in the books he is changing his thoughts about.

    Like

  55. @ Shy 1.

    It’s better to be lonely while alone and free, than to be lonely while trapped in a loveless relationship of misery.

    Oh yeah, I get that. I think HUG does too.

    I was engaged to a dude for a few years, and we were dating a few years before that.

    HUG was also in a serious relationship for some time a lady (I don’t remember how long).

    I’d like to be married, provided the guy is a good match. I know if the guy is a lousy match, the whole thing is pointless and blows, and it’s better to be single.

    Like

  56. I think this book by Harris came out by the time I was in my mid-20s or late 20s? (I’m too lazy to scroll back up or click around and look again at the publication date – the book was not around when I was a teen-ager that I can recall.)

    But I find some of its principles (as I see outlined on sites – I’ve not read his book, only ABOUT it on other sites and this one) to be similar to Christian views on dating / relationships I was exposed to in other sources as I was growing up.

    And many of these Christian teachings about dating are ridiculous and actually prevent singles from getting married.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. From HUG’s post:

    [original post]:
    There is an emphasis on waiting on God to bring the right soulmate along. (That could be a long wait.)
    ——
    [HUG said],
    Just ask Daisy or me.

    Yes, all the waiting, praying about it, and trusting in God did not work.

    I remain single to this day. (I was engaged for a few years to an idiot, though.)

    (Though I can’t say my time on dating sites was any more helpful, either. But I posit that trying a dating site probably increases one’s odds a bit, vs. the “wait on God’s timing, and he’ll send you a mate” technique.)

    Yes, I now suspect that the “wait, trust in God” Christian method of obtaining a spouse is a bunch of (I have faith HUG can crack this code):

    Bruce Springsteen
    Barbra Streisand
    Britney Spears

    Like

  58. When I was in my youth back in the 80’s, Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot was the rage among young Christian women. Never read it myself, and I am guessing that Joshua Harris’ book was a repackaged version of Passion and Purity aimed at both genders, not just women. I see that the paperback version published in 2002 comes with Joshua Harris’ forward.

    Like

  59. Mark said,

    2) General psychosis about whether the boy should be treated like a hormone-driven sexual predator, or a proper chivalrous Englishman.

    Good catch.

    I’d say this is also true of Christian gender complementarian views of males in general, as well as being more specific to Christian dating advice.

    Christians who push this view seem to want males to be the proper gentlemen, but the advice and assumptions they put forth in their books and blogs about marriage, dating, and men and women seem to fall back to the idea that all men are sex-crazed maniacs who would rape women if given half the chance.

    Back a couple of hundred of years ago, the assumptions by some Christians was the opposite: women were the sex-crazed maniacs, while men were paragons of virtue and rose above carnal desire.

    This page goes into some more detail about all that:
    _When Women Wanted Sex More Than Men and How the Stereotype Flipped_

    Like

  60. A post script to my post of -MAY 12, 2016 @ 2:45 PM.-

    I don’t mean to offend any married people, but here is one of my pet peeves.

    I share this other guy’s view (when someone at another site shared this on their site, a few married people got those noses bent out of joint by it):
    _Stop Believing God Told You to Marry Your Spouse_

    Considering that so many Christian singles who wanted marriage remain single, I suspect that it’s not true that God sends people spouses (or that God told you to marry your spouse).

    (I can only gather the small number of couples in the Old Testament we see are the exceptions, not the rule, like the time God sent a wife to the servant of the guy who was supposed to pick out a wife for his master.)

    So, when I see married Christian people say on forums, or blogs, or TV shows that “God sent me my spouse” (or some variation on that sentiment), I get irate and deeply annoyed. It makes me want to hurl my computer or TV set across the room.

    Like

  61. Serving Kids in Japan

    MAY 11, 2016 @ 7:15 PM
    ———————-
    There is an emphasis on waiting on God to bring the right soulmate along. (That could be a long wait.)
    ——————
    (HUG said),
    Just ask Daisy or me.
    ——
    Or me. sigh

    Let me see if I can make things better (actually worse!) 🙂 by dishing out some of the standard, stupid Christian advice singles get.

    (Some of these get echoed in secular culture as well):

    -“Don’t look for ‘the one,’ BE the one.”
    -“Be the type of person you’d like to attract.”
    -“Stop looking. Because when you stop looking, that is when THE ONE will enter your life.”
    -“Stop being so concerned about money/looks in a mate. You’re being too picky. Focus on the person’s character.”
    ^(this sort of advice falls under the rubric of assumption ~ often times, married people ASSUME things about singles, like, if you’re still single it MUST be because of X or Y.)

    (Advice given specifically to hetero single ladies (note how some of it contains contradictions or is impossible to fulfill)):

    -“Wear your hair long. All men like and prefer long hair on women.”

    -“Be needy, because men want to feel needed, but don’t be TOO needy, or else that will turn men off.”

    (variations on that):
    “Be independent, but not TOO independent.”

    -“Jesus loves you just the way you are on the inside, so don’t obsess about your looks, but be thin, sexy, and wear make-up if you want dates, a boyfriend, or to marry. Remember, men are visible. God may love you just the way you are, you fatty, but men will not, so go visit a gym starting today”

    (About that point – I guess generally speaking, a lot of men are awful at judging women based on women’s looks and need to lower their standards in that area – including Christian men, who also feel entitled to supermodels.

    HOWEVER, in all my time of watching that cable show about obesity, “My 600 Pound Life,” I see that most of the women on there, who weight 600 LBS, have husbands or boyfriend, and they were NOT stick figures when married. They were like 250 LBS or more when they were dating their current sweeties.)

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  62. I’m sorry. I forgot another bit of advice people love to give to singles (usually this comes from married Christians), and it is usually given this spin:

    “TRY A DATING SITE!!! Yes, try a dating site!! That is totally how my sister Julie found her true love, Billy Bob. They met on e-Harmony, have been married for 8 years now, have a rocking marriage and two wonderful kids. I’m sure if online dating worked for Julie, it can work for you too!11!!!!!”

    Er, no. No. I have been there and done that.

    Dating sites were a waste of my time and money.

    Got to the point where even though I told eHarmony to stop looking for men in ONLY my city, to please scour at the ENTIRE U.S.A. and get back with me, they still told me every week, “we can’t find any matches for you.”

    Really, eHarmony? And that was when I was in my mid or late 30s, eHarm was telling me there was not a SINGLE dude in the ENTIRE nation in their database who would be a fit for me. Blow it out your hair, eHarmony.

    Like

  63. @ seekeroftruthweb said

    This book also has the whole be-willing-to-put-marriage-on-the-altar and be a “eunuch for Christ” teaching. I was barely able to get there;
    I even admitted that I’d still pursue marriage;(at least to myself) even if I got a “Thus Saith The Lord[TM], you are to be single the rest of your life”, and I was willing to give the finger and cuss out anyone who tried to stop me.

    Oh boy, is there ever big confusion among Christians in a lot of what you just mentioned in that one brief paragraph.

    I’m over 40 years of age and have never been married (I am also a virgin; I’ve never had sex).

    Many Christians assume a whole host of things based on that fact or two: stuff like:

    God “chose” me to be single (or whatever terminology – some might say “gifted you with singleness”)
    God must have erased all sexual desire from me and desire to marry

    I might be forgetting another point or two.

    Anyway, there is this assumption by Christians if you are single past 35 or 40 years old, God is forcing singleness on you, he planned for you to be single, etc.

    And/or you yourself must have put off marriage (because you hate marriage, or, if you are female, you must have been too career-focused).

    The thing is, none of these assumptions are true about me in particular or many single women in general.

    I still have a desire to marry. I still experience sexual desire. I was not too focused on my career. I don’t hate men or marriage. God did not choose me or gift me with singleness (or with celibacy).

    Just the fact you are single past the age of ‘X,’ a lot of Christians will extrapolate all sorts of false, bogus, or un-Biblical things about that information.

    Christians regularly do a lot of eisegesis involving the topic of adult singleness (and celibacy). And it so deeply annoys me that they do this.

    (end of part 1, continued in part 2)

    Like

  64. @ Re: seekeroftruthweb post:
    (part 2)

    Oh, yeah, and that whole “lay your desire or marriage down on the altar” assumes really wanting marriage means you’ve made it into an idol. These people can kiss my tookus for that.

    I hear Christians encourage other Christians to pray for, or work towards, a bigger house, fancier car, healing from a disease, whatever (and it’s not even just the Word of Faith, Prosperity Christians who do this stuff), but when it comes to the topic of MARRIAGE, all the sudden, I start hearing Christians say, “but wanting marriage, praying for it, or working towards that, is IDOLATRY, so just stop it!”

    No, it’s not idolatry to want to be married, even if it’s something you want very much.

    I can’t help but notice, too, that Christian culture sets marriage up to be an idol in the first place.

    Many Married Christians and many denominations deify marriage, so if you are a single adult, and you feel “second rate” due to being single, and sign up for a dating site to make marriage happen for you –
    – or maybe you just want marriage for the companionship, or whatever your motive is for wanting to be married
    (and God knows other Christians won’t help you get married, you’re left to your own devices, so you have to take steps to make it happen yourself, like join a dating site), they then tell you that YOU are the one idolizing marriage.

    It’s so hypocritical.

    Most Christians make marriage into an idol (the church culture at large does this), but if you try to get it for yourself, they tell you that you are making it an idol, and you should, “Be content in your singleness.”
    My response to Christians who think like that and promote it: Oh bite me.

    Many Christians hold marriage up as an idol (usually the ones already married) but won’t Lift a finger to help you, the adult single who wants marriage, to get married. They like to stack those burdens on your back and not help you carry them.

    Like

  65. Lea said,

    I also do not believe Christian Mingle has ‘gods match for you’.

    There was a Christian guy using Christian Mingle to pick victims.

    He raped two or three women he met via CM dating site, and one of the ladies made him sound like an honest- to- Goodness- Christian guy.

    NBC and other news sites reported the story. This is from “Raw Story,” which I think links to other news sources about it:
    _Convicted ChristianMingle rapist to victims: ‘God intended it for good’_

    November 2014

    A Del Mar, California Navy veteran who used an online Christian dating site to target victims was sentenced to 37 years to life for raping two women, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

    Sean Banks was convicted in June of raping a woman he met on ChristianMingle. com. The woman, known only as “K.K.,” said during the trial that she assumed Banks, who used the alias “Rylan” on the site, was “a good Christian man.”

    …He was also convicted in another Internet-related rape, this one of a woman he met on Match.com in 2009.

    Like I said in a post to someone above, this is another reason I don’t like Christians telling me,

    “Hey are you tired of being single? Just try a dating site, a dating site is how my sister Bev met her husband Doug!!”

    Like

  66. “I only have myself to look at when I look at the deprogramming process. I am still a work in progress, even after 8 years of leaving the cult.”

    And you were not a pastor dispensing the kool aid. And you are not going to seminary to seek to be a pastor, again. Getting credentials is not exactly deprogramming. I get that he will be exposed to a much broader theology at Regent. And that is good. Still he fled from the mess at CLC and went there to get a credential to Pastor. So, he was the pastor and there were a lot of victims from the past, yet he gets out of dodge after saying some nice stuff everyone liked when the money was drying up.

    I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for these guys or trust. The world he comes from only knows how to make a living off Jesus.

    Like

  67. I’m glad to read Josh Harris’ response to the tweets. I read his book when my oldest two were homeschooled for high school. We basically unschooled, with a heavy emphasis on reading. I bought the book, read it, and passed it on to my son. That was well over fifteen years ago, but I DO remember NOT hating it. Compared to what my kids friends were involved in dating-wise it certainly seemed healthier to me! But, maybe since we weren’t involved in the whole homeschool Christian culture movement, we didn’t have everything else that came along with that being thrust upon us at the time.
    After my son got to college, a local Christian college, the problems with the book began to appear to him. He now hates it, as it was all anybody there could seem to talk about. From time to time we talk about those days, and how we were certainly spared a lot of pain from having NEVER gotten sucked into a specific ideal for homeschooling.
    I guess I have never read a book thinking that I should be 100% in favor of everything in it. But apparently, a lot of people do.

    Like

  68. I think that is the Christian fix it culture. People think you’re broken and they have to give you some sage advice or some verse from scripture to help you out, instead of listening and sharing in your pain. Even Job’s “heartless” friends sat with him for seven days and wept before they spoke a single word.

    The one that hurt me the most was: “God is still working on some sin in your life.” Sure, God lets pedophiles and murderers marry, but apparently there is some unknown and unconfessed sin that I have that precludes me from marrying.

    Advice in general around dating is pretty crappy, so it’s not exclusive to Christians, but baptized garbage is still garbage.

    Liked by 3 people

  69. I might be forgetting another point or two.

    I can’t speak for Daisy, but in my case more than one person asked me if I’m gay. (The answer, by the way, is no.) I’ve also heard people ask how a nice,intelligent guy like me could still be single, especially now that I’m well into my 50’s. If I knew the answer to that question, I might be married rather than single.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Lydia said:

    And you were not a pastor dispensing the kool aid. And you are not going to seminary to seek to be a pastor, again.

    You have a good point, Lydia, that I wasn’t a pastor. I’m just saying that I think he is getting exposed to a world unlike CLC. I guess time will tell if he is getting deprogrammed.

    Like

  71. Mark,

    Sorry that people have told you such STUPID things in churches.
    I agree with you that we need to be present for people in pain, not talk, and just listen. I too weary of the trite advice, Scripture verses, and demands for speed healing.

    At my ex-church (NeoCalvinist) I found that very few people were emotionally healthy and that church was one of the most unsafe places for a person with any wounds.

    Liked by 2 people

  72. Btw, related to this subject, have you guys read The Homeschool Sex Machine, by Matthew Pierce? I found it a really humorous look back to those days.

    Like

  73. I wonder if people are reading way too much into a few of Josh Harris’s tweets?

    Over the years Josh Harris has had ample opportunity to try and clarify issues with his “kissing dating goodbye” but has chosen not to including being pretty silent on his own blog. Thus it would be nice but doubtful that Josh Harris will being willing to admit the problems and “defects” of his alternative to dating. I am sure Josh Harris is reluctant to admit a system he championed, brought him to prominence and made him a lot of money isn’t what it claimed to be.

    One recent book that talks about courtship being “in crisis” can be found here:

    http://www.thomasumstattd.com/books/courtship-in-crisis/

    http://www.thomasumstattd.com/2014/08/courtship-fundamentally-flawed/

    This is written by a homeschooler and former proponent of courtship.

    Probably the most interesting point that this author makes is how courtship didn’t deliver as promised.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Probably the most interesting point that this author makes is how courtship didn’t deliver as promised.

    I was talking to someone the other day about this crazy courtship thing apparently some people do and she said that’s how she was raised! But it basically didn’t work out at all, so she had tossed it as a philosophy. (I enjoyed that article where he talks about the guys grandmothers advice, but not really his personal advice/opinions – I think not having come from this homeschool/courtship world it’s just so hard to fathom).

    But nothing works all the time. No system is ever going to be perfect. I wish people understood that.

    Like

  75. Steve, thanks! That is an excellent resource. Even though I grew up before courtship, my parents were big on being “ready” before dating. When I was supposedly ready, asking a girl out was a huge barrier. I had girls ask me out, which I stupidly declined because of my “guy must initiate” upbringing.

    Like

  76. And that was when I was in my mid or late 30s, eHarm was telling me there was not a SINGLE dude in the ENTIRE nation in their database who would be a fit for me. Blow it out your hair, eHarmony.

    OMG! That’s ridiculous.

    The one that hurt me the most was: “God is still working on some sin in your life.”

    Awful.

    Advice in general around dating is pretty crappy, so it’s not exclusive to Christians

    I’m beginning to think as I get older that there is a window (high school/college/early 20s). And if you don’t meet someone in that window, everyone’s advice who paired off early is pretty much useless.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. When I was supposedly ready, asking a girl out was a huge barrier. I had girls ask me out, which I stupidly declined because of my “guy must initiate” upbringing.

    I have the opposite problem in that I don’t know how to ask men out at all, but some of them seem interested but holding back on asking out. I had one guy that was interested and took forever and then he was like ‘I thought maybe you would ask me out’.

    Like

  78. Mark said,

    Advice in general around dating is pretty crappy, so it’s not exclusive to Christians, but baptized garbage is still garbage.

    I agree.

    I suspect that romance, dating, and marriage is a giant crap shoot and hence there is no advice that will necessarily result in getting a partner. No formula, not even Christianized ones such as “pray and trust God for a spouse.” It looks to me as though it’s based on random luck.

    This page (by Oliver Burkeman) is so therapeutic:
    _All dating advice is as terrible as the people who give it _

    Ignore anyone who tells you to follow any rules or that they have the supposed tried-and-true method for unearthing The One

    Not only does the advice not deliver on getting you a dates or spouse, but as I outlined in a post higher up the page, a lot of the advice seems predicated on the assumption you are a big, fat, ugly, or weird loser – so the dating advice is very insulting.

    (Some of the advice will assume, for example, you are the size of a beached whale which a lot of people in the dating world won’t find attractive, so it will tell you to start cutting calories and get a gym membership and use it.
    I personally work out several times a week and watch what I eat, so that is not my issue.
    I get tired of dating advice which assumes, just rudely assumes, I must be the size of a small elephant which is why I can’t meet guys.)

    I have certainly seen some adult singles who have problem areas that I am willing to bet are keeping them from getting dates/marriage, but for the vast majority of us, no. It’s just very hard (especially the older you get) to meet eligible partners.

    Most of us singles are attractive, intelligent, nice enough, etc, but it’s simply dang hard to get dates (unless you have zero standards).

    Like

  79. singleman said,

    I can’t speak for Daisy, but in my case more than one person asked me if I’m gay. (The answer, by the way, is no.)

    I’ve also heard people ask how a nice,intelligent guy like me could still be single, especially now that I’m well into my 50’s. If I knew the answer to that question, I might be married rather than single.

    Yes, I’ve talked to single guys over 45 years of age who have said they’ve been asked if they are homosexual (some of them said this started happening to them when they were in their late 20s).

    Every once in a blue moon, we older single ladies are suspected of being homosexual, but it seems to be men who get that accusation far more often.

    I can’t recall off hand if I’ve gotten the “how is it that such a nice / attractive / smart (whatever great quality) person like you is still single” line, but I have seen other singles subjected to it.

    That comment is meant to be some kind of compliment, but it comes across to the recipient as some kind of put-down.

    It can also be hurtful to the single who wants to be in a relationship, because that comment implies you must have some flaw that is not so obvious.

    Like

  80. @Lea,

    I’m beginning to think as I get older that there is a window (high school/college/early 20s). And if you don’t meet someone in that window, everyone’s advice who paired off early is pretty much useless.

    This exactly. The age depends, but for me it was somewhere around college graduation. There were nonsensical pairings so that women could get their Mrs. degree before they were too old. But, for me, that is when I became a marital status leper. Instead of “don’t worry” it suddenly became the married couples’ right to try and diagnose my malady. Maybe I need to go to more singles’ conferences. Maybe I needed to be set up with someone’s sister or niece. Maybe my standards were too high. Maybe I was too arrogant (this is like the rock/hard place – if I’m self confident, that’s a turn off, and if I’m not self confident, that’s a turn off, too). Maybe I had “the gift” – except that supposedly those with the gift wouldn’t desire marriage, but…

    There’s another fallacy that is common in Christian self-help books, and advice. It’s the hasty generalization. The fact that courtship worked for Josh Harris and that he’s still happily married, well, that’s wonderful. Just because that worked for Josh Harris and his wife and their unique personalities doesn’t make it Biblical and normative for all. I find it in parenting books, like the Pearl book. If he has compliant children and he’s an abuser, then regardless of his horrible, abusive methodology, his compliant children are going to turn out “just fine” by Christian standards. They’re going to figure out the rules and comply. That doesn’t mean that Pearl’s advice is going to work on non-compliant children. My family is full of non-compliant children who were, IMO emotionally and physically abused based on Pearl-like teaching.

    That’s why I’ve gravitated towards secular books on parenting, written by people with a scientific background. They don’t say, “spank your children until you’ve broken them – it worked for me, and Johnny, whose parents coddled him, turned out to be an axe murderer”. They say, your child needs to be able to accept your instruction. For some children, that means that you have to get them mentally engaged, and that might even mean spanking. For other children, that may mean helping them calm down and back away from the emotional cliff. That then references studies that seem to indicate that very thing.

    Like

  81. I mean to address this earlier but forgot.
    By Mark:

    The one that hurt me the most was: “God is still working on some sin in your life.”
    Sure, God lets pedophiles and murderers marry, but apparently there is some unknown and unconfessed sin that I have that precludes me from marrying.

    I remember seeing this kind of thinking in Christian books, Christian shows, and Christian magazine articles about marriage and dating when I was a teen and in my 20s. I still sometimes see it now.

    There is this assumption by Christian writers that God is in the business of sending people spouses (something that MIGHT be true for some people, I don’t know – but I grow more skeptical of this the older I get), but if you are still single at 25 / 35 or older, it’s because (some Christians teach) you are flawed in some way and God is trying to make you right, fix you.

    Or, the onus is put on you, the single, by some Christian authors who will say you must clean yourself up before God will allow a spouse to come into your life.

    That sounded like “okay” reasoning to me as a teen and young 20-something, but I’m in my 40s now and have seen way, way, too many women on these blogs talk about how they married some guy they met at church who SEEMED to be a ‘real article’ Christian, but who turned out to be verbally or physically abusive (or a pedophile).

    Even in secular news, I see people who appear decent and nice end up getting married to guys who murder them or have numerous affairs on them.

    If it were true that God makes people reach some level of godliness or perfection before he allowed anyone to marry, nobody would marry – they would not be able to. We would not see stories on this blog of women who have abusive Christian husbands.

    So it is rather insulting to see Christian authors who instruct folks like you or me we must still be single because we’re not good or godly enough for God to bestow a spouse upon.
    -You (the Christian marriage advice givers) really expect me to buy that, when I see Christian women on blogs inform us they discovered X months or years into the marriage that their Christian husband was a pedophile or abusive??

    Like

  82. @Lea:

    I’m beginning to think as I get older that there is a window (high school/college/early 20s). And if you don’t meet someone in that window, everyone’s advice who paired off early is pretty much useless.

    I think that’s a lot of what happened with me. I was a kid genius who got one of the side effects — social and personality retardation — hard. My emotional/social age was always at least 10 years behind my chronological age; by the time I’d grown up enough inside to start dating, I had aged well past that window.

    P.S. Lea: Your handle is the same as the original Japanese name for Kimba the White Lion’s girlfriend.

    Like

  83. Shy1 said,
    “Btw, related to this subject, have you guys read The Homeschool Sex Machine, by Matthew Pierce”

    I’ve never heard of that book before.

    Like

  84. @Mark:

    There’s another fallacy that is common in Christian self-help books, and advice. It’s the hasty generalization. The fact that courtship worked for Josh Harris and that he’s still happily married, well, that’s wonderful. Just because that worked for Josh Harris and his wife and their unique personalities doesn’t make it Biblical and normative for all.

    It’s the flip side of “I have Problem X, so everyone else must have the same Problem X” which motivates a lot of preaching.

    Like

  85. Regarding (my experiences with eHarmony dating site):

    Lea said:
    “OMG! That’s ridiculous.”

    It was also a big waste of my money. I removed my profile from eHarmony after a few years.

    I now loathe eHarm commercials, and they seem to come on TV regularly.

    The commercials with that old guy site owner spokes-head with white hair who gets into cute banter with little girls, or with grown women who complain about how his 25 page dating profile questionairre takes too long to fill out(*), and he’s like, “do you want quality or quantity.”

    Do I want quantity or quality? I couldn’t get EITHER one when I was on your site, so suck a lemon, Mr. eHarmony guy.

    *(and btw, it does. I didn’t enjoy filling out the 20+ pages of questions on eHarm.)

    Even the guys on eHarm who identified as Christian were pervs. Not all of them, but quite a few. They would make tawdry, sex based jokes on their profile pages and/or state sexual prefs up front in the “getting to know you” type banter the site forces you to endure.

    I had (and have) no interest in guys who get vulgar or discuss sex stuff up front or the early stages of dating.

    Like

  86. Regarding Mark’s comments about Lea’s post:

    There’s another fallacy that is common in Christian self-help books, and advice. It’s the hasty generalization. The fact that courtship worked for Josh Harris and that he’s still happily married, well, that’s wonderful. Just because that worked for Josh Harris and his wife and their unique personalities doesn’t make it Biblical and normative for all.

    Yes, this comes up frequently.
    Married people assume that because X worked for them in dating, or is how they met their spouse, or how their sister met their spouse, it will work for you, too.

    (This is very prevalent concerning the subject of dating sites. Married people are always pushing singles to try eHarmony or other dating sites because ‘it’s how my cousin Bertha met her husband Stan, I’m sure it will work for you too.”)

    (Remember my link above about the Christian rapist who chose his Christian rape victims by using Match’s dating site and Christian Mingle.)

    Another problematic issue:
    65 year old married adults (who’ve been married for three or more decades) who give dating advice to never-married, 40 something people such as myself.

    Hey, 60-something aged dude, dating at one’s 40s in the year 2016 is not the same as it was dating in one’s 20s in the 1960s or 1970s, okay?

    Like

  87. P.S. Lea: Your handle is the same as the original Japanese name for Kimba the White Lion’s girlfriend.

    No kidding? I’m going to have to look that one up. My dumb facebook quiz thing did say I looked Asian 🙂

    he’s like, “do you want quality or quantity.”

    Ha. I’ve been on for like two months. I mostly seem to get matched up with people who also like football. I don’t think that’s terribly deep! I live in the south. Everybody likes football. I don’t know how scientific they think their matching is, but it seems not terribly so to me. It is a way to meet people, though, that are actually looking and that’s the thing I’ve had the hardest time with.

    Like

  88. (Remember my link above about the Christian rapist who chose his Christian rape victims by using Match’s dating site and Christian Mingle.)

    This is so creepy, too. That sort of thing is always a danger you just have to be careful and hope for the best. I haven’t gone so far as to start carrying on dates though.

    Like

  89. steve240:

    I wonder if people are reading way too much into a few of Josh Harris’s tweets?

    Over the years Josh Harris has had ample opportunity to try and clarify issues with his “kissing dating goodbye” but has chosen not to including being pretty silent on his own blog

    Thinking the same thing, Steve. The paperback version of Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity was published in 2013 with Joshua Harris’ forward. Passion and Purity was I Kissed Dating Goodbye of the 80’s and 90’s. Harris borrowed a lot of his ideas from Passion and Purity.

    Like

  90. David C.,

    I agree that Passion and Purity was a launchpad for books like IKDG.

    I must have read P&P 1000 times. Elliot was clear she didn’t want her writings to be revered like Scripture, nonetheless her love story of being an introverted emotionally imprisoned person, became the standard of dating for many Christians.

    I took good insights about putting God first from Passion and Purity. But as I look back now, I also got a lot of harmful non-biblical ideas:

    ••> The rule that men should pursue women = The only acceptable pattern.
    ••> The rule that a man must say “I love you. Will you marry me?” = The only acceptable script.

    Today’s 20-something Christian girls who don’t take initiative run the risk of never marrying. I know at least six nice pretty Christian girls and no one is pursuing them.

    If they don’t make some moves they may be left behind.

    Like

  91. I have to share a recent experience that very few people could probably understand – the readers of this blog being among them.

    Was in Half-Price Books recently and found a copy of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” in the FICTION section. Had to take a picture and share with a formerly fundamentalist friend.

    It made me feel so validated. 🙂

    As a new teenager, I wrote a paper on why courtship doesn’t work. It did not make me popular with my homeschooling group – at least some of them. But now I am happy to say I am celebrating my 7-year wedding anniversary this month with a man I dated AND kissed before we were engaged! I am convinced I had it right then – and now.

    Thanks for sharing this – I appreciate this blog.

    Like

  92. Lots of comments about dating experiences.

    If a married man might presume to say something here, agreed fully that there is a fair amount of providence and even luck in finding a mate, Chicago didn’t sing “Baby what a big surprise” because love was a matter of putting in the required inputs and bada-BOOM bada-bing there’s your spouse. You can’t buy a spouse at Wal-Mart, and given their quality assurance, that’s a relief.

    And FWIW, it seems to me that many of the singles here have a lot in common: you’re in middle age, you’re sick of the dating scene (but still OK with dating), you’re especially sick of married people telling you what to do, you’ve got similar theological views, many of you have been hurt by implementations of courtship, and you’re spending time here commenting when all that is on the table is being heard.

    Like

  93. FYI: I’m married, but I married in my late 20’s, so I did experience a bit of the singleness leprosy. I completely agree with the experiences. As with most complex, life-changing events, there are huge attempts to turn them into spiritual gauntlets.

    For example, college for me was an easy choice. Go somewhere for free, or pay to go somewhere else. But, for a lot of high schoolers, it’s a anxious time with a lot of well-meaning, but off base input, like, if you go to that big university, your professors are going to beat your faith out of you. Or, you need to stay close to home to stay grounded. Or, you need to go away to establish your independence. No one, though, seems to want to take the time to say, well, what are you interested in. I know of some schools that are really good in those areas, or even, talk to Bob. He’s in your area and might have some recommendations.

    Even the school that I went to and would never send my kids without a lot of hesitation… I have recommended some areas of study to people, where the good outweighs the bad, and even when I say stay away, it’s because of very specific things, and some people say, that’s not a problem, I can deal with it.

    Like

  94. Future SSB feature: The SSB Connection for Singles?

    :^) If someone meets someone and finds themselves as blessed as I am with Mrs. Bubba, let me know and I’ll send a present.

    Seriously, my comment was actually intended to gently hint that meeting people in other venues might help reduce the number of creeps one might meet. You know a priori that they’ve actually got more than one thing on their mind, no?

    And with that I’ll shut up for a while. Good luck to the single folks out there!

    Liked by 1 person

  95. Bike Bubba said,
    “…gently hint that meeting people in other venues might help reduce the number of creeps one might meet.”

    Other than blind luck (say, happening to meet a great guy in the produce aisle at Krogers while you’re picking out some carrots), your only options as an over- 40 single for meeting single dudes are…..
    1. bars
    2. church (not really, though see disclaimer below)
    3. dating sites
    4. friends fix you up

    Point 2 (church) is a problem, because churches do not have single males ages 25 to, say, 60 in attendance.
    The single males who are at a church might be perverts or abusers.

    I’m not too keen on bars or clubbing, never have been. I’m not a party girl, so that might eliminate the swinging night life for me.

    Most of my real-life friends live out of state, so hoping a buddy can fix me up is pretty much not going to happen.

    And besides, a lot of Christians (assuming you have Christian friends IRL) won’t fix you up anyway:
    They refuse to and give the stupid speeches about, “you must be content in your singleness,” or “just pray and trust in the Lord, and it will happen if it’s meant to,” or “the LORD is your husband” or, “try a dating site”

    (I did meet my ex through a mutual internet friend.)

    There really is no place one can go to avoid meeting creeps. Creeps are everywhere.

    Creeps are in churches too; Julie Anne has blog posts on here by Christian women who married Christian dudes who turned out to be pedophiles. And the pedo husbands attended church (though I can’t recall if they met their spouses in churches).

    Sickos and randy, vulgar jerks are on Christian dating sites like eHarmony (at least when I was on there, eHarm was pretty much considered a “Christian” dating site).

    A Christian rapist used Christian dating site “Christian Mingle” to choose victims to rape. I linked to that story higher up the page. So, not even Christian dating sites are safe from the creeps and dangerous men.

    When I was on eHarmony (and other dating sites) although nothing in my profile or photos were sexually suggestive or racy, it did not stop randy, Bible quoting horn dogs who identified as Christian on their profiles from hitting me up on eHarmony, or telling bawdy jokes off the bat, or telling me their favorite sexual positions within the first 2 or 3 eHarmony guided exchanges.

    One thing that brings me some schadenfreude-based glee (I know this is horrible of me, but)…..
    Reading widows, widowers, or people who divorce in mid-life who finally admit on forums and blogs something like this:

    ‘Hey man, I didn’t realize until I was “single again” in my mid 30s (or 40s) after I divorced (or my spouse died) how AWFUL dating is, and how AWFUL churches are to adult singles.

    OMG, after I become ‘single again’ and went to churches, I was treated like a pedo, or like I was a loser, and in some churches, I was ignored. I didn’t realize how much it blows to be single over the age of 30, especially among Christians and in churches.”

    I have seen a few “single again” adults say such things on other sites. They finally get to see what folks like HUG and myself bring up from time to time.

    Like

  96. Daisy,

    I have heard my late mother giving some suggestions to older singles who wanted to meet someone. Ironically, church was not a suggestion although I never asked why. Perhaps because she met my dad at work? :o)

    . She thought it important to do things you were already interested in. Take photography class, language, karate or gardening. Just make friends. Most married people know singles and love to make introductions.

    The point is if you don’t meet someone your life is richer for the new skills or knowledge. You are being you in the process.

    She thought those who chose to stay single were fine, too.

    Like

  97. Here are some reviews from the software developers (spark networks/glassdoor)

    The investors seem to be unaware of the need for new technology and the board of directors seem to be unable to present the advantages of spending some money into advancing the company. The company does not use an ad server and has various record keepers, but the records do not match up. Management would rather replace employees than replace old technology or alter current processes.

    The tech stack has been neglected and old. The engineering and the management team are not data savvy. Project management is very backwards. You can’t build a business to react quickly with changing environment. We are the odd man out stuck in righting the ship while everyone else are talking about growth and IPO.
    Users are steadily leaving. The fact that there is no network effects for a social dating site is troublesome.
    HR is just not responsive. The purpose of their existence is just unknown. There is no point to pay someone full time for this level quality of work.

    Rigid back end framework and it dept that refuses to innovate. mobile experience is wack. good ideas are stalled or stolen by people with no talent. Work weekends on projects nobody cares about. no mentorship or employee development. projects managed by incompetant progect managers. micromanagement by unprofessional supervisors. talented non brown nosers eventually leave.

    Like

  98. Although I’m biased as a developer, I find that developers and engineers often have the company nailed. Every person self-identified as an engineer gives the company 1/5, which is to say, it’s really, really bad. Essentially, you couldn’t pay me enough to work there.

    Like

  99. You can delete them if you want. I was responding to the Christian Mingle issues exposed on TWW. Saying primarily that it was the managers trying to deflect blame on a horrible technology platform that couldn’t prevent predators from harassing people.

    Like

  100. What about volunteering? My friend met her soulmate volunteering at the library. Hospitals always need volunteers. Volunteering is not for everyone but if there is something that you have a passion for, it gives you the opportunity to meet other people who feel the same way.

    Like

  101. “Future SSB feature: The SSB Connection for Singles?”

    With all the people who meet and marry online, it might work. We have several things going for us.
    1. Pair bonding instinct
    2. Christian emphasis: marriage = respectability
    3. Morality

    On the other hand, social scientists (Pines, Falling In Love) observe that “falling in love” is based on —

    Geographical closeness (someone in your apartment, dorm, or on the same street)
    Frequency (how often you are in the same class, church service, company, study group, Bible study)
    Looks (how much do you look like each other)
    Beloved’s similarity to opposite sex parent (Freud and Jung)
    Meet each other’s needs (money, emotional, child raising)
    Loving those who love us. (This takes a long time for some people to understand. Instead they chase people who are apathetic toward them.)
    Arousal (a powerful shared experience of danger, exertion, or opposition)
    Similarity (“Hey, we both like SSB!”)
    Attachment styles (Secure, Anxious, Avoident, Anxious-Avoident)
    Character (men and women both want kindness, consideration and honesty)
    Attraction

    Two good friends have found people online and married in the past 18 months. So it does happen. But buyer beware: The quality of candidates degrades over time.

    Like

  102. Bike Bubba said,
    “…gently hint that meeting people in other venues might help reduce the number of creeps one might meet

    Hilarious. But I met a guy online last year, did a long distance thing and it was an absolute mess. It will be a while before I try something like that again.

    Although I’m certainly amused at the idea of Julie running a dating service 🙂

    Like

  103. Most married people know singles and love to make introductions.

    I haven’t found that to be the case, at least in recent years.

    I’ve been set up on dates a few times. None of them worked out. The last such instance, a few years ago, was especially strange. Perhaps I need to submit my dates to a background check before going out.

    Like

  104. Whoa, hold on guys. Josh Harris wrote IKDG before he met, dated and married his wife. He wrote “Boy Meets Girl” after he dated and married his wife. It was intended to rearrange the goal lines set in IKDG, since he didn’t follow his own rules. He began his move away from IKDG a long, long time ago.
    I sat through his “New Attitude” teen conference at a convention once upon a time. I can promise you that almost every girl in the room was praying fiercely that God would reveal to Josh that he was supposed to marry them. He was homeschooling royalty and treated accordingly.
    I can attest, as someone who spent their formative years in a very patriarchal, dominionist church, that turning your back on so many parts of your past at once is hard and it takes time. He’s left his job, his church, his ftiends, their families, his kids are in public school, he’s in seminary, and his wife is working to support them. That’s a lot of life stress at once without people expecting reparations. Give him time to sort himself out.

    Like

  105. Lydia’s points a bit above are well taken. Being one who thoroughly enjoys marriage, I would LOVE to help introduce singles to one another. I really would. But ya know what? What Lydia says about the general lack of nose-breathing eligible people of the opposite sex in churches and the like is sadly true. Either the eligible people are well aware of each other already–and often dating–or else they’re well aware of each other, and not interested for whatever reason. So I generally simply start quietly praying for that person to find someone.

    (people tried to set me up/point me to eligible young ladies in my bachelor years, but it fell into the categories I mention above)

    I still think it’s helpful if you know that someone’s got something else on his mind besides you know what–this may have something to do with the fact that my first date with my wife was hanging sheetrock with Habitat for Humanity, ha!–but at the same time I acknowledge fully that it’s not foolproof.

    And along the same lines, a dating service run by JA is an amusing thought, but given that so many commenters here are trying to get away from creeps….

    Like

  106. JA, Mark’s comments are simple. He heard about troubles at ChristianMingle and visited a site called “Glass Door”, where current and former employees of companies give feedback about their employers. What he found is that these people are saying the company is behind on database technology, screening and exclusion procedures, and more–and they don’t seem to be very motivated to fix these problems.

    In other words, they don’t know how to run their business, or they don’t care. So while GlassDoor can be biased–I remember wondering whether I should post a review of a former employer in violation of my “silence clause”, and it would have been VERY negative–there is generally a core of truth to what people are saying there.

    Like

  107. Although I’m generally biased as an engineer, but I find that engineers have a pretty good handle on problems in the company. When multiple engineers have similar stories, then it’s probably true. Maybe we need a Glassdoor for churches. That would be interesting.

    Like

  108. Whoa, hold on guys. Josh Harris wrote IKDG before he met, dated and married his wife. He wrote “Boy Meets Girl” after he dated and married his wife. It was intended to rearrange the goal lines set in IKDG, since he didn’t follow his own rules. He began his move away from IKDG a long, long time ago.

    If Josh did write “Boy Meets Girl” to “rearrange the goal lines” I sure didn’t see nor did he clarify any changes on his blog. If anything “kissing dating goodbye” was what one was supposed to before you were ready for marriage and “Boy Meets Girl” was what you did when you were ready for marriage and had a prospective mate. When ready for marriage Josh Harris indicated you were to have a relationship with a women only for the purpose of marriage to determine if you were to marry.

    Like

  109. The first line, “missed my prom”, due to fundamentalism. Yep, understand that one. Grew up in such a religious home it was everything around church and going to hell if involved in the world; so sad. As reading all the comments, I grew up with Letters to Karen/Letters to Philip by Charlie Shedd, Walter Trobisch books; more seasoned writers, Bill Gothard was way back when.. Eye opener was “Marjoe” Documentary U-Tube; someone brought to my attention someone five or older allowing to marry a couple was an education in itself-all to make money.
    In reading comments, wished People, families were healthier in the church that we recognize wrong teaching, error and confront and NOT tolerate any of it and or spiritual abuse. I have a friend road, of recovery has been very long long-Sovereign Grace Ministry Scandal (know husband/wife confronted hardcore).
    For some reason, churches think they are above the law and exempt from reporting scandals to children and that it’s in house mentality. Only, because they don’t want attendance disappearing which affects the money coming in and their lifestyle and been going on for FAR TOO LONG in ALL DENOMINATIONS (children’s health/well being NOT important. Let alone strong and healthy families). Worse, they coerce the parents NOT to do anything either. Bike Bubba/Mike appreciated comment about the “Glass Door Info”; wondered how many Companies wouldn’t have gone defunct if had listened to their employees.
    Daisy: wish we could meet and talk, I’m in 50’s never married could write the book on all the stereo-typing Got screwed up by the church all this guilt, condemnation, criticism and belittling. Have had friends in their 40-60’s who asked why they never got married (couldn’t keep healthy relationship; all had childhood trauma). Our church was horrible at telling people who to marry and date and if you weren’t part of the acceptable ones, oh my. That same idiot pastor said “if you weren’t married, you weren’t complete, whole and or acceptable” but he was trying to match up friends with major homosexual person (no discerment and no healing for either party with their childhood trauma). Susan Forward, Dr. Laura, Herb Goldberg, David Elkind, Victoria Secunda, their written works were very healing. God used them as great teachers.

    Like

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