‘Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:1-2
For the past months, I’ve read many bad feedbacks about the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and I wonder why people have massive criticisms towards the book. I really don’t get it.
I opened up this topic to some of my friends and one of them said something like this:
“He does not need to apologize, not to me. Because even then, my views about courtship is still the same. Even if that book did not exist, I’d still be single up to this day. I guess, those who were jumping from one relationship to the next are the ones really affected by this.”
Yes, I am already 25 and never had a boyfriend. But it’s not because I was so into that book. I love that book because it talks about how I see dating. I guess it has something to do with the culture, too, because here in the Philippines, some families still have conservative upbringing.
My dad even personally told me that if a guy wants to pursue me, he must meet them first and he must be clear also with his intentions. My dad has a really big faith, and it helped me not to worry about finding the right person. He constantly prays for my future husband as well.
So, even if that book did not exist, I will still be living in that kind of life. But why did I choose this kind of waiting?
I am going to list below the reasons why I wait and why Pastor Joshua Harris is right:
1. Dating should be Intentional rather than Recreational
I know that when Pastor Harris told his readers to kiss ‘Dating’ goodbye, what he really meant by that was to say goodbye to the wrong kind of dating – that shallow, short term and irresponsible dating.
I remember back when I was still 18, I used to argue with my friends and say, why do this modern world have this so called ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ thing before getting married? It seems like they do a lot of ‘trial and error’ before arriving at the right decision. But when you look at the Scripture, all of the courtship mentioned were all intentional. They pursue every woman with marriage as their end goal. So what happened now that we see people dating for the wrong reasons? I don’t get it.
Personally, I won’t let myself go into that thing. I don’t want to waste my time that way. It’s too risky to just say, ‘let’s give it a try’. No. As ransomed ones, we must be set apart even in the way we see dating. Let’s not let our emotions cloud our decisions. Don’t aim for a short-term happiness. That’s absurd.
It’s good to know someone if you are really clear with your intentions. But maybe you’ll ask, ‘What if at the middle of the my ‘courtship season’, I fall out of love?’ I know someone who left courtship months after he started courting someone because he felt he isn’t doing it right. That’s it. I actually got a lesson out of it that when you get to know someone, I think you must love them with open hands – meaning, you still depend on God on how it’s going to end and be ready to let it go when circumstances push you to leave it behind. We don’t know what’s ahead, but God is sovereign. Maybe you’re sure today, but what if tomorrow you’ll going to change your mind? What I am trying to defend here is at least it started with clear intentions and not just a relationship that will console you for a moment.
And I think that’s the story of our generation’s pursuit of fulfillment in relationships. We wished for intimacy without obligation. We wished for sex with no strings attached. We wished for the pleasure of love with none of work, none of the vows, none of the sacrifice. And we got it. But the results aren’t what we hoped for. And we’re left feeling emptier than before. The intimacy is superficial. The sex leaves us dissatisfied and hungry for something real, something true. Where is true joy? It’s found in God’s brand of love – love founded on faithfulness, rooted in commitment. The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.” ― Joshua Harris,
Our God is wise and we must delight in His wisdom. For sure, the pattern of love stories in the Bible tells us so much on how to do relationships in a godly way.
2. The Call for Purity didn’t start with that Book
Even if I haven’t read that book, I will still abstain. You will hear me say this many times, “What’s the point of compromising?” Ask yourself, who are you glorifying when you let your flesh win? For sure it’s not God!
I am not condemning those who did it, but please respect it when I say that this is my choice. I don’t (by all means) want to compromise because I am not happy if I really did compromise. I won’t be happy if I did it. I think that’s the best reason why I will never let myself go into those shallow things.
“True purity, however, is a direction, a persistent, determined pursuit of righteousness. This direction starts in the heart, and we express it in a lifestyle that flees opportunities for compromise.” ― Joshua Harris,
But be sure that when you pursue purity, it’s not because you want to feel you’re higher than those who compromised. No. Don’t do that. That’s pride. You must do it just for the reason of glorifying God alone and no one else – not even yourself. Remember, true purity is the purity that the Lord sees in your heart. Not on how you display yourself. So pray for a pure heart more than anything else.
3. Promiscuity is selfish and it does not glorify God
“True love isn’t just expressed in passionately whispered words or an intimate kiss or an embrace; before two people are married, love is expressed in self-control, patience, even words left unsaid.” ― Joshua Harris,
In every decision you’ll make, ask yourself, Does it glorify God? When you indulge yourself into any selfish acts, do those things make God happy?
Most of the time, it’s hard to wait the right way because it’s us who make it look hard. The Lord said that we must deny ourselves (Luke 9:23). We must let all our selfish ways go! We must embrace His will for us because there is joy that comes in following Him. Sometimes you might say that you must be free in doing what you want, but you are not free at all if your definition of freedom is doing the things that don’t glorify God. For us to be sanctified, we must choose to obey Him and glorify His Name all the days of our lives.
4. If you’ll love that person someday, learn to love that person today
Yes. Love your future husband/wife starting today. By praying for that person and staying away from temptations. If you’re going to answer that with, “I must live happily before that person comes”, ask yourself first if what makes you happy? If your sources of happiness are all fleshly, it’s time to re-evaluate yourself and your faith.
“When God knows you’re ready for the responsibility of commitment, He’ll reveal the right person under the right circumstances.” ― Joshua Harris,
Try putting yourself in the shoes of that person you will marry soon. For sure there will come a time that you are going to tell him/her everything about your past relationships. I know, you’re expecting that the person you’ll marry will accept you for who you are but what if he/she will ask, “You already know Christ when you did those things, but why did you still do it?” How are you going to answer it? I know some couples who argue a lot because of their past relationships. Forgiveness is there, but fear will also be present. Your partner will ask himself/herself again and again what if you’ll do that to him/her too? Even if you’ll assure that person, he/she will still doubt at some point. So if you have the chance to stay away from temptations, please do it. If you really, truly love your future spouse, start loving him/her today through the way you see dating.
5. Love should go hand in hand with Accountability
Last December, I asked a Kuya in faith about his lovestory (you can check his whole article here). I loved it when Kuya Raffy said,
“I have always been a believer on the power of action/accountability more than the pronouncements and words beautifully packaged in vows and commitment. I could always say favourable words to someone and present myself in ways that someone would wish to see from me and be impressed. Yet no matter how well-intentioned these may seem to be, I can only prove these things if I could translate them into action. Accountability, to me, is weightier than these two. So I kept asking myself, “am I ready to be accountable to someone in all aspects of her life?” Am I ready to be accountable to someone for good?”
Yes.You are accountable to that person you’re dating! If you’re going to break that person’s heart for being emotionally-driven in your decisions, you are going to suffer the consequences of your irresponsible dating. So if you have the chance to make it right, please do so. Learn to be responsible when it comes to relationships.
My Out-dated Courtship Principles
I’m really aware that people see me as ‘old school’ in so many ways. I know that dating in the modern world with out-dated principles is hard. But why do most people see it hard?
If there will be a guy who will come forward and say that he is willing to pursue me using an out-dated yet godly ways, I will be willing to give that person a chance. Believe me. But if guys will keep coming into my life with their shallow, funny and irresponsible ways, people will never see me settle down soon. It’s just a waste of time for me. Really. And I don’t see myself happy while doing those things.
The book I Kissed Dating Goodbye is not the reason why I wait like this, but it has almost everything that I want courtship to become – God-glorifying. And what’s wrong with that?
Right now, I am reading the book “The Old Fashioned Way: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Romance” and it’s making me hold firmly to the way I see courtship.
I am already 25 and never had a boyfriend, but who cares? Whether I’ll marry or not, I am happy. 😊 And if someday you’ll laugh at me because I’m still single at the age of 30 because I keep on holding on to my old-fashioned principles, I will still smile back at you. This is where I am truly happy. I want to glorify God while waiting. And I will never regret having this kind of standard in dating.
A Woman’s Question
Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the Hand above?
A woman’s heart, and a woman’s life—
And a woman’s wonderful love.
Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
With a reckless dash of boy.
You have written my lesson of duty out,
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bars of my woman’s soul
Until I shall question thee.
You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart be true as God’s stars
And as pure as His heaven your soul.
You require a cook for your mutton and beef,
I require a far greater thing;
A seamstress you’re wanting for socks and shirts—
I look for a man and a king.
A king for the beautiful realm called Home,
And a man that his Maker, God,
Shall look upon as He did on the first
And say: “It is very good.”
I am fair and young, but the rose may fade
From this soft young cheek one day;
Will you love me then ‘mid the falling leaves,
As you did ‘mong the blossoms of May?
Is your heart an ocean so strong and true,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.
I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.
If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook
You can hire and little to pay;
But a woman’s heart and a woman’s life
Are not to be won that way.