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I Kissed Dating GoodBye
On the weekend we bought Rebecca, my 13-year-old, Joshua Harris' book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. She demolished it in less than a day (it's 214 pages long). She loved it.

I am one happy mother.

I read the book for the first time myself maybe seven years ago. I totally disagreed with him until about 2/3 of the way through when he won me over.

His premise is that dating is dumb and unChristian to boot. What we should be interested in is courtship--serious relationships with the intention of moving towards marriage. Anything that isn't going in that direction isn't right. There's too much room for temptation and heartache, and, even more importantly (and this is how he won me over), there's an opportunity cost to dating. When you're heavily involved in a relationship as a teen, even if you remain pure, you don't focus on friendships. You may forego missions trips because you don't want to be away from your girlfriend/boyfriend. You spend your life investing in someone else rather than investing in your relationship with God.

If this person is the right person for you, they will still be there when you're twenty or so and can begin to seriously think about marriage. So don't waste your prime growing years at 15 on dating.

I dated a lot in high school. I would never want my girls to date in the same way. I had my heart broken so many times, and stepped a bit over the line too many times. It was not good. But it was so much a part of who I was I couldn't picture my girls not dating.

But I've now grown used to the idea. My husband and I hadn't actually formulated a policy on dating until the last year or two, but other families that we're close to and that the girls talk to fairly frequently have the rule of no dating until 18.

So the day that Katie turned 9, I ran into her room and hugged her and said, "You're halfway there!". I meant halfway to being an adult. But she replied, "I know!!!! I'm halfway to being allowed to date!".

We had never told her she couldn't date. She just assumed it. And I thought, then and there, let's go with that.

But what we've now told our kids is, no dating until 16, at which point we will reopen the subject. I do think kids should be able to experience maximum freedom while they are still living at your home, rather than as soon as they go away to school, because then they can go crazy at school. But I want the no dating thing to be something they embrace on their own, not because it's a rule from us. Several of their friends have, so I'm hoping that's where their peer group from church takes them.

I do have several friends who started dating in high school and are now married. They would say that it worked for them. But I still think I'm with Harris on this one. It's a great book, and if you have a teen, maybe you should get them to read it, too.

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At 9:31 AM , Blogger Donnetta (momrn2) said…

We heard about the concept of courtship when our children were still babies. We knew we were sold.

Now that our children are pre-teens we should probably talk a lot more about!! I'm going to check into this book.

Thanks for the reminder! ;-)


At 10:09 AM , Blogger Terry said…

Think I just may be getting this for my girls- and VERY soon. They are 14, 13, 12, and 12. Sounds like now is the perfect time! Thanks Sheila for pointing this book out. I'd heard of it a few years ago but really hadn't thought about it anymore after that.


At 1:21 PM , Blogger Fuschia said…

My daughters's Sunday school class was talking about dating recently. The leader (a college student) said that she didn't really understand why the book they are using shared the story of Moses finding his wife. My 15 year old showed her that Moses wasn't out looking for a wife, he was out looking for God when God gave him a wife!

Yes, I was pretty blown away by her insight...and a bit proud!!

I guess it is working, after all!


At 1:44 PM , Blogger Steph said…

We've established a "no single dates till 18" rule here. She may go out with friends and in groups, but not singularly. My husband and I did courtship rather than dating, but I dated in highschool and wish I hadnt.


At 3:23 PM , Blogger Org Junkie said…

I read this book as well and appreciated his viewpoint.

My hubbie and I were high school sweethearts (together 20 years this year, married 13) yet I still think it was way to young.


At 4:45 PM , Blogger Catherine R. said…

I have read the book and there are some aspects that annoy me but overall, compared to the current trends of intimate relationships, it is a much more sane approach, I guess.

When I grew up as a non-believer I had many a tawdry relationship in middle school and high school. Then when I became a believer I found that every guy had read this book and that made them afraid of women to the point where they would actively avoid trying to get married...maybe it's just the few I spent time around. I don't know. Also, I am suspicious of the whole "gift of singleness" rhetoric...isn't that just adjusting Christian culture to the culture at large who is obsessed with delaying marriage for the wrong reasons?

Anyhow, it is a bit of a breath of fresh air in the current climate.


At 5:36 PM , Blogger Multiple Mom T said…

I haven't read the book, although it sounds promising. We've told our kids that we don't want them to date--that God has someone special out there for them and will show them that person when the time is right.

I agree about the teenage years--I had the same experiences and want to spare my children that unnecessary heartache. Courtship definitely seems to be the way to go.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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