Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Boy Meets Girl"

I recently finished reading Joshua Harris' book entitled Boy Meets Girl. Since this book flows against the grain of modern views about dating, it was both challenging and interesting to read.

Ever since reading Harris' previous book (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), I have been thinking about what responsibilities Christian parents have in guiding their children toward a godly marriage. To make it personal, I have a 14-year-old daughter who I want to guide and assist in honoring the Lord as she moves toward marriage (if that is what God has for her).

I have come to the conclusion that the modern concept of dating is nothing more than unbiblical divorce practice. Although dating cannot be supported by anything at all in the bible, most churched-people go right along with secular America in accepting this practice. Some Christians even get angry in defending their children's right to date. I can't figure it out.

Alice and I hope to convince all our children that courting is the biblical model and what honors God. Courting, if done well, honors God by keeping both the young man and woman pure while they purposely get to know one another. By acting this way, if they do get married they will have no regrets. If they do not get married, then they will be able to part ways knowing that they have honored the Lord and each other as brother and sister in Christ.

Boy Meets Girl was wonderful for me to read because it confirmed for me that what Alice and I are trying to do is being done by others and has great results. This book is Harris' own story of his courtship of his wife, Shannon. It was so refreshing to read about a young couple who put the Lord first in the way they treated one another.

This is what Harris says about his book on his website: "I wrote Boy Meets Girl the year after I was married. It was a great chance to answer many of the questions that were raised by my first book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I know the last thing most singles want is more rules and, in Boy Meets Girl, I wanted to offer an alternative: an intentional, God-pleasing game plan for finding a future spouse. In the book, I discuss how biblical courtship (a healthy, joyous alternative to recreational dating) worked for me and my wife Shannon, to give an encouraging and practical example for readers wanting to pursue the possibility of marriage with someone they're serious about. This updated version includes a new foreword, a new chapter, an all-new '8 Great Courtship Conversations' section, and some updated material throughout."

I strongly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to parents. Courtship is a practice that all our families and churches should begin to promote as a biblical alternative to dating.





9 comments:

ProphetCat said...

I recently had a chance to speak with Joshua through a set of circumstances that only God could ordain. I have to say that he is one of the nicest people I have ever spoken with and seems to be terribly genuine. His family blessed mine in a way that I won't soon forget.

I haven't read this book yet, but I plan to. I think that courting is a much more Biblical way of meeting your future spouse than what our society currently espouses. Dr. Voddie Baucham hits on the same subject in a couple of his books as well.

kirsi s. said...

hi!

i agree. as a 20 year old college student, people think it is very strange that i don't want to "date". of course, i don't care whether it's called dating or courting, so long as the goal is to stay pure and glorify God in relationships that may lead to marriage. of course, i think making the distinction is also important as to not lead people to believe that me "dating" (in the secular way) is okay.

do you think using the word dating is bad? just curious, as my friends and i often discuss this.

Eric said...

ProphetCat,

Based on what I have read about and by Joshua Harris, I'm not surprised at all by how he treated you. I'm happy for you that you had such a positive experience.

I'm a big fan of Voddie Baucham, too.

Eric said...

kirsi s.,

Thanks for commenting.

I think the key is how you handle your relationships with men. What you actually name it probably doesn't really matter. On the other hand, most people have such an ingrained idea of what dating is that you might be fighting a battle to get them to understand what you really mean. If that is the case, then using courting might be the way to go.

God looks at the heart. What you name it won't matter as long as your behavior honors Him.

chandra said...

Hi Eric,
I actually have "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" checked out from the library right now. I am also hoping to guide Aaron into making Godly choices. It is so hard for teenagers to live a Godly life with so much going on around them.

Eric said...

Chandra,

I think you will really like the book. It is very pleasant to read because it is his story mixed in with biblical principles.

I agree with you that it is difficult to lead teens down a godly path. However, I also think God honors our efforts. We'll just have to pray a lot and give good guidance.

Steve240 said...

Just realize that Harris is giving a one side account of the system he is promoting. He talks about the defects with dating but fails to share the historical problems that have occurred with his system. He even observed problems at his own church that he doesn't share on his website.

I actually have a blog set up about the book:

www.ikdg.wordpress.com
I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Wisdom or Foolishness?

Am I saying that all of Harris's ideas are foolishness? No. I see a lot of wisdom in what he says but his books give a one sided, "one size fits all" account of his approach but fail to mention any of the problems that occurred with his approach.

IMO when you oversell something, you set a lot of people up to fail.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Steve240,

Thank you for your comments and for the information.

I'm sure courting does sometimes run into difficult issues. After all, we are all people with faults, having been brought up in many different settings.

The reason I appreciate what Harris has done is that nearly everyone in the USA either dates or gives approval to that system. Meanwhile, it is completely unbiblical. On the other hand, what Harris proposes can be supported by the biblical model and by the outcomes courtship aims for.

Is modern courtship perfect? No. Is it a far better option than dating? I think so.