This is a scholarship essay I wrote last year about a book that changed my life...
In a book titled “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, Joshua Harris challenges young Christians to re-examine their views on relationships. Judging from the title, many people get the wrong idea of this book. No, he does not believe that dating is sinful. He compares dating to fast food restaurants. It’s not wrong to eat there, but why would you want to when something far better is available?
I grew up believing (as most people do) that dating is an essential part of being a teenager when in reality, dating in the traditional sense is one of the greatest obstacles that young women and men growing in Christ face. Joshua Harris’ book taught me that there is one simple solution: smart love. Smart love begins with the desire for God’s best, and by default, requires knowledge of and willingness to obey God’s rules. Smart love is a sincere God-focused love that is concerned for others. Since I was 16 years old, I’d been the “victim of dumb love”. It distracted me from my primary responsibilities and caused discontentment with God’s amazing gift of singleness.
Joshua Harris uses an analogy of a swerving cart (one that insists on going its own direction rather than being steered) to describe dating and after reading this book, I completely agree. I’ve concluded that for dating is a “swerver” for me and causes me to go in a direction different from the one God has mapped out for me.
This book has affected me so deeply that I’ve given up the ridiculous notion of defective dating. I’ve made it a point to include patience, purity, and grace in all of my relationships. As my youth minister once told me, “You don’t need to shop for what you can’t afford.” When the possibility of romance does enter my life, what a blessing it would be to have developed a life of purity! This book has taught me that patience is tough and purity is a struggle, but God’s grace is always available.
One of my favorite quotes from “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” is: “The Bible tells us the path of sin, particularly in regard to the wrong use of our sexuality, is like a highway to the grave. We shouldn’t get on it then try to stop before we arrive at the destination-God tells us to stay off that highway completely.” I’ve definitely started applying this to my life by taking advantage of my season of singleness. Finding the right person is a matter of working to become the right person, as well as trusting God to cover the “who” and “when” issues. God calls us to remain pure, take proper advantage of singleness, and build wholesome relationships that cause you to look at younger women and men as sisters and brothers in Christ.
To say Joshua Harris’ “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” changed my life would be an understatement. This book started a revolution in my heart!