Principles of i kissed dating goodbye
It inspired both praise—from the likes of purity matriarch Elisabeth Elliot and Focus on the Family—and book-length rebuttals.
Harris was already a popular speaker at conferences for Christian home-schoolers and had started his own magazine, but the book’s influence quickly outpaced its modest built-in audience—it has sold more than 1.2 million copies to date. You weren’t just not having sex, you were adopting “a revolutionary pattern of living” that would make you both a better Christian and, someday, a better spouse.
A bride is walking down the aisle toward her beloved on their wedding day.
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, written by Joshua Harris and first published in 1997, argued that traditional dating was “a training ground for divorce” because it puts people in the habit of quitting relationships when things get tough.
Aimed at teens and twentysomethings, the book discouraged teen relationships and proposed that courtship, in which a couple moves purposefully toward marriage with their parents’ blessing and involvement, was a superior model to dating.
“For the love of Joshua Harris, just please stop,” read a magazine column last year urging Christian men to quit with the lofty “marriage material” rhetoric and just ask women out on dates already.
As an article in the conservative Christian magazine put it in 2011, “Even Christians who don’t like the book feel forced to color within the lines Harris drew.” In other words, even those who don’t want to “kiss dating goodbye” will likely find themselves having to explain why not.
The foundational “fact” of purity culture was that having intercourse before marriage was wrong.