Saturday, November 5, 2011

The (pseudo) Bro. Joshua Harris Syndrom

During my middle part of my youth days in the church, a book by Joshua Harris was published. The title of the book is "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". Yes, the title may sound eyebrow raising, but I bought the book and read it. As a summary, the book didn't discourage dating, but it illustrates the disadvantages of dating more than once (more than once meaning dating many times, not dating many person at once). I agree. Pastor Harris wrote the book when he was 21. It was written by a young man who is looking forward that he'll give up the dating game in order to focus on serving God (

When this book came out in the Philippines during the late 90s and on to the 2000, a school of thought existed upon reading this book and I dubbed "Joshua Harris syndrome". (just for the idea to stick, I admire and respect Pastor Harris). It is the mindset that a person will only date someone that he or she is very sure that he or she is the will of God. That, my friends, is an ideal thing to do. Now a Senior Pastor, Pastor Harris wrote a "forward looking" book.

Let me set this straight: the book was not written to shoo away suitors and admirers. It is not also written to be scared of entering into dating, and eventually, a relationship. It is not also written to point fingers that a Christian guy you know is either a playboy (allegedly or proven) or a "smooth operator". It is not written to accuse some Christian ladies of being a flirt plainly because she dated many men before. It is written so that young people will serve God better than it used to be. In other words, it's written for young people God in a genuine, not self righteous, and better manner.

Since we talked about dating, a Christian bachelor should take the risk by asking a Christian lady on a date, BUT he should make his intention known. Guys, please don't play safe. If the lady asked you why, make your intentions known. If she accepts, don't take advantage by going over the board. Respect, brother. If she rejects, respect her decision. By the way, dating should not be treated as a "game". Treat dating as a decision, not a bandwagon. This is the reason dating is not for kids, because it's not a game.

Typical Christian single ladies, just like typical single ladies, have their own dream guy. The only difference is that the fairy tale was changed into a Christianized form of it. Prince Charming was now changed into Mr. Ideal Christian. That Mr. Christian should not be like this and that. That Mr. Christian is this and that. Ladies, THERE IS NO MR. IDEAL CHRISTIAN, but there are Christian guys who, despite their negative tendencies, try to bounce back and "workout their Christian life" day by day. In short, Christian guys who live by God's grace.

I do believe that Pastor Joshua Harris wrote the book in good faith. He wants that every Christian singles out there find the right woman or right man with less painful experience of undergoing number of dates or to certain extent, relationships. At the end of the day, a bachelor or a single lady should keep the Christian ideals and values intact in his or her head and heart, but at the same time, accept the situation IF the date...or the relationship did not go right.

Dating per se is neither wrong nor right. It only becomes wrong when another Biblical rules are broken. Is dating Biblical? The Bible didn't mention "dating" verbatim because arranged marriage, political marriage, and serving the woman's family for years are the trend back then. Personally, if I lived during the Biblical times, I will adhere to the aforementioned practices of obtaining a mate. However, today's not the case here in the Philippines. So, does that mean dating is wrong? Not necessarily. As long as you date, you don't treat it as a joke. As long as you're ethical and you avoid situations that will lead you to fornication (guys, don't be aggressive. Ladies, don't flirt or imply flirtation).

Have a good weekend, single people. Enjoy in a wholesome manner. Despite my statements, still, I thanked Pastor Harris for the book he wrote when he was 21. It's a looking forward book. Again, have a good weekend.

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