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Thursday, January 28, 2010

A case for kicking premarital relationships out

Title: Kissing Dating Goodbye
Author: Joshua Harris
Reviewer: Dennis D. Muhumuza

In a world where promiscuity has seemingly become normal, one must admire Joshua Harris’ guts to write a book titled Kissing Dating Goodbye in which he argues a tight case that fornication and physical intimacy are dangerous and premarital relationships unacceptable to God. 

You’ll love or despise it depending on how strongly you feel about being in a romantic relationship or not. The author urges the youth to use their time to serve God first (seeking purity) until they are ready to commit to a relationship that will lead to marriage.

The book answers unanswered questions on when the right time to date is. It also covers the common controversial topic: Is it alright for born-again Christians to marry or date non born-agains? The author lists signs of superficial relationships and defective dating and shows you how to guard your heart.

Harris believes dating is a dangerous thing often driven by selfishness with many jumping in (casual relationships) to quench their lust, show off or out of the fear of the responsibility that comes with commitment.

He writes that in all matters of the heart, we should seek God’s guidance and try out the friendship stage - getting to know our partners well; otherwise jumping right into intimacy without commitment is like going mountain climbing with a partner and halfway up deciding you no longer want to hold your rope.

Simply put, the fleeting pleasures of casual relationships bring guilt of conscience and lead to heartbreaks. The ideal relationship, according to the author, is one in which the partners engage in “courting” or getting to know each other well until they realise they connect emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

And parents are better off being involved early for advice and accountability, he writes. For those who must date, Harris moots the idea of “group dates” to avoid the temptation or compromise that often comes with being out only with your date.

The book is not preachy. It’s an interesting read because it’s interspersed with real life stories that carry humbling lessons. Like the girl who gets a nightmare when on her wedding day her groom’s endless ex-girlfriends line up next to him, forcing him to admit to his bride that he left a piece of him to each of them and that there’s nothing he can do about it.

Many people jump from one relationship to another – a thing that comes back to haunt them when they choose to settle down and discover they cannot be satisfied by one partner because they have given themselves to many before.

Kissing Dating Goodbye is a book abstinence campaigners and others who cherish the ideal of purity will love. You have to read it to discover that singleness can actually be a beauty; after all it’s only temporary. In fact, after enjoying the freedom of singleness, Harris finally found his true love and is today happily married.
It will inspire those who are on the verge of conforming to remain steadfast. After all, taking the road less travelled, like one great poet wrote, makes all the difference.

--Sunday Monitor, January 10, 2010