Book Review: Love & Respect

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (September 1, 2004).

Book Image

As always, there’s an interest in marriage, and especially Biblical-defined marriage on this blog. To that end, this book is of interest given its popularity. As requested by Jeff, here is a review.

Eggerichs makes the whole basis of his book one verse in Ephesians: However, you also, everyone, let each one love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she give deference to the husband. (Ephesians 5:33) In doing that he attempts to describe it using two acronyms in order to avoid the conflict in marriage that the author calls “The Crazy Cycle”: COUPLE and CHAIRS. In using the COUPLE acronym in relationship to men loving women, Eggerichs points to Closeness, Openness, Understanding, Peacemaking, Loyalty, and Esteem. In using the CHAIRS acronym in relationship to women respecting men, the author refers to Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship, and Sexuality.

At 324 pages, this book offers an incredibly repetitive view of one Scripture and could have been shortened considerably. To that end, Eggerichs pulls in other Scriptures, but often pulls them wildly out of context to support his views. The author ignores other Scriptures in order to attempt to make his message more palatable to the world and to the sensibilities of women. In addition, the book offers a feelings-oriented, psychologically-based view instead of a factual-based covenant view of marriage as described in the Bible with the goal to honor God. Eggerichs comes close to this idea in the final chapters (“The Rewarded Cycle”), but falls short in relating this. This is a New York Times bestseller, and if the world loves you, watch out!

While the book contains some kernels thrown towards the men in the name of “respect”, the book fits the definition of traditional feminist marriage to a tee. The book offers no solid discrete Biblical definition of either “love” or “respect”, nor addresses Biblical submission of the wife to the husband sufficiently. Submission is defined as the husband’s responsibility to “protect and provide”, whereby the woman submits by simply accepting what he is expected to do by her will.

The bulk of the good in this book is found in the final chapters in that Eggerichs rejects the idea of the wife being the husband’s Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, the message to men is that “loving their wives as Christ loved the Church” is that they are to be doormats (or worshipers) to women in the guise of chivalry in order to allow her to “change” him. This book encourages the average immaturity of women, and places them as the sole beneficiary of the marriage. Ultimately, respect becomes as described by Dr. Laura in terms of praise and appreciation for all the good “tricks” her husband does to service her every whim.

Finally, Eggerichs shows a poor understanding of marriage and of the natures of men and women in general. He misses the import of what happened to Eve, Adam’s resulting sin and God’s resulting judgment (Genesis 3:17: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife” [rather than God]). He rather misses the rebellious nature of women in buying into the “women as responders” doctrine – “if he would just love her sufficiently, she would fall in line and respect him”.

The reviews of the book on Amazon illustrate a number of other topics that Eggerichs refused to deal with, such as the erroneous view that women need to be respected rather than honored (her desire that her husband submit to her, not existing in Scripture). The average state of rebellion that women exist in before God is a major issue of marriage, but sadly is not dealt with in this book in the name of “respect”.

Overall, this book is another excellent manual of what Blue Pill marriage (Marriage 2.0) looks like. While excellent as a chronicle of such things, it is ultimately useless for advice in dealing with the real and numerous obstacles the society, the churches, women, blue-pill men, and other entities have placed on men who have desired a God-honoring meaningful marriage that bears fruit to His Name.

Rating: 3 out of 10.

Book Cover Image Source: Amazon

The Traditional Male Role On Full Display

I’ve taken great pains over the course of this blog to describe the traditional female and traditional male gender role, and have even come up with this graphic to describe the nature of traditional marriage:

Note that I have the woman in a deific role, while the man is in a chattel role. This means the woman is thought of as a god, while the man is thought of as a worshipper, who exists as long as he is useful to a woman and then is ultimately thrown into the fire to be burned.

Ultimately with male mother need conditioning both parties from birth, both parties are willing throwing themselves into this arrangement. Women are raised to believe that their will, whims and fancy are supreme and that all needs to be fulfilled, and they are pointed to the men in their lives. Men are raised to believe that the entire worth of their lives is wrapped up in the approval of and service of women. They are taught that women are greater and men are lesser, and that consequently men are put on this earth to serve women. Women are not the image of man anymore, but beyond images of God (gods themselves). Men are not the image of God anymore, but useful tools put on this earth to serve the gods in the flesh with the construct of Marriage 2.0 as the vehicle to do so.

This leads us into a video entitled “Chad Prather: There Is Nothing Toxic About REAL Masculinity”. (H/T Boxer)

This marks the second video I’ve encountered now in the history of this blog that I couldn’t get through all the way without losing my lunch. This is the “real” masculinity that the blue-pill idiots espouse:

Respect to a woman is a deference to her. It is manliness. That’s why I bow. That’s why I open the door. Whatever you want, I got it.

What is a man? What is masculinity? It is the bowing of my head to you, it is the bowing of my will to you. That’s what a man is. That’s what masculinity is.

You yield to the will of the woman. That’s a real man…

See the slaves/cucks extolling the virtues of their own enslavement. Gentlemen, if you didn’t believe me in modeling what marriage is, believe this:

  • These are the “good men” and “real men” that you are expected to become in “marriage”.
  • Her will is supreme and she has her friends, family, church and the full force of the court system to back it up if you don’t submit to her.
  • The courtship and marriage exists to train and vet your ability to submit to a woman.
  • This is not a facet of modern feminism. Before the advent of the divorce court and child support enforcement, women used societal disapproval to punish non-compliance where the man became persona non-grata to everybody. The only difference is that Christ and the Church was replaced with the State.
  • Part of the delusion of traditional marriage is the idea that the man is the “head” of his family and that the wife will be a good loving wife who will submit to you. This “Driving Miss Daisy” submission is the hallmark of traditional marriage, where the woman in the backseat tells the driver to go somewhere and he does it.
  • Marriage 2.0 is far from Scriptural or God-honoring. His design was not for men to take women as their gods over Him, following after the sin of Adam (Genesis 3:17).
  • She is not really in love with you, but what you can do for her. Once you become useless to her, you will see exactly how “in love” she ever was with you. The marriage you thought you had will prove the sham that it always was.
  • Part of marriage is that women gain all the rights and men gain all the responsibilities. You have the burden and cost of the marriage while she doesn’t have to do anything for you in return. Everything will be your fault, while nothing she does will ever be taken into account.
  • If you are Christian and think Christian women don’t do this or believe this way, think again!

I can keep going, but the point is made. There is nothing honorable in the sight of God about “marriage” in this day and age to the point that it’s a falsehood to call it that. Men, you have nothing to gain and everything to lose in this day and age by marrying a woman.

To clarify, I’m not telling you to not marry, as I always believe it’s the man’s own choice in the end. I’m just telling you the facts on the ground, as it were. The Red and Blue Pill are before you – it’s the question of which one you will take.

Christian Homeschooling: Raising Children or Controlling Them?

Hush now, baby, baby, don’t you cry
Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you
Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through
Pink Floyd, Mother

Last time, courtship as it practically takes hold from doctrine was discussed.

While discussion of these things has centered on Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye, the idea of courtship and the thinking behind it exists in many other places (groups like ATI, Vision Forum and SGM; anything connected to teachers like John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Matt Chandler; or in Christian homeschool literature – Harris, Pride, McDonald, Lindvall, the Ludys, the Botkins) the linkage between the homeschooling movement (specifically Christian homeschooling) is undeniable given that this is Joshua Harris’ background for his whole life. To wit:

Courtship is very much active among Christian homeschoolers. Harris’ book is in high demand. I am on several homeschool email lists and when the topic of courtship comes up, ikdg is always recommended. When I say the topic of courtship is discussed, it doesn’t mean the homeschoolers are discussing whether courtship is right or wrong, good or bad. They are only discussing how to present this to their kids, what books are good, how to go about it, etc. It is virtually “always” considered the only thing to do. Dating is never an option among almost all Christian homeschoolers.

This post will investigate the sins of the parents and church leaders that precipitated “the courtship problem”.

Practical Evaluation and Results
The motivations behind such homeschooling (as with any legalism, motivations are always important to examine) seems to turn into one of control, where information is filtered tremendously, where everything about the world is fastidiously avoided and vilified. In other words, the parents can not offer anything better to their children than other options, but do it anyway out of abject fear. Consequently, everything is evaluated through the lens of this fear and paranoia, sacrificing honest evaluation of what is best for the child along with honest evaluation of what is being taught them and done for them. This desire of parents to control every aspect of their children leads into courtship:

Honestly, I believe that at our SG church, anyway, courtship was more about parents who wanted to control every aspect of their children’s lives than it was about actual purity. Purity may have been one of these parents’ well-intentioned goals for their kids, but purity can be accomplished in other ways, like equipping young adults to MAKE GOOD DECISIONS, rather than setting up a bunch of stringent rules for their kids to follow…and a weird artificial process for finding a mate.

Rather than equipping and preparing their children to deal with the world by developing and instilling self-control (Galatians 5:22-24) in them, they are sheltered and controlled. Instead of fostering an independent adult, dependence is fostered. This comes out in the general naivete most homeschoolers possess, along with the general lack of social skills that are gained by having to deal with others outside the watchful eyes of their family. It should be a question of concern given that the typical homeschool environments arguably enabled the SGM sex scandals, especially the concealment of them. This lack of social skills undeniably extends to matters of male-female interaction for marriage prospects:

When singles don’t have these social skills it makes them more dependent and easily controlled by their parents. Without having the opportunity to develop the interacting skills needed to meet a mate, they can become dependent on their parents and others in finding a mate. I value the opinions and input of others on finding a mate but seriously question if parents should be the ones deciding who you should marry.

The Sin of Fear

Hush now, baby, baby, don’t you cry
Mama’s gonna make all of your nightmares come true
Mama’s gonna put all of her fears into you
Mama’s gonna keep you right here under her wing
She won’t let you fly but she might let you sing
Mama’s gonna keep baby cosy and warm
Pink Floyd, Mother

With the motivation of homeschooling and courtship clear, that in many it represents a living by sight instead of by faith (2 Cor 5:7), it becomes interesting to look at Scripture. At this point, the idea of fearing the Lord or a wife fearing her husband should be dispelled, as those things are Scripture. Fear here is anxiety or worry. Fear exists in the absence of faith in the Lord (Psalm 78:17-23; Revelation 21:8). When fear happens, lack of trust in the Lord happens. Lack of faith brings judgment.

Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: (Psalm 78:20-22)

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Fear leads from a number of sources, but notably fear leads into other sins. The typical responses to fear are to control the situation (domination) or complete resignation (desolation). David with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12) is a notable example of the first, Elijah (1 Kings 19) a notable example of the second.

What Is the Proper Response?
Here for a parent, it is notable how the Father responds to us. Guide yes, discipline yes, advise yes, control no. Be mindful that it is “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6 – the Hebrew is interesting in this one. Clarke translates it “Initiate the child at the opening (the mouth) of his path.”), not “Train up a child in the way you want him to go”. Your children don’t belong to you and their hearts don’t belong to you. You are not their Lord and God.

I find it interesting that Scripture can be applied to speak to the creation of marriage (an ADULT decision) in this way, using the term busybody or meddler (1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:15), or speaking evil and judging (James 4:11; Romans 14:13). Courtship makes a potential marriage relationship about the parents and not about the two involved, and in this way quite qualifies as meddling. As for such matters, it is notable in a number of states that there are anti-meddling laws with respect to marriage (Alienation of Affection). Also (for those that have interest in such matters), the Catholic church will have issue with such marriages formed via courtship.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Bring your fears to God. Don’t take them out on your children. One or two more posts from here. Next will look at some anti-courtship literature. . .

Related:
Death to CourtshipA Case Thrown Out Of CourtshipGrift Your HeartsCourtship: The Background and Negative OutcomesCourtship: Extending Parents Protection Beyond Homeschooling?

Courtship: Rotten Stinking Fruit

Previously, the moral attitudes expressed in Joshua Harris’ book I Kissed Dating Goodbye were discussed. Some of the practices stemming from such things, along with the effects will be discussed here. Most who have followed this blog and others will know where this heads. Effectively, as traditional feminism goes, the process of going to the altar for marriage is always to prepare a man to accept female domination (she breaks it off if it does not occur). Namely, the system that stems from this is called courtship, as in knights of the court. Harris’ version could be considered as such a thing on steroids, which unfortunately is what is meant these days when “court” is referred to by others.

(2015-08-17) I-Kissed-Dating-Goodbye

Dating Is A Dirty Word
One constant you will find in the courtship movement, stemming from these teachings, is a vilification of dating, and Harris is no exception. Contrasting his chapter on why dating is defective with the rest of the book, Harris neglects to address any of the obvious deficiencies, which is especially telling since courtship exacerbates many of his “dating” problems. Courtship is perfect and is God’s plan. Dating is not. Courtship is not for fun. Dating is about personal gratification and an end in itself. It brings all kinds of temptation to sin. No distinction between casual dating and dating to determine suitability (long-term dating) is even made. If you date, you’re bad, evil, and sinful. It is mindful to remember that this kind of blindness in the minds of “Christian” leaders and parents has contributed to this mess.

Enter the FRIEND ZONE!
To begin in the system laid out by Harris, contact with the opposite sex should generate friendship. As Harris notes as a problem with dating, it skips the “friendship” stage (1). Remember, the goal is to maintain emotional purity and not create situations where intimacy can happen. Harris states that intimacy and friendship are confused, so the difference must be known (2). The answer presented to this is that interaction may only occur in groups. (3) Harris gives an example where a young woman called and cancelled a gathering with a man because the others cancelled and they would be by themselves. Further examples of this practice:

(regarding two church members, a single man and a single woman)
Back to the story: The man was driving down a local roadway when he saw the woman on the side of the road, her car broken down and she was in very obvious need of outside help. She saw the man, recognized him, he recognized her, and to her shock he drove right by. When the man was confronted later about leaving his sister in Christ on the side of the road to fend for herself, he responded by saying that he was “fleeing the appearance of evil,” was torn up inside about leaving her, but said he feared verbal reprisal from church leadership over it.

The deliberate plan is to create and legislate a friend zone which all men must enter and observe, at pain of the fear of God. Now given the nature of traditional feminism, you get a legion of male beta orbiters as a result, out to try and get noticed by the women. All they can do is hover around, be friendly when spoken to, but try not to be seen as seeking intimacy by being forward in seeking a woman’s attention and time (and possessing self-respect), and hoping a woman will notice them enough to take interest. Any more brings the wrath of the parents and the church down.

This falls into the standard feminist dogma that the man should supplicate to the woman and if he works hard enough and serves her just right, she’ll accept him. Note the difficulty is increased by women with these same teachings in their minds running from any chance of this within their church groups. Of course, outside is always another story. Interestingly enough, the group-only system (no one-on-one communication) exacerbates the problem Harris notes with dating, as how well can you get to know a person in this way to be able to know if you have interest in anything further?

This passivity is also taught directly (4) in terms of the story of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24), which is where a lot of the “God will bring the perfect man or woman into your life at the right time” teaching goes (Ruth is also used). This is also a common thread of “True Love Waits” movement. It is notable that with God, faith is always rewarded in action, but since action creates temptation for sin in this system, action is always a sin.

Let Me Be Your Supplicating Beta Tool
Now if the man in this situation happens to get a woman to notice him, our beta orbiter gets to graduate to a supplicating beta. Let us remember that commitment in the minds of these people is marriage, so if the man is to pursue this woman, he must be ready to marry her right away with limited to no communication, and limited to no knowledge of this woman, incumbent on her approval of course. Any failure of the venture to proceed directly to marriage (courtship periods must be short) becomes “defrauding” the woman.

A courtship venture begins by the man asking the woman’s father/parents for his approval to “court” his daughter. (5) It may be many months of the man measuring up to the woman’s family’s expectations (“Dance Little Piggy, show you’d do anything for her!) before they get to formally court. When it comes time to formally court, it’s done under the watchful eye of her parents and others, who can break it off at any time. Notably if this sounds a bit like arranged marriage, it does, and interesting enough, many in the courtship movement speak approvingly of such things.

I’m also reminded of shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette, in remembering one of Harris’ reasons dating is defective: That it creates an artificial environment for evaluating another person’s character (6). Courtship does it in a worse way, as it much more of an environment where “the best foot is always put forward” and people can be fake in the name of appearances, hiding themselves from their prospective spouses.

Friend or Wife, Nothing In Between
I’ll conclude this post with a quote, summarizing it all:

The courtship system places far too much heaviness on male-female interactions because it creates an artificial, either/or mentality. Either a guy must treat a girl “like a sister,” or else he is sinning, or else he enters into a courtship with her. And a courtship isn’t merely “dating,” as Josh Harris has made clear in both of his books. Courtship is “interaction with a purpose, which is the intent of exploring the potential for marriage in a relationship.” Courtship as I saw it play out at my former church also involved a great deal of parental supervision and direction.

If that ain’t heavy, then she’s your sister! 🙂

It just seems like if there were some middle ground – a place where guys could acknowledge that they find women attractive or alluring, and even spend time with them that wasn’t automatically geared toward marriage OR viewed as “casual and therefore sinfully lustful” – then maybe this wouldn’t be such a huge “thing.”

When faced with a hands-off or marry her NOW environment with the force of both parental discipline and church discipline, no wonder most men are just sitting on the sidelines in the church environment. Until next time, when the topic will be the motivations behind all of this from the parents (specifically centering on the homeschool movement).

(1) I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris p 34 (2) ibid p 128. (3) ibid p 94. (4) ibid p167. (5) ibid p215. (6) ibid p41.

Here’s Why Christian Mating Is So Messed Up.

As discussed last time, the doctrine represented within I Kissed Dating Goodbye and the popularity of that book. While much of the results of the doctrine have already been addressed in numerous posts here, it is useful to address it in a more formal way. It’s always good to note that practice always begins with moral doctrine, and this post will address that.

(2015-08-17) I-Kissed-Dating-Goodbye

Lowering the Bar
Much of the whole issue brought up in the entire book is typified in what Harris presents in the first chapter. He begins the first chapter with the story of a marriage ceremony. But it takes an interesting turn:

But as the minister began to lead Anna and David through their vows, the unthinkable happened. A girl stood up in the middle of the congregation, walked quietly to the altar, and took David’s other hand. Another girl approached and stood next to the first, followed by another. Soon, a chain of six girls stood by him as he repeated his vows to Anna. (1)

Harris then goes on to describe the source of this scenario.

Anna told me about her dream in a letter. “When I awoke, I felt so betrayed,” she wrote. “But then I was struck with this sickening thought: How many men could line up next to me on my wedding day? How many times have I given my heart away in short-term relationships? Will I have anything left to give my husband? (2)

Note the bar is lowered from sexual purity (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:18) in dealing with the opposite sex to an emotional one. In other words, it is taught in Christian circles (over the last 2-3 generations now) that if any emotional attachment is generated, then it becomes a breach of the sanctity of marriage.

Emotional Purity
Harris couches this in terms of the selfish pursuit of short-term romance and calls it “sinning against one another”. (3) While it makes sense from a certain point, practicality negates it. Much of what Harris writes is in terms of maintaining purity and blamelessness before God in terms of opposite-sex interaction. He goes on to define this purity by the idea of seeking commitment before intimacy (4), going on to say that intimacy is the reward of commitment (5) and that intimacy “costs” commitment (6). In this sense, he goes on to describe this purpose to be marriage. (4) In other words, commitment is marriage, and commitment is required before any emotional attachment or interest can take hold.

Regular readers of this blog will be reminded that this is exactly how pornography is treated within marriages in the church.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

Using this Scripture, marriage breaking adultery in these circles is reduced to an emotional feeling of lust towards a woman. If the wife even thinks the husband is looking at another woman, it becomes grounds for her to break up the marriage.

Retroactive Marriage
Harris applies this to the seeking of a mate, creating a retroactive state of marriage. In other words, you may be committing adultery with someone else’s wife and against yours, if you hit on the wrong woman. In effect, much of the attitude of the EAP with overly high standards who are told that God has the perfect man for them out there (Harris also echoes high standards – 7), and the marriage with Jesus.

Since emotional purity is considered paramount in Harris’ paradigm, the idea of “guarding one’s heart” is brought up. This comes in the form of not only maintaining emotional purity, but watching out for others in the same way (8). As one might be able to figure out, it is a bit different than the Scriptural meaning (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:17-20). This is done by appropriating examples of physical intimacy and writing emotional intimacy over them (9). While much of what is indicated is appropriate, such as avoiding situations where sin is possible (9), and that big sins take little steps (10) by using the example of David and his sin with Bathsheba, the conflation of thought with sin becomes a problem when it is coupled with the paradigm of emotional intimacy.

This is especially true in looking at Harris’ material. While he points out that physical intimacy can easily be “mistaken” for love (11) and that David’s problem was that he “lusted” Bathsheba, the conflation of emotional and physical confuses matters:

Next, the relationship often steamrolls towards intimacy. Because dating doesn’t require commitment, the two people involved allow the needs and passions of the moment to take center stage. The couple doesn’t look at each other as possible life partners or weigh the responsibilities of marriage. Instead, they focus on the demands of the present. And with that mindset, the couple’s physical relationship can easily become the focus. (12)

The mere fact of being attracted to a member of the opposite sex becomes “mistaking lust for love”, which makes being attracted to a member of the opposite sex a sin in the name of guarding one’s heart. Given this expectation outlined by Harris, since attraction can lead to infatuation, which is displacing God as the focus of one’s affection (idolatry), avoiding attraction becomes incumbent. (13)

Harris further states that “guarding one’s heart” involves preventing lust. As he writes of lust: “For example, when I as a single man look on a woman who is not my wife (which right now means every woman) and immorally fantasize about her, I am lusting; I am setting my heart on something God has placed off limits.” (14) While the linkage between lusting and coveting is obvious in Scripture (Exodus 20:17; Romans 7:7), the concept of sexual possession gets lost in Harris’ text when bounced against emotional intimacy. Guarding one’s heart against lust becomes eliminating even the possibility of lust.

So in other words, being attracted to the member of the opposite sex that’s not your spouse becomes sinful to act upon. Therefore, in children (2-3 generations now), parents, youth pastors, leaders, and the like drum these kinds of things into their heads continually, enforcing them vigorously as well. Here’s why Christian dating is messed up . . .

Legalism Supporting Traditional Feminism
Much of the problem with looking at Harris’ material is, that like most false teaching, it seems reasonable, and in a certain way is good in isolation, taken in the proper way, evaluated against Scripture. But bounce them against this emotional intimacy error (extra-Biblical), and it then becomes an issue where mating and attraction becomes stifled in the fear of God, even to the point that single men and women fear each other to the point of obvious sin. Take people running with the things written to extremes and you get legalistic requirements to “maintain purity” before God which are far beyond His expectation. It seems obvious given our physical natures and requirements that attraction is not sinful, but a necessity in making marriages happen. Again, for those Christians reading this: Being attracted to a member of the opposite sex is okay. Attraction is not sinful.

Traditional feminism seems to play a part in this as well, which Harris reinforces (15). The fantasy of the damsel in the tower isn’t so pure and preserved if multiple princes leave the Princess there instead of rescue her and give her a “and they lived happily ever after.”

Continuing . . .
The desire of the parents to make the fairy tale come true at all costs, among their other desires, has unfortunately burned the whole thing down for those who have been indoctrinated in it. Given the 2-3 generations, we now have 20, 30, and even 40 year olds paying the price for this. Unfortunately, rather than fixing this and the other problems introduced by the “leadership” regarding dating, their only answer is to issue hateful man-up rants to the men. The next post will investigate Harris’ paradigm in practice, along with the effects of it upon those who are “Christians”.

(1) I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris p 17-18. (2) ibid p 18. (3) ibid p 26. (4) ibid p 23. (5) ibid p32. (6) ibid p77. (7) ibid p135. (8) ibid p97. (9) ibid p19. (10) ibid p88. (11) ibid p35. (12) ibid p36. (13) ibid p141. (14) ibid p143. (15) ibid 214-215.

Book Review: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance. Joshua Harris. Multnomah Books. 1997.

(2015-08-17) I-Kissed-Dating-Goodbye

I Kissed Dating Goodbye is not an unfamiliar thing to readers of this blog, as it has been referenced repeatedly in posts done here (“Related” link set to come) and elsewhere in relation to the common problems that have been noticed in inherently Christian environments. While I have not read the book until now, this book and the contents within have been incredibly popular to the point that I had a very good idea of what to expect, to the point that most of the “problems” have already been addressed previously on this blog in some form. But I thought it would be interesting to directly look into the book for a more formal evaluation.

Harris writes with the understanding that dating is flawed and against the word of God, and aims to offer something better. He begins with his view that dating is flawed because it is not done in service to God’s glory and other people, especially that purity is not maintained within dating. He then describes his reasons why dating is defective, like lack of commitment, romance being made the cornerstone, allowing for lust, isolating the couple, distracting from preparing for the future, discontentment, and creating an artificial environment.

He then describes attitudes which he believes avoids “defective dating”, which includes changing the view of love to reflect the modeling of Christ’s love, treating unmarried years as a gift from God, seeking commitment over intimacy, and avoiding situations that would compromise purity.

Harris then describes his plan for living with these new attitudes that he proposes. He starts with his suggestions for building a godly lifestyle. Then he describes his views on how to be friends with women, and guarding one’s heart. Harris then describes his suggestions on dealing with others on the decision to not “date”. Then he describes what a single person should be doing with their time in lieu of seeking “dating” relationships both to honor God, and prepare for marriage. Finally, Harris describes his view of marriage and standards of selecting a wife, and how a person should deal with the “courting” process.

While offering many good items for thought, this book is colored by both the experience that Joshua Harris’ age (a 21 year old who was homeschooled his whole life) brings to the table, along with the sense that this was more of a testimonial book than a doctrine book. This makes it much more fit for a teen environment than for those who are older. Much of this book offers good ideas that can be taken under advisement and evaluated in a sober way (and have been echoed here and other places in the manosphere), but offers very little true Scriptural backing. Furthermore, obvious deficiencies of his suggestions are not discussed (it seems clear that his method not only shares a handful of his “defective dating” problems, but exacerbates them), giving the perception that these things are “perfect” suggestions.

Sadly enough, Churchians have taken things from this book and run with them to the point of legalism. Given the content of this book, what has been done with it, and the endorsements within (Rebecca St. James wrote the foreword, and Elisabeth Eliot is highly spoken of), the content is obviously a statement of the doctrine of the “True Love Waits” movement. To add to that, it’s interesting that while Josh is married today, it appears that he did not follow his own advice in the course of doing this upon research.

Consequently, while this presents a decent voice among many guides through the dating realm, the couple of Scriptural errors that permeate the book derail the book. Coupled with the legalism exhibited by others in popularly using what has been written in this book (IKDG is almost the buzz term for this doctrine now), it has contributed to the typical dysfunction in mating that has widely permeated that environment. In that sense, it presents a chronicle of how mating in the church has gotten so messed up. Exactly how that happened will present forthcoming posts.

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Image Source: Amazon.com

Related mentions of I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Manufacturing Singleness (Part 1)Manufacturing Singleness (Part 2)Where Have All The Good Women Gone?Some Problems In Christian Dating

Prejudice Is The Problem

Previously, the idea of the burden of judgment was brought up. The burden is such that we are too easily influenced in terms of the penalty or even executing that penalty. This is illustrated in the wisdom that has evolved in the justice system where jury, sentence, and execution are all divided so that no one person decides these things. I heard the question of what the punishment will be by more than one juror, and the only proper answer was the old phrase “that’s above our pay grade”. Just like deciding guilt was above the judge’s pay grade, and execution is above both the jury and judge’s pay grade. In such a system when it is righteous, it recognizes our weaknesses – our tendency for blood lust, and our tendency to be lenient to those we identify with. That said, none of it is easy and in the light of judgment of conscience, no one claimed that it was anything other than “very hard”.

Justice: Balanced and Blind (Source: Wikipedia.org)
Justice: Balanced and Blind (Source: Wikipedia.org)

Righteous judgment is a burden, which primarily involves objectivity, and impartiality. Scripture bears this out in spades. Firstly, it speaks of waiting to make up your mind until you’ve heard the whole story:

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. (Proverbs 18:13)

I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. (Job 29:16)

Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? (John 7:54)

The other issue to bring to light is impartiality in terms of not holding favor to one party for other reasons than the case at hand.

Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; . . . And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. (Exodus 18:21-22) [the concept of the multi-tiered judicial system]

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. (Leviticus 19:15)

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. (Proverbs 24:23)

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

Justice is supposed to be completely impartial, but is also the place where the righteous are defended against the wicked (Psalm 82:2-4), especially the righteous weak against the wicked powerful. Righteous justice is the place where equality reigns. No matter what place you come from, or what you are. Impartiality is so prized that we were not supposed to talk to anyone else involved in the trial, nor discuss the case before the deliberations with the jury or talk about it period before the verdict was handed down.

If you followed this blog, you know where this is going. I mentioned in the previous post that this was an alleged pedophile.

This happened to be a woman.

Part of judging objectively with others is not bringing your prejudices to the party. When I talked about what I was doing, I left out the sex of the person as I should (and pushed myself to during the presentation of the case). It’s notable that two different people automatically interjected the word “he”. Women are good and men are bad.

So a woman could NEVER do such a thing. Right? Right?

This question blared in my mind during the trial. Is this woman being treated the same as if it were a man in that chair? If this woman is guilty, will she be sentenced the same as if she is a man and not get the p**** pass? If the victim were not a young girl, would it have even been considered?

Women are chaste, angelic beings who are closer to Godwho could never do evil things, at least not without being pushed. Men are chattel put on this earth to provide and protect for women as penance for the evil sin of being born a man.

Prejudices like what I encountered above, are what men are running into with marriage, and what are creating the buzzsaw of the family courts. Prejudices like this are what is driving rape culture, where all men are seen as potential rapists. Prejudices like this are what causes men to not be seen as fathers and women as “natural mothers”. Prejudices like this are what causes the family courts to preserve the role of the husband in “traditional marriage” by requiring child support no matter what, but not requiring visitation of the children in return. Prejudices like this make people see a difference between what family courts do and traditional marriage. These prejudices are what causes so many blue-pill truths to stand, even in the vaunted manosphere. Unfortunately, prejudice is getting formed in the other direction, as well.

Prejudices like this color many of our judgments, and to be righteous it requires us to eliminate them. Being in these circles for three years found an interesting investigation into such matters. As discussed before, by necessity of this world, we cast judgments on many things. The two I mentioned failed in righteous judgment, as do many others. They did not hear the case fully, and by prejudice automatically assumed it was a man on trial.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2)

While discussed before, this verse found an interesting personification, that can be extended to any case and situation:

If I am in that defendant’s chair, would I want me as a juror, thinking the way I am?

My conscience was clean after the trial was over. I don’t believe I treated her any less nor any harsher because she was a woman. And while the case brought visions of Solomon to mind, I believe the right decision was arrived upon by this twelve. The Judge will be the one to decide all things in His appointed time, but He will in His loving-kindness, as the best possible job was done in that jury room.