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While “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” did influence the Christian dating culture, we of course can’t blame the full complex reality we’re living in on this one book.Whether it’s social media, the hook-up culture, or church pressure, modern dating is complex and difficult.But I think that in avoiding this potentially messy part of life, we miss out on the chance to learn about and practice discipline, integrity, obedience, responsibility, seeking God's will, and following God's unique direction for each of our lives and relationships.I think the goal should be honoring God, not avoiding pain or responsibility.There are no easy answers here — whether it's kissing dating goodbye, following some "Rules," or adopting any other 1-2-3 formula for relational success — there's only a God who desperately desires for each and every one of us to be in an intimate relationship with him.In my view, that's the only true source for healthy male-female relationships.

So instead of learning to do it well, some would have us just not date altogether.

Finally one day when we were at one of those romantic outdoor concert venues having a picnic together, I asked what on earth this relationship was if it wasn't dating.

After some hemming and hawing and at long last some good honest talk about expectations and getting caught up in semantics, we finally came to the conclusion that dating wasn't necessarily the root of all evil, that it could be done in a God-honoring way — and, in fact, that we were pretty much doing that already.

I remember my parents reading “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris when it first came out in 1997 — and to this day it still sits on their bookshelf. Now, 21 years later, Harris is publicly apologizing for the book.

Like many conservative Christian families, we, at least initially, agreed with much of what was in the book, and it was my parents’ goal that my sisters and I would follow some sort of road between casual dating and Harris’ courtship model.

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I've seen these non-dating philosophies used as a way to escape responsibility and commitment.

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