CONFESSIONS OF A BOOKWORM: Part 2
In Part 1 of my ‘bookworm confession’ series, i spoke a little about the most important lessons i picked out of two of my most favorite books ‘Lady-in-waiting’ by Jackie Kendall & Debby Jones and ‘Following God’s plan for your life’ by my great-grand father in the faith-Reverend Kenneth Hagin. Please see my ‘CONFESSIONS OF A BOOKWORM:Part 1’ (at the bottom left side of this page) to read through my earlier confessions;-)
Book 3 #I KISSED DATING GOODBYE# by Joshua Harris
This is one book whose cover image and title caught my attention at first sight. I first came across this book at the Spiritual Library section of Covenant University library and decided to have a quick look. My quick look ended up as diligent skim reading so that after i dropped the book that day, I searched for it at every book store i knew until I finally got ‘moi self’ a copy. The first idea I drew from the book, was….”that as children of God at whatever stage of our lives, it isn’t very wise to pursue romantic relationships with the opposite sex when marriage is not or cannot be a reasonable end to that relationship”. I hope i said that right though but let me say it another way- I learnt from this book that any romantic relationship that doesn’t have marriage as a possible goal within a reasonable timeframe is very likely only a waste of time, especially for a child of God. Gbam#
Joshua Harris was one of the first Christian authors i read that clearly spoke about love, relationships and sex in scriptural terms that made much sense to me. Most of the Pastors i had heard before him talked about such ‘delicate matters’ in a way that made them seem like they were either embarrassed to talk about the subject or were just not in tune with the generation they were trying to teach. In advising against purposeless dating relationships, Joshua raised several important questions;
what is dating? Although the term dating has different meanings, especially in the western world, dating refers to a time when a person pursues a romantic relationship with another person without any real intentions of making the relationship more permanent. With this definition, Joshua pointed out that much of the dating relationships that we pursue are simply for the selfish intentions of satisfying our own emotional, psychological or physiological needs. People date cos they don’t want to feel lonely, not because they have any intentions of pursuing God’s will for their lives or even in order to be a blessing to another person. It’s simply a =n avenue to cultivate intimacy with one person until we tire of that person and then move on to the next person who tickles our fancy.
Is it biblical ?No, dating isn’t biblical in the strictest sense because there’s no portion of scripture that expressly defines what it means to ‘date’ neither is there one that encourages the attitude of selfishness that so characterises most dating relationships.
Is it wrong in the sense of being sinful, since scriptures don’t address it specifically? No dating isn’t exactly sinful because two people can be dating and not in anyway dishonour God through their words or actions.
Is it wise for a Christian just ‘to date’ someone for the sake of just having a romantic interest for however long of short a time? No, because the time and energy we end up investing in just ‘dating for the sake of dating’ could distract us greatly from developing several aspects of our lives/from investing our time and energy as single, unmarried individuals in developing our individual love relationship with God because we are constantly preoccupied meeting the demands of a romantic relationship.
The second idea i gleaned from this book is, If habit builds character, then the habit of mindlessly entering into any romantic relationship and then breaking up only to soon after enter into another romantic relationship does not help us develop the strength of character required to honour our marriage vows once we’ve made them. This is because, when we spend much of our teenage and early adult years becoming masters at building intimacy and terminating those intimate relationships whenever we feel like, that habit would already become a strong part of our character when we finally settle down in marriage. But if we get into the habit of weighing our decision to pursue romantic relationships and then attach a sense of purpose and importance to those relationships, we would in a way be helping to build the strength of character required to see our vows true. Yes, i don’t have hard evidence to prove that Joshua’s assertion in this area has been proven in our society, however, i believe it because it makes for a sound argument.
At the end, Joshua’s admonition was simple; the question of whether or not to date in a world that urges us to pursue romantic relationships whenever we feel we are ready to is one of choosing to do the wise thing of waiting till we are emotionally and spiritually ready to make a true commitment instead of settling for the acceptable thing of dating for dating sake. 1Corinthinans 10:23 (AMP) clearly states, “All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]“. This means that though we can date if we choose to, most of the time, if truth be told, dating relationships -where we cultivate intimate relationships with others with no realistic intentions of marriage, aren’t necessarily
BOOK 4#BOY MEETS GIRL# by Joshua Harris
This book is kind of like the sequel to the previous book ‘I kissed dating goodbye’. Whereas in ‘I kissed dating goodbye’, Joshua advised against pursuing purposeless romantic relationships, in this book; ‘Boy meets girl’, he talked about what he thought from the point of scriptures, a godly young man and woman should do when they finally think they are ready to pursue a purposeful romantic relationship.
Well in this book, Joshua chose the word courtship as the term to describe the period during which a man and a woman spend time building an intimate relationship with one another in order that they may then make an informed decision as to whether or not they were compatible enough to get married. The first idea i got out of this book is that ‘God still frowns against sexual activity outside of marriage and no matter how many days we are away from our wedding ceremony, we have no right to our partners body. Hebrews 13:4 (AMP) ‘Let marriage be held in honour (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous’. Somebody may say, of course Ify, you should have known that. Well, Joshua’s strong argument from scripture strengthened my faith. He made it clear, as children of God, we owe it to God to honor Him in our romantic relationships as in all other areas of our live and though it may seem fashionable now even in the church to start to ‘enjoy all the privileges of marriage’ before the marriage day, our heavenly father still expects us to honor Him by abstaining
The second idea i got from this book which is closely related to the first is that, children of God need to come to terms with the fact that our being spiritually minded does not disable our physical desire for physical intimacy with the one with whom we are in a romantic/intimate relationship with, hence we as children of God have to consciously guard against the situations, attitudes and circumstances that make it easy for us to fall prey to sexual temptation. To translate what I’m saying in Nigerian pidgin ” Body no be fire wood”. You and your partner must guard each others purity by making a conscious decision to monitor your physical involvement. Yes, a degree of physical affection will definitely surface and steadily grow as both f you become more and more intimate, BUT, you both must watch your actions and intentions closely so as not to give place to the devil. Young man tell your self the truth, if your fiance’s constant presence in your house or a certain attire of her’s is making your engine rave, speak to her about it. Don’t keep quiet and speak in tongues only. Talk to her about it and arrange for her not to visit at such time or not to put on those types of outfits- at least until after your wedding when she has permission to knock you out whenever she likes. LOL. But I’m serious, ladies if his constant hugging and peking or kissing is tempting you to go all the way with him then it’s time for both of you to desist from such activity- that’s if both of you are serious about honoring God in your relationship.
The third lesson i picked our from this book is that, when two godly people in a romantic relationship, work as a team to protect each others purity and as such stay away from compromising physical involvement before marriage, they not only build the strength of character to withstand similar temptations after they get married, but also, the bond of trust that they form in working together to honor God together as a team remains far after they have been married. But in a situation where a couple fails to guard against sexual involvement before marriage, they would have forfeited a very good opportunity cultivating the habit of resisting sexual temptation (which would still occur even after they are marriage) and would also face the tendency of mistrusting their partner in that aspect of their marriage after the wedding. i once got into a discussion with one of my bosses that helped to prove this point. In speaking around this subject, this boss of mine proudly announced ho easy it was for him to trust that his wife would be faithful to him in his absence because she had resisted every temptation (even pressures from him specifically) to engage in sexual activity before their wedding.
Uhmm…this is kind of long though but i couldn’t help myself. LOL. Once again, i trust you’ve also learnt a thing or two from the lessons i gleaned out of these books. So please!!!! If you’ve read any of the books I mentioned here or in my first confession post or if you have specific books from which you also have picked up some life altering lessons and wisdom, please!!!! share with me in the comment box below. Thanks for reading. I owe you a part 3 *wink*