What Problems Joshua Harris Acknowledged About How Singles Relate At His Church (But Doesn’t Share on His Website)

I know that this has been mentioned briefly on various other threads on this blog but thought it merited its own thread and more discussion.

Here are some points that Joshua Harris made in a message entitled “Coursthip Smourtship: What Really Matters in Relationships” given on November 20, 2005. In this message he acknowledged that how some of single men and women in his church related:

  • Could be described as standoffis, overly reserved, a certain level of uptightness
  • Isn’t how relationships should work in God’s family

After acknowledging these problems Harris indicated what he thought was proper for singles:

  • Felt desire for God to bless single men and women with the good gift of marriage in his time.
  • Didn’t want the singles ministry to become a “meat market” but one in which godly friendships can lead to purposeful courtships and God glorifying relationships
  • Purposeful courtship can only happen when if mature men and women first feel the freedom to get to know each other in brother/sister friendships
  • Men not scared about initiating friendships with women
  • Felt there had been some confusion
  • It is ok for brothers and sisters to go out to lunch/dinner together, grab coffee, and email one another.
  • Should ok talk church lobby w/o asked when is the wedding date

Harris also clarified his views on singles “guarding one’s heart.” Harris even felt the word was misapplied:

  • One should not become self focused in attempt from ever being disappointed.
  • Not to guard your hearts from attraction (don’t run away from a friendship when there is attraction) God can help process that it in godly way;
  • If attempt guard ourselves against attraction/disappointment will cut ourselves off from the good gifts of friendship/fellowship that God has for us.
  • If not mutual attraction/interest God help you walk through that. There will be times of disappointment.
  • Some walk out courtships decide not to get married; successful if walked out in integrity;

I admire that Harris did have the courage to acknowledge problems at his church. Usually one is well on to solving a problem after the problem has been acknowledged. Hopefully this message at least brought about changs at CLC with how the singles relate. The message was given 2.5 years ago. For those of you reading this still part of a SG Church what change have you noticed at CLC or within SG as a result of this message?

It is interesting to note that even at Harris’s own church there were significant problems with how singles related. From reading his books and looking at his website you would think that only dating had problems. Harris doesn’t mention any problems with his system in his books. People say that there is never a “perfect church” but when I read his books one would think he has found perfect system for singles.

This is probably my biggest issue with the way Harris has presented his “kissing dating goodbye” approach; he fails to admit any problems this approach can have. In other words, he is setting people up for false expectations when he doesn’t warn of the problems with his approach. It is like saying he found the “perfect church” when there is no perfect church.

One problem I have with all of this is when I look at Harris’s website I don’t see these problems mentioned He mentions where he has added these messages to the DVD package he sells but doesn’t mention any of the particular problems on his website:


Wouldn’t it have made sense to spread the word about the problems with his approach to correct the imbalance his books created by not mentioning any of these problems? I am sure they exist in other churches. If he mentioned these problems on his website maybe other groups could learn from the problems that occurred at Harris’s own church.

Some Harris defenders cite this message as when people criticize Harris and his books. The only problem is that he doesn’t seem to be widely sharing these problems he found in his own congregation with his approach.

One other thought on this is “so what else is new.” The problems he acknowledged have seemed to have always coexisted with the group/courtship approach. Sovereign Grace had been using Harris’s approach of “kissing dating goodbye” for almost 20 years when Harris wrote his book. At least in this message the problems were finally acknowledged by someone in leadership. My thought in the past was that pastors only wanted to hear what they wanted to hear about this approach (only the good).

One person on the Sovereign Grace Uncensored blog (now sgmsurvivors.com) conjectured that Harris was between a rock and a hard place on this. He has a large following among the home schooling crowd that admire the group/courtship model he has set up. It would be hard for him to come out and backpedal on what he has said is such a good system.

Update 11/24/2008

These messages are now again available for downloading (free of charge):

Kissing Dating Goodbye “Updates”

Enter “courtship” as the search term.

I am interested in hearing what comments people have on this.

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39 Responses to “What Problems Joshua Harris Acknowledged About How Singles Relate At His Church (But Doesn’t Share on His Website)”

  1. Kris Says:

    It was my observation at our SGM church that the attitudes Josh Harris preached against in “Courtship Smourtship” were alive and well…and this was at least 2 years after he preached that sermon. Actually, “alive and well” wouldn’t do it justice. The paranoia about male-female interactions and the idea that “guarding one’s heart” meant running the other direction in the face of ANY sort of attraction – those attitudes were stronger and more pervasive than ever at the SG church we attended.

    I don’t think any of the folks knew of Harris’ sermon. Or, if they had, by that time they’d taken his ideas and run with them to such an extent that they’d turned the courtship system into some sort of foolproof immorality-and-heartbreak-prevention-system.

    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.

    I think what disgusted me the most was to watch people’s responses to the one successful courtship at our church that had actually ended in marriage. Everybody thought that this couple had lived out the absolute ideal. Yet (and granted, I could be wrong, as I did not know this girl that well) I got the distinct feeling, from my position as an observer, that the girl in this couple was woefully ill-prepared for marriage to the young man. She seemed very stiff and uncomfortable whenever the two of them were together in public. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her, to go from living with her parents (she was about 20, had never been to college and had never held a real job aside from giving piano lessons to some of the other kids from church) to – within a period of about 3 months – having gone through a whirlwind courtship with someone she’d hardly spent any time alone with, to being engaged, to getting married to him.

    I should probably quit this rant. But courtship and the legalistic excesses that I witnessed are subjects that really get me hot under the collar, almost more than anything else within SGM. There are extremes that NOBODY could ever address in a single sermon.

  2. Edmund Bertram Says:

    Thank you for addressing these issues. I am reading through your blog and I appreciate that I am not the only Christian concerned about certain tendencies among the courtship movement.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    In Christ,
    Edmund Bertram

  3. steve240 Says:


    Thanks for your comment. One of my biggest hopes with this blog is that people get a balanced view on the realities of courtship including its imperfections. That way people can make informed decisions about which is best for them.

    If Harris’s church had problems; just imagine what problems exist at other churches using the same approach. Sad he hasn’t warned others.

    Thanks again.

  4. steve240 Says:

    This is part of a comment that Kris who is the moderator for http://www.sgmsurvivors.com posted in one her threads about courtship. This comment provides a lot of insight into what is going on with Harris here:

    I think Josh Harris has a vested financial interest in remaining true to the basic ideas of his original book, even if he’s well aware of the problems that his advocated approach did cause. While “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” is not anywhere on the bestseller list anymore, it’s still considered a “classic” for books of that type, and I’d be willing to bet it still generates some money for Josh. I mean, my uncle wrote music and lyrics for a children’s worship song something like 20 years ago, and he still gets royalty checks from time to time, sometimes substantial ones…for merely one SONG. Certainly a book would bring in more than a song.

    Plus, IKDG was what put Josh Harris on the map. He was famous for that book long before he took over CLC’s senior pastor position. I’m sure it’s easier to choose to ignore problems and defects that he knows are present in his book, rather than to go on the record and address those problems in a widespread (as widespread as his first book!) way.

    (I include the word “widespread,” because I’m very aware that he did appear to back-pedal on some of his stuff in a sermon that he gave a couple of years ago, entitled, “Courtship, Smourtship.” But…one sermon could hardly be enough to address problems brought about after more than a decade of saturation with the courtship mentality!)

    I’m not saying, by the way, that Josh Harris is CONSCIOUSLY motivated by money. From everything people have shared about him, he strikes me as quite genuine in his desires to be sincere and fully above-board in his Christian life.

    But I think that if your dad has made financial independence through a family business such a huge hobby horse for “good Christian families,” and if you were not estranged from your dad (and I don’t think Josh Harris is estranged from his family whatsoever), then you would be deeply motivated to honor your father and have some sort of independent source of income happening. Or at least the potential for that kind of business.

    I can imagine that if Josh recanted or wrote some sort of disclaimer for his old books, that might put a serious dent in his credibility (for the short term). It would, quite simply, make him look rather silly, after forging a huge portion of his identity as a guru from the courtship principles. So even if he actually SAW and honestly ACKNOWLEDGED to himself that he might have created at least as many problems with his system as he solved, he would probably struggle mightily with coming right out and saying so. Not only would he have his personal credibility at stake – he’d also be jeopardizing his “family business,” hence opening himself up to his dad’s displeasure.

  5. sharrkmaster Says:

    Hey, thanks for mentioning it. I know Josh Harris is definitely not 100% correct in everything, and he’s not perfect. I am not trying to follow his rules completely or anything like that.. I was just taking one of his principles and trying to apply it in my life because I had been falling away in that area. If you read my entry, you’ll see that I was only mentioning it… and saying it kind of ironically (since I *am* dating). Haha, anyways.. thanks for your comment and your concern.. and I’ll have to read the rest of your blog eventually. Seems very informational!

  6. militarywifey Says:

    Steve, I think it’s great that you have a blog where you express the problems you have encountered with IKDG. I think most of the problems arise when people try to take IKDG legalistically and apply it as a rulebook to their lives.
    In reflection though, I believe there is some good that IKDG did to me. I read IKDG after I had been married a few years. I, regretfully, had dated really casually and had not prayed or thought about who I was dating. Furthermore, I started dating waaay too young. I think, looking back on it all, I would have rather been more prayerful in my approach to relationship. But I don’t think it had to do with whether I was dating or not, but how I was approaching these romantic relationships, with no prayer and with no real communion with God. At the very least, IKDG has brought about an idea that romantic relationships should be taken seriously. So there has been some good to come out of it. Unfortunately people have taken the book legalistically and taken it to an extreme, just like the modesty issue in the past.

  7. steve240 Says:


    It is unfortunate how some have taken the book and applied it legalistically. As I have said in other posts here, Joshua Harris really didn’t do much if anything to help prevent this from happening. I wonder what would have happened if he did. Why weren’t there any warnings or cautions on this in his book?

  8. John Immel Says:

    This, I think is exactly the issue. When Josh wrote the book he was a young kid. I know what it is to want a Girlfriend at 16, but then it didn’t really hurt me to NOT have a girlfriend mostly through high school. Did I deliberately kiss dating goodbye. Not by a long shot… I figure God knew what he was doing. I’m better off for it later in life on a lot of levels.

    But the truths that are fair advice at 14 to say… 18 or 20 are not at all good practices for finding a mate at 25 plus.

    But in all the SGM … I’ve never seen them retreat from a failed progression of thought … they usually just say, “Oh, you’ve misunderstood what we are saying.”

  9. steve240 Says:


    Welcome to the blog and thanks for your post. YOu might want to see my blog entry about one size fitting all.

    Something that was designed for teenagers (and works well for that age group) doesn’t mean it is best for all ages.

  10. SavvyD Says:

    Yep, you were right. Thanks for writing about this. This is what I have noticed about people who advocate this approach. It’s also a very modern/Western view to think that marriage is an idol. It’s true that men and women have freedoms that they never had before–especially in the United States. But in many parts of the world, marriage is still the way of things–especially for women as it is their place in society.

    In the near furture I will be posting my own story that dealt in courtship/non-dating. Glad we found each other in the blogosphere!!

    Savvy D

  11. John Immel Says:

    Hey Steve… Got a question for you…

    I tried the emails provided on the landing page but they keep getting bounced back.

    could you email me please: john@spiritualtyranny.com

    Much appriciated.

    John Immel

  12. Kirk Says:

    I can’t stand most of the young Christian fad books much like I can’t stand this one.

    This is yet another attempt to sneek in under the radar legalism on how people should meet their mates or date.

    Then at 26 I have other Christians slamming me for not following their made up legalistic rules they read in this book or not pretending to be a cowboy because of the book “Wild at Heart”. As though I still need people to tell me how to date or be a man.

    These same people who by the way don’t see any purpose for the book “Freedom of a Christian” (very short read actually) because they are too busy finding more books with more rules about their Christian life instead of embracing the freedom of Christ.

    The sad thing is that you will always find this book or “Wild at Heart” or “God wants you to have lots and lots of money” or some other fad book but I’ll bet if I walk into 10 different Christian bookstores, I doubt that I would find one copy (on hand) of Freedom of a Christian. Much less anything from Calvin or Walther or St. Augustine or anyone else who could actually read greek and hebrew.

    Without going into a complete rant, I basically have a very different view on Christian life then a lot of people.

  13. SavvyD Says:

    Had an experience at a church where a guy asked another guy for his email to let him know what was going on at church, but not mine.

    This sends a message-
    1. He really thinks women would be led on by this.
    2. He isn’t friendly toward women.
    3. He doesn’t like me.
    4. He doesn’t want to be my friend.

  14. Caroline Says:

    I have to say, as a single person in her mid 20s with no prospect of marriage anytime soon, it still bothers me that singles group, while not “meat markets,” are still geared against pairing and marrying people off. I sense a deep fear and mistrust of solitude from the church — treating us, as one author put it, like “misfits or married people waiting to happen.”

    Many amazing men and women of God have felt called to a single life, and it’s not necessarily just missionaries or Mother Teresa. I would hope, along with a progressive perspective on the relationship approaches of Christian men and women, that the church can stop being so freaked out by single people. There’s nothing morally or intrinsically wrong with a person who doesn’t get married or produce children. It would be nice if someone would write more books about that. 🙂

    This was interesting to know, as someone who read “Boy Meets Girl” but avoided “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” out of sheer self-defense. Thanks! 🙂

    • Headless Unicorn Guy Says:

      Back in 2005, there was this free-for-all over on Internet Monk re the idea in a lot of churches of “Salvation Thru Marriage”. One of the comments always stuck in my head, and at 54 and never married, I can attest that it’s funny because it’s true:

      Wednesday Night: Alcoholics Ministry.
      Thursday Night: Singles Ministry.
      Friday Night: Homosexuals Ministry.

  15. michaelkeating Says:

    Actually I think the tone of some of these posts is disturbing. We are commanded to be devoted to one another in tender affection. Accusing a brother in Christ of promoting a specific path of Christian living because he has a financial interest in it is well over the line, especially when combined with the idea you are promoting that he is intentionally deceiving people.

    Complementing that process is our obligation to love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. The point is that rather than broadcast someone’s sins we should do whatever we can to make their presence more discreet.

    I did a book review of someone who clearly wrote his book as an opposing viewpoint of Joshua Harris’, but never slammed him, derided him or accused him of anything in the process. I don’t think the book was compelling, but I love that the brother remembered that Josh Harris is a child of the King even while he disagreed with him on one point of living the Christian life.

    Pagans can love people they agree with. I would admonish you to let the world see how much you love someone that you disagree with and be so confused that they assume it is because the Love of Christ is in you.

    Caroline – what a wonderful attitude in your post. Many of the best Christians of all time lived a single life to God’s glory.

    • steve240 Says:

      Michael Keating

      I would be curious to hear which posts you think have such a “disturbing” tone. I am sure Josh Harris mean well with his book but sometimes good intentions bring the wrong results. It is even sadder when one sees these wrong results and a person appears to remain silent as I see Josh Harris doing.

      When I see someone who is misrepresenting how well something works including not sharing the problems, I am not sure nicely and “tenderly” I could say what I say.

      Where did I accuse? There is a big difference between asking and accusing. Only God knows why Josh Harris is so silent about problems with his approach. Financial is certainly one option as well as it being hard to admit the approach that brought him to fame that he presented as a “perfect” alternative to dating isn’t exactly what he made it out to be. That can be hard and require humility.

      Jesus wasn’t exactly the most “tender” when he rebuked the Pharisees. Paul wasn’t when he rebuked Peter.

      This misrepresentation and oversell of a system can have disastrous affects on people’s life and the kingdom of God. It is sad that Josh Harris isn’t take the responsibility I feel he should for what he championed.

      • michaelkeating Says:

        I’ve ready many of the threads here so I will generalize if that’s okay. To be clear, I’m not just referring to your original posts Steve, but other comments as well.

        There are all sorts of accusations here that Joshua is motivated by his financial interest in the courtship movement and that he intentionally perpetuates something he himself believes is not correct. Additionally, any comment that imputes a motive to him is unbiblical because no man knows the mind of a man but the spirit that is within him.

        Then there are the posts who blast all of SGM for things like “I’ve never seen them retreat from a failed progression of thought”. What an incredibly proud thing to say, as though you are the standard of what’s a failed progression of thought or not. God is the standard and we can hold up what someone says to the light of His Word. We cannot however begin berating brothers and sisters in Christ just because your experiences don’t line up with what you want or think is best.

        Even the blog name “sgmsurvivors” is unbecoming of a true Christian. If your experience there was not to your liking then clearly you should move on but the Bible commands you to cover over the sins of another Christian so as to not publicize them beyond what is necessary.

        I don’t have a dog in the fight. I have not even read IKDG. I am just concerned for you who appear to be letting something as inconsequential to the call of God in our lives as what particular method you use to find a spouse to be so divisive and bitter.

      • steve240 Says:


        I am dissapointed that after reading the blog and comments all you seem to want to on is the tone of what people say vs. the “meat” of my comments, especially the questioning of the perfect picture Harris seems to paint of “kissing dating goodbye.”

        I certainly don’t see “all sorts of accusations” against Harris. I still question why Harris isn’t apparently willing to give a more balanced report of his approach now that he has observed first hand the problems it has caused. Asking if it is financial certainly is a valid question.

        On your comment about SGM not retreating “from a failed progression of thought” I have personally seen SGM change course on various teachings to something new without admitting that what they were teaching in the past was wrong. Seeing this type of action, it sure sounds like the commenter has a valid point. One clear example is their move to Calvinism. This move was done without their admitting the change and saying they had it wrong in the past.

        With regard to SGM Survivors, if there is sin and abuse going on within SGM and there appears to be if one reads that blog, then doesn’t the body of Christ need to know about this abuse? Have you read the Debra Baker story?

        Are you sure you aren’t associated with SGM? Especially your first comment where you indicted the tone of what people wrote is typical SGM. That is when a member brings something up to a leader, the leader is quick to point out the “attitude problems” the member has rather than address the members concerns.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy Says:

        If they’re not an SGM Truth Squad, they’re sure working out of the playbook, AKA the Immediate Counterattack:


  16. Nathan Says:

    Followed the link to search CLC’s website for “courtship updates”, and found that Josh has now posted on his blog with links to three of his sermons that update his thinking on the misapplication of courtship principles.


    • Steve240 Says:


      Thanks for sharing the link and I have listened to them all. One of the messages that he “shares” there is his Courtship Smourthship Message.

      Josh Harris may make the message available online but has never to my knowledge ever shared the problems his observed in his church on his blog or any other place that would give these problems more widespread exposure.

  17. Kelvin Says:

    Hey, =) i’ve read ur post on Josh Harris book IKDG.. I appreciate it.. it do help me to think through.. no book is perfect for me..just something that i can learn from it but not obsess with it..

    About SGM, i would like to know more about it..do update me with sources..thx man!

  18. Ella Says:

    I have to say, I do not appreciate what you’re doing here.

    You treat Josh like he’s some sort standard of perfection and, oh man, he’s just missing it. Josh is a wonderful author and an amazing husband and father and I don’t think you should go around creating a blog about things that you clearly don’t understand.

    I’m sure Josh recognizes that there are problems with the CLC singles, but to broadcast that across the church and across the internet just to satisfy YOU is completely unnecessary and ridiculous and would cause problems with the other churches related to CLC.

    Also, please refrain from posting comments on other peoples blogs (beginning with mine) with links to your derogatory blog when they are CLEARLY recommending Josh’s book. I have deleted your comment and would thank you not to post one again.

    Thank you -Ella

    • steve240 Says:


      You sound quite young.

      You said I “clearly don’t understand” things about Harris’s book. Care to elaborate? I would be curious to know what I don’t understand.

      I am not questioning Josh’s actions as a father or husband.

      I think you missed my point about wondering why Josh Harris didn’t share the problems that exist at his church. My point is that his “kissing dating goodbye” teaching obviously contributed to them if not fully caused them. Shouldn’t other churches be aware of this so they can avoid the same problems? They could then try and avoid having that happen there.

      About posting comments on other blogs about “kissing dating goodbye.” Shouldn’t people hear both sides and realize all the problems “kissing dating goodbye” has and can cause vs. there hearing a censored version or only the pros and not cons of this alternate approach? You said earlier that Harris wasn’t the standard of perfection now you get upset that someone is pointing out the problems with his approach. You sure seem contradictory.

      • Jonathan Bowley Says:

        intriguing set of comments. can’t say i care much for ikdg, i’m not convinced the reasoning behind the book is valid for all people at all times, and it certainly should not be considered authoritative in the sense that so many seem to think it is.

        briefly though steve240, an as an aside; what makes you think ella “sound[s] quote young”, and why have you drawn attention to something as irrelevant as ella’s age? it’s not as though ella’s age has any bearing on the validity of her argument now, is it? perhaps a more considered reply would have been helpful. it is quite possible that you could be misunderstood and be seen as attempting to dismiss her argument on the basis of her youth, which would be most unfortunate. i am, however, intrigued to know how old ella is, as i didn’t notice anything about her writing style that signified her youth.

        further to ella’s comments about you posting links on her blog, it does seem a little antagonistic to post anti-ikdg comments on a pro-ikdg book review. your response here doesn’t seem very christ-like. it seemed like you had some reasonable points in your earlier posts, but your treatment of some commenters here is quite unsettling. it’s a shame to spoil what is an excellent defence against an oftentimes unhelpful book with your terse and provocative replies to those who don’t share your views.

        oh, and on the offchance you wish to accuse me of being part of an sgm “truth squad”, i’m british and worship at an mwb restorationist church. toodle-pip!

      • steve240 Says:


        Thanks for your compliments on my blog. I am glad you aren’t defending IKDG as being “part of an sgm ‘truth squad.’

        IMO ella’s comments sound like those of someone pretty young. The way you she seemed to want to defend Josh Harris and almost take personally my blog entries about him. Maybe with the cultural differences between the USA and England this isn’t as obvious to you.

        With regard to posting comments on her blog I am not sure what is the problem with entering my comments about the book there. If people are discussing a book, do people only want to hear the positive and not the problems with this “alternative?”

        I will have to look through other comments and see if I notice what you are saying about my treatment. I certainly don’t want to discredit the entries etc.

        Thanks for visiting my blog.

  19. noneed Says:

    Hi People,

    I am now at my early 20s and I really find the book helpful. Joshau Harris is not setting rules for us to follow, he is laying down to us the truths of dating. No one is perfect of course, we just have to remember that in everything we do, we do it for the glory of God. So if you think that having had intimate relationships with someone you are not married with, then go ahead, but let’s not talk like we are the only ones whose right, and he is wrong. Truth hurts, and we have to deal with the right way, not on trying to justify ourselves.

    • steve240 Says:


      Welcome to my blog. I am not so sure I would agree with what you are saying.

      It might not have been Harris’s intent but a lot of people sure follow what he shared in this book as “rules.” I wouldn’t call all of what Harris shares as “truths of dating.” I also don’t agree that Harris’s way is “the right way” as you indicated.

      What do you mean when you say “intimate relationships with someone you are not married with?”

      What are you meaning when you say “intimate relationships with someone you are not married with?”

  20. jackinthewoods Says:


    The pitfalls of IKDG – the book – have been well known and publicly acknowledged for quite some time now. I have 3 sons, all in their 20’s now, and have walked them each through the courtship / dating question, with the help of concepts from IKDG. In fact, many of those same concepts guided me through dating and marriage back in the early 1980’s, though not called courtship back then. I did not find the book itself to be doctinaire. In fact, I felt it majored on the concepts and minored on specific practices. It put into words the things I knew were Biblical truth many years ago.

    Those who take sigificant offense at the book might do well to instead examine the people and circumstances that have influenced their application of the book’s concepts. A healthy approach would be to acknowledge one’s own responsibility for understanding the Biblical concepts behind the book, and how others in one’s life may have mishandled truth in counseling and leadership.

    I found this blog out of curiousity, to learn what types of criticism might be out there toward leaders of Sovereign Grace churches. I find the whole premise of this blog flawed. IKDG is not perfect, but the concepts are correct and Biblical. Each of us is responsible for discerning and applying truth. Let’s get on with that and be thankful for the efforts of others to help us along.

  21. Debra Baker Says:


    If you really want to learn about SGM leadership, check out
    Their own words when they think no one is looking.

  22. jeff irvin Says:

    this is such a blessing….

  23. Smooth T Says:

    As others have pointed out, the original book was written when he was still, for all intents and purposes, a kid. I’m pretty certain Josh wrote at least one follow-up to IKDG. Does anyone know if they address the concerns brought up here?

    • steve240 Says:

      Smooth T

      First welcome to my blog.

      Josh Harris certainly didn’t address all of the concerns I have brought up on my blog. In Harris’s “Boy Meets Girl” it is mostly more of the same thing with little moderation of his view IMO.

  24. Sugarbee Says:

    I am a 35 year old single teacher. I love GOD & I desire to get married. Thank you Joshua Harris for ruining my life! IKDG was published as I entered college. Since guys in college are not ready to get married, I did not go on a single date~ in fact.. Social interactions between myself and single, godly men became awkward and they were in constant fear of leading me on or breaking a rule. After college I attended a church with the same philosophy where single guys were discouraged from talking to single woman unless they were interested in a relationship… But how can you know someone is good for you when you never talk.. On top of that, secular literature tell us ladies to never speak of marriage or do any pursuing because we would appear
    desperate.. Fast forward 10 years, a masters degree & relocation and I am still
    single.. I know there is a wonderful guy at my church interested in me, but the legalistic rules have been so pounded into my head, I am terrified to even talk to him., I am socially awkward around single guys and I think the reason is because I was taught to avoid interactions with guys
    and my awkwardness comes accross as dis-interest. (and he’s my age & somewhat awkward around me, so he has indoubtly read the same book).. It’s very frustrating… I fear I will remain single because of the “Josh Harris” rule book.

    • steve240 Says:


      Welcome to my blog. Sorry to hear about your situation. You aren’t the first to indicate this affect of the KDG environment. One person wrote a blog post not too long ago about “regretting” kissing dating goodbye. He commented that due to KDG he didn’t have the social skills he needed to talk with single women. I am sure it has had similar affects on single women such as yourself.

      Hopefully you can learn a way to break through or unlearn what you learned with KDG.

  25. Christian Homeschooling: Raising Children or Controlling Them? | The Society of Phineas Says:

    […] 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: […]

  26. I kissed dating goodbye: Chapter 7, 8 and 9 | dragonswithswords Says:

    […] Harris even preached a sermon about how singles at his church were stuffy and unfriendly with each other. Read about it here. […]

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