Skip to comments."A Statement on I Kissed Dating Goodbye"
Posted on 10/23/2018 1:14:07 PM PDT by Gamecock
For many years people have asked whether I still agree with my book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. In addition to this question, some readers have told me the book harmed them.
Two years ago I began a process of re-evaluating the book. This included inviting people to share their stories with me on my website, personal phone calls with readers, an in-depth study of issues surrounding my book overseen by one of my graduate school professors, and finally, creating a documentary film that captured the conversations with people who were reshaping my thinking.
For me, its been important for this process of reevaluation to engage other people and other voices. It has been drawn out because I did not want to be superficial in my response, and I have made it public because I think my reevaluation should be commensurate to the public reach of my book.
For those who would like to hear how my thinking has changed, the documentary I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye shares that story. The production company has communicated that the film will be released for free online sometime in early 2019.
While I stand by my books call to sincerely love others, my thinking has changed significantly in the past twenty years. I no longer agree with its central idea that dating should be avoided. I now think dating can be a healthy part of a person developing relationally and learning the qualities that matter most in a partner. I recommend books like Boundaries in Dating by Dr. Henry Cloud and True Love Dates by Debra Fileta, which encourage healthy dating.
There are other weaknesses too: in an effort to set a high standard, the book emphasized practices (not dating, not kissing before marriage) and concepts (giving your heart away) that are not in the Bible. In trying to warn people of the potential pitfalls of dating, it instilled fear for somefear of making mistakes or having their heart broken. The book also gave some the impression that a certain methodology of relationships would deliver a happy ever-after endinga great marriage, a great sex lifeeven though this is not promised by scripture.
To those who read my book and were misdirected or unhelpfully influenced by it, I am sincerely sorry. I never intended to hurt you. I know this apology doesnt change anything for you and its coming too late, but I want you to hear that I regret any way that my ideas restricted you, hurt you, or gave you a less-than-biblical view of yourself, your sexuality, your relationships, and God.
And to those of you who benefitted from my book, I am so grateful that something I wrote helped you. The fact that a flawed man could write a flawed book and somehow that could help some people is amazing to me. But, to borrow an analogy from the automotive industry, if a car serves some people but a flaw in its design causes damage to others, good intentions by the carmaker and even the endorsement of other customers dont override the problem. I cannot recall all the copies of my book that have been published. However, my public critique in written and documentary form, and the numerous media interviews Ive done in the past two years, are my attempt to both apologize and spread the word of about the problems I see in it.
In light of the flaws I now see in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I think its best to discontinue its publication, as well other supplemental resources tied to it (this includes the two books I wrote after it whose content is similar). My publisher, whose encouragement in this process has been deeply meaningful to me, supports this decision and will not reprint the books after the current copies in their inventory are sold.
Whether you agree or disagree, I hope youll think for yourself and be compassionate toward those whose experience has been different than yours.
Thanks for reading. I wish you all the best on your journey.
Well. Thanks for sharing.
Josh, I have your book and believe it helps keep people from sinning as they move forward with a relationship that can lead to marriage.
I also do not find in the Bible where it says kissing a girl your are sexually interested in is healthy in the eyes of God. I recall the Holy Kiss shared among men, but men were not the target of any lust!
Wow! Thanks for sharing. <3
Dating is a terrible way to get to know someone.
Just another person damaged by Bill Gothard. At least he is figuring it out.
t will probably be on Amazon for years.
Almost every sentence above mentions Me, Myself, and I.
I never read the book. What did he propose in lieu of dating? There are lots of ways to get to know people of the opposite sex. And “dating” should not imply sex. But at some point, a couple needs to acknowledge a mutual interest, and this almost necessarily involves spending time as a couple. The old phrase “making time” comes to mind. Again, they can abstain from sex, but they do need to spend some time together, even if they don’t call it a “date.”
The “biblical” model is “courting” (so claimed); in reality arranged marriages were the norm in every society, including middle-eastern cultures 2-5 thousand years ago.
Courting typically involves your family and the prospective spouse’s family doing things together, hanging out, dinner, activities, entertainment. Pretty much similar to dating, but there is never just the two of you alone. The stated goal is marriage and the model does emphasize that you do not marry a person, you establish a family and become members of already established families. There is no ‘making out’, hanky panky, or other physical affection going on during courting. No goodies whatsoever until the minister says ‘you may now kiss your bride’. The courting model as taught to me is that the process from “I want to court your daughter, sir.” and “I do” should be around 6 - 9 months.
I also believe in the mandate to wait until marriage for sex. If a couple can build their communication skills and their understanding of each other - weaknesses, strengths, etc., without focusing on the physical part of their long term relationship then I think the chances for a successful marriage are better. JMHO
Perhaps, but Josh has done his own share of damage as well.
Well this is an apology.
To do otherwise would be to shift blame.
In this instance it is appropriate.
Exactly my first thought!!
I attended a private “Christian” prep school during Gothard’s heyday. I was alone - ALONE - in warning that he went far beyond Scripture into legalistic practices.
Many of my peers attended, and encouraged me to attend. I refused. I do not recall a single teacher criticizing the foundational basis for his so-called ministry.
I didn’t know he was a follower of Gothard. I knew a few families who were when we homeschooled.
Yes I understand what you mean. Bill was held up as the second coming. Bill liked it that way
I was close enough to his idiocy that it took me years to shed the hateful judgmental attitudes subtly programmed into my brain. I didn’t even know it happened.
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