“‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ [Book] Told Me to Stay Pure Until Marriage. I Still Have a Stain on My Heart” – Regarding: Dating Book by Author Josh Harris (with other related links about the IKDG book) and Criticizing “Purity Culture”
August 24, 2016 update: I added a new link at the bottom of this post: people continue to attack the idea of sexual purity by publicizing backlash against the Harris IKDG book.
I myself have never read the IKDB book, which was written by Harris. I have read about the book on other sites in the past, and it is my understanding the book discussed how to date, and other such topics, and is not strictly about sex or virginity.
The author uses this review of the IKDG book to bash “purity culture,” and in so doing, touches on the topic or staying chaste until marriage.
I am in the middle of this debate. I cannot completely agree with all the critics of “purity culture,” depending on what they are criticizing about it and why.
I believe that the Bible teaches both male and females are to sexually abstain until marriage, so I don’t believe in tossing out this teaching all because some young women feel they have been hurt or oppressed by it.
On the other hand, how some Christians have taught about sexual purity has been lop-sided – males are typically not addressed, only females – and Christians could do a better, or more sensitive job, in how they present the concept of remaining a virgin until marriage.
With that introduction, here is the link, with some excerpts (and note, I am not in complete agreement with all views in this piece; however, I’m not a supporter of a lot of Christian dating advice. Christian dating advice tends to act as an obstacle to singles who want to someday marry):
In 1997, Joshua Harris published “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” a book that was in part a warning about the harm that relationships before marriage could cause. Harris evoked images of men at the altar bringing all their past partners with them into the marriage to reinforce the point that love and sex before marriage took pieces of your heart and made you less.
At the time, Harris was just 21, but he was already a rising star.
…He [Harris] was what we, as young evangelicals, wanted to be. And so we strove passionately to attain the ideal of premarital purity he laid out for us. Now, almost 20 years later, even Harris appears to be questioning whether his advice did more harm than good.
…But Harris’s book was hugely influential.
…On the surface, I am a purity-culture success story: I am a heterosexual woman, a virgin until marriage, now with two small children and a husband I deeply love. We attend church. We believe in God. And yet, for me, the legacy of purity culture is not one of freedom but one of fear.