Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship tries to crack an old chestnut: how do two people who love Jesus go from being strangers to lovers without compromise?
The problem with most books, sermons and advice on relationships is that we all tend to take our own experiences and use them to make rules for other people. But each relationship is as different as the people in them are. You tell me a story about a happily married Godly couple who got engaged after 4 weeks, and I’ll tell you a story about a happily married Godly couple who dated for 7 years before finally tying the knot.
What is true for one couple might be totally unhelpful for another. Because of this I found Josh Harris’s first book – I Kissed Dating Goodbye – unhelpful. As a single 21 year old, Josh had decided that for him honouring God meant dumping the whole dating game, and urged other Christians to do likewise. Some thought this was the best advice ever. I was dating someone at the time, so I thought it was rubbish: okay, everyone knows that dating brings temptation, but for the human race to be fruitful and multiply we’re going to need a practical alternative!
His second book, Boy Meets Girl, is much more helpful, and contains some great wisdom on how to honour God and each other in relationships. It is clear on what God does say (love is good, lust is bad, seek wisdom, boys and girls are different, etc) and is also clear on what God doesn’t say (who you should marry, when you should start dating, whether it’s okay to kiss or not). Instead, Josh humbly collects together wisdom he’s received on how to be Godly in our own circumstances.
As always, readers should be discerning. We shouldn’t assume that what happens in the powerful stories he tells will apply to everybody. Also, I’d question what he means sometimes by “seeking God’s will” in our relationships. God’s will isn’t some secret script we need to work out: God’s will is for us to listen to what he clearly says in his word and obey him. Overall, though, this one of the more helpful dating books I’ve read.