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Harris contends that one must begin with a While most Christians agree to seek purity and save sex for marriage, few have been given a blueprint for how that should affect their view of dating and love.Harris contends that one must begin with a new attitude, viewing love, purity, and singleness from God's perspective rather than thinking that love and romance are to be enjoyed "solely for recreation." In such well-named chapters as "Guarding Your Heart" and "What Matters at Fifty," Harris encourages the reader to look at one's character rather than reveling in infatuation, to regard love as a truly selfless, biblical act rather than a feeling.The book focuses on Harris' disenchantment with the contemporary secular dating scene, and offers ideas for improvement, alternative dating/courting practices, and a view that singleness need not be a burden nor characterized by what Harris describes as "selfishness".Harris popularized the concept of "courting" as an alternative to regular secular dating, and in doing so has caused discussion regarding the appropriateness of his solutions to regular dating as well as the foundations on which he bases his reasoning.In his book, Harris encourages young Christians to look beyond our Western culture's dominant paradigm for developing serial intimate relationships (namely, the process of "dating") and instead commit to "purposeful singleness." Romantic relationships, he suggests, should exist only as a means to preparing for marriage—what's commonly called "courting." Harris avoids that quaint-sounding term in , but the idea is implicit in his promotion of relationships that emphasize long-term commitment and the supervision of the community of believers over and against traditional dating, which he feels emphasizes self-centered emotional and physical satisfaction.Harris's book struck a chord with an entire generation of young believers.In doing so, he argues, people put up a façade in an attempt to appear to be what the other person wants, and this hampers the "getting to know you" part of dating.
Smart love looks beyond personal desires and the gratification of the moment.Harris proposes a system of courtship that involves the parents of both parties to a greater degree than conventional dating schemes.In an interview with Family Christian Stores, Joshua Harris indicated that "people have taken the message of 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' and made it something legalistic -- a set of rules.Out of all the courtship and purity books I've read (and hounded in my room, haha), this is one I didn't have a particular liking for. He writes on the importance of taking an interest in why you date and urges us as readers to take on a new attitude of selflessness and loving with Christ's love as we embark on a romantic relationship that starts first with friendship and then to marriage. Harris writes on a subject I fully support and am practicing in my own life, the principal of keeping yourself and letting God keep you clean in both your soul and your physical body, not only for marriage but for life.