Why I Never Kissed Dating Goodbye

Why I Never Kissed Dating Goodbye

Back in the 90’s a bunch of Christian parents started making their kids read a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. They imposed strict rules about “courting” for their kids. It was all very confusing for most teens and caused a mess. I know more than a few folks my age who blame their relational woes on that crazed phenomenon. They said it made them paranoid to go on a date with anyone unless they were dead-serious about wanting to marry them first.

The author of that book kind of apologized recently for the chaos the book created. But here’s the thing: The book wasn’t the problem.

As usual, the problem was rule-loving religion. Way too many Christians decided to make the book into some legalistic rule book. They started beating people over the head with their interpretation of the book. Kissing dating goodbye became a religion to them. And religion sucks the joy out of things.

Religion turns everything into black and white rules. Do this, don’t do this. It keeps things simple (for a while, until we make a rule for everything and it all starts overlapping and getting complex). But it also makes us mind-numbed robots, which was never what God intended.

Jesus is all about relationship. Relationship with him. Relationship with those around us. And relationships aren’t black and white. Each person is unique. Each situation is different. It’s up to us to hear from God, seeking wise counsel from others, about how to handle this life. But that much freedom is scary for people. We prefer simple, rule-based thinking. This good. That bad. Ugh.

Life is complex. God knows this. And he wants to guide us through that complexity. He laid down a handful of rules to keep us safe. But most of life can’t be solved by rules. It can only be solved by walking with ongoing guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Make sure that you are always seeking a relationship with Jesus, not a bunch of rules to live by. Live in that ongoing relationship and you’ll find a freedom that religion can never bring.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1