Soon you will all find out about my great Christmas vacation, but for the mean time I will tell you all about book #6 from my list. It ended up being Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris. It's a really good book that takes a look at courtship. Both what it means and how to go about it in the "recreational dating" world that we live in.
A few years ago I read his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which was really helpful for my new outlook on relationships. This one was just as insightful and helpful for me. See, as a young child, I always held to a pretty traditional outlook on what boys should do and what girls should do. Dads work and Moms stay home. Boys do the pursuing and girls do the waiting. This outlook wasn't particularly enforced by anything in my family, that I can recall, it's just what always seemed like the right thing.
Of course, as adults know, we tend to make life more complicated as we grow up. Especially if we don't have strong biblical foundations, but I digress. The point is that as I grew up I succumbed to the pressures that this world offers up in the area of relationships. However, after reading both of these books (as well as my Bible), and sitting under sound biblical teaching on this matter it turns out that the very ideals that I thought were right, and held to as a child, were right. Or I guess what I should say is that they match up with what the Bible has to say about relationships, and it's just been nice to read these two books and have those thoughts confirmed.
Anyway, what Josh proposes, in this book is getting back to the basics which is that a man should only pursue a relationship with a girl once he's ready to get married (men that means you must have employment too). I mean Boaz didn't date around until he came upon Ruth (of course I had to reference my favorite book) and he owned an entire field. He definitely came with his A game. Admittedly, in the book, that doesn't mean that just because you pursue a relationship with someone that you will get married to that person, but rather that unless you are willing to be married to someone you should not be entering into random relationships with the opposite sex. Hence courtship enters the picture. The term courting was actually born out of the middle ages when knights of the court would try and woo the ladies of the court. It has, much to societies chagrin, evolved into what we now know as dating (I cringe at the thought of it evolving into "hooking up", but that seems to be were it has started to go).
This book helped me in a couple areas. Primarily since I've only ever imagined what this aspect of life can, and hopefully will, hold for me it gave me some practical information as to what I should be expecting from any potential suitors, as well as what I should be bringing to the table and prioritizing in my own heart and mind. This particular edition of the book also has some ideas/guidelines as to basic conversations to hold with each other as well as some pretty fun "date" ideas that accompany the actual conversations. For example, and this one would be a little difficult for me due to my dietary needs, but one of them suggests discussing and finding a way to get a decent dinner for under $10 while discussing your financial history, present and the future. The other thing I liked about the book, was that it's not just for young people looking for guidance, which a lot of books of this particular genre are, but rather it speaks to older people, like myself. It addresses certain issues that many of us, who received Christ later on in life face.
But one of the things that I loved about reading this book was how relaxing it was. At best it takes me a week or two to read a book, which is relaxing in and of itself, but this was a huge exception. On Christmas Day I was allowed time to just sit read, which was sooo relaxing. Because of this gift, I basically read the book in a day. Which is ironic because the last time I was able to do that I was on a C-130 flying to Japan for a deployment. And what, pray tell, was the book that I read that leads to this delicious irony. Well it was none other than Joshua Harris' first book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". LOL, I love it:) And I hope that all of you who read this get the opportunity to read the book.