Boy Meets Girl

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Purpose Driven Romance

The last thing singles want is more rules. But if you’re looking for an intentional, God-pleasing game plan for finding a future spouse, Joshua Harris delivers an appealing one. A compelling new foreword, an all-new “8 Great Courtship Conversations” section, and updated material throughout makes this five-year revision of the original Boy Meets Girl a must-have! Harris illustrates how biblical courtship—a healthy, joyous alternative to recreational ...

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Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship

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Purpose Driven Romance

The last thing singles want is more rules. But if you’re looking for an intentional, God-pleasing game plan for finding a future spouse, Joshua Harris delivers an appealing one. A compelling new foreword, an all-new “8 Great Courtship Conversations” section, and updated material throughout makes this five-year revision of the original Boy Meets Girl a must-have! Harris illustrates how biblical courtship—a healthy, joyous alternative to recreational dating—worked for him and his wife. Boy Meets Girl presents an inspiring, practical example for readers wanting to pursue the possibility of marriage with someone they may be serious about.

Are you ready for “romance with purpose”?

If you’re fed up with self-centered relationships that end in disillusionment, it’s time to rethink romance. Finding the loving, committed relationship you want shouldn’t mean throwing away your hopes, your integrity, or your heart.

In Boy Meets Girl, Joshua Harris —the guy who kissed dating goodbye—makes the case for courtship. As old-fashioned as it might sound, courtship is what modern day relationships desperately need. Think of it as romance chaperoned by wisdom, cared for by community, and directed by God’s Word.

Filled with inspiring stories from men and women who have rediscovered courtship, Boy Meets Girl is honest, romantic, and refreshingly biblical. Keep God at the center of your relationship as you discover how to:

   • Set a clear course for your romance
   • Get closer without compromise
   • Find support in a caring community
   • Deal with past sexual sin
   • Make the right decisions about your future

New! Courtship Conversations

Eight ideas for great dates that will help grow and guide your relationship.

Story Behind the Book

“I wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye to challenge singles to drop the worldly approach to serial dating and reconsider the way they pursued romance in light of God’s Word. Since then, I’ve received letters asking questions like, So, what comes between friendship and marriage? and, How can you know when you are ready for marriage? Boy Meets Girl answers those questions. Now as a happily married man I can look back on my courtship with Shannon and see from personal experience that God is faithful. If you trust Him enough to wait on romance in dating, He will lovingly guide you as you pursue it in courtship…right to that wonderful moment when you kneel together at the altar.” — Joshua Harris

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Bookseller's Report
Authored by the couple who penned the cautionary I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl offers help for teens seeking bible-guided counsel, not just pragmatic dating rules. Its guidance includes admonitions that young people think about the possibility of marriage while making dating decisions.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1997, Harris's I Kissed Dating Goodbye became a phenomenon both in the publishing world and the Christian singles scene. Dating, Harris suggested, was an ungodly and unbiblical activity that Christians should reject in favor of a more old-fashioned, marriage-driven courtship. In this follow-up book, Harris guides Christians who are eager to say "I do" through the maze of finding a mate. His practical tips are set against the autobiographical backdrop of his own successful courtship with Shannon, now his wife of two years. Harris's words of wisdom aren't terribly innovative; they are the bread and butter of Christian relationship books claiming that good communication, sexual abstinence, friendship and fellowship are at least as important as romance. But lack of originality is the least of this book's problems. Harris's self-conscious attempts to be cute quickly grow tiresome (the Courtship Cop who "pulls over" a couple thinking about marriage too early in their relationship is only the most glaring example). Also, many readers who would otherwise find Harris's message compelling may be put off by the strict "God-given" gender roles he lauds in chapter 6: a man should initiate everything in a relationship, while "ladies" are supposed to "make room for him to lead." This slim sequel will no doubt delight Harris's thousands of devoted fans, but its banalities won't win any new devotees. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590521670
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 186,274
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Harris lives outside Washington , D.C. , in Gaithersburg , Maryland , where he is senior pastor at Covenant Life Church . He speaks nationally and has led the New Attitude conferences for college students for six years. Joshua’s bestselling books include I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, Not Even a Hint, and Stop Dating the Church. He and his wife, Shannon, have two children, Emma Grace and Joshua Quinn.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Boy Meets Girl

What I've Learned Since

I Kissed Dating Goodbye

The clock read 5:05 P.M. Shannon's workday was over. She enjoyed her job at the church, but she was ready to go home and unwind.

    She began her familiar end-of-the-day routine: tidied her desk, shut down her computer, straightened a picture on her bookshelf, got her coat from the closet, and said her goodbyes. "Bye, Nicole," she said to the girl in the office beside her. "See you tomorrow, Helen," she called to the receptionist.

    She walked through the quiet lobby and pushed open one of the heavy glass doors. The winter wind tugged at her as she made her way across the nearly empty parking lot. She climbed into her worn, navy blue Honda Accord and shut out the cold.

    She lifted her keys to the ignition, and then paused. There, alone in the silence, the emotions she had kept at bay during the day came rushing in. Tears welled up in her eyes. She leaned her forehead against the steering wheel and began to cry.

    "Why, Lord?" she whispered. "Why is this so hard? What am I supposed to do with these feelings? Take them away if they're not from You."

I used to watch from my window as Shannon walked to her car at the end of each day. My office looked out over the parking lot. What is she thinking about? I wondered. I longed to know more about her—to go beyond our polite conversations as casual friends and coworkers and really get to know her.

   But was it the right time? My heart had been wrong so many times before. Could I trust my feelings? Would she return my interest?

    From my vantage point, Shannon Hendrickson seemed happy, confident, and oblivious of me. I was sure she liked another guy. As I watched her drive away, I whispered my own prayer. What is Your will God? Is she the one? Help me to be patient. Show me when to act. Help me trust You.

    How could I know that the girl in the navy blue Honda was crying as she drove away, or that I was the cause of her tears?

Three months later ...

I was twenty-three years old, but my hands were acting like they'd never dialed a phone number. I gripped my cordless phone as if it were a wild animal trying to escape and tried again.

    You can do this, I assured myself.

    The phone rang three times before an answering machine picked up. She wasn't home. I gritted my teeth. Should I leave a message? The machine beeped, and I took the plunge.

    "Hey, Shannon, this is Josh ... uh, Harris."

    I was sure my voice made it obvious how nervous I felt. I'd never called her at home before, and I had no excuse related to work or church for doing so now. "Um ... could you give me a call when you get a chance? Thanks." I hung up, feeling like a complete idiot.

    For sixty-four agonizing minutes I analyzed whether or not the message I had left sounded cool and collected. Then the phone rang. I took a deep breath and answered.

    It was Shannon.

    "Hey, thanks for calling me back. How's it going?"

    We chatted for a few minutes about her day and did our best to have a natural conversation, even though we both knew that my calling her was the most unnatural thing in the world. I finally got to the point and asked if she could meet me the next day after work at Einstein's, a local bagel shop. She said she could.

    Before we hung up, I offered an ambiguous explanation for the rendezvous. "I need to talk ... about a guy I know who's interested in you."

Good Questions

My phone call to Shannon might not seem like a big deal to most people, but for me it was monumental.

    Why? Because five years earlier I had quit dating. I know that sounds strange, so let me explain. I had come to believe that the lifestyle of short-term relationships was a detour from serving God as a single. So while I kept my social life, my female friends, and my desire to get married someday, I stopped dating.

    This new perspective was anything but characteristic of me. I had always been a flirt who lived for the buzz of romance. For me, rejecting the dating game was a seismic shift.

    My change of perspective began after I broke up with a girl I'd been going out with for two years. Our relationship was an area of my life that I had refused to submit to God. When it ended, He began to show me just how selfish I was. I'd used her to satisfy my own sinful desires. Even though we never went all the way, I'd led her into a sinful physical relationship. I had hurt her. I had broken a lot of promises.

    For the first time, I really began to question how my faith as a Christian affected my love life. There had to be more to it than "don't have sex" and "only date Christians." What did it mean to truly love a girl? What did it feel like to really be pure—in my body and my heart? And how did God want me to spend my single years? Was it merely a time to try out different girls romantically?

    Slowly and in spite of my resistance, God peeled away layer after layer of wrong thinking, wrong values, and wrong desires. He changed my heart. And as my heart changed, I saw that my lifestyle had to change too.

    When I was twenty-one, I wrote about my experience in I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I wanted to challenge other singles to reconsider the way they pursued a romance in light of God's Word. "If we aren't really ready for commitment, what's the point of getting into intimate and romantic relationships?" I asked. "Why not enjoy friendship with the opposite sex but use our energy as singles to serve God?"

    To my astonishment God provided a publisher willing to print my oddly titled book. To everyone's astonishment the book actually sold. It turned out that many people besides me were rethinking romance. I have received thousands of e-mails, postcards, and letters from singles of all ages from all over the world who want to share their stories, ask questions, and get advice.

    As the letters poured in, I realized that while God had graciously used my book to help some people, it had also raised a lot of questions.

    For example, if you don't date, how exactly do you end up married? One girl wrote: "I want to avoid the pitfalls of our culture's approach to romance, but how do I get close enough to a guy to decide whether I want to marry him? What comes between friendship and marriage?"

    The main point of I Kissed Dating Goodbye was: "If you're not ready for marriage, wait on romance." But now my fellow singles were asking, "How can you know when you are ready for marriage? And once you're ready, what should you do?"

    To be honest, I hadn't figured that out yet. I never meant to become an expert on relationships. The questions my readers were asking were the same ones weighing on my heart.

    This is why my phone call to Shannon was such a big deal. I'd reached a point where I felt ready to pursue marriage, and I was deeply attracted to her. What now? For five years I'd experienced God's faithfulness as I waited on romance; now I was stepping into the unknown believing that He would continue to be faithful as I pursued romance.

    The guy who had "kissed dating goodbye" was about to "say hello to courtship."

Corner Table

The next evening I arrived early for my meeting with Shannon. Einstein Bagels is a favorite lunch spot in Gaithersburg, but at night it's all but empty. I chose a lonely table in the far left corner of the restaurant. It was slightly dirty, so I asked the server to wipe it off. Everything needed to be just right. I went to the bathroom and checked my hair. "Oh, whatever," I finally said to the mirror.

    Back at the table I waited and fidgeted in my seat. I worried about whether I should prop my feet up on a chair. Would it make me look more relaxed? No, it's too casual. How about one foot? No, that looks like I'm wounded. I finally decided to leave both feet on the floor.

    Nervous energy washed over me every time I thought about the conversation I was about to have. I couldn't believe that I was doing this—that in only a few minutes she would be sitting across from me.

    Shannon Hendrickson and I had been friends for about a year. We worked in the same office. She was a secretary and I was an intern. The first thing I noticed about Shannon was her eyes—they were a bluish, greenish, gray color, and they sparkled when she smiled. The second thing was how tiny she was. Exactly five feet tall, Shannon defines the word petite. I liked that. At only five feet six inches myself, a girl who actually looked up into my eyes was a rare find.

    I caught my first glimpse of her on the Sunday she got up in church and shared the story of how she'd become a Christian. Two and a half years earlier she'd had no interest in God. At the time she'd just returned to Maryland from college in New Hampshire, where she'd lived the typical party life. It was an empty life lived for herself—a life ruled by sin. Back home, she threw all her energy into her dream of becoming a professional singer. Soon a move to Nashville seemed the next sensible step up the ladder of stardom. That's just the kind of person she was. Her parents had gotten divorced when she was nine, and her dad had raised her to be self-reliant. She would set her sights on a goal, and then do whatever was needed to get there.

    Before heading to Nashville, she wanted to take a few guitar lessons. She asked around about a teacher, and a friend referred her to a guitarist named Brian Chesemore, who was looking for students. What Shannon didn't know was that Brian was a Christian and was looking for opportunities to share his faith. Her guitar lessons would turn out to be soul saving.

    After a few weeks of lessons, Brian told Shannon how Jesus had changed his life. She listened politely but said she could never live like he did. "I respect you, but that's not for me."

    "Do you think you're going to heaven?" Brian asked gently.

    "I think I'm basically a good person," she responded.

    But her confident rejection was an act. She couldn't get Brian's questions out of her head. What if there was a God? If He existed, would she be willing to live for Him?

    Shannon secretly began to study Christianity. She read the book of Romans, which described her not as a "good person," but as a sinner in need of a savior. She visited a Christian bookstore and asked for something that would help a person explore the claims of Christianity. "It's for a friend," she explained. She left with Josh McDowell's More Than a Carpenter, which gave historical proof for Christ's life, death, and resurrection.

    God was drawing Shannon. He was whittling away at her pride and independence and awakening within her a longing for Himself. One night, alone in her room, she repented for her sinful and self-centered life and believed on the Savior she now knew had died for her.

Something Better

Growing up, I always hoped that when I saw the girl I was going to marry, it would be love at first sight. As it turned out, my chance for a "love at first sight moment" went right over my head.

    On the Sunday I heard Shannon tell her story, I happened to be interested in a girl named Rachel. In fact, I was sitting next to Rachel's mother that morning. When Shannon finished speaking, Rachel's mom leaned over and noted what a "cute girl" Shannon was, a remark that I now find very ironic.

    God had set me up.

    As I sat there next to the mother of my plan for my future, God was parading His plan for my future right in front of my eyes. He had mapped a course for me that was more wonderful than anything I could come up with on my own, and He was making sure that in the days to come I would never question that this good plan had originated in His mind.

    Three months later Shannon and I wound up working together at the church office. We hit it off right away, but I wasn't thinking about anything beyond friendship. When someone asked me if I was interested in her, I thought the question was silly. Shannon was a terrific girl, I said, but not the kind of person I envisioned marrying. Besides, our backgrounds were too different. She was a new Christian from a broken home. I'd probably marry someone who had been homeschooled and raised in the church like I had—someone like Rachel.

    But over the next six months my plans for a future with Rachel began to unravel like a cheap sweater. I remember the afternoon I found out that she liked another guy. Rachel and I had only been friends, and she hadn't led me on, but it still hurt. I needed to talk to God. I shut my office door; but that didn't seem private enough, so I squeezed myself into my small office closet and pulled the door shut.

    There in the darkness I started to cry. I wasn't mad at Rachel; I wasn't bitter. I cried because I knew God was behind it all. He was the one who had closed the door on a relationship with Rachel, and He'd done it for my good. I was overwhelmed by the thought that the God of the universe was willing to be involved in the details of my life—that He'd be willing to reach down and shut a door that He didn't want me to walk through.

    Still crying, I began to thank Him. "I don't understand, but I thank You," I said. "I don't understand, but I know You are good. I don't understand, but I know You're taking this away because You have something better."

    That day was a turning point. I stopped trusting in my own carefully laid plans and asked God to show me His.

Change of Heart

Around that time I began to see Shannon in a new light. Her kindness to others and me caught my attention. She had a passion for God and a maturity that belied her short time as a believer. How can I explain it? She just began to pop up in my thoughts and prayers. I looked forward to the chance to see her and talk. What I learned about her through our interaction and from what I heard from others impressed me. I saw that all the reasons I had for why I wouldn't be interested in her were shallow. God was changing my heart.

    All this had made the months leading up to my phone call torturous. I went through the "I shouldn't be distracted by this" phase. Then the "I am distracted by this" phase. And finally, the "I'm going to fight this" phase, in which I swore to stop journaling about her and mapped a new course around the office so that I wouldn't walk past her desk ten times every hour—something I found myself doing "unintentionally."

    I was living with my pastor, C. J. Mahaney, at the time. Since my mom and dad lived far away in Oregon, C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, had become like a second set of parents to me. I told them about my interest in Shannon. Their counsel helped keep me on track: "Don't let impatience get the upper hand. Be her friend, but don't communicate your interest until you're ready to start a relationship that has a clear purpose and direction. You don't want to play with her heart."

    It wasn't easy I would swing between the conviction that I needed to conceal my feelings and the urge to send her signals just to find out if there was any mutual interest. I could trust God better if I knew she liked me, I argued. But deep down I knew this wasn't true. I needed to be a man—a noncommittal testing of the waters wouldn't be fair to her.

    I started seeking the advice of the most trusted people in my life—my parents, my pastor, and people from our church who knew Shannon and me well. Was I prepared spiritually and emotionally for marriage? Could I provide for a wife and family? Was this God's time for me to pursue a relationship? My prayers kicked into high gear.

    Instead of subsiding, my feelings grew. My circle of counselors gave me nothing but encouragement to pursue a relationship. I didn't know if Shannon and I were supposed to be married, but I felt that God was directing me to take the next step.

    The corner table at Einstein's was it. The countless prayers and conversations had led to this moment. After months of keeping my feelings hidden from Shannon, I was about to make them known.

    Shannon walked through the door right on time. She seemed calm. I walked to the front to greet her, and then we got in line to order something. I looked up at the menu on the wall and acted like I was studying it, but food was the furthest thing from my mind.

    "Are you hungry?" I asked her.

    "No, not really."

    "Yeah, me neither. Something to drink?"


    We both ordered Sprites and sat down.

    Now there was no delaying the inevitable. I needed to say what I had come to say.

    "You may have already figured this out," I began. "But that guy I wanted to talk to you about—you know, the one who's interested in you? Well ... it's me."

A New Season

A bagel shop isn't the most romantic spot to tell a girl you like her. But that night romance wasn't the priority. Our time there wasn't intended to be mushy. I didn't propose marriage or say I was madly in love with her, and she didn't swoon.

    What I did tell her was that through our friendship I'd grown to respect her. I couldn't know at that point if we were right for each other, but I wanted to find out. I asked her to take a step with me into courtship, a new season of friendship. The purpose of this time would be to deepen our relationship so that we could prayerfully and purposefully explore the possibility of marriage.

    Actually, I didn't say it that well. I stammered, laughed nervously, and was anything but eloquent. In fact, I forgot to use the term courtship. She had to ask me if that's what I meant.

    Ultimately, it wasn't the term that mattered. What did matter, I told her, is that our relationship have a clearly defined direction. I didn't want to play games with her. Although I wanted us to start going on dates, I wasn't interested in dating for the sake of dating. I wanted more than anything else to please God and find out if marriage was His plan for us. And I wanted this process to be one we could look back on with fondness and without regret—whether or not we married each other.

    "You don't have to give me an answer tonight," I told her. "You can take as long as you need to think about it." Then I shut up.

    Shannon didn't say anything for a moment. She looked down at her Sprite and played with her straw.

    "Well," she finally said, "I could torture you by dragging it out and leaving you hanging. You know, being `mysterious.' But I can tell you now that I'm willing to give it a try. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm taking this lightly or think that I don't need to pray about it ..." She paused. "It's just that I have been praying about this."

    She'd been praying about me? She'd been thinking about me? I wanted to jump up and tear around the restaurant screaming. Instead I just nodded my head and said, "That's wonderful."

Beginning of an Adventure

This book is much more than the story of what I learned about love, romance, and God in my courtship with Shannon Hendrickson. It's a book for people who know that there's something wrong with our culture's way of doing things but aren't quite sure what to put in its place. It's a book filled with stories about ordinary single people who are striving to honor God in their relationships. It's a book about simple biblical principles that have transformed lives.

    Here's what you'll find in the book's three sections.

    Part One shows that what matters most in a Christian relationship isn't whether we use the term dating or courtship, but that we live for God's glory. We'll see how when we allow wisdom to guide our intense romantic feelings, our relationships are blessed by patience, purpose, and a clear grasp of reality. One couple's story will help us realize when we're ready to start a relationship and with whom, and we'll see how God intends to use this process to make us more like Him.

    Part Two jumps into the practical issues of what I call the "season of courtship." We'll learn how to grow closer, but still guard our hearts in important areas like friendship, communication, fellowship, and romance. We'll get specific about our roles as men and women. We'll look at the importance of community during this time. Then we'll talk honestly about sexual purity and how we can prepare for a great sex life in marriage.

    Part Three helps couples who are getting more serious to move toward marriage in a God-honoring way. We'll see how God's grace can help us face sin from our past. We'll ask some tough questions before engagement, including the all-important one, "Should we go forward together into marriage, or should we call our courtship off?" Finally, we'll be reminded that God's grace is our ultimate source of confidence for joining our hearts and lives in the vows of marriage.

    As you can see, the aim of Boy Meets Girl is to help you place God squarely in the middle of your love life—to show that the journey from friendship to matrimony, from "How do you do?" to "I do," should be viewed as an opportunity to revel in the joys of love as well as to enjoy, honor, and glorify the Creator of love.

    Four years ago as a single man, I wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye to challenge the world's approach to romance. Today as a newly married man, I write Boy Meets Girl to celebrate God's way in romance. I've seen just how good it is. Now I want to encourage you to entrust your dreams of finding true love to His care.

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Table of Contents

Made for Each Other 9
Part I: Rethinking Romance
1 Boy Meets Girl What I've Learned Since I Kissed
Dating Goodbye 15
2 Why Dating Versus Courtship Isn't the Point Getting
Past a Debate over Terms and Back to What Really Matters 29
3 Romance and Wisdom: A Match Made in Heaven Why You
Need More than Just Intense Feelings 43
4 Tell Me How, Tell Me Who, Tell Me When! How God
Guides You to the Right Thing at the Right Time 63
Part II: The Season of Courtship
5 More than Friends, Less than Lovers How to Grow and
Guard in Friendship, Fellowship, and Romance 81
6 What to Do with Your Lips Practical Principles for
Great Communication 93
7 If Boys Would Be Men, Would Girls Be Ladies? How to
Embrace Your God-Given Role As a Man or Woman 107
8 Courtship Is a Community Project How to Gain
Guidance, Support, and Strength from Your Church and 123
9 True Love Doesn't Just Wait How to Be Passionately in
Love and Sexually Pure 141
Part III: Before You Say "I Do"
10 When Your Past Comes Knocking How You Can Face Past
Sexual Sin and Experience God's Forgiveness 169
11 Are You Ready for Forever? Ten Questions to Answer
Before You Get Engaged 193
12. That DayLiving and Loving in Light of Eternity 209
Notes 221
Thanks 225
About the Author 229
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Interviews & Essays

Exclusive Author Essay
Who Gets the Credit for Romance? by Joshua Harris
This might seem like a strange question, but what does romance lead you to worship? Take a moment to ponder it.

When you see a magnificent painting you say, "What an artist." When you stand under a skillfully constructed building you say, "What an architect." What are you doing? You're giving credit to the person responsible for the work.

So when you think about the relationship that you're in or the relationship you want to be in, what does your heart exalt? Sadly, our tendency as sinful humans is to see God's amazing work and wind up amazed with something besides Him.

Let me share three examples of things we often worship instead of God when we think of romance. Can you see yourself in these?

1. Instead of worshiping God, we credit the power of chance for bringing a man and woman together.

It's incredible how many love stories contain an element of "chance." They wouldn't have happened if things hadn't been just right at just the right time on just the right day. Factor in the complicated issue of why certain people are attracted to each other and it's downright incredible when any two people (out of the billions on the planet) match up.

The question is who gets the credit? Who do you thank?

I came across a book that explained every aspect of human relationships -- attraction, love, marriage, jealousy, adultery -- in evolutionary terms. In great detail and with great conviction it argued that natural selection has determined our sense of conscience as well as why we marry. All our behavior has been passed down to us from our ape ancestors.

Not very romantic is it? But it's a good example of someone choosing to worship chance instead the Creator. Many of us have done the same thing in small ways. We "thank our lucky stars" or marvel at our "good fortune." All the while we forget or ignore God.

2. Instead of worshiping God, we credit the power of human will and effort in making romance happen.

Don't get me wrong, romance requires action and initiative. It means taking the first step in a friendship when you feel like hiding. It requires picking up the phone and making a call when your hands are shaking.

But sometimes we place an undue emphasis on our actions. It's one thing to acknowledge romance involves our effort; it's another thing to worship it and forget that God and His sovereignty should be what we hope in.

You can tell which you're worshiping by examining what you put your trust in. Does your confidence for finding a lasting relationship come from your own communication skills, good looks or "relational experience"? Or does it ultimately rest in God and His ability to bring a relationship about?

3. Instead of worshiping God, we idolize romantic love as an end in itself.

Romance is something God created and gives us. But have you ever thought about the true purpose of a gift? A gift points us back to the one who gave it and fills us with gratefulness for that person.

Romance is a good gift from God. You can love God with all your heart and also enjoy the gift of human love that He gives. But if at any point you make this gift the object of your love, you pervert it. The gift isn't meant to replace God, it's meant to point you back to Him.

If romance isn't pointing us to God, it means we might be worshiping it instead of its Maker.

Truth for Lie

The point is that we are all worshipers. We might not be religious or use the word "worship," but we're all hoping in and adoring something. Too often that something isn't the One True God. Too often we're guilty of exchanging "the truth of God for a lie" and worshiping created things rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

Have you exchanged the truth for a lie? Are you worshiping chance or will power or romance itself? All of the other things you could hope in and worship instead of the One True God are really false gods -- false hopes. They don't come through.

Luck dries up.

Our effort, we discover, isn't enough.

Romance wanes or doesn't live up to our expectations.

But God?

God has never forsaken those who seek Him (Ps. 37:25). And when we receive romance as a gift from Him -- and rejoice in it because it's from Him -- there's no end to the beauty, the wonder, the mystery, and pleasure we enjoy.

So don't look down. Don't look within. Look up.

Copyright © 2000 by Joshua Harris

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2004

    Good start, ruined by author's ideas on divorce

    There is so much good in this book. The author puts forth the idea that young people should pursue a relationship with the opposite sex only when they are ready for marriage, and then they should 'court' rather than 'date.' He encourages chastity, self-control, and prayer. The book would be perfect for anyone seeking advice on relationships, EXCEPT that the whole thing is ruined by the author interjecting his personal opinion that divorce and remarriage are acceptable in God's eyes. Sadly, he twice goes into erroneous apologetic arguments in favor of divorce and remarriage. He never says that divorce is pleasing to God; he only asserts that it's excusable in some circumstances. But why write a book that's all about living life in a way that pleases God, and then include advice about doing something that is never pleasing to Him? The Bible clearly tells us that when God made Adam and Eve, there was no divorce; He only gave divorce to the Jews because of the hardness of their hearts, and even then He told them that they couldn't remarry or else they'd be committing adultery. Why would anyone want to advocate something that God never intended and only allowed because His people were hard-hearted?! Until this book is revised to take out all of the garbage about divorce and remarriage, I would recommend other books on chastity and courtship. It's too bad. This was almost a really good book, but it calls to mind the story about the brownies made with mostly good ingredients and a little bit of dung. Who'd feed that to his children?

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009


    This book is WONDERFUL! I haven't read any of Joshua Harris' books, but my boyfriend and I read through this together and it has really helped us define our relationship. Joshua gives examples and shows both the girl and the guy what a healthy relationship is, how to guard your heart and the heart of others. This book is good for anyone, whether you're in a relationship or single! It's a great way to practice being a Godly wife or husband before you're ever in a relationship! I love this book. I will be recommending it to anyone over the age of 13 and I look forward to reading it again! :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2004


    ..browsing through B&N this book practically fell in my lap-god's fax to me i like to think...since then i have read it twice then put notes all over it and my boyfriend has read it 2-3 times..if ur single read it now so ur prepared i wish i had read it when i was 18...but if ur in a relationship read it tonight...josh harris has been very honest and straightforward in his ideas of courtship, the book and the guidelines it gives for courtship are completely bible first some of it may seem a little hard to practice but if u've opened ur heart to god this book is a great way to truly try to emulate a godly in which ur first priority is to serve god and in turn serve ur teaches u how to love in a godly way, it teaches u that love is a triangle, it opens ur eyes to the fact that the only way a relationship works is when both partners are accountable to the same god. It has help me mature both individually in my walk with god, as well as with my Mann-Ki- Dhost ( friend-of-my-soul)...most importantly josh has clearly defined the importance of our GOD-GIVEN roles as men and women, and how mixing up these roles has led to disastrous relationships...boy meets girl is a book that should be on ur nightstand next to ur bible to be read again and again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Insightful: certainly a must read for those not married

    This book is a very in-depth, helpful, and practical sequel to I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Joshua Harris does a great job of thoroughly exploring the Bible to explain to the reader what Christian relationships should look like. The main thing I came away with was the attitude of treating every person as a brother or sister in Christ rather than as a potential mate. I have been using this transformed thinking, and the true joy of relationships comes only from this renewed Christ-like mindset which Joshua Harris fleshes out so well in Boy Meets Girl.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    Incredible read!

    This book and its predecessor, Kissing Dating Goodbye, have a permanent place in my personal library. I have gifted this book and recommended it to so many others, my kids included. I loved the anecdotal style and sense of practical application in real life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    I love Joshua Harris' books. :)

    I love Joshua Harris' books. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    this is a great book

    I absolutely loved this book. I recommend this book to any one who loves reading. It taught me about courtship very well. It is a great read and very helpful

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book!

    Joshua Harris is a great author. I love his books. Before reading this book, I would recommend reading his first book, I kissed dating goodbye. It is great and this book is a continuation off that. Get this book, you will not regret it!

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring quick read

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I had read Josh's first book on kissing dating good-bye for a paper I completed for my college English course, and this was my next step into learning more about something that I feel passionate about. I've never liked the notion of dating, and would always shy away from it. It just was not me. But reading this book, I found something I could relate to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Must read bood if you want to do dating right!

    Must read book if you want to do dating right!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    I normally don't like reading.......

    BUT, this book was recommended to me by a close friend/brother in Christ and after reading the first 5 pages, I was hooked. It only took me 2 days to read this book because I just couldn't put the book down. If only you begin this book with an open heart and a thirst for knowledge then I can guarantee you that this book will help those who desire a relationship like no other. In 'Boy meets Girl,' Joshua Harris, through true stories that touch your heart, even stories that make you wonder if they were ever true, clearly conveys his thoughts of HOW TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IN THE CENTER~!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2008

    Best Guide To 'Dating'

    If you are looking to the guide of safe 'dating' this book is reccomended to you. Joshua Harris shows a wonderful way to courting someone and finding your future spouse. Harris finds a way to weave his oppinion on view points such as how far you should go before marriage in a non hurtful way. He freely lets you choose what you want your relationship to be like only suggests his opinion. Such as his boundries for physicalness with his girlfriend. He clearly states that it his guide and doesn't say that everyone should follow his guide to how physical you get...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    I loved this book. Joshua really opens up and tells you about having a Christ-Centered relationship. As a single, I always have a fear that I'll never be married. However, Joshua reminds me how I need to be content being sing e.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2004

    I Truly Am Inspired by this book!

    This Book, 'Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship' has changed my life! I am not a very good reader, but this book the Lord has brought me all the way through it! The Lord is ALL over this Book! I Truly Recommend this book!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2004

    A mother's point of view!

    I have just completed this powerful book. Wow! I only wish I had it to read before I had begun my dating journey. I am sending this book to both my 18-year-old daughter and her 21-year-old boyfriend. Both attending the same college, they have been dating for four months. I hope that after viewing this wealth of information they will look at their relationship in a new light and make it even better. I pray that they keep God first in their relationship, reminding themselves of the final reward if God's plan for them is marriage. If the plan is not marriage, that they come away from a truly meaningful courtship with no regrets, with a loving Christ filled friendship. I highly recommend this to every parent of a teenager who is about to embark on this wonderful journey, referred to here as, 'courtship'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2003

    Great Book! Opened my eyes!,

    I will admit I was a little taken a back at the first idea of 'courting'. I thought it was one of the silliest things I had ever heard of. When I came across Boy Meets Girl, I was at a crossroads in my spiritual journey with God, and with my then boyfriend. This book opened my eyes and made me realize that God is going to send me the right guy. When I find him, it's going to so amazing! I am so excited to know that out there right now, my husband is there waiting! I can't wait to find him!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2003

    Prepare to Alter Your Perspective

    This is a great read, very approachable, and full of great information. I was never much for dating in the first place, thinking always that if I found the one that God had intended for me, that I would know. God will do what God will do, as is his plan, but any Christian (or non Christian for that matter) would do well to pick up this book and see what it has to say. Highly reccomended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2003

    Setting standards

    This books was really cool, especially the part about communication and when your past comes knocking, talks about the fact that no matter what we have done in the past we are sinners at the foot of the cross made clean by the blood. The list of do's and don't someone mentioned was just the standard they wanted for their relationship and not for others and he never stated that it was sin to hug in front or anything like that, he even mentioned that he may have sinned in his mind worse than those who have different rules or standards. The book is great, all about doing all things to His and not for ourselves and living by God's standards. A must buy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2003

    Not for your typical christian relationship

    This book was not at all what I expected. Joshua Harris gives examples of christian relationships that seem unreal at times. His list of 'donts' for he and his fiance Shannon are a little over the top. I do not believe that hugging from the front is sinful. Read it and you'll see the list.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2003

    A good read....

    It's true, this book is a bit corny (as the example above in illustrated), but is filled with biblical truths about relationships. I would highly recommend this book, it changed my view of relationships; so filter out the cheesy stuff and take the practical steps and apply them to your life. Also, the comments about the roles women and men play are a necessary part of making a book like this complete. So, don't listen to the review above! A good read, for sure!

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