Quoting Quiverfull: Church Dating?

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

Joshua Harris from “Why Church Matters”

The message of that book (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) was that singles should avoid directionless relationships that were romantic and physical but had no intention of moving toward commitment. The irony of this was that even though I had stopped playing the dating game with girls, I was perfectly happy to keep playing it with the church. I liked attending on weekends, and I enjoyed the social benefits of church, but I didn’t want the responsibility that came with real commitment. Like Jack in our story, I wasn’t interested in settling down. So though I gave the appearance of commitment, I mostly just flirted with different churches and kept my options open.

But before we look at the benefits of commitment, consider what is lost when church dating becomes a way of life.
When we resist passion and commitment in our relationship with the church, everyone gets cheated out of God’s best.

• You cheat yourself.
• You cheat a church community.
• You cheat your world.

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Andrew

    “singles should avoid directionless relationships that were romantic and physical but had no intention of moving toward commitment.”

    Joshua obviously doesn’t understand Christ command that we are to love another. Paul never taught that singles couldn’t mix with singles of the opposite gender.

  • saraquill

    So dating people without intending to commit is distasteful, but one should “play the field” when it comes to churches. Does he know how wrong that sounds?

  • If he actually applied his courtship principles to finding a church, he wouldn’t be allowed to even attend one church service to see what the church was really like before committing to it. Anyone can see how ridiculous and unwise that would be, just as most people see courtship as foolhardy.

  • I think he was saying the opposite, that playing the field with churches is just as bad as dating.

  • Kim

    I’m reading the words “relationships that were romantic and physical” to mean relationships that were sexually intimate (whether that means PIV sex or one of the other types of sex that still leaves you “technical virgins” or just dry humping or making out). I think that in today’s world many people consider physical intimacy to be the difference between friendship and dating. I am saying this as a woman who is an admitted sinner, who was “friends with benefits” with my husband before we even considered dating and whose relationship with him then progressed to “open relationship” while we were on separate military deployments.

    I don’t think that Jesus’ command to love each other meant erotic love but rather agape love. I doubt that anyone truly thinks that Christ meant dating in the modern sense of the word when he commanded us to love each other. In this sense, I don’t see mixing “with singles of the opposite gender” as a problem. That is, I think that opposite-gender, similar-age, heterosexual individuals can work together in the same job or even be friends with each other without sinning or experiencing any kind of moral difficulty.

    I see Joshua Harris as mostly meaning that being in a romantic relationship only for what he could get from the out of the other person without caring about either learning who that other person really is or what their emotional needs are, although I know he also means being in that kind of relationship without ever intending to get married to that person.

    I downloaded free samples of both books from Amazon.com onto my kindle. In I Kissed Dating Goodbye he wrote, “In the past, the starting point of my relationships was what I wanted instead of what God wanted. I looked out for my needs and fit others into my agenda. Did I find fulfillment? No, I found only compromise and heartache. I not only hurt others; I also hurt myself, and most seriously, I sinned against god. But when I changed my attitude and made pleasing God and blessing others my first priorities, I found true peace and joy. When I stopped seeing girls as potential girlfriends and started treating them as sisters in Christ, I discovered the richness of true friendship.”

    This is a guy who needed some serious growing up to do before he was ready to be in romantic relationships whether that be dating or courting, with any women. He also needed to see women as actual human beings with feelings and needs before he was capable giving the kind of love that Christ commanded.

    I agree that his message is problematic and I believe that he needed to grow more mature before he even wrote that book, but I think it came from a good place in his heart. I just can’t give a fully thought-out review without having read both books fully.

  • “…I didn’t want the responsibility that came with real commitment.”

    Hahahahaha! A familiar refrain! Amirite?