Unbeknownst to me, Jessica had read my book as a teen, passionately championed its ideas but then had experienced painful disillusionment with its ideals (you can read Jessica’s story ).She had a vision to create a documentary to talk about the real experiences and challenges faced by Christian singles.It was called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” When it first came out in 1997, a lot of people read it. And many others thought it was terrible — and told me so.For a long time I ignored the voices of those who didn’t appreciate my book or its ideas on relationships.The reason I’ve taken a slower route is because I want to get at root issues and not just provide flippant, quick-fix answers.Part of what I’ve learned is that the issues at stake run deeper in me and in my generation than just what was good or misguided about a single book.
My eyes were opened to the fact that in a church culture even well-intentioned practices and godly values can be applied in a way that deeply hurt people. Two years ago I stepped down from being a pastor to attend a graduate school of theology (it’s a long story and I talk more about it ).
I’m learning that it has to do with whether we approach life from a posture of fear or one of faith.
It has to do with our attitude toward what it means to be made in God’s image for relationship.
As I listened to those stories I began to see a new side of church life. I heard how values could be applied in graceless ways.
Ever since I had come to the church I had been a leader of one kind or another. I heard about people feeling rejected if they didn’t measure up.