The book focuses on Harris' disenchantment with the contemporary secular dating scene, and offers ideas for improvement, alternative dating/courting practices, and a view that singleness need not be a burden nor characterized by what Harris describes as "selfishness." Harris popularized the concept of "courting" as an alternative to regular secular dating, and in doing so has caused discussion regarding the appropriateness of his solutions to regular dating as well as the foundations on which he bases his reasoning.
In general, Harris believes that dating has become too inwardly focused.
." On November 20, 2005 Harris gave a message to the church at which he is Senior Pastor, titled "Courtship, Schmourtship: What Really Matters in Relationships." In this message Harris acknowledged problems with how the singles related in his church.
A bride is walking down the aisle toward her beloved on their wedding day.
Harris was already a popular speaker at conferences for Christian home-schoolers and had started his own magazine, but the book’s influence quickly outpaced its modest built-in audience—it has sold more than 1.2 million copies to date. You weren’t just not having sex, you were adopting “a revolutionary pattern of living” that would make you both a better Christian and, someday, a better spouse.
Many have called for Joshua Harris to apologize for what they believe was hurtful teaching, while others are applauding him for his stance and encouraging him to stand his ground.He feels that it is more appropriate and more healthy in the long run to participate in "group dates" in order to truly understand the way a particular person interacts with others, since in a group setting in which some people know the person that person is less likely to be able to maintain a façade for the duration of the date.