What the Tragic Love Story of Joshua Harris Should Teach You

Joshua Harris is among the most popular purity and marriage advocates in the Christian circle. Now, he announced that he will be divorcing his wife. Here’s what you need to learn from his tragic love story.

What the Tragic Love Story of Joshua Harris Should Teach You

When I was in High School, I heard about a book entitled, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” It is a book about staying sexually pure, finding your one true love, and focusing on how to prepare for that life-long commitment.

The book was an instant best-seller. Harris’ revolutionary ideas had made a huge impact on the many lives of Christians especially in a day and age where sexual promiscuity and divorce are rampant.

A book embraced by millions

A lot of Christians applauded the book and made it their life’s guiding principle when it comes to forming a relationship with the opposite sex.

Admittedly, I haven’t read the book. What I know is that the book has been greatly popular to the point that some people made a religion out of it. A lot of youth groups in various churches use the book as their bible study material to learn godly dating or courting.

From pastor to unbeliever

However, in a surprising announcement, Joshua Harris made an Instagram post stating that he and his wife, Shannon, are having a divorce. After 20 years of marriage, they decided to separate but would still remain friends.

I would say this is the most unexpected announcement you will hear from a man who championed chastity, pure love, and undefiled marriage.

Now, a deeper investigation in the life of Joshua Harris would soon tell you that his announcement should not be a surprise.

A few years back, Harris admitted that he regretted writing the book. He even feels somewhat ashamed for being known to be the man who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye. For this reason, he decided to discontinue the publication of the book.

IN 2014, he stepped down from being a senior pastor at Covenant Life Church. In recent statements, he apologizes to the LGBT community for not standing by their side and fighting for their rights.

Finally, he confirms what most people have long been suspected. He announced that he is no longer a Christian.

With all the changes in his life, his marriage inevitably took a toll. No doubt, the divorce with his wife is simply a symptom of a greater problem.

When church leaders quit

It is sad to see church members fall away from their faith; but it is more shocking to see ministers, pastors and church leaders make a fatal mistake in their spiritual life.

People, Christians, and church members hold them high on a pedestal – and that’s where the problem lies.

When Joshua Harris published his book, there’s no doubt; people think that he knows the key to a successful marriage. They believe that this guy embodies the principles of a godly marriage. If there’s any guy who knows how to make a marriage work, this should be him!

Obviously, this thinking has led many discouraged, frustrated, and disappointed with Harris’ announcement of divorce. They thought that Harris is bulletproof against marital problems and issues.

Christians are saddened, while unbelievers and scoffers cast a grin that says, “I told you so.”

A powerful lesson to learn

I think one of the most important lessons we can learn from Harris’ divorce is that he is still a human being.

No matter what position a Christian holds in a church, he is still human – a person who possesses a carnal mind and nature.

The problem with so many Christians today is that they follow a man. They look to the physical government of the church instead of the HEAD of the Church.

So, the moment a church leader or someone in the group sinned, we feel as if the totality of Christianity also failed!

That’s the kind of thinking that led a lot of people leaving their church. When their church leaders fail them, they thought that God also failed them while in reality, that’s NEVER the case!

The Bible tells us whom we should look up to:

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus (Yahshua), the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

You see, our focus should not on the people around us. You can’t base your standard on how people behave. Even the spiritual giants in the Bible failed at some point in their lives.

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Abraham lied; David committed adultery; Noah got drank; Moses disobeyed God; Peter denied his master; and a lot more.

If these spiritual giants committed mistakes, how much more would Joshua Harris, the leader of your church, or the people who called themselves as Christians?

Focus to God

Yes, it is tragic to hear about what happened to Joshua Harris. However, this does not mean that we will base our relationship with God in his story. We have Yahshua who set a great example that we must all emulate – and that’s what we must be striving to follow.

Thankfully, it is not yet too late for Harris or for anyone of us. He can still turn his life around. In the same manner, when we commit a mistake, we can always choose to repent and change.

I hope these lessons will stick to our mind.

Don’t let other people’s mistake ruin your relationship with God.

Though Harris said that he regretted what he wrote, biblical principles still stand true today. Sexual purity, saving yourself for marriage, and focusing on preparing yourself for your future spouse are all teachings we learn from the Bible.

May we all have the courage, faith, and most importantly, love for God to stay in the course of our Christian race!


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