The first powerful short story in the book was the Wedding Dream on pages 13-14, where a girl named Anna describes how at her wedding the women from her fiancé's past came up to the front with the couple. At the time she is hurt and doesn't understand what is really happening. The fiancé apologizes and explains to her that these are girls from his past that he has given part of his heart to.
This dream Anna had depicts a tragically sad truth of our society's way of dating. We are told that dating is important and good 'practice', but now we are simply given away pieces of our hearts and innocence because of our corrupt definition of 'dating' and 'love'.
One of my favourite messages Joshua presents is The Little Principle (on Page 28).
"An intimate relationship is a beautiful experience that God wants us to enjoy. After all, He stated that is wasn't good for man to be alone and created a woman to perfectly compliment him and help him (Gen 28). But God has made the fulfillment of intimacy a by-product of commitment based love. If we want to experience the goodness of His plan, we need to reconnect the pursuit of intimacy with the pursuit of commitment.
This is what I call the Little Relationship Principle:
The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment".
The main reason I enjoy this passage is because it challenges us to change our view of love being expressed by physical intimacy first and for most, to love being expressed FIRST through commitment.
In Chapter 5, we begin looking at what God's definition of love is. Joshua Harris uses the well known 1 Corinthians chapter 13 to define God's TRUE love.
(Love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not self seeking, is not proud, does not boast, etc)
Before this however, Joshua lays out two VERY different 'love stories'. The first is about a man who after dating a girl on and off for a year had sex because they were in love. The second story is about a man and a woman who decided that they would reserve all physical intimacy for marriage, as a way to show their love, and protect each other before they were married.
I thought this chapter did a really great job of deciphering the difference between the world's idea of love and God's idea of love. The story of couple #2 was so beautiful and pure to me. It gave me hope in the idea of finding someone who will love me enough to put my heart and my relationship with God ahead of his own physical desires.
The only big question I walk away from this first PCR with is this:
How do you go from wanting attention and secular dating views, to treating the opposite sex like brothers in Christ? How do you rid your heart of the world's definition and replace it with God's?
Until the next 80 pages!