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All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Two weeks after the publication of this article, Darcy wrote some follow-up thoughts. EDITOR NOTE: If you are a reader who is unfamiliar with the specific courtship teachings of Bill Gothard and IBLP (the perspective from which Darcy writes), you can find more articles by clicking here.
Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. Darcy is a seeker, Jesus-lover, and a bit of a rebel.The topic of dating and relationships came up and we started talking about my story. In my life it meant never having a crush on a guy, never allowing myself to “fall in love.” Basically, training myself to shut down a normal, healthy, functioning part of my human heart. I told her if she was to walk out of the room, leaving me and her husband in the same room, my first reaction would be one of panic. Let's seek the Lord, His Word, and pray day to day for wisdom. No parent is perfect, but I suspect the author's parents tried to do what they felt God wanted them to do.Sometimes it’s actually comforting to me to be met with blank or incredulous stares from people I consider “normal,” good Christians. I’m 27 years old, and I’ve been married for almost 7 years. Shame because sometimes you can’t help but like one guy a little more than another. Pride because you are so much more spiritual than that poor girl over there who is crying because her boyfriend broke up with her. They made up laws that God never condoned, then patted themselves on the back for keeping them, while looking down on those who didn’t. Bitterness only leaves the believer unable to move on and be used by the Lord. But the idea that I can defraud just by a look, that I could become emotionally impure just by a thought, that I might become damaged goods with pieces of my heart strewn all over creation, and that guys “have only one thing on their minds” and we need to help them control themselves, has truly negatively affected what should be normal interactions with my friends. In the real world, men and women can have innocent relationships. Let me guess: you were in a relationship with a BPD that was absolutely amazing for several months. The entire relationship went to shreds almost instantly. Thus began a journey to know God and understand life; a journey from bondage to grace; a journey she's still making.
At age 17 she fell in love with her best friend and her perfect little formulated world came crashing down.Harris even went so far as to say that each of those former flames actually have some sort of hold on you. My third child doesn’t have less of my heart just because I’ve loved two other children before him. It is ridiculous to suggest that there is not enough of my heart to go around. This has got to be the most bogus and the most damaging teaching of this entire movement. And, really, I haven’t given them “pieces” of my heart. The miracle of love is that it multiplies by being given. And what view of redemption does this teaching proclaim? It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change.I define “emotional purity” in the same way that popular homeschool writers have: it is the idea of “guarding your heart.” This sounds all noble and righteous and everything but in this context is really just a facade for fear. It was Josh Harris in and the Ludy’s in several of their books that popularized the idea that everytime you fall in love or get “emotionally attached” to someone, you give away a piece of your heart. Pride because suddenly you are better than everyone else. I am still uncomfortable hugging one of my best friends who is a guy because we were taught never to hug or have physical contact, even innocent, with a guy. We were taught never ever ever to be alone with a guy because it could look bad.