How the Teachings of Emotional Purity and Courtship Damage Healthy Relationships

This has a lot of truth to it… The whole idea of “emotional purity” probably sounds like a great idea to parents wanting to protect their kids, and it even made sense when I was being fed this through church and homeschool groups. (Yes, I went to a conference about courtship…) To this day, I’m still dealing with the effects of this indoctrination. I’m having to re-learn what a normal relationship looks like.

Homeschoolers Anonymous

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HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Darcy’s blog Darcy’s Heart-Stirrings. It was originally published on January 18, 2011.

There are many times that I don’t realize just how much strange teaching I’ve had to “un-do” in my life until I try to explain them to someone else. This happened to me the other night. A dear friend and I were talking about our kids and how to help them transition from children to adults. The topic of dating and relationships came up and we started talking about my story. Sometimes it’s actually comforting to me to be met with blank or incredulous stares from people I consider “normal”, good Christians. It somehow validates my belief that some of the teachings I grew up with were very wrong.

I’ve also lately started facing the ways in which the teachings of “emotional purity”, (a la Josh Harris, the…

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