Book Review: “Outdated” presents a new way of looking for love

Local pastor Jonathan Pokluda released the book "Outdated" as a resource for young adults tired of the world's method of dating. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Pokluda

By Clara Lincicome | Reporter

Jonathan Pokluda, lead pastor at Harris Creek Baptist Church in Waco, recently released “Outdated,” a book that aims to help young adults “find love that lasts when dating has changed.”

This is Pokluda’s fourth book in four years. He released “Welcome to Adulting” in 2018, “Welcome to Adulting Survival Guide: 42 Days to Navigate Life” in 2019 and “Welcoming the Future Church” in 2020.

Prior to leading at Harris Creek, Pokluda worked at The Porch, a young adult and singles ministry in Dallas where he led thousands of young adults through their journeys of faith. With years of experience under his belt as qualification, Pokluda instructs this generation on what it looks like to pursue relationships contrary to the world’s way.

While Pokluda’s philosophy may seem “outdated,” the world’s way of finding love isn’t necessarily working. The book tackles what is inherently wrong with dating in today’s self-serving and afraid-of-commitment society, as we are amidst the highest divorce rates and the most unhappy marriages in history. “Outdated” also provides basic instructions on what it looks like to honor God and follow His lead when pursuing relationships and marriage.

The book is broken into three parts: why we date, who we date and how we date.

Pokluda does not agree with the world’s view that dating is something we should do to keep us entertained or to have fun, but rather something we should do with an end goal in mind. While a relationship with someone that is right for you will in turn bring you joy, Pokluda says that “fun” should not be the goal.

“God invented marriage. It’s a gift from him, and (for most people) it is worth pursuing,” Pokluda said in “Outdated.” “Singleness, also, can be a gift from God. But dating was not created by God. Dating was invented by people and is a relatively recent invention … Dating can be redeemed; it can fulfill a godly purpose. But only if we date with a purpose.”

In regard to who we date, Pokluda dispelled the fairytale idea of a soulmate that we are constantly fed by Hollywood, that there is “the one” out there. In turn, he said that there is no perfect person or perfect compatibility partner out there, but rather many people that could be great partners if you are looking for the right qualities.

“In reality, there isn’t just one,” Pokluda said in “Outdated.” “Instead, there are many “ones” available who would make a great mate for you. If you know how and where to look, the odds of finding one of the many are actually quite high.”

Pokluda often preaches the idea that clarity is kindness. And in dating today, with dating apps and hookup culture, clarity is often the last thing on the mind. Pokluda details “the dating game” that young adults are playing, which often leads to manipulation, lying and unfulfillment.

“The solution is so simple,” Pokluda writes. “Playing games is complicated, which is why people think there are so many rules to dating and the reason they fail is because they don’t know all the rules. But when you choose to not play games, there is really only one rule, and it is so simple that anyone can follow it: just be honest.”

“Outdated” tackles every topic related to dating and marriage, including red flags, programming your heart, healthy boundaries, how to use the gift of singleness and breaking up.

With “ring by spring” season upon us in full swing, it’s easy to get caught up in the saga that is singleness in college and into young adulthood. While “Outdated” may seem exactly that, outdated, it gives a refreshing look at what it looks like to pursue relationships that honor Christ, and also leaves the reader with the necessary reminder that true fulfillment can’t come from relationships of this world, but from a relationship with our Maker.