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Articles about how Bill Gothard mishandles the Bible to support his legalistic viewpoint.

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Stories and accounts of the destruction caused by the teachings of Bill Gothard.

Tag Archives: courtship

2013 Year in Review

6 January 2014, 06:00



Dear Recovering Grace Reader, We hope and pray that you have had a blessed holiday season. As we move into 2014, we’d like to take this opportunity to share with you how God is continuing to use our website to help others, as well as to look back at our top 10 posts of 2013. […]

What My Parents Did Right

19 December 2013, 06:00



You know the old saying as well as I do about hindsight being 20/20. This is because it’s really very easy to look back on the past and criticize others’ actions. I’m pretty sure people have been doing this from time immemorial. In fact, it’s quite likely that either Eve or Adam turned to the […]

The Blessings of God

17 October 2013, 06:00

Wendy B


Bill Gothard’s courtship literature promises rewards to those who do courtship right and consequences for those who date — rewards and consequences that are not promised in Scripture. I’ll take examples from Gothard’s recent courtship teaching, then share my own experience with courtship and dating. In the article “What Is Courtship?” Gothard lists the Foundational […]

My Heart’s Guardian: Missing in Action

10 October 2013, 06:00



My family joined the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) when I was about 9 years old.  I was taught the traditional courtship by ATI and Bill Gothard. Keep my mind pure. If I fall in love with someone who is not my spouse I’ll have less love to give him. My future spouse will ask my […]

What’s Wrong with Guarding your Heart?

30 September 2013, 06:00



I was raised in an ultra-Conservative Christian homeschool environment, during what I consider the heyday of the “guard your heart”/purity/courtship movement (90s and early 2000s). Needless to say, that teaching affected and continues to affect me deeply. What started out as a (presumably) well-intentioned effort by parents to prevent their children from experiencing pain, has […]

Life Isn’t a Role-Playing Game: Part Two

19 August 2013, 06:00



This is Part Two of a three-part story. Click here to read Part One. During my early high school years, I was very blessed to find an incredible youth group with leaders who valued relationships over rules and encouraged guys and girls to know each other more intimately as friends instead of remaining isolated from […]

When the Courtship Crashes

2 May 2013, 06:00



“Lindsey? Do you miss them?”  The swing creaked as I pushed a blonde boy who attended our church.We came from different families, backgrounds, and were far apart in age, but today I’d been drawn to play with him by one thing in common. Our friends were gone. “Yeah.”  “Did you tell them not to come […]

A Life Defined By Externals

15 April 2013, 06:00



My story is an interesting one. Until I found Recovering Grace I did not know there were many others like me. When I was eight years old my mom and biological father divorced. Even as a child I understood why their divorce was necessary. People say I was born an adult. Within a year my mom re-married a […]

Dear Mr. Gothard: One Student’s Letter

24 January 2013, 06:00



Dear Mr. Gothard, I’m a former ATI student. I’m writing to you to explain why I no longer support IBLP/ATI, and why I’m involved with sites like Recovering Grace. You invited us to approach you “if” we have been offended. (You used wording, by the way, that you taught us we couldn’t use if we really wanted […]

Dear Grace: Overbearing Parents

10 January 2013, 06:00



Dear Grace, I am 26 years old with a good head on my shoulders, and am currently in a courtship with a 29-year-old man who has a solid career, is in church leadership, and loves the Lord and me. I’ve always been obedient to my parents and done whatever they’ve told me in the area […]