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Topic: Dating/courtship (Read 1383 times) previous topic - next topic

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #20
For our family we consider this topic very seriously. Dating is when a young man and lady spend time together without a commitment and often sensual pleasure and emotion is the basis of the relationship. Two disastrous examples of dating in the Bible occurred with Samson and his first betrothed and with Delilah.

Courting is when a young man and woman become acquainted with the specific purpose of marriage in mind and with the guidance of parents or spiritual counselors. The arrangements are made so as to preserve the purity of both and to develop a foundation upon spiritual and mental commonalities which is a basis for lasting love and true appreciation upon which the emotional and physical can be added as God blesses. Two examples of biblical courtship are the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah and between Boaz and Ruth.

In my mind our young people as a whole enjoy too much familiarity with the opposite sex generally and it's not really appropriate for teenagers to hangout together casually. It sets the stage for temptation and emotional attachment which is not healthy at the age when hormones are raging and judgment is immature.

We believe there are three most important life decisions a young person must make and that they should be done in this order:
1. Developing a personal walk with God.
2. Discovering the life calling.
3. The choice of a companion.

We would not encourage any young person in a relationship unless the first two are understood and being practically demonstrated in the life.

We believe in traditional Biblical roles of men and women as is enumerated in 1Cor. 11. God has given men the role of being the head of the home: the priest, provider, and protector. Women are to be the help meet of their husband and to flourish in the care of the home, and in training the children. Unless a young man has a faith in God which will help him spiritually lead a family, and a career by which to support them, he has no business seeking a relationship with a young lady. Conversely, unless a young lady has a spiritual walk with the Lord, and the training to be able to care for a home and family, she has no business receiving the attentions of a young man. Now she may still acquire education for nursing or teaching, etc and as a young lady may work but once married the primary priority and duty is to her home and family first. Our views are very countercultural but what we believe the Bible enjoins upon Christians.

Parents and/or other spiritual counselors can often see things about a young person that they cannot discern and so it is important for young people to have someone they can counsel with who can help them through this time in their life. Also, daughters are under the protection of their father prior to marriage and it is important that the father assist in determining the character of the young man who desires his daughter's company. It is his duty as a father, especially a Christian father to make sure his daughter will be in good hands.

We believe chaperoning to be appropriate in a developing relationship and that physical contact should be kept to an absolute minimum during courtship and should rather be saved for the years of marriage.

For my husband and I, our parents were out of the picture but we looked to spiritual counselors whom we respected and could see had good marriages themselves. We knew each other for a year and a half before my husband asked my father for permission to court me (that was a sign to me that God was leading that he asked my father first-although my father wasn't much more involved than that) and it was a bout six months courting/engagement before marriage. We had a courtship package we went through together which helped us to discuss important topics before marriage: children, career, finances, health, family issues...we were in a long distance relationship during most of our courtship but we talked daily on the phone and prayed together. Communication was established early on and we still love talking together. We will be up until 3 am just talking about different things. We are individuals and have differences of opinion but there is not one issue we have not worked out. Sometimes it is necessary for me to give the decision making power to my husband to do as he feels best, but he is always willing to hear any concerns I may have about an issue.  Our first kiss was at the altar. Both of us had experienced dating prior to becoming Christians and neither of us were virgins but both determined in Christ to find the right one and to wait until it was clear that God was leading. We have had a very happy marriage for almost 12 years now and we have no regrets. The Lord brought us together and He has sustained us through the years.

If Christians took this seriously I believe we would see a whole lot more happy marriages and the divorce rate in the church would be much lower.

That's my ten cents for the day! 😀

  • Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 03:15:00 PM by Happyblessedmama

  • Melinda
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Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #21
So I googled difference between dating and courtship, and I guess why I find is so confusing is in my little world we don't use courtship, it's just 'dating', but what dating means or how you date varies between people, when I read I guess what we call dating here is the same as courtship, you get to know one another for marriage, if they aren't capable then marriage will never happen and then you choose to go separate ways, I plan to guide and give my boys advice, I don't plan on telling them she isn't the one, I do plan and am now praying for wonderful Godly dil, if she isn't the one well I plan to tell him he needs to really pray about this relationship, hopefully he never stopped praying about the relationship, i will tell him that I don't like her if I don't lol and why I don't like her but my plan is to do it all Godly lead, I want God to speak through me and I will do some major praying on one of our hearts to be changed on the girl, being public area I won't go into the beginnings of my relationship with husband, I will say my parents voiced they didn't like him or think he was the one God had for me, and made life difficult for us in coming together in marriage but I can say it will be 16yrs in may and I am still happy, I knew in the beginning he was the one because I spent many hrs in prayer, and I still know that today there is no doubt in my heart and has never been any doubt about our relationship, I believe with all my heart every relationship should start off in prayer, and if God says no it's better to peacefully walk away then have to pray for God to deliver you from the mess
Mom to 6 boys (15,12,9,7,3,1yr) and several late 1st trimester losses,

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #22
Courtship and dating, both by definition don't involve commitment. The whole premise of both of them is that you can end the relationship if it's clear that it's not working out.

If you are NOT free to end a premarriage relationship, then by definition you're not courting, you're practicing betrothal.

There's no plan that will eliminate the potential of heartbreak or wrong decisions.

My husband was counseled to break up with me. I'm rather glad that he didn't follow that advice. Other people are only human and their advice is often flawed. We should carefully consider counsel but the end decision is ours, assuming that we are of legal decision making age.

~Ruth, wife to Tim since 11/6/05 and WAHM to Hannah (11), Micah (8), and Abigail (5)

  • Madre
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Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #23
Not every woman marries right out of her parents' home or marries at a young age.  I think it's sort of traditional for a young man to ask the father for his daughter's hand, but if she's been out of the house for 7 years it seems that this is unnecessary.  A twenty-five year old woman can give her own hand.

But I do think that godly counsel is a good thing and should be sought and considered.



 
  • Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 05:45:30 PM by Madre

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #24
We would never insist that marriage has to be the end of the courtship. If the young people discover in a good context that they can't be together, then we would encourage them to stop at that point. The positive thing is that if emotions and physical aren't part of the relationship the hurt is not as bad and people can move on. The emphasis for us would be on a young persons willingness to receive counsel, that they are prepared in the first place, and that if they see red flags to listen and consider those things before a lifelong relationship is entered into.

Yes, of course there will be times that break ups will occur and it ultimately does have to be the young adults' decision, but I believe if both young people are sincere in praying about the relationship and willing to go forward or stop as God guides then much heartache could be prevented. If my teenage daughter or 20-something is willing to wait contentedly single until God brings the right one into her life and focus upon her education and walk with God she can enter into a courtship as God leads and be able to enter into marriage without the heartbreak that so many other girls experience.
  • Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 05:51:05 PM by Happyblessedmama

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #25
Ruthie, I'm sorry it seems you had a bad experience with counsel in that pre-marriage stage and I can understand why that would change your view on things. We are very countercultural and traditional in our views on courtship and marriage and have a different perspective on the woman's role than most. We would not encourage our daughters in a life-long career path because we believe that the roles of men and women are different. For someone who has a different understanding the decisions they make would be correspondingly different. That's why America is so great,because we have the liberty to act out our faith based upon what we understand. I believe that if we live as close to the Word of God says and that as we do He will bless us. Everyone has to study for themselves and live according to what they understand. Blessings to you, my sister!

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #26
Yes, I'm sure that my negative experience with courtship certainly impacts my views now. We've been married for over 11 years and it's really nice not to have to worry about courtship/dating for myself anymore. I really don't miss the pre-marriage experience one iota. LOL!

To be clear, won't encourage my children to date before they're in a position to realistically consider marriage. I don't feel like minors are emotionally mature enough to be doing one on one relationships with the opposite sex, nor do I feel like it's beneficial and necessary.

So, we fall more on the "mature dating with boundaries and access to good counsel," end of the spectrum.

I do feel like, in general, the Bible examples of pre-marriage relationships tended more towards betrothal, because the people involved really didn't get to know each other prior to marriage. Isaac and Rebekah, for example, really didn't have any chaperoned dates to discuss life issues, they went straight to marriage as soon as they met each other.

Thanks for the dialogue. It's always interesting to learn about other people's views. :hug:
~Ruth, wife to Tim since 11/6/05 and WAHM to Hannah (11), Micah (8), and Abigail (5)

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #27
I see your point there. I never considered that before. What about the example of Mary and Joseph? They definitely had some things to talk about!

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #28
It's my understanding that their relationship was a betrothal, as well.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18 (KJV)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18 (NASB)

A betrothal was as binding as a marriage, that's why Joseph was considering divorce (or its equivalent) when he found out that Mary was pregnant before they had consummated their marriage.
~Ruth, wife to Tim since 11/6/05 and WAHM to Hannah (11), Micah (8), and Abigail (5)

Re: Dating/courtship
Reply #29
Ok😀

 
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