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Dating vs. courtship: Choose wisely

Monday, February 18, 2013, 1:02 am | Randy Thomasson


When should you allow your child to date? Or should they date at all?

Barack Obama has implied that his oldest daughter, who’s 14, is dating.

Is that too young or it is okay? Where’s the dating scene gotten our nation? And what has starting romance in our early teens done to children?

It’s highly worthwhile to take inventory of what the modern invention of dating, and its emotional and physical expectations, has produced.

And when you look at it closely, the dating culture has led to widespread heartbreak, sexual immorality, STDs, abortion, abuse, and divorce. All of these ills are much more likely to come from dating than courtship. For God did not intend for parents to cut their teenagers loose to follow their own foolish feelings.

Where does abortion come from? Primarily sex out of wedlock.

Sexually-transmitted diseases? The same.

What has the highest domestic violence rates? Unmarried relationships.

What reinforces a divorce mentality? The constant breakups of dating.

All this is why I’m no longer a fan of dating and instead support courtship. Courtship puts the parents in a wise and beneficial position to advise and approve and protect hearts and minds and bodies. I’m convinced courtship is the best way to obtain a secure marriage.

How is courtship different from and better than dating? Tracey Bartolomei explains:

The main difference between dating and courtship is the attitude that one assumes towards relationships and the activities in which the couple engages before marriage. Contemporary dating is generally a self-focused past time. It is characterized by expectations of physical/emotional intimacy without commitment. Self-gratification is paramount. If either party is no longer gratified the relationship ends; thus, a cycle of short-term relationship begins and continues.

In courtship, both individuals have the understanding that marriage is the eventual goal of the relationship. Courtship takes a more thoughtful, long- term approach to a premarital relationship. The emphasis is on developing friendships and seeking compatibility in ones future mate. Courtship doesn’t actually begin until each feels that the other person could be a perspective marriage partner. Their time together is spent getting to know teach other better through conversation and group socialization, rather than sexual intimacy.

Learn more about courtship:

Courtship vs. Dating: What’s the Difference?

Seasons of Courtship

Dating vs. Courtship: A Bible Study

“..take a wife for my son Isaac.”
Genesis 24 (NKJV)

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