Friday, December 22, 2006

Dating, Courting, or Something Else?

What do you think, can a young person be a dating disciple?

Here are some resources to check out:

"Should Christians Date?", by Adam Holz.
Biblical courtship - Wikipedia.
From this great, but lengthy, article at Focus on the Family. Biblical Dating: An Introduction, by Scott Croft:

1. Modern dating seems to be about "finding" the right person for me (as my friend Michael Lawrence has written on this site); biblical dating is more about "being" the right person to serve my future spouse's needs and be a God-glorifying husband or wife.
2. In modern dating, intimacy precedes commitment. In biblical dating, commitment precedes intimacy.
3. The modern dating approach tells us that the way to figure out whether I want to marry someone is to act like we are married. If we like it, we make it official. If we don't, then we go through something emotionally — and probably physically — like a divorce. In biblical dating, Scripture guides us as to how to find a mate and marry, and the Bible teaches, among other things, that we should act in such a way so as not to imply a marriage-level commitment until that commitment exists before the Lord.

Now here's something you don't see everyday - a student devotional on dating, from Awana.

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous heather said...

Hi! I teach a class at our church called "Her Hands" for college girls in College Station, Texas. We talk about dating in depth. I have my own ideas about what I think about it on the married side of dating. However, I like to give the girls some scriptures to consider when trying to think through this enormous idea. People say that the Bible is silent on this issue. I don't believe that at all. I believe God has spoken loud and clear, but it's just very hard to trust Him!

1:09 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Hi Heather! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I'm looking forward to taking a look at your blog.

BTW, how did you find this one?

1:14 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I think you can both "date" and "court" in a godly way. Some of our guiding principles, which we followed in college while "dating" and will pass on to our children (oldest is now 13):

* Marriage is the goal.
* Do not defraud someone else's future wife/husband.
* Decide beforehand, on standards/limits for physical contact.
* Guys interested in our daughters will go through dad.
* Saying "I love you" is not allowed unless immediately followed by "Will you marry me?".

As for how that's practically carried out, and at what age, it seems there's a lot of freedom.

Courtship seems to have picked up a lot of eccentricities. The "Fathers should disciple the young man interested in courting your daughter" thing is weird to me. Like Michael Pearl says, "The young man finds out in the end he's been dating her father, not her."

Rebecca, I would love to hear what you have come up with for your daughters.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Well, Jennifer, I am so glad you decided to weigh in on this one. Our daughters, particularly the older one, find it frustrating that we have never done any "Christian dating" (we were both very immoral from an early age, and then saved after we'd been married a few years).

We have been talking with the ladies since before Junior High, which is probably why it hasn't really come up until now. But the older one is 17 and her life goal has always been to serve the Lord by being a mother of many.

What we didn't anticipate was how having a cell phone changes the whole "go through dad" thing.

More later, to be sure!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Having been through a *lot* of dates and non-dates, a couple of "relationships" and a lot of non-relationships, and now happily married for over six years, I think the most important thing is to know your values and live them. Once I understood and started really living my values, and not trying to hide them, the people who were attracted to me (and vis versa) changed a lot.

About three years before I met my beloved, I thoughtfully created a list of five "must haves" and five "can't haves" for my future mate. They were based on my most deeply held values and reflected the type of life I wanted for myself. My beloved met all ten criteria (and a bunch more!).

I think it's hard to be young and optimistic and still refrain from involving with people who don't share your values. But I believe that once you know for sure that someone's values clash with yours, it is best to move on. And a little sleuthing (and courage to discuss your values upfront) makes it pretty easy to figure out who fits and who doesn't.

I wish I had "gotten it" sooner than 30yo. I hope the ladies do better than I did.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

That's good advice, Beth.

I hope the ladies do better than I did, too, and I'm glad you and I are both happily married now.

1:23 PM  

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