Dating -vs- Courtship


English: Two grebes in love Nederlands: Twee f...

English: Two grebes in love Nederlands: Twee futen die van elkaar houden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lust is strictly associated with sexual arousal and sexual activity and the desire for such out of proper use and should not be confused with physical attraction or love.

Lust is a sin and is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Physical contact between courters is typically kept to holding hands, even through the engagement.  Courters involve themselves in each other’s lives slowly. They increase their emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy as they come to know one another better. Romance is closely guarded until they both are sure that they are ready for marriage. As a corollary, time alone together as a couple is rare until the engagement is eminent.

Lovers need their parents to watch out for them during this time, when emotions work overtime and thinking is on vacation.

Courtship recognizes this sinful tendency in humans to do what is pleasurable and so prepares carefully watched steps that lead a couple into marriage at the right pace.

The direct contrasts between dating and courtship are obvious. Dating claims that dates are an excellent way to get to know other Christians; courtship says that romance must wait on commitment. Courtship advocates warn that close emotional and/or physical attachments to other people will have ill effects when the couple breaks up; daters claim that these heartaches develop maturity.

Courters should not presume to control each other’s hearts until they are married and their bodies belong to each other (Harris Boy 100). What many Christians don’t realize is that becoming emotionally attached to someone results in many of the same problems that going physical does.

Courtship protects the participants’ emotional and physical well-being by putting it under God’s Word first, and then the loving guidance of their parents. Using these two powerful and sufficient tools, both types of interaction are limited until levels of maturity in the relationship have been reached.

Furthermore, courtship honors marriage and protects the guy and girl by creating the mindset of one romantic relationship (Wilson Hand 10-11). Courters are not looking for “the next thing,” but instead are focused on honoring God and their partner now. In contrast, Christian dating today is corruptive to the sanctity of marriage because it trains people to form a series of romantic involvements that have few liabilities or commitments.

It does mean that romantic time alone together or acting as a couple is out of bounds before a courtship is begun. Young Christian singles ought to establish a one-woman or one-man mindset by courting (1 Timothy 3:2; Winner, et al. 144).

He’s already set us up with someone who will complement us perfectly. We can prepare ourselves for marriage by growing spiritually and serving God as a single (Harris Kissed 43, 51).

Dating more often than not embodies this hideous type of self-serving intimacy, and calls it love.   Since daters tend to avoid conflict and consider physicality equivalent to love, dating is not a suitable practice ground for self-sacrificial love.

Another way courtship honors god is by helping men and women take their god-ordained roles as men and women. The Biblical role of men is as the initiators and the servant leaders (Eph. 5:23-29; Harris Boy 110-111; Wilson Hand 12). Women are to follow their husband or father (not all men); and have the “inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (Wilson Hand 50, 12; Prov. 31:10, 30). During a courtship these roles are honored and encouraged. The male suitor must initiate by asking permission of the girl’s father, thereby acknowledging the father’s authority (Num. 30:3-5); he must also lead by clearly defining the purpose of the relationship. It is the suitor’s job to provide direction for the relationship and to initiate most of the couple’s times together (Harris Boy 110-111). The daughter ought to obey her father’s (hopefully) wise direction and not proceed emotionally past the limits the suitor and her father have set (Harris Boy 84, 118-119).

In addition to adhering to biblical gender roles, courtship promotes biblical love: self-sacrificing devotion that is described in 1 Cor. 13. It does not wish to exploit another’s mind, emotions, or body. It sacrifices, it waits, it serves. It guards and protects the other person by maintaining supervised, biblical boundaries. Even if, halfway through a courtship, the couple decides that they should not marry, they can separate knowing that they have preserved each other’s purity. They have honored themselves and God during their relationship by protecting each other even when lust was a temptation. Nothing is lost except time, and they have preserved so much of themselves by maintaining their purity.

However, daters’ love often contradicts God’s vision of love.

Summary of
Source:  Joshua Harris

More might be added later on…….

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