Irecently read a post from Facebook that made a case that Courtship is
flawed and even detrimental. I enjoy discussions on such topics and
it interested me that this man was a homeschool graduate, a
Christian, a lover of writing and had read “I Kissed Dating
Goodbye”. This was someone I could relate to! And yet, as I read,
I realized we had little in common on this subject. By the end of
the post I was actually appalled with the advice he was giving young
people and equally dismayed that many Christians (even some friends
of mine) were being swayed by his argument. I decided to write a
“reply” to this well liked post. I realize that everyone is
entitled to an opinion, but just as he wrote to influence, I also
write to take a stand on this vital issue.
The Writer: “...
I have seen a spike in divorces amongst couples who courted. I have a
few theories as to why this is. Young people whose parents often
maintain veto power on all of their decisions are then expected to
make this most important decision without any experience in good
decision making. They have no context of who they are, past decision
making or any idea of what they are looking for in a spouse.”
amused me. I have a heavenly Father that “maintains veto power on
all of my decisions” and this does not leave me confused on how to
make decisions, or wondering who I am. Could it be that our
grandparents generation had less divorces than our own because of their era, not the fact that they dated? It was socially taboo to
divorce during our grandparents time. Now it's the norm. I don't
know that it has anything to do with the fact that couples courted.
can you know what personality you fit well with if you only go out
with one other person? The result can be a mismatched couple and a
marriage that is difficult to sustain.”
God happens to be a big God. He doesn't need to imitate the World's
way of finding mates. When we are moving in and out of relationships
on a whim, we aren't giving God much of an opportunity to bring
someone into our life in His own creative way. It isn't our job to
find the perfect personality match. He will! And it is foolish to
believe that we must date in order to know what personalities clash
or meld with ours.
of Traditional Dating
Writer: Less Temptation – “It is hard to fall in love with Bob
on Tuesday when you know you are going out for coffee with Bill on
is? To me it sounds emotionally draining. And when sharing your
heart with someone exclusively, it doesn't really matter if you only
see them twice a week, you are bound to become emotionally attached.
(At least I can be sure from a girls perspective. Maybe some men
are able to move from one relationship to the other without
consequence. Sounds brutishly predator like). Just as we are to
save ourselves physically for one man, we must also save our hearts.
Our bodies are really only half of who we are....our heart....(mind,
will and emotions) is equally important to guard. If we are to
keep our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) than giving access
to Bob on Tuesday, and Bill on Thursday....really doesn't sound like
we are doing that.
Writer: More Interaction“I know many homeschool girls who are
frustrated that they never get asked out on a date. It is not
uncommon to find a 21 year old stay at home daughter who has never
been asked out on a date. The reason for this is not because the girl
is unattractive (although that may be the story she convinces herself
of over time).
real reason is that few guys are willing to ask permission from a
woman’s father to marry her before being able to ask her out
on a date to get to know her. Even when this permission is
requested, it is unlikely to be given.”
there something wrong with a stay-at-home young woman of 21 never
being asked out? Is 21 the year of the old maid? There are plenty
of young women who have never been asked out for a date and don't
grow insecure in their looks because of it! By 21 I had a few young
men approach my father. I have never been officially asked out to
date. Does this bother me? Not at all. And for goodness sake –
I'm 22!!! By the way young men go to my father I realize that young men
see me as a treasure. I'm someone worth protecting. I have a father
and two brothers who are proof of that statement. I consider it an
honor that young men do not see me as just "up for grabs". I'm not on the
cheap table to be pawed over. Attractiveness has nothing to do with
it. And if a guy is turned off by the fact that he must reach me
through my protector first, then I really have no interest in him.
Obviously I'm not worth it to that guy.
Writer pointed out that most men don't really want to ask the father,
because they realize the fathers expectations of a visit to call on
his daughter means courtship....and they just wanted “to get to
know” the girl. If a guy wants to get to know the girl...then he
should. He doesn't have to date her to find that out. Courtship is
stage 2. It's for serious relationships only. The best way a guy
can get to know me is by observing me with my family, in my home,
doing my hobbies, interacting with other people. Not by taking me
out to dinner.
The Writer: “I
know several godly, hardworking and attractive homeschool guys who
have been rejected by as many as a dozen fathers.I
respect their tenacity. Getting turned down by courtship fathers is
tough on guys because the fathers are rarely gentle or kind. So if
you are a courtship-minded girl wondering why the guys are not
calling, you may want to ask your dad how many guys he has run off.”
a young man has been rejected by as many as 12 fathers....maybe the
guy should stand back and take a good humble look at himself. Maybe
he is being a little hasty. Maybe he has some growing up to do that
the fathers are seeing. Maybe it's the fact that he went after as
many as 12 different girls in the same month, convinced that they
were “it”. Are fathers of girls who court tough and rarely
gentle or kind? I guess I can't really say since I don't know all
of them, but the fathers I can speak for, have always been very
protecting (which with that territory comes a dose of toughness,
thank the Lord) but were always polite. If there are unkind
“courtship fathers” than this fact would not be proof of
courtship's failings. I'm sure there are some unkind “dating
fathers” too. It would be a matter of failings on the fathers
part. He failed to be kind while protecting his daughter.
believe that the Lord works through my Dad. God is bigger than my
Dad's “no”. If my Dad “runs off” the right guy, I know the
Lord will lead the right guy back to me because I am trusting Him,
and the right guy won't give up. Not all guys are Prince Charmings.
Some of them are predators. Some guys are worth running off.
he points out that:
The Writer: “With
Traditional Dating, asking a girl out on a date is no big deal. All
the guy is asking to do is to get to know the girl better. Maybe this
leads to a deeper relationship, maybe it doesn't. Either way, the
interaction is easier and more fun when it is not so intense.”
I am ready to begin a relationship with someone, I want it to be a
big deal. By the time it passes the Friendship (stage 1), I am
expecting Courtship (stage 2) to be a big deal. I want it to mean
more than getting to know me. I'm not really concerned about how
much fun I can get out of it. And like I said earlier, dating is a
big deal. It will involve intimacy to some degree.
Non-commital-relationships are unhealthy and a risk of heart-ache.
Writer: Less Heartbreak– One of the promises of courtship
is that it can lead to less heartbreak than dating. I laugh at this
to keep myself from crying. This could not be further from the truth.
Calling off a courtship can be as emotionally wrenching as calling
off an engagement. It can take years to recover from a “failed
has a point here. Theoretically, courtship is a period where the
young couple and their families evaluate the compatibility of each
other. At any point either person can politely bow out if they
believe that the marriage may not work, without heart ache on either
is a safe guard, but of course our hearts are frail. We still find
ourselves attached, even under the most ideal, secure and practical
scenarios. Having a courtship called off can be as devastating as a
cannot guarantee no heart-ache. It merely provides some sensible
safe gaurds. Yet, break ups in courtship shouldn't be common. Unlike dating,
courtship does not assume your relationship is temporary, just for
fun, or a short term trial. This is why courtship is taken
seriously, and is stage 2. Courtship actually strives to minimize
the risk of wounded hearts from a constant sting of temporary
relationships. Courtship encourages open relationships without
foolish emotions or temptations.
a “failed courtship” will most likely be heartbreaking. But that
is why courtship includes such seriousness. It isn't meant to be
temporary, begun then broken.
Writer – More Marriage – Let’s face it, most married people
got married because they dated first. I would even submit that most
homeschoolers who do get married supplemented with dating at some
point in their journey. Courtship is not resulting in many marriages
despite having been advocated by (sometimes unmarried) conservative
leaders for nearly 20 years.”
most married couples today dated instead of courted, that would make
sense. Our culture dates. Courtship is tried by a minority. And
yet, most courtships I have seen have resulted in marriage. Because marriage is the expected outcome of courtship (unlike dating), then it would make sense that courtship leads to marriage.
Writer may be implying that courtship families are keeping their young people from getting the chance to
marry. I don't see that in the people I know or talk to. But even
if courtship lessened the likelihood of marriage (which I don't
believe it does; it just lessens the likelihood of becoming involved
in multiple relationships beforehand) we have to remember that being
single is not a curse, and marriage is not our goal in life. Life
does not begin at marriage. If young people, including the Writer,
could only see singleness as the gift it truly is, there wouldn't be
such a desperate frenzy. Who is in control of our lives? Even if
courtship was only a radical, extreme and careful attempt to purity,
the Lord would not be hindered by it. If anything He would reward
our sincere desire to obey Him in keeping our hearts pure. Our
abandonment of our love life to His care can only result in Him
taking it over. (What's so bad about that?). But our management of our love life is sure to lead to lesser
Writer – “More Fun"-
The institution of marriage is crumbling. Of the last two
generations, one won’t get married and the other won’t stay
married. A smaller percentage of people are married in America than at any other time. Part of what helps perpetuate the institution of marriage is making
the process of getting married fun. My grandmother made dating in her
day sound really fun. Courtship on the other hand can be awkward and
the institution of marriage possibly crumbling because the unpopular
method of courtship has made getting married a bore? Or, could it be that the trend of dating has taken away the habit of commitment?
it. Is marriage a pleasure ride? Who says in order to perpetuate
the institution of marriage we have to make the process fun?
Marriage is not all honeymoon. Marriage is a life time commitment to
someone through sickness and in health, for better or for worse.
Marriage is where two people come together to be one flesh...a very
self sacrificing thing. Where the husband gives himself up for his
wife, and the wife submits herself to her husband. Of course there
will be fun times. But “fun” has nothing to do with marriage... or courtship.
The Writer: “Dating also trains people to continue dating their
spouse after they get married.”
does? What if your precious Bob makes you angry...do you start to
pine away for Bill on Thursday? Why wouldn't courtship encourage a
couple to continue to pursue their spouse after marriage? Courtship is all about commitment.
The Writer: “The kind of parents who are the strongest advocates of
courtship are often the ones who go on the fewest dates with each
did he get that stat? I found that rather odd. In fact, I have two
married friends (who courted) that live close to me, and I've never
known two couples who have gone on more dates than they have.
Writer – "More Matchmaking”-
Modern Courtship doesn’t really have a mechanism for matchmaking.
How can there be blind dates if the man must first get permission
from a father?”
courtship doesn't offer matchmaking tips because it assumes you
believe that Someone bigger than you is orchestrating your love life.
Who wants to go on a “blind date” if the Lord has someone
already in mind?
The Writer: “Courtship relationships are so intense that even
introductions can be awkward. I know many happily married couples who
met through a blind date or an online matchmaking service like
eharmony. Matchmaking is a time-tested practice that Traditional
Dating is fully compatible with. Courtship? Not so much.”
you jumped right into courtship without ever knowing the person, than
yes, the introduction would be very awkward. But the Writer here has
totally overlooked the fact that there is a stage 1 of friendship.
match-making really seems to be it's own topic. But online
dating isn't exactly a plus, is it? It seems to be a place people go
when they are desperate. Not to mention it isn't really romantic.
So if it isn't really compatible with courtship, it doesn't pose that
big of a problem.
course these reasons alone wouldn't be enough to stand on to prove that
online dating is wrong. It is plausible for a couple to meet online
and fall in love and have a good relationship. But of course, it is
equally as possible for two people to meet at the local bar, fall in
love and have a good relationship. Just because it works doesn't
mean it's ideal. The fact that God can use our less-than-best
choices is evidence of His care and mercy more than an endorsement
for online dating.
“Christian” online dating sites have a emotionally driven,
humanly manipulated romance. Not to mention that someone online can
be just about whoever they want to be. Like dating in general,
online dating seems to be a less-than-best approach to relationships.
If God created romance, than He certainly can create a beautiful
rendition for you.
Also, a little note -- The Writer continually refers to dating as "traditional". Like modern medicine, dating is "conventional", not traditional. Courtship is traditional. But honestly, just because a method is long established doesn't mean it's right or the best.
Writer-- More League Awareness -
Not everyone has the same level of attractiveness, character,
intelligence and wealth. Parents tend to see their own children
through rose-colored glasses. Homeschool communities can be a bit
all the children are above average. It is easy for “no guy to be
good enough for daddy’s little princess”. The sad result of
enforcing this mindset is a daughter who becomes a spinster. With
traditional dating guys learn their league by finding out what girls
say “yes” to that second date. Girls learn their league by seeing
what kind of guys ask them out.”
is a sad statement.
there are leagues...then it would not be defined by attractiveness,
character, intelligence and wealth. That is how the world defines
worth. Traditional dating is an ego booster to the ones that fit in
certain leagues. But for the rest of us that aren't up to par in
attractiveness, personality, intelligence or wealth it rates us as
Christ, our attractiveness, character, intelligence and wealth have
little bearing. We are all “out of His league” and yet He chose
us to be His bride. He considered it worth dying for us He loves us
and will never leave or forsake us. Thank the Lord His love is
faithful and true. Marriage is an earthly picture of Christ's
marriage to us (the saints). Courtship is an accurate image of this
heavenly relationship. Thankfully Jesus doesn't abide by any “Bill
Bob Bill” rules.
The issues of "Group settings", Is courtship biblical?, Arranged marriages and Is courtship delaying marriage?.