Dating vs. Courtship
“My Son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26
Capturing and maintaining the hearts of our children should be our main objective in training godly children. This is also stated in the last verse of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:6), “…he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children…”
One of the things that is destroying the hearts of the next generation is in the area of dating. Many home educating parents have won the hearts of their children only to lose them in the dating game. The focus of courtship is allowing God to be the center of finding a spouse and using the authorities that God has placed in our lives to help make that decision.
Is dating a good thing?
Dating has been around for less than a hundred years. Even though at first dating was not a serious problem, it was because the Bible was such an influence in our country and there was some sense of parental control. Since morality has been removed out of our schools and our society, dating has been allowed to scar countless lives. It is seen as the only way to find a life partner.
Is dating biblical?
Finding a spouse in the Bible was done by using the authorities that God had established, such as the government, parents or relatives. This is demonstrated through the following marriages :
• Isaac and Rebecca were married as a result of Abraham’s servant who was under Abraham’s authority.
• Jacob and Rachel married under her father’s authority.
• Joseph and Asenath married through the authority of the Pharaoh of Egypt.
• Mary and Joseph went through the custom of betrothal through their parents.
• Even though Samson was being rebellious in his life, he knew he needed his parent’s involvement in getting a wife.
What are the down falls to dating?
Today, young girls are dating as early as 11. Parents are not taking on their God given responsibility of obtaining the hearts of their children. Several pitfalls of dating are:
• It conditions one for divorce – Dating has no binding commitment and if the heart is given away and the other breaks it off, it conditions them to think that if I do get married and it does not work out, I will try again.
• No accountability – Experts tell us that the most vulnerable time in a girl’s life is in her late teens when she is changing into a woman. This is the time parents seem to throw their children to the wolves.
Most young people who have been destroyed through dating will tell you that they never planned for it to go so far but it just happened. Many girls will tell their parents, “You don’t trust me!” It’s not about trust, but knowing one’s limitations! It’s like the old saying, “When you play with matches, you will get burnt.” While working in the school system, I hear girls talk about having relations with several different guys as if it were no big deal. The ideal of being pure before marriage is now a fairy tale.
Over 90% of children attending public schools are not taught about waiting before marriage. In some schools it is against the law. Working in the school system as a big brother, I have seen counselors tell young girls to be friends before they have relations and make sure they use a birth control method. If they do become pregnant, they can get an abortion without the knowledge of the parent. This actually happened to a girl who had several abortions before her parents ever found out. Or they can have the baby and the school provides daycare so the girl can stay in school. This philosophy is only increasing the problem. The solution starts with the parents.
Giving one’s heart away – When there are no controls on having relations our young people are giving part of their heart away. If they ever do get married, they have brought unnecessary baggage into the relationship.
What about Courtship?
Courtship uses the parents to help keep their sons and daughters from getting hurt and to help them find their lifelong partner.
• Courtship encourages a bond between the child and the parent, especially the father. I hear all the time about women who suffer such heartache because they went out with someone that they did not want to go out with, but did not want to hurt their feelings.
• In courtship the parents sit down with their son or daughter and come to an agreement of what they should be looking for in a life partner.
• Courtship protects the hearts and lives of all those involved
When a guy asks a girl out and she says that he has to ask her father, two things can happen:
1. He will walk away and find someone else. These are the ones that are looking for a no commitment relationship. These are the ones girls need to steer clear of.
2. They will have a deeper appreciation for the girl, knowing that she has values. Best of all, even if the father approves of the guy, if the girl does not want to go out, the father breaks the bad news, not her! The pressure is off of her and back the father where it belongs.
When a young man asks a girl’s father for permission to see his daughter he is showing honor and respect to the girl as well as the family. In courtship a son or daughter gets to know the family before anything serious takes place. Anyone that is married knows that you are marrying the family as well.
The difference between Lust and Love
Like the old song, “It’s now or never”, our society has a misconception about the characteristic of love. In I Cor. 13, God’s word tells us that true love is patient and longsuffering. It does not rush itself and is kind. Lust wants that which is forbidding and it cannot wait. It cares not for what it destroys and cannot be fulfilled. A good example of lust is demonstrated with the relationship of Ammon and Tamar (II Samuel 13).
Ammon and Tamar
Ammon was the half brother of Tamar. He fell in love with her. The scriptures tells us that:
• He was lust sick and would have done anything to get her knowing full well that the law of Moses forbid this type of relationship.
• When Tamar came to visit her brother, he overcame her. Even when she warned him not to do it he still raped her.
• After fulfilling his lust, he hated her more than the lust he had for her.
• Even when Tamar was shamed, there was no repentance from Ammon for what he had done to her.
• As a result of his act of selfishness, two years later Ammon was killed.
Jacob and Rachel
In Genesis 29, we read how Jacob fell in love with Rachel and was willing to do the following:
• He was willing to work for her, even when Laban was going to give her to him he honored her by working for her.
• He worked seven years and to him it seemed like a few days, because of the love he had for her.
• Even though he was tricked by Laban, he was still willing to work another seven years for Rachel.
All of these examples were done with the authorities that God himself had set up for accountability.
Today, for every four marriages that take place, three will end in heartache and divorce. Courtship marriages are estimated 1 divorce in 3,000. Obviously it works!
Accountability - The right choice for a Great Awakening!
How does anyone get to heaven?
First realize that they cannot get to heaven on their own merits. The Bible says that “For all have sinned and come short (that means everybody can’t get to Heaven on their own) of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Jesus Christ (who is the Son of the living God) came to earth and was born of a virgin woman (therefore he was not born of the curse of mankind) he lived a sinless life and died on a cross for all the sins in the world. Three days later, God the Father raised Him from the dead. He was seen of 500 witnesses and returned to heaven. God’s word says that if we believe these things and call upon the Lord, we will be saved. Romans 10:9 - 13