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Courting for Marriage and the Difference from Modern Dating

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In America, our culture has become accustomed to dating when it comes to romantic relationships. This is a more casual approach to finding a partner. A person may have multiple romantic relationships before or after marriage. Sexual abstinence and modesty are now often derided, and casual sexual “hookups” before marriage and cohabitation have unfortunately become social norms. Living together without the intention of getting married removes the promise of marriage, but does it lead to a better relationship?

What is Courtship?

Courtship was the traditional Christian approach to relationships intended for marriage.as described by essence dot com,

“Christ-centered courtship is when a man and a woman, with prayer and purpose, try to determine whether their marriage is in God’s plan. It is rooted in your desire to be with the person God has chosen for you.”

Christian theologian John Piper distinguishes between courtship and dating in his writings. Sexuality and the Sovereignty of Christteach it:

Courtship usually begins when a single man approaches a single woman through the woman’s father and establishes a relationship with the woman under the authority of the father, family, or church, whichever is most appropriate. Courtship always has marriage as the direct goal… A more modern approach, dating, begins when either a man or a woman initiates a relationship that is more than friends with the other. and build that relationship outside of authority. Dating may or may not be aimed at marriage.

For many young people (and even among baby boomers) the term “courtship” seems a bit foreign and outdated. Merriam Websterdictionary defines courtship as “seeking the affection of another.” [someone]-especially: trying to win marriage vows from

One might imagine a man wooing a female companion with roses and chocolates and finally bending the knee to ask her for her hand in marriage. got to know each other and evaluated their future potential as husband and wife. There was nothing casual about it. Everything in the relationship was very intentional and oriented toward marriage.

do people still go to court

Casual dating practices in our society are not conducive to forming strong, healthy, committed, and long-lasting relationships. Statistically, Americans are waiting longer to get married than ever before.

according to US Census Bureau, the average age at first marriage for women in 2021 was 28 years or older. For men, 30 years and older. Although the divorce rate in the United States is said to be on the decline, 40-50% of marriages still end in divorce. Perhaps you might think that this casual dating practice in our society is attributed to this statistic.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Jonathan J Castellon

Some say that our society has not completely abandoned courtship. Instead, we added dating to courtship. In other words, dating has become an extra layer for us to find a spouse. Yes, especially if the person is entering the dating scene with the intention of finding a partner to eventually marry , courtship and dating relationships may appear similar, but if they are not, dating “for fun” may simply spread over a shallow pool of partners.

Difference Between Dating and Courtship

The big difference between courtship and dating is that the relationship may or may not lead to marriage. The integrity and outcome of the dating process depends entirely on the values ​​of the couples involved. However, culturally-influenced versions of dating are often done simply for fun, with no real purpose in promoting relationships.

Instead of being cautious about pursuing a romantic relationship, it’s easier for couples to treat dating as if they were in pursuit of finding the perfect pair of jeans. If it gets serious, the two of you will become physically close and possibly even live with each other. Sometimes relationships don’t have to be serious because of physical intimacy.

The courtship process arose out of a culture that desired to honor God on the way to marriage. They have promised to… Their wish is to expect a marriage contract.

Dating, on the other hand, when done without a biblical basis, can easily become very selfish and selfish, with individuals looking more for ways the other can make them happy. , they are likely anxious to look to and follow the Bible for relationship direction.

What Does the Bible Say About Courtship and Dating?

Although the Bible does not mention Courtship again dating Clearly, we are given some important principles about how we should live as followers of Christ. These should apply to romantic relationships in preparation for the covenant of marriage.

First and foremost, we are called upon to depart from the ways of the world. 1 Peter 1:14-16 teach: “As an obedient child, do not conform to your former desires of ignorance, for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, because I am holy.'” (NASB).

Rather than looking for physical or emotional attraction (how that person makes us feel) as a factor in determining our suitability with someone we want to be in a relationship with, Christians The personality of the person and the believers they are also reincarnated Jesus Christ With a desire to fit his image and follow his word.

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 teach: “Do not yoke unbelievers to inequality. What is the partnership that has lawlessness and justice? Or what is the communion of light and darkness? What agreement did Christ make with Belial?” do you have Or what part do believers share with unbelievers?” (ESV).

To bind oneself to an unbeliever in a romantic relationship means obedience to the Lord and can be tempting to follow the ways of the world rather than the ways of God. If you have a desire to honor the Lord both in your life and in the relationship itself, God will surely strengthen and equip your marriage and ensure a sound foundation for your marriage. If a couple puts God first in their premarital relationship, they are prepared to keep God first in their marriage.

Biblical Foundations for Romantic Relationships

When two people are in a committed relationship and love each other deeply, they sometimes want to put each other on a pedestal, and suddenly an idol is created. Matthew 10:37 It teaches us that we should love the Lord more than anyone else in our lives, including our loved ones (especially in this verse, father/mother/son/daughter).

we”Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind (Matthew 22:37, NIV) and seek him first and foremost. Yet at the same time, we must love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31).

we see Romans 12:9-10 Signs of True Christian Love: “Let love be real. Hate what is evil. Hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. (ESV).

again, Philippians 2:3-4we are encouraged to have the same selfless heart as Christ, who gave his life for us. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, and humbly consider others more important than yourself. (ESV).

This definitely applies to romantic relationships in the Bible.

Public perceptions of dating relationships often involve sexual intimacy, so it’s important, as Christians, to pay attention to what the Bible warns against premarital sex, which is considered sexual immorality.

We must flee from lust and pursue righteousness and chastity.

“Come, flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22NASB).

Sexual immorality is not only a sin against God, it is a sin against your own body. When we are physically united with someone, we become one with them and it is reserved for the sacred union of marriage. Essentially, we must use our bodies to glorify God.

Paul learned these truths 1 Corinthians 6:15-20:

“Don’t you know that your body is the body of Christ? Shall we then take the body of Christ and make you a harlot? Never! Don’t you know?”The two shall become one flesh. But whoever joins the Lord is the Lord and one Spirit. Flee from immorality. All other sins that a man commits are outside the body, but immorality.” Man sins against his body, or he does not know that your body is in you, the temple of the Holy Spirit that you have from God, and you are not your own. You were bought at a price, so praise God with your body.” (NASB).

Court (or date) for the glory of God

The marriage covenant is special because of what it stands for. The pure love of Christ and union with the Church. If that is your purpose in a dating or courtship relationship, continue to put God first, turn to the Bible to renew your mind, and use worldly dating to reflect the love and honor of Christ for each other. Seek out God’s will for the direction of your life and relationships with your loved ones.

Seeking the Bible for guidance on romantic relationships is the best way to glorify God through obedience and righteousness and to ensure a strong foundation for a Christ-centered marriage. When two people are married, they become one with each other and become one in the eternal and unbreakable relationship that God intended (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5), a beautiful picture of our individual and collective love as the Bride of Christ. May God be glorified in the relationship.

Emily Rose Massey She began writing short stories and poetry as a girl, entered the world of blogging in her early twenties, and published her first book, Entrusted in His Hands: Becoming a Vessel of God’s Glory before she turned 30 (eLectio Publishing). , 2015) was published. While she is a stay-at-home mom, she enjoys freelance writing. She believes she has been forgiven much, loves much, and desires to show others Christ and His redemptive and transformative power. To find out more, visit her website. www.emilyrosemassey.com.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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