Home dating/courtship Courtship–Gaining Popularity

Courtship–Gaining Popularity

by Kelly Crawford
Courtship, Dating and Right Relationships
By Tracey Bartolomei

For those who are disappointed with the results of the dating scene, an alternative is now gaining popularity. Before automobiles and the information age, those eligible for marriage practiced a custom known as courtship. Some grandparents can probably still remember the days when young ladies did not go out with men unchaperoned. Instead, family and group activities were the most common and accepted form of socialization between the sexes.

When a couple believed that their interests could involve ones of eventual marriage, they began some form of courtship. Courting was used to become better acquainted with the other party and his/her family. Family involvement generally played a significant role in the courtship process. The practice of courting has been a vital part of the Judeo-Christian culture for thousands of years. This old fashioned idea is currently gaining a following of singles that are looking for smarter ways of tying the knot and keeping it tied.

With the AIDS epidemic and a divorce rate hovering over 50%, many are expressing strong concern in the area of relationships and marriage. Most marriage counselors now recommend taking a more “preventive” approach to marriage. It is much easier to have a healthy lasting marriage if you don’t enter in with a lot of “emotional baggage” from past relationships.

Counselors say that the key elements to a successful marriage are friendship, compatibility and strong communication skills Courtship is viewed as a viable means of developing these elements.
The main difference between dating and courtship is the attitude that one assumes towards relationships and the activities in which the couple engages before marriage. Contemporary dating is generally a self-focused past time. It is characterized by expectations of physical/emotional intimacy without commitment. Self-gratification is paramount. If either party is no longer gratified the relationship ends; thus, a cycle of short-term relationship begins and continues.

In courtship, both individuals have the understanding that marriage is the eventual goal of the relationship. Courtship takes a more thoughtful, long- term approach to a premarital relationship. The emphasis is on developing friendships and seeking compatibility in ones future mate. Courtship doesn’t actually begin until each feels that the other person could be a perspective marriage partner. Their time together is spent getting to know teach other better through conversation and group socialization, rather than sexual intimacy.

Various Christian books and recent radio programs have given much attention to the subject of courtship. Josh Harris’ book Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Elizabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity are two top sellers. The Internet is another excellent resource.

From LeaderU.com

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Mrs. Lady Sofia October 29, 2008 - 5:08 pm

I am in agreement with Kim M. When I was in 8th grade (the 13 to 15 year old range), it was all about have you “gone all the way” yet, and what boys liked you. If you hadn’t “gone all the way,” been kissed, or something physical with someone of the opposite sex, you were considered a “goody-two-shoes” that would “never get any.”

There was alot of pressure, and I felt it ALL the time (as some other girls my age did at that time). I knew of some girls going to “desperate measures” to “improve their reputation” so they wouldn’t have the “goody-two-shoes” label, only to end-up pregnant or emotionally ruined!

No one wanted the label of “goody-two-shoes” because that meant you were NOT normal and that something was wrong with you. That was back in the early 1980’s. I’m sure it’s not any better today.

Kim M. October 29, 2008 - 5:30 pm

Ok. Lady Sofia, I deleted that comment for fear who might be lurking around and reading. But I guess I will re-post it so people won't wonder what I said. ha ha!
I guess it wasn't that bad, but I do know a couple of people who read this blog and one of them might figure out who one of those boys was! aaack!

Oh well….
Here's my comment:
This article really does simplify the whole process…. it doesn't seem so "hard".

Does anyone else remember being 12 years old and being asked over and over "have you been kissed yet?"

I do! I went to the same VERY CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN school all my life. Still, there were certain people made you feel like your value and worth were low if you weren't kissed by the time you were 16. I remember feeling almost panicky about it and ended up allowing 2 boys that I had no interest in whatsoever to kiss me (out of sheer panic!) when I turned 16. (even though I was always more interested in the highly talented, courtship-only preachers' & teachers' sons that I could not have)

I am pretty sure now that the two boys were in a race who could get me to kiss them first.

That's how worldly boys are… they make bets and such to see who can get the pure girls kissed first. 🙁

This is the type of pressure that I dealt with as a teenager 16 years ago.

Imagine what girls face today.

Kim M. October 29, 2008 - 5:34 pm

One more thing… only by God’s grace I didn’t kiss anyone else until I met my husband.

Anonymous October 29, 2008 - 7:53 pm

Through all these posts I’ve been wondering (and wishing my dating years had gone differently of course) but, how can one determine the proper age to marry? I guess it would be different for all people, depend on their state of mind, but any thoughts?

Steve October 29, 2008 - 9:48 pm

I wrote a blog on the “kissed dating goodbye book.”

A major concern of mine with courtship/groups that Harris promotes is that in his book he isn’t sharing the problems that have occurred with what he is promoting. Yes, believe it or not, the courtship option has produced its own set of problems and few are willing to admit there are any defects with it though others just like Harris are quick to point out the defects of dating.

“I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Wisdom or Foolishness”

From what I have seen, in most circles Harris’s ideas were more of a “fad” than something long term. Maybe had more people been willing to admit its shortfalls and limitations then it wouldn’t have had such a short life.

Word Warrior October 29, 2008 - 10:54 pm


Yes, I think it is different with each person, BUT let me interject a counter-cultural thought here…a few men (like Voddie Baucham, whom I greatly admire) are calling Christians to forsake the notion that marriage is something “to be put off until you have done the important things”, and rather embrace it AS the important thing.

As a rule, to find a wife “is a good thing”, children are a “heritage from the Lord, and we ought to be holding up marriage as something to be desired and yearned for!

Mrs. Anna T October 30, 2008 - 4:20 am

I haven’t visited for a long time, and oh boy, I wish I could comment on each of your recent posts about dating, but time just doesn’t allow so I’ll try to sum up my thoughts here.

You are, of course, absolutely, 100% right. Dating isn’t “normal” – you can look at any traditional culture you want, be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim or other, and you won’t see a concept such as “dating”. But more than untraditional, and obviously faulty (like you said, dating prepares us for divorce, not marriage!), dating is simply ungodly. See the courtships and marriages of great men in the bible. Marriage was always kept in mind as an initial goal, and parents were always involved. The tragedy of detached families left many young women feeling broken beyond repair.

My sweet husband and I had a very simple marriage ceremony. Yet people told us, even months later, that they never saw such a moving, special, and joyous wedding. You could see the emotion in everyone’s faces when my husband took my hand, right after the ceremony was completed, and everyone knew this was the very first time he did that.

We also had separate dancing sections for men and women (we’re Orthodox Jews), and let me tell you, the joy can really flow freely when there’s no thought of temptation!

Previously, I had been hurt by modern dating practices just like many other women. But our blessed marriage was freed from the burdens of the past. Praise the Lord.

Lori October 30, 2008 - 7:30 am

I can’t stand Passio and Purity. “Oh, Jim, let’s go out for looooong walks by ourselves. At night. In remote places like a cemetary where no one will see us. And I’ll be sooooo good that I’ll write a top selling book about it in 40 years. Look, there’s a shadow of a cross in between us. We’re so good.” Seriously, dating can be dangerous, and she covers a lot of good points, but dosen’t really offer much else than a harshness towards dating. She was FREQUENTLY not just unchaperoned with Jim, but completely alone. If anyone reads this book who hasn’t yet, do so with a grain, or shaker, of salt Oh, and I heard that Josh Harris back off his stance too, after he was a big seller.

L October 30, 2008 - 7:43 am

O.K. I was harsh with Elliot. I still would like to urge people not to read it though. I do believe in the goodnes of courtship. I’m even o.k. with arranged marriages (They aren’t the way most Americans envivion it, like from some hokey romance novel or movie). I do think that dating is dangerous. But Elliot treats the word “relationship” like a four-letter-word, without offering a very realistic option. I think it was towards the end of the book that she was talking about how she and Jim, on the remote mission field and still unmarried, would sit around a fire together, just talking. She pointed out that the villiagers didn’t believe that a man and a woman could spend time alone together withouth, you know. But they didn’t. But is’t that what all young Christians think? “Oh, not us. We just want to talk.” That’s not a good example. She was promoting that relationship as an example when it was a major exception. Two healthy people, fond of each other, alone at night. And nobody did, you know.

SuzeQ October 30, 2008 - 9:00 am

But don’t go to your local library for information; mine at least. When I tried to locate information on courtship I was referred to Pride and Prejudice and other “novels”. So I went over to that section and was dumbfounded when I saw nothing on courtship but tons of books on same sex marriage, the “gay” lifestyle and other “Modern” new age so-called family structures. It was very saddening. Keep up the great posts! We are loving them!

CJ October 30, 2008 - 2:13 pm

Kissing before marriage is not condemned by the Bible — you have kissing confused with fornication, and there’s a world of difference.

Similarly, “courtship” is not mandated by the Bible, nor was it taught by the Apostles, the early church fathers or any theologians until the latter quarter of the twentieth century — they considered such things to be beneath the scope of theology.

In my opinion, the whole courthship/betrothal brouhaha is a pop-Christian fad, and is on a par with Promise Keepers, Vision Casting, and the Y2K scare of 1999.

CJ October 30, 2008 - 2:25 pm

“So I went over to that section and was dumbfounded when I saw nothing on courtship but tons of books on same sex marriage, the “gay” lifestyle and other “Modern” new age so-called family structures. It was very saddening.”

That IS saddening. However, the books that get published and wind up in libraries and in bookstores are those that will SELL, and people love novelty. In our libraries and bookstores here in PA, books on courtship are quite popular, as are books on same-sex marriage and NewAgey alternatives (though not with the same people, obviously! :D), and they are popular for similar reasons — because it is novelty, not normalcy, that SELLS books — people want to have their ears tickled.

The books that are hard to find are books about normal marriage, normal family relationships and ordinary, normal, wholesome dating with an eye toward marriage, the kind of dating that we older folks and our very Christian parents and grandparents engaged in once upon a time, before the “Sexual Revolution” came along and confused everyone.

Kim M. October 30, 2008 - 2:51 pm

Here is a verse from the Bible:

“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman”

I Corinthians 1:7

Word Warrior October 30, 2008 - 2:59 pm


No, I’m not confused, but I think you might be. Who defines fornication? I never said kissing, per se, is fornication, though I’d be willing to argue that point.

I did say that the modern system of dating lends itself to fornication, by its nature.

The model of courtship is based largely on Scriptural clues and the model followed by most cultures (including ours) for centuries.)

It’s so funny how people talk about it like it’s some weird “fad” or movement, when it was perfectly normal for society for centuries!

It probably fell “below the scope of theology” in the NT because the apostles presumed any intelligent parent would know not to let his young children go prating about with members of the opposite sex unguarded.

Courtship, remember, isn’t even a “thing”; it’s an idea that “trying out” different people is not a good prerequisite to a stable marriage.

We ought to be able to recognize the devastating effects of this broken model our culture embraces as normal withut any further proof.

CJ October 30, 2008 - 3:44 pm

“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman”

Kim, that verse has nothing to do with dating, courtship, or men and women literally touching one another. Paul was referring to celibacy, and whether marriage itself was lawful. Paul was reassuring the Corinthians that marriage is an honorable estate, although he says that celibacy is even better, for those who can contain themselves.

As for fornication and kissing, I brought that up because many couples who are caught up in the betrothal movement tend to congratulate themselves on not kissing before the wedding. My point was that the Bible does not forbid premarital kissing, and those in the betrothal movement who say that kissing before the ceremony is WRONG or sinful are equating their OWN made-up rule about premarital kissing the honest-to-goodness biblical injunction against premarital SEX.

Word Warrior October 30, 2008 - 3:50 pm


Curious…where in the Bible is it permissable to kiss before marriage? I see much more evidence ruling in favor of “no kissing” than a license to tempt fornication.

If it’s not explicitly forbidden, despite every implication AND common sense reasoning, then it’s permissible? Interesting theology.

And please stop suggesting that courtship is a MOVEMENT.

CJ October 30, 2008 - 3:50 pm

“Courtship, remember, isn’t even a “thing”; it’s an idea that “trying out” different people is not a good prerequisite to a stable marriage.

We ought to be able to recognize the devastating effects of this broken model our culture embraces as normal withut any further proof.”

Those of us who are old enough to remember such things know that the model didn’t get “broken” until after the Sexual Revolution.

Prior to that, most young folks dated and got to know a number of different people PLATONICALLY without engaging in premarital sex.
It wasn’t until the mid-seventies that things hit the skids, and when that happened, dating itself fell by the wayside too, because by then, most people were looking for sex rather than a wholesome good time and the opportunity to meet their potential life partner.

CJ October 30, 2008 - 3:58 pm

“If it’s not explicitly forbidden, despite every implication AND common sense reasoning, then it’s permissible? Interesting theology.”

Yep, and it’s straight from First Corinthians:

1Cr 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1Cr 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Of course, everything that is permitted isn’t WISE, but neither is it forbidden, and anyone who says otherwise is to be avoided as a false teacher:

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ…..
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not…

And please stop suggesting that courtship is a MOVEMENT.

Sorry. I didn’t mean “movement” like it’s a bad thing. But it IS a movement against established custom, nonetheless.

Word Warrior October 30, 2008 - 4:04 pm


Funny, everyone of those verses I had in my mind too–you made my own points! Just because something is “lawful” (i.e. not written explicityly against in Scripture) doesn’t mean we should be doing it. And there is plenty of evidence involving physical intimacy being BAD for unmarried people. (Go ahead and try to tell me that kissing isn’t intimate 😉

Furthermore, I hardly think the apostle was referring to physical intimacy when he spoke of eating, washing hands and drinking.

The current dating model is not “established custom.”

Kim M. October 30, 2008 - 4:24 pm

Treat younger men as brothers … and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:1b, 2b).

Are we going to keep trying to get around this?

Common sense (and my husband) would tell you that “french kissing” or “making out” or whatever you want to call it sexually arouses a healthy young man.

I do not want to “defraud” my Christian brother in any way. Not even a hint. So I am going to teach my sons to avoid it like the playing with fire that it is.

And when I look at Scripture, I’d rather “err” on the careful side, wouldn’t you? I do not want to disappoint my Lord or defraud a brother and tempt him to sin.

Just a few of my thoughts… not trying to be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. There are young unmarried ladies who read this blog. They need to be directed towards purity.

Word Warrior October 30, 2008 - 4:28 pm

Kim m,

Well said, and I agree, with others reading we want to be “above board” with advice and/or instruction.

It is appalling to me that any Christian would try to defend the act of “making out”, even if they didn’t necessarily understand courtship.

Without any biblical guidance at all (which you have pointed out some great examples) the very logic is flawed.

I fear greatly for those who have singled out their favorite parts of “lawlessness” from the Bible, perverted its meaning, and are radically opposed to any “don’ts” in the Christian life. Scary.

Kim M. October 30, 2008 - 8:21 pm

May we all have surrendered hearts.

Hearts that will say “whatever YOU want Lord… I surrender all”. “What can I do MORE to please You?”

CJ October 30, 2008 - 10:34 pm

“It is appalling to me that any Christian would try to defend the act of “making out”, even if they didn’t necessarily understand courtship.”

What is appalling is the fact that our culture is so far gone into depravity that an entire generation of young people, Christian and pagan alike, seems to have grown to maturity with consciences that are so polluted as to render them unable to tell the difference between chaste kissing and hand-holding, such as their grandparents engaged in, and “making out”, which is geared towards SEX.

How things have changed!….but, if that is indeed the case, perhaps you kids nowadays ARE better off avoiding dating altogether, and not kissing until after marriage.

Kim M. October 30, 2008 - 11:04 pm


“How things have changed!….but, if that is indeed the case, perhaps you kids nowadays ARE better off avoiding dating altogether, and not kissing until after marriage.”

Yes, our society is much , much more outwardly polluted. I think of what my poor boys will have to deal with as teens…..

billboards, magazines in the grocery, ads, etc.

Currently we don’t even have TV hooked up. I want to guard their innocence as long as possible.

But I do agree with you that I think that our modern media today has not helped in this area. Boys KNOW what’s under her clothes and the temptation is, perhaps, stronger because he sees it any time he goes anywhere? So sad 🙁

That’s why I think we must teach our children to avoid playing with fire.

CJ October 31, 2008 - 12:16 am

“That’s why I think we must teach our children to avoid playing with fire.”

Avoiding “playing with fire” is not the same as avoiding fire altogether. Fire is not evil, you see, but it can be dangerous in the hands of one who does not respect it.

You COULD do the difficult thing, and ask your grandparents and great grandparents what dating was like, back before society went to you-know-where. They could tell you what it was like, back when kissing could be innocent and people waited until marriage to “pet” and to have sex.

Then, after you yourselves have learned how things were before the sxual revolution, you could reintroduce your young people to the ideas of PURE dating and self control, instead of throwing the baby our with the bathwater.

Steve October 31, 2008 - 12:25 am

Realize that Josh Harris himself found problems with how singles related at his own church (for whatever reason he hasn’t publicized these problems on his web page). I explain this on my blog.


To the people that seem so sure courtship is the answer and far superior to dating, have you reached this conclusion based on what you have heard or from what you have seen in operation? A lot of people like Josh Harris will say that it is superior but experience shows otherwise.

Hope this helps.


Kim M. October 31, 2008 - 6:27 am


Most of the couples in our church that dated (most of them my age), ended up pregnant 🙁

The teenagers of this current generation seem to be more group minded (or at least their parents are) and so far I haven’t seen much pairing off (except maybe one couple but from what I have heard they only sit together one service and call once a week).

Our church has a Christian school attached (I am the only “home-schooler”) and they do not allow pairing off at the school, so that may be part of it.

Of course I am watching it from a distance but that is what I have observed…..

I don’t think many of them have read Josh Harris’ book.

Kim M. October 31, 2008 - 6:41 am


I say this respectfully, but I think the key to this is not past generations (which weren’t flawless), but God’s word.

My grandparents would not have been good models as they were not Christians (both grandpas were alcoholics and beat their wives).

One of the oldest (now saintly) women in our church got pregnant before she was married (she is probably in her 70s now).

Word Warrior October 31, 2008 - 6:57 am


DEFINITELY what I have SEEN gives strength to what already made sense when I heard it.

Seeing it though, is undeniable.

CJ October 31, 2008 - 8:31 am

“Most of the couples in our church that dated (most of them my age), ended up pregnant :-(“

Hmmm. That wasn’t my experience in my girlhood church, though I’m probably a good bit older than you. 😉
ALL of the young folks in the church in which I grew up dated, and only two or three couples got pregnant.
That is because we were taught not to have sex before marriage. I remember our pastor teaching that the purpose of dating was for boys and girls to get to know each other, and that hand holding was OK, dancing was OK (that was before the days of “dirty” dancing), and a nice kiss was OK, but everything else was a sin unless you were grown up and married, and so we controlled ourselves, and we WAITED.
When I was a teenager, only trampy girls and nasty boys went around having premarital sex, and they didn’t actually go on dates, either, they snuck around and got drunk and smoked pot and parked in dark alleys.

Face it, PEOPLE are not ANIMALS.
If the dating couples in your church all got pregnant, I’d say that that was because they weren’t taught to control their urges, and not because they dated.
People, even young people, have sex because they CHOOSE TO DO SO, and when people are Christians, dating ought to be perfectly fine, because the fruit of the Spirit is self control.
When people have have no more self control than what you describe, there’s something wrong with the people, not the dating.

CJ October 31, 2008 - 8:47 am

Kim, I’m sorry about your grandparents, that must have been rough. But my point is that most other folks’ grandparents and great grandparents dated too, and many of them WERE Christians, and for them it worked out just fine.
As you say, past generations weren’t perfect, and that goes all the way back to the days of the Old Testament. Back in Biblical times, people courted and got betrothed, but they also practiced polygamy, and slavery was legal, and a husband could legally beat his wife or divorce her on a whim, and nobody thought less of him for it.
Betrothal, as a system, can work just fine, and so can dating — either system is only as good as the people in it and the society in which it operates.
My point is that the Bible mandates neither system — that is left to us, as a matter of personal liberty, and my only problem with courting/betrothal is when some group comes along trying to say that courting is more Godly than dating, or that doing anything else is a sin, when the Bible itself says no such thing. Honestly, I’d have the same problem if the situation were reversed, and some group out there was teaching that DATING was the only Biblical way to go, and that courting is a sin.

Steve October 31, 2008 - 10:20 am

I will admit that a lot of my issues I have with courtship come from seeing it forced upon single adults in the 20’s and 30’s and even older. I have seen where people in that age range act like teenagers with the opposite sex including being afraid of each other and contact.

The concept of doing things in groups might be appropriate for when one is just starting to date as a teenager but the big problem is where they take a “one size fits all” approach with this. A pastor takes something that might apply to his teenage daughters or a boy writes about a system that worked for him in his teens and then it is assumed that this is what should be done for all ages.

As people mature in age and in Christ, shouldn’t the guidelines change?


Kim M. October 31, 2008 - 12:34 pm


I really do not want to be argumentative. (I am weary!)

I am not even saying that if you kissed your husband before you were married then you are on your way to the bad place. 😉 If that is the case, most of us would be in big trouble huh? If you think you were o.k. in doing that, then whatever…..

However, I do have the prerogative to feel that there is a better way and to teach my boys what I think is best( as you do/did with your own children…. that is my responsibility as their mom).

No one on this blog is shoving anything down anyone’s throats… Kelly blogged about it and I happen to agree/think that this is what I want for my own family.

That’s the fun of blogging. You can say what you want and people can read it … or not 🙂

Steve, I am not sure as I have seen what you are talking about. It may be that way in certain places, but most people by the time they are in their 20’s are legally free to choose what they want to do. I would think whatever way they behave is their own choice???

The bottom line is that I think people need to really go back to the Word for their guidelines… the answers are there.

Lori November 1, 2008 - 10:20 am

cj -“slavery was legal” the kind of slavery that wsa legal was what we would call indentured servitude – the free man would sell himself for a period of years, maybe his family could be sold with him? I’m not sure, but they were released in the jubilee year. The “slave” could choose to be bonded to his master for life if he loved/trusted him. Someone could be forced into this form of “slavery” legally because they owed money that they could in no other way pay. Remember, borrowing money that you promise to repay and then don’t is stealing, and you have to pay it back. Hence, forced labor. For a few years. Even Soloman addressed this: “For a debtor is slave to the lender” Prov. 22:7. The slavery we tend to think of (Like west Africa) WAS condemned, as man-stealing/kidnapping: “adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 1 Tim 1:10.

“or divorce her on a whim”. They could divore, but not on a whim, and they were legally bound to each other until one died. They couldn’t remarry, so it was more like what we would call “separation” and not “divorce”. (1 Cor 7)

“a husband could legally beat his wife” What the heck? Which Bible are you reading?

I agree with a lot of you points, such as the issue is not action, but self control that guides action. These women are trying to protect their children’s actions by protecting their children’s environments. For a while. No one is suggesting chaining the kiddos to the house. I find your attitude and beliefs much harder than these ladies( and condecending :”you kids”), “That is because we were taught not to have sex before marriage. [B]ut everything else was a sin unless you were grown up and married, and so we controlled ourselves, and we WAITED.” Isn’t that just an external set of rules? What about caressing the hair, or necking, or hmmm, what else can I do without technically disobeying the good girl rules?
“When I was a teenager, only trampy girls and nasty boys went around having premarital sex”. OOUUCH! I know lots of very admirable people who, sadly, had sex before marriage. They were healthy, “in love” and unprotected by their elders. They have a lot to regret now, without you calling them “trampy” and “nasty”.

Kim M – “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman” – I Corinthian 7:1

I believe that Paul was referring to the closely impending destruction of Jerusalem, which happened I think around AD 70. He specifically addressed his comment to “this gerneration” “in view of the present distress” (v 26)- “the time is short” (v 29), that is the believers who were going to be alive in AD 70, and running for the hills. I do not mean to say that this has no bearing on today, but like the issue of, I don’t know, say…circumcision, I just don’t think it’s a pressing issue. But I do think you make a lot of really good points, otherwise.

Kim M. November 1, 2008 - 12:25 pm

Thank you Lori, I appreciate your comments.

I do have to say though that even though Paul may have been speaking to that particular generation, that I think that we should regard all of Scripture as profitable.

I believe that….

II Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

And that looking even at history of circumcision (the reasons for it and the reasons they were freed, etc) is profitable and has spiritual lessons.

Not that you are saying we shouldn’t regard all of Scripture or anything …. I just feel like there are reasons that things are included in Scripture (even the things we don’t understand).

Thanks again, I appreciate you taking the time….

Kim M. November 1, 2008 - 12:30 pm

btw Lori, I loved what you had to say about slavery.
It has always been a mystery to me…yet a lot of people enslave themselves today! GREAT points!

SM November 1, 2008 - 12:50 pm

I know I am a little late joining this discussion. I have been sick and haven’t had a chance to check the website in a few days. First, THANK YOU, Kelly, for your original post and all the others (which I have now read) about courtship and/or betrothal. They have been very encouraging to my husband and to me. We are teaching our children, ages 13 and 11, that betrothal (or courtship) is God’s way for them to get to the marriage alter. Since we began this teaching early, they embrace it and are not at all interested in the boyfriend/girlfriend “game” at this time or in “recreational” dating for later on. We are very happy with the results we see in them (time spent pursuing their interests and preparing for adulthood rather than biting fingernails and worrying over who likes them and who doesn’t). My husband and I are very passionate about this subject. We have four grown children who, unfortunately, were raised to embrace the boyfriend/girlfriend game AND dating. God has been merciful, and they are all still in their first marriages. But we do see the ill effects from their years of playing the boyfried/girlfriend game and dating. Some of these effects are mistrust and suspicion, hurt when reminded of prior relationships their spouces had, and even “dreams” they cannot control about prior relationships. These issues now cause a battle they would rather not be having to fight. We watch and hurt for them and regret that we did not know the devastating, long-term consequences of dating. I read all the comments re your post, and I can’t remember who said what; but I would especially like to comment to the “older” lady/ladies who wrote about “good dating” practiced in “their day” and how all turned out well. I don’t know how old you “older” ladies are; but my parents are in their mid and late
70s, and I am in my early
50s. IF you are of MY generation, I would have to question whether your memory serves you well, because I KNOW that dating and the “boyfriend/girlfriend games” practiced in MY generation were very destructive and ANYTHING BUT Godly. MANY of those I grew up with (considered “the good kids”) not only engaged in pre-marital sex but are now divorced and re-married (some MORE than once). The ones who have stayed married have often been plagued with adulterous relationships on both sides. I would have to say to anyone in my generation, who still believes that dating (as we practiced it) is healthy and good, you are not a “thinking” person OR you are in denial and not facing the truth. HOWEVER, if you are in the same generation as my parents, then I would like to share my story with you; because I believe that many people in that generation look at the devastation in their families and in the lives of their children
(and now in their grandchildren) and DO NOT “connect the dots”, because the problems with dating were not quite so obvious at that time. We NEED that generation speaking out about WHY things have turned out so badly for SO MANY in my generation and why the next generation seems destined to have even more difficulty with staying married and/or remaining faithful. This is my story. Both sets of my grandparents practiced a form of courtship and would NEVER have been allowed to be alone with the opposite sex before marriage (it would have been unthinkable to them). If they were alive today, they would all be 100+ years old. I am SURE that I can say that they were all faithful to their spouces to the end and that they had very committed marriages for 55+ years. Unfortunately, however, while raising my parents, my grandparents discarded the teaching of their own generation and embraced what the “new” culture had to offer, which was seen as a better and more “free” and “fun” way to get to the marriage alter. In other words, they were more influenced by “culture” (the world)than they were by time-tested principles AND God’s word. Sadly, the outcome for my parents’ marriage, and many in their generation, was much different than for my grandparents and their generation. My parents practiced the boyfriend/girlfriend game AND dating AND they taught my brothers and I to do the same. (Of course, with each generation dating seems to further deteriorate and have more devastating effects). I won’t go into all the sorted details, but my father never seemed able to “settle down” in marriage and be satisfied. My mother never seemed quite satisfied either; her expectations were based more on fantasy than on reality. I believe BOTH my parents were victims of that new and very unGodly practice known as “dating”. They were both good people and had so many things going for them. My father did well in business, and my mother was blessed with a nice lifestyle while being a full-time mother and homemaker. My father was a leader in our church and taught Sunday School, and my mother was the church pianist. They loved us (3 children) dearly. But, finally, after 25 years of marriage, everything fell apart. My father could stand it no longer and left my mother so that he could marry his mistress. All the fantasy and excitment of this “new” marriage caused him to “ride off into the sunset” with his new bride, leaving my two brothers and I without the direction of a father, which we so desperately needed during our early adult years. I witnessed this same scenario with MANY of my friends’ parents. Of those who did stay married, MANY were involved in adulterous relationships through the years (the church kids ALWAY knew which adults were having “affairs”, though the offended spouces seldom seemed even slightly suspicious). My husband has worked in the legal profession for many years, and I worked in the medical profession in my younger years. Had it not been SO SAD, it would have been almost comical to witness the numbers of men (and sometimes women) in that “older” generation who were still trying to “date” while they were married. In the generation of my parents, adultery was RAMPANT, even in the church!!! In most any church we now visit in the metro area we grew up in, my husband can point to men in the 60 – 80 year age group and name the mistress/mistresses they have “kept” through the years. (He feels certain that their wives are “clueless”) And many of these men are STILL in leadership positions in the church. As we all know, things never seem to stay the same. Bad things ALWAYS get worse. (The enemy has a way of doing that) My heart BREAKS for the generation that preceded mine. My generation was more devastated than that one. And the next generation
(20s and 30s) seems to be destined to be even further plagued with marital problems. I realize that there are many things in this world that attack and undermine marriage, but I am firmly convinced that dating is at the top of the list. And this comes from personal experience and what I have witnessed. I will not deny that the “dating game” has seemed to work for some in the last three generations (although I wonder if they recognize the problems that have come from it), and certainly not every couple has divorced or been involved in adultery; but dating is, at the very least, a game of roulette. As for my husband and I, we ARE NOT willing to play this game with our children’s lives. I challenge anyone reading this comment, who is from the generation that preceded mine, to consider that it was YOUR generation who turned the corner and began doing things in a “new way” as far as getting to the marriage alter. Look around you; do you really believe it was a “good” turn??? If not, then PLEASE consider that defending dating is ONLY causing further destruction. Consider promoting the need to return to a “courtship” model that was practiced 100years ago (and in previous generations) that led to many generations of couples who were committed and faithful to their marriages until death parted them. It is YOUR voices we need to hear!

Word Warrior November 1, 2008 - 1:08 pm

Poignantly spoken, SM. Thank you for being a voice in the “slightly older generation” 😉 (Apparently all us “youngsters” have no idea what we’re talking about–you just lent credit!)

It behooves me that anyone would want to propagate such a destructive practice as recreational dating.

Lori November 1, 2008 - 1:18 pm

Steve – Thank you for the blog link. That one’s going into my “favorites – family” file.

Kim M. – Quite right

CS – Thank you for your helpful, touching story.
“These issues now cause a battle they would rather not be having to fight.”
“with each generation dating seems to further deteriorate and have more devastating effects”
“As we all know, things never seem to stay the same. Bad things ALWAYS get worse.”

Thank you again.

Lori November 1, 2008 - 1:20 pm

Oops. Thank you, SM, not CS! *blush*

» Dating, Courtship, Marriage August 19, 2009 - 2:18 pm

[…] Courtship Gaining Popularity […]


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