Now that you’ve read the first part of my article, are you trying to justify what you have now with your boyfriend / girlfriend is in fact courtship and not dating?
Now, let me clarify the two terms that were discussed in part one – dating and courtship. Am I saying that we should just throw the word dating out of our vocabulary? No, it is important here not to get too caught up on the words themselves. It is the principles behind each that make it either Biblical or unbiblical. Think of it this way: when a husband and wife go out regularly, then they are dating; or when two people in a right kind of Biblical relationship go out, then they are dating. Like I said, it is not the word “dating” that is wrong, but it is the modern approach to dating that makes it unbiblical.
Earlier, in the definition of courtship, Croft stated that marriage is a direct goal. Does this mean that the two people have to get married? No. The short answer is that marriage is a goal, not a required outcome. Two people should be judging the other’s suitability for marriage. The difference between this and the modern approach of dating is in three areas (to be discussed in part three).
First, however, I need to address the question what is this “modern” approach of dating? Let’s start out with some Hollywood quotes (from various TV shows I saw) that I believe perfectly describe what most people think of dating today:
“What is dating anyway except some long drawn out process of elimination where you both try to present your best side while hiding the real you.”
“The dating experience is like test driving a car, you may really like the way a Mustang looks, but when you test drive it, you may find out that the Honda Accord, or the Chevy Malibu fit you better.”
“Dating is like trying on clothes to see who fits.”
“Dating is just acting like somebody you’re not until the person likes you enough so you can show them who you really are…”
Now, in some ways those may seem way far from reality. But, look around you; are they really?
To further the modern approach, we (as in pop culture fans) are absolutely not helping change the viewpoint. Think about it, we are enamored with various dating and relationship shows that have no Biblical basis at all. And of course, if there were shows that were Biblically based, then that would make for boring TV. But maybe boring isn’t all that bad when dealing with real life. Here are some examples of some shows today that “get the ratings,” so to speak. Look at this list and ask yourself the question, what is the goal in each of these shows?
2. Blind Date
3. A Shot at Love
4. The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
5. Temptation Island
6. Joe Millionaire
7. Beauty and the Geek
8. For Love or Money
9. Ex-treme Dating
10. Star Dates
12. My Dating Place
I would say that we don’t have our priorities straight. I would say that today’s priority in dating (as proven by the shows and quotes above) is for a person to meet all of MY needs and MY desires. Ahh, we are such a selfish people. Stay tuned, more to come in part three.
– Adam Smith